LVN Programs San Diego, CA

A nurse’s work spans the whole human experience – birth, growth, maturity, and death. Becoming an effective nurse goes beyond the acquisition of knowledge and skills. It involves commitment, compassion, caring, patience, and desire to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients. According to the Board of Vocational Nurses and Psychiatric Technicians in California, the practice roles of RNs and LVNs are quite different, though the duties overlap. Working under the direction of registered nurses and physicians, LPNs care for ill, injured, and convalescing patients and persons with disabilities. Their duties include basic bedside care, measuring and recording vital signs, wound management, preparing catheters and injections, monitoring patients for adverse reactions, and collecting samples for lab work. LVN programs prepare graduates for professional nursing practice and licensure as an LVN. The program will emphasize patient safety, accountability, and adherence to federal and state laws and regulations governing the profession.

Concorde Career College

The vocational nursing program at Concorde Career College runs for 13 months – with consistent, full-time attendance. Program graduates can apply to the BVNPT for the NCLEX-PN to practice nursing in California. Experienced instructors educate students on the theoretical and clinical science of nursing, so they’re better prepared to provide competent and safe bedside care. Courses include Personal & Practical/Vocational Concepts, Foundations of Nursing, College Mathematics, Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, Mental Health Nursing Care, Integumentary Nursing Care, Human Growth and Development, Maternal & Child Health Nursing Care, Gastrointestinal Nursing Care, Nutrition, Introduction to Medical-Surgical Nursing, and Clinical Practice. The clinical rotation is physically demanding, so students must be able to lift a minimum 40 pounds and stand for extended periods.

Admission criteria:

  • Attend a personal interview and campus tour
  • Complete the admission documentation including the Enrollment Agreement
  • Complete an Online Readiness Assessment
  • Provide documentation of completing high school or equivalency
  • Obtain a score of 17 or greater on the Wonderlic SLE assessment
  • Complete a criminal background check
  • Attend an interview with the Program Director
  • Provide immunization records (Hepatitis B, varicella, MMR)

Tuition for the program is $42,514 including expenses for textbooks and the application fee. The financial aid department will help students identify resources for financial aid.

  • Website:
  • Address: 4393 Imperial Avenue, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92113
  • Phone: 619-688-0800
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 91%

Southwestern College

Graduates of the BVNPT approved vocational nursing program at Southwestern College are eligible to apply for the NCLEX-PN to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse and practice under the supervision of physicians, registered nurses, and dentists. Enrollment for new students begins every 18 months. The admission is limited to 33 qualified applicants chosen in the order of submission and the completion of prerequisite courses with a grade C or higher. Students complete the program in three semesters, which cover classroom instruction, hands-on lab, and clinical experience in a local health care facility. Classes and clinical sessions may commence as early as 6:30 am. Some classes occur in the evening and weekend hours as well. All students must fulfill the general education requirements, which may be completed concurrently with the nursing courses. However, the school recommends that students complete the general education requirements prior to the nursing courses.

Admission criteria:

  • Complete the prerequisite courses with a grade C or better – Human Anatomy, Physiology, Principles of Child Development, Fundamentals of Nutrition, Elementary Algebra, Reading & Composition or College Composition, and Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Obtain a passing score of 58 or greater on the TEAS V6
  • Must have CPR certification (Basic Life Support Provider from American Heart Association)
  • Attend a mandatory orientation
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must attend first day of class
  • Complete the physical exam form indicating all required immunizations
  • Pass a background check and drug screen

The cost of the program is approximately $6,284. It includes textbooks, enrollment fees, and uniforms. The cost for general education textbooks and transport to the clinical sites are not included in the estimate.

  • Website:
  • Address: 8100 Gigantic Street, Room 4401, San Diego, CA 92159
  • Phone: 619-421-6700
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 100%

Grossmont Health Occupations Center

The practical nursing program at Health Occupations Center equips students with the personal knowledge and practical skills to care for patients in a broad spectrum of medical settings. The program is also designed to prepare students for the NCLEX-PN for licensure as a vocational nurse. The state approved curriculum includes didactic instruction in the classroom as well as supervised clinical experiences in a community hospital, nursing home, or clinic. Areas of study include data collection, measuring and recording vital signs, wound management, medication administration, mental health concepts, pediatric nursing, medical-surgical surgical, maternal nursing, geriatric nursing, transition to practice, ethics and laws governing practice, trends and issues in nursing. The duration of the program is 3 semesters – not including the summer. Web-based instruction may be included to enhance learning. Graduates will be eligible to take the NCLEX to become a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Admission criteria:

  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Must have a current active CNA license in California
  • Take and pass the ATI TEAS V6
  • Complete the prerequisite course with a grade C or better – Anatomy and Physiology
  • Must attend a mandatory orientation

Tuition for the program is $5,500. Program fees will cost an additional $2,200.

  • Website:
  • Address: 9368 Oakbourne Road, Santee, CA 92071
  • Phone: (619) 956-4300
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 100%

MiraCosta College

The vocational nursing program at MiraCosta College is accredited by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. It provides a minimum of 1536 contact hours of instruction, including 576 hours in the classroom and 960 hours of clinical activities. The content will include gerontology, nutrition, mental health nursing, medical surgical nursing, communicable disease, oncological nursing, perioperative nursing, orthopedic nursing, integumentary and neurosensory systems, and rehabilitation. Other essential areas covered are care of patients, obstetrics and pediatric nursing, home health care, leadership, and supervision. Program graduates will be eligible to take the state board examination. The option to receive an associate degree after completing additional coursework is available. The program is offered on a weeknight/weekend schedule.

Admission criteria:

  • Complete the prerequisite courses with a grade C or better – Body Systems Survey for Health Professionals, Pharmacology, Certified Nursing Assistant or current California CNA license, American Heart Association BLS Provider CPR card
  • Apply for admission to MiraCosta College before applying to the nursing program
  • Must be 17 years of age or older
  • Submit official high school transcripts or degree from an accredited college
  • Submit official transcript of prerequisite courses
  • Must pass a criminal background check – applicants with convictions on their background check will not be eligible for admission
  • Must complete a physical exam, laboratory test, and immunization just before starting the program
  • Must be free from communicable diseases and infections

The approximate cost of the program is $3,500 including tuition, books, uniforms, physical exam, and immunizations. Students must budget for transport to and from the clinical sites.

Summit College

The Licensed Vocational Nurse program at Summit College is taught by dedicated instructors who will encourage and challenge students to pursue excellency in care. The curriculum will cover 1586 hours of theory and practical instruction in the fundamentals of nursing, pharmacology, pediatrics, nutrition, psychology, patient education, and obstetrics. The program is designed to be completed in 12 months full-time or 18 months part-time. Day and evening schedules are available to accommodate busy lifestyles.

Admission criteria:

  • Complete the financial aid and enrollment process
  • Attend a mandatory orientation
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Provide an acceptable high school diploma or GED
  • Attend an interview with an Admissions Advisor
  • Take and pass the Wonderlic SLE entrance exam
  • Provide documentation of immunity to MMR, Varicella, and Polio. Hepatitis B is recommended but not mandatory
  • Complete a satisfactory TB test or chest x-ray

The cost of the day program is $34,400. The cost of the evening program is $33,737.

  • Website:
  • Address: 804 East Brier Drive, San Bernardino, CA 92408
  • Phone: (855) 970-4151
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 63%

Meta Polytechnic

The vocational nursing program at Meta Polytechnic prepares students with the knowledge and specialized skills to qualify for entry-level employment. The program covers 1624 contact hours of theory and practical instruction. Course topics include fundamentals of nursing, fundamentals of anatomy and physiology, medical surgical nursing, common disease processes, pharmacology, legal and ethical issues, lifespan development, and nutritional concepts. Students will participate in clinical learning experiences to apply theoretical concepts and promote clinical centered health and wellness. Graduates will receive a Vocational Nursing Diploma and be eligible to sit for the NCLEX for licensure as a vocational nurse.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must provide a government photo ID and social security card
  • Must complete a physical assessment form/TB test
  • Must pass a criminal background check (Livescan)
  • Provide a high school diploma or GED with a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Must pass HESI A2 with a proficient score of 70% or above

Financial aid is available for eligible students.

The Nurse Academy

The vocational nursing program at The Nurse Academy helps students acquire nursing knowledge and skills to prepare for a career in healthcare. The curriculum is a comprehensive blend of classroom lectures, simulation lab activities, and clinical training is a real-world health care facility. The clinical rotations will be conducted at hospitals, out-patient clinics, and long-term care facilities and are designed to cover various aspects of nursing including adult nursing, maternity nursing, pediatric nursing, geriatrics, and sub-acute care. Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN exam to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). Full-time and part-time schedules are available. The full-time program is 13 months and the part-time program is 18 to 20 months.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must provide a government photo ID and social security card
  • Must complete a physical assessment form/TB test
  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • Must have a High School Diploma or GED.

The program cost of $41,500 includes tuition, ATI and Swift River Platform, registration fee, STRF – nonrefundable, uniforms, and textbook and supplies.

  • Website:
  • Address: 2345 E 8th Street, Suite 113, National City, CA 91950
  • Phone: (619) 488-3460
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 75%

Other schools offering LVN training in San Diego

International Health Group Inc

8787 Complex Drive Suite B.100,

San Diego, CA 92123


LVN Program

How Long Does It Take to Become An LVN in San Diego?

The completion time for a vocational nursing program depends on the program’s schedule. A full-time program may be completed in 12 to 13 months. Part-time programs delivered in the evening or weekends can take up to 20 months to complete.

How Do I become an LVN in San Diego?

The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians oversees the profession of vocational nursing and issues a license to eligible persons for practice within the state. There are five ways you can become eligible for a license:

  1. Must have graduated from a California approved school of vocational nursing in California
  2. Must have graduated from an out-of-state school of practical/vocational nursing
  3. Must have equivalent education and/or experience – such as 52 months of paid bedside nursing experience in an acute care facility
  4. Must have military experience – at least 12 months of active duty bedside patient care on a hospital ward
  5. Must have experience with pharmacology

When applying for a license to practice, you must submit a completed application and meet the following requirements:

  • Pass a background check
  • Meet the age requirement – 18 years of age or older
  • Must have graduated high school or equivalency
  • Must meet one of the eligibility routes outlined above
  • Pass the NCLEX-PN or another licensing exam
  • Apply for a LPN license with BVNPT and pay the application fee of $300

Full details on obtaining an LPN license are available here: CA Licensure Requirements.

How Much Does The LVN Program Cost in San Diego?

The average cost of tuition for a vocational nursing program offered at private institutions in California is $32,000. The tuition at community colleges is a more afforadable rate of $6,500. However, admission to these programs may be competitive as spaces are limited. Applying for financial aid, scholarships and grants and applying to schools outside of San Diego are just some ways to lower your educational costs.

Can You Become An LVN Online in San Diego?

Some schools offer hybrid delivery of the vocational nursing content. The majority of the coursework will be delivered in person since simulation lab activities and clinical practice are vital parts of the programs that require the student to develop hands-on skills under the direction of experienced members of faculty.

Free LVN Programs In San Diego

There are no free vocational nursing programs in San Diego.



Crystal is a certified Registered Nurse (RN) with a passion for writing about nursing education. Through her articles, Crystal shares insights and tips to help fellow nurses enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest developments in the field. With a focus on practical advice and relevant topics, Crystal's writing is a valuable resource for nursing professionals seeking to advance their careers.