LVN Programs in Sacramento: Online and On-Campus Training

This guide details accredited and state-licensed LVN programs in Sacramento. It tells you what to look for in a program and how to obtain financial aid. It also discusses online LVN programs in Sacramento.

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Last Updated: 03/22/2021
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Becoming a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) through one of the many campus-based or online LVN programs in Sacramento is a fast way to get hands-on experience in healthcare. Not only can you enjoy job security within this high-demand field, but you can also find better opportunities for advancement with LVN to RN transition programs down the road.

There are many options for LVN programs in Sacramento, from traditional on-campus programs at community colleges to partially online programs that give the flexibility of taking some classes remotely. This guide outlines what you need to know about becoming a licensed vocational nurse in Sacramento, including highlighting some accredited, state-approved schools and programs. It also discusses how online/hybrid LVN programs work, their job market and salary potential, and how to become licensed in California.

College Spotlights: Best LVN Programs in Sacramento

We’ve identified some of the top state-approved LVN programs in Sacramento. Our criteria include affordability, accreditation, and student support, all of which are essential for beginning your practical nursing career. Finding an accredited LVN program licensed by the State of California is important because it ensures you are prepared for licensure, which is essential for finding employment as an LVN after graduation. Three high-quality programs are spotlighted below to help you begin your school search amidst the stand-out programs for 2021.

Unitek College

The online Vocational Nursing Program at Unitek College provides hands-on training and practical experience. It includes over 900 hours of training in simulations, labs, and healthcare facilities and prepares students to sit for the NCLEX-PN. Unitek also has employment assistance for its LVN graduates.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Unitek College transitioned to an online-hybrid LVN program where some classes are delivered online, but hands-on skills training is still planned in face-to-face formats. The online elements of the program shall remain until further notice.

This LVN program costs about $35,000 for tuition, including prerequisite classes. It offers full-time day and evening schedules along with a part-time evening schedule for those needing more time to complete their programs. The program can be completed in as little as 12 months with the full-time option. The enrollment process is completely online and includes a career planning session, admissions interview, and entrance assessment.

Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center

The Vocational Nursing (Licensed Practical/Vocational Nursing Training) program at the Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center is a 35-week, 1,408-hour program that includes clinical hours, pre-requisites, and CNA training. The program is currently mandated to hold classes online only. Clinical hours are completed either via simulation or in-person at clinical partner sites. Classes take place Monday through Friday, and students must dedicate 40 hours a week to the program.

Admissions requirements include minimum scores on an assessment test, 200 hours of nursing care supervised by a licensed professional, nursing entrance exam, and CPR/first aid certification. Prerequisites include a CNA license and 234 hours of classes that include anatomy and physiology, human growth and development, math for meds, medical terminology, nutrition, intro to pharmacology, and intro to psychology. The program costs about $23,000 and takes 10 months to complete.

Sacramento City College

The Vocational Nursing Program (A.S. in Nursing, Vocational) at Sacramento City College is a three-semester, 51-unit program that prepares students for licensure as an LVN in the state of California. It requires completion of nursing courses and related clinical experience and can result in an Associate of Science degree. The cost per unit with full-time enrollment is $46, and the cost for the program itself comes to about $4,000 with fees, supplies, and tuition.

This is a full-time program, and full-time employment while enrolled is not recommended. Instead, students should consider employment of 8-12 hours or less per week while in this LVN program. Eligibility for the program includes a high school or equivalent education, minimum grades in several prerequisite classes, and completion of a TEAS test. Students should also have current CPR with AED certification.

FAQs About LVN Programs in Sacramento

What skills do you learn in LVN programs in Sacramento?

LVN programs in Sacramento provide classroom instruction and hands-on training to allow you to pursue a career as a licensed vocational nurse. Upon completion of these programs, students can provide care in a variety of clinical settings. Like those at Carrington College and Curam College of Nursing, LVN programs give students the ability to work collaboratively, communicate clearly, and act professionally. They expose students to the actual nursing procedures and techniques needed in a clinical setting. Programs like the one at Gurnick Academy and others highlighted in this guide teach students to utilize critical thinking for assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation of client care.

How much do LVN programs cost in Sacramento?

LVN programs in Sacramento vary in cost. Some cost as little as $4,000 for the LVN program itself, while others cost up to $45,000 for an LVN program with a science degree emphasis. Any needed prerequisites are added costs for some programs. Students might pay per credit, per module or semester, or for the entire training at one time. Refer to the program highlights above and the three Sacramento LVN programs listed below for more information on cost.

Carrington College

Licensed Vocational Nurse Program

Total Credits: 54-97 (depending on program/level)

Total Cost: $36,774 (certificate); $45,384 (non-science degree); $59,306 (science emphasis degree)

Curam College

Vocational Nurse Program

Total Credits: 126

Total Cost: $23,540

Gurnick Academy

Vocational Nurse Program

Total Credits: 4 modules

Total Cost: $35,493

Can I get financial aid to help pay for my LVN program in Sacramento?

Filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step to getting financial aid for your LVN program in Sacramento. Common types of financial aid include direct loans, federal work-study, and federal and state grants like the Cares Act Grant Program, Pell Grant, and the FSEOG. For some schools, full-time students may receive up to two years of free tuition through Promise Programs. Additionally, the California Student Aid Commission provides student financial aid resources for residents of the state. You can also access our LVN scholarships guide and main financial aid guide for help searching for financial aid.

How long do LVN programs in Sacramento take to finish?

The length of time for completing LVN programs in Sacramento depends on whether you attend part or full-time and whether prerequisites are incorporated within given timelines. For example, the vocational nursing program at Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center is a 10-month, 40-hour a week commitment, while Sacramento City College’s program is a 3-semester commitment. In contrast, Carrington College’s and Gurnick Academy’s programs take 12 months, and Curam College’s takes 42 weeks. Unitek College offers its programs in as little as 12 months but allows for a part-time approach for those needing a slower pace. Some of these timelines are in addition to pre-requisite courses.

Inside Look at Online LVN Programs in Sacramento

Most LVN programs in Sacramento are still only offered in-person. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some programs, like those at Unitek College and the Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center, transitioned to an online-hybrid LVN approach. Some classes are delivered online for these programs, while hands-on skills training is planned in in-person formats. The other programs highlighted in this guide do not indicate having any online/hybrid elements.

The benefits of online learning for LVN students include increased flexibility of when they can access course content. Also, the time and money saved can be significant. Challenges with online/hybrid LVN programs involve staying organized and knowing when to be available for synchronous elements in addition to juggling the in-person requirements of clinicals and other face-to-face requirements.

Common Questions About Online LVN Programs in Sacramento

Will earning my credential from an online LVN program in Sacramento impact my ability to get certified or licensed?

Online classes rarely have a negative impact on certification or licensing as long as they are from an approved and accredited program. Any online/hybrid LVN programs can be just as rigorous as campus-based programs, especially when they meet standards of accreditation.

Will employers care if I took some of my LVN classes online?

As long as a program is approved and accredited, employers find the completion of online courses acceptable. In other words, employers care more about the reputation of an institution than they do about whether a degree is earned online or in person.

Are online LVN programs more affordable than campus programs in Sacramento?

For those offering LVN programs in Sacramento in an online/hybrid format, tuition costs remain the same as in-person courses. However, taking any components online could prove more affordable than a fully on-campus program simply through reduced commuting time.

Can I complete my LVN training in Sacramento faster by taking classwork online?

Most LVN programs in Sacramento are still conducted in person. However, some courses like general education pre-requisite courses may be available for some online LVN programs. Even if they offer some coursework online, LVN training programs in Sacramento still have significant in-person requirements for clinicals.

LVN Licensing Information and Requirements in Sacramento

Requirements for licensure as a vocational nurse in Sacramento include completing high school or equivalent, fingerprinting, paid fees, and successful completion of the NCLEX-PN or NLN exams. Also, applicants for licensure must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Graduation from a California approved school of vocational nursing
  • Graduation from an out-of-state school of practical/vocational nursing
  • Education equivalent to the above

California has pending legislation for participation as a Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC), allowing nurses to practice in other NLC states to practice in California without obtaining additional licensing. Visit the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT) for more details on licensing requirements, including those mentioned above, in the state of California.

How Much You Can Earn as an LVN in Sacramento

The potential median potential salary for LVNs in Sacramento is $58,830, just above the national average. However, lowest percentile earners can expect salaries around $43,730, over $9,000 more than those in the 10th percentile nationally. Additionally, earners in the 90th percentile in Sacramento earn about $81,820, which is $1,800 more than those nationally. While LVNs in San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose show higher median earnings than LVNs in Sacramento, remember to consider the cost-of-living difference among those areas.

Annual Earnings for Licensed Vocational Nurses in Sacramento

10th Percentile Median Earnings 90th Percentile
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA $43,730 $58,830 $81,820
California $43,030 $59,210 $80,020
United States $34,560 $47,480 $63,360
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA $46,210 $61,830 $79,480
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $52,600 $67,520 $94,880
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $43,360 $57,690 $77,560
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $53,270 $65,710 $91,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019

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