LVN Schools San Francisco, CA

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for Licensed Vocational Nurses is expected to grow by 5 percent through the year 2032. The projected growth is much faster than the average for all occupations and is a result of the long-term care needs of the rising elderly population and an overall increase in demand for healthcare services. Retiring nurses will leave a gap in the industry, providing even more opportunities for new VN graduates. LVN schools in California equip student nurses with the skills and competencies to gather information from patients, monitor their progress, and report adverse conditions and reactions to registered nurses and physicians. Healthcare opportunities are available in home health, long-term care, outpatient settings, and hospitals.

City College of San Francisco

The City College of San Francisco’s Vocational Nursing Program prepares students for state licensure.  The course curriculum, approved by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, emphasizes the critical thinking concepts and principles that will serve as the foundation for advanced courses in nursing and behavioral sciences. It covers a total of 40.5 units. Course topics include fundamentals of vocational nursing, basic medical/surgical nursing, medical surgical nursing skills lab, adult medical surgical nursing, mental health nursing, concepts in community health nursing maternity nursing, pediatric nursing, and advanced medical surgical nursing. Upon completion of the three-semester program, graduates will have the skills and knowledge needed to work in acute care, long-term care, home health care, physicians’ offices, and health centers.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be 17 years of age or older
  • Must be in good physical and mental health
  • Must attend a mandatory information session
  • Must provide documentation of completing high school or GED
  • Must secure admission to City College
  • Must apply for admission to the vocational nursing program
  • Must take placement testing in English and mathematics
  • Must complete the prerequisite courses with a grade C or better – anatomy and physiology
  • Must have current CPR certification – BLS Health Care Provider from the American Heart Association
  • Must submit a completed physical exam report including proof of immunity
  • Must complete a satisfactory criminal background check and drug screen

Tuition costs $46 per unit for California residents and $360 per unit for non-residents. Additional costs for books, supplies, uniforms, equipment, and certification must be covered by the student.

  • Website:
  • Address: 1351 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
  • Phone: 415-561-1912
  • Fax: (415) 561-1999
  • Email:
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 71%

Unitek College

Unitek College’s Vocational Nursing program includes classroom instruction, hands-on lab, and clinical experiences where students have the opportunity to practice key skills. The school offers a certificate and associate degree options for vocational nursing students. The certificate program covers 1620 instructional hours – 660 hours of didactic instruction and 960 hours of lab/clinical. Course topics include fundamentals of nursing, anatomy and physiology, clinical nutrition, medical-surgical nursing, pharmacology, obstetric nursing, pediatric nursing, psychiatric nursing, and preparation for the NCLEX. Graduates will be eligible to apply to sit for the NCLEX-PN. The duration of the program is 12 months. Day and evening, full-time and part-time options are available.

Admission criteria:

  • Must attend a career planning session and admissions interview
  • Must submit proof of high school education or equivalent
  • Must complete the prerequisite courses before applying to the program
  • Must complete a clear background check
  • Must schedule and complete an interview with the program director
  • Must undergo a physical exam including immunization and TB testing
  • Complete all financing arrangements

The course fee of $39,891 includes textbooks, lab fees, workbooks, uniforms, employment services, lab bag, and medical equipment. Unitek also pays for the state board registration and livescan fingerprinting.

Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts

The Vocational Nurse program at Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts prepares students for a career as a vocational nurse. The school offers day and evening classes, experienced instructors, modern facilities including a fully equipped patient care lab with hospital beds, interactive simulation mannequins and anatomical models, and extensive clinical education at hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. The clinical component of the program correlates with the didactic and laboratory training to prepare students for a career as a Vocational Nurse. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN to become a licensed vocational nurse. The duration of the program is 13 months.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be at least 17 years of age
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must pass an admissions exam
  • Must submit immunization records
  • Must complete a criminal background check and drug screen
  • Must have valid CPR certification
  • Must complete the prerequisite courses with a grade C or above

The total program cost of $39,755 includes tuition, textbooks and materials, uniform fee, library fee, registration, background check, drug screening, NCLEX application fee, HESI testing, and fingerprinting.

  • Website:
  • Address: 2121 South El Camino Real, Building C-200, San Mateo, CA 94403
  • Phone: 650-685-6616
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 80%

Mission College

The vocational nursing program at Mission College prepares students to function as a member of the health care team. Students will leern to use the language of the profession of nursing to communicate appropriately, use the nursing process to care for patients, demonstrate personal and professional growth, and acquire the confidence to pass the nursing licensure exam. The program covers 50.5 units. Course topics include patient nursing care fundamentals, medical surgical nursing, pharmacology, beginning clinical practicum, general psychology, care of the geriatric patient, care of obstetrical and neonatal patients, human nutrition, care of the pediatric patient, leadership and professional practice, and human growth and development. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam. Classroom theory is 10 to 12 hours per week and the clinical rotations are 16 hours per week. The program duration is 12 months.

Admission criteria:

  • Must submit a completed application with all supporting documents
  • Must provide proof of high school completion
  • Must submit transcripts of all college coursework
  • Must submit copy of licenses or certifications including CNA certification
  • Provide proof of employment in any healthcare field
  • Must attend a mandatory in-person orientation course
  • Must meet the program’s health requirements including immunization – TB test, COVID-19, Tdap
  • Must complete a satisfactory background check and fingerprinting
  • Must complete a urine drug screen

The enrollment fee is $46 per unit for California residents and $358 per unit for non-residents.

  • Website:
  • Address: 3000 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054- 1897
  • Phone: (408) 855-5007
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 92%

Quest Nursing Education Center

The Vocational Nursing program at Quest Nursing Education Center is designed to qualify adults to become a licensed vocational nurse. The curriculum covers a total of 1539 hours – 585 theory and 954 hours clinical. Upon completion of the program, graduates receive a Certificate of Completion and become eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination for Practical (Vocational) Nurses. The duration of the program is 13 to 14 months based on the schedule.

Admission criteria:

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED or equivalent
  • Must be at least 17 years old by program end date
  • Must have ave a valid Social Security Number
  • Must be in good physical and Mental Health (Verified by a health practitioner via a physical examination and Tuberculosis screening).
  • Must complete the immunization requirements – MMR Vaccination (Measles Mumps Rubella), TB Test
  • Must pass a criminal background Screening
  • Must speak, read, and write the English language
  • Must successfully pass the Wonderlic Scholastic exam – minimum score of 15
  • Must attend an interview with a designated School Representative
  • Must pass a urine drug screen
  • Must have current BLS CPR certification

Tuition for the program is $27,500. A payment plan is available for all students.

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

The duration of the vocational nursing program in San Francisco depends on the program’s schedule. Most programs cover an average of 1500 instructional hours. The completion time for full-time students is 12 to 13 months Part-time, evening programs that meet at least 4 evenings a week may be completed in 18 months. Completing the program is only the first step to becoming a vocational nurse. You will need to commit an additional 4 to 6 weeks to take and pass the licensure exam and obtain your license to practice as a vocational nurse.

How Do I become an LVN in San Francisco?

A license issued by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians is required for practice as a vocational nurse in California. There are five routes to eligibility for licensure as summarized below:

  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 licensure you must

  • Complete a satisfactory background check
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Provide proof of eligibility – one of the 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 Francisco?

If you are a California resident and enroll in a public community college, your average cost to complete the vocational nursing program is an affordable $4,000 inclusive of fees, books, and supplies. The average cost of tuition at a private institute is $32,000.

Can You Become An LVN Online in San Francisco?

While some vocational nursing programs in San Francisco may be completed partially online, it is not possible to complete the full program online. The educational requirements as outlined by the Board indicate a need for hands-on instruction and a clinical rotation. These must be completed in person.

Free LVN Programs In San Francisco

There are no free vocational nursing programs in San Francisco. Most programs are eligible for financial aid which will lower the cost of tuition.

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.

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