Best LPN/LVN Programs in San Diego

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San Diego, California, offers gainful opportunities for licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN). About 67,590 LPNs and LVNs work in California, which has the second-highest employment level for nurses in the country. California cities, including San Diego, also pay the most in the nation. LVNs and LPNs in San Diego earn an annual mean salary of $62,310.

One-year LVN programs in San Diego County offer a faster path to nursing than becoming a registered nurse (RN), which requires at least an associate degree and sometimes a bachelor’s degree.

Nursing students develop practical skills in laboratory simulations, clinicals, and online classes that emphasize the foundations of nursing, including preventive care and bedside nursing protocol. Graduates work under RNs and doctors in nursing care facilities, hospitals, and doctor’s offices.

If you’re looking to change careers, explore this guide for salaries for LPNs and admission requirements for LVN programs in San Diego.

View ranking methodology here.

Top 4 San Diego LPN Programs

Rank School Location
1 Concorde Career College San Diego, CA
2 Southwestern College Chula Vista, CA
3 MiraCosta College Oceanside, CA
4 San Diego City College San Diego, CA
Advertisement NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

  1. Concorde Career College
    Location

    San Diego, CA

    At Concorde Career College, students are provided with the hands-on training, medical education and clinical experience that allows them to become LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurses). Once they have completed this program, they will be able to take the licensing exam. This then allows them to enter the employment market with the knowledge that they are skilled and competent at their jobs. An LVN is charged with providing bedside nursing care to patients while being supervised by an RN or another physician.

    • Campus: San Diego, California
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation: ACCSC
    • Tuition: $27,352
    • Minimum time commitment: 50 weeks
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: High school diploma, GED or home schooling certificate
    • Programs: Vocational nurse
    • School website: Tuition and Financial Aid
  2. Southwestern College
    Location

    Chula Vista, CA

    Southwestern College runs an 18 month LVN program. There are only spaces for 30 applicants on the course each time, and these are offered on a first come first served basis. This means spaces are limited and in high demand. In return, however, Southwestern will offer you some of the best training available on the market today.

    • Campus: Chula Vista, California
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation: BVNPT
    • Tuition: $1,200
    • Minimum time commitment: 3 semesters
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: Prerequisite course completed with grade C or above, nursing assistant certification (verified), Hep B vaccination, the ability to lift at least 30 pounds.
    • Programs: Vocational Nursing
    • School website: Tuition and Financial Aid
  3. MiraCosta College
    Location

    Oceanside, CA

    At MiraCosta College, students can work towards their Licensed Vocational Nursing Associate in Arts Degree. They will receive a certificate of achievement upon completion and are encouraged to continue to study towards their associate’s degree, or even go on to become registered nurses. Once they complete the LVN program, however, they are able to promote safety for patients by integrating the skills they have learned into the process of nursing. They will also be able to perform some therapeutic interventions to ensure the safety and well-being of their patients.

    • Campus: Oceanside, California
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation: ACCJC
    • Tuition: $46 per unit for in state students and $185 per unit for out of state students
    • Minimum time commitment: One year
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: 18 or older, high school graduate or equivalent
    • Programs: Licensed Vocational Nursing
    • School website: Tuition and Financial Aid
  4. San Diego City College
    Location

    San Diego, CA

    San Diego City College is known by most as “City” or “City College”. Their programs last for two years and have been popular since the school was founded in 1914. The LVN program is particularly popular among those who want to get started in the field of nursing. Students are encouraged to further their educational career, however, and the school also offers an LVN to RN program.

    • Campus: San Diego, California
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation: WASC
    • Tuition: Varies depending on residency and military background
    • Minimum time commitment: 2 years
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: Attending a nursing workshop, high school diploma or equivalent
    • Programs: LVN
    • School website: Tuition and Financial Aid

Applying to an LPN/LVN Program in San Diego

San Diegans can become LPNs or LVNs in about one year. Applicants to LVN school in San Diego must meet certain admission requirements. Vocational colleges have adopted similar standards, but each school may ask for specific prerequisites prior to admittance. Colleges may require a candidate to take a scholastic exam if they do not possess a college degree.

Aspiring LVNs and LPNs need a high school diploma or GED certificate at minimum. When applying, they also submit documents, such as high school or college transcripts and proof of their proficiency in reading and writing English.

Since students work in practicums with patients, they also need CPR certification, a criminal background check, a toxicology test, and their immunization records.

If you want to become an LVN, consider what the job entails before applying for LVN programs near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does it take to become an LPN/LVN in San Diego?

    It takes about one year to complete an LVN program in San Diego. Clinical requirements may extend the length of a licensed vocational nurse program in San Diego. Full-time and part-time enrollment also factor into how long it takes to become an LPN or an LVN.

  • What is accreditation and why is it important?

    Accreditation equates to quality. Attending accredited LVN programs in San Diego allows students to receive federal financial aid. It also provides students with the assurance that their education meets criteria set by industry leaders and educational accrediting bodies, such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

  • How do I become an LPN/LVN in San Diego?

    The journey to becoming an LPN or LVN begins at an LVN school in San Diego. Students must complete required laboratory and clinical hours for admission. Future LPNs and LVNs then need to pass the NCLEX-PN. They can begin applying for the exam prior to graduation.

  • Is San Diego a good area to work as an LPN/LVN?

    Yes. San Diego employs about 6,190 LPNs and LVNs, paying them a mean hourly wage of $29.96, above the national estimate of $23.32 an hour.