Becoming a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) through one of the many campus-based or online LVN programs in Sacramento is a quick and relatively affordable 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. Read on to learn how online/hybrid LVN programs work, how to become licensed in California, and what sort of jobs prospects you can expect after graduation.
College Spotlights: Best LVN Programs in Sacramento
We’ve identified some of the top state-approved LVN programs in Sacramento. Our criteria for choosing these schools include program affordability, accreditation, learning flexibility, and student support. All of these factors are essential for beginning your practical nursing career. Finding an accredited LVN program licensed by the State of California is the single most important factor because it ensures you are eligible 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 2023.
List of State Approved LVN Programs in Sacramento
Source: California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians; Most recent data as of Feb. 2022
FAQs About LVN Programs in Sacramento
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?
As long as you complete an LVN program that’s state-approved, you will receive the necessary instruction to safely and effectively perform the duties of an LVN in California. The criterion for state approval does not depend on whether didactic material is taught online or in-person. One thing to keep in mind however is that, generally speaking, any approved LVN program in Sacramento or the rest of California will have in-person clinical training requirements regardless of how the classroom material is delivered.
Will employers care if I took some of my LVN classes online?
It’s doubtful that they will and most likely, they won’t even know you took online LVN classes unless you tell them. What employers mostly care about is that you graduated from an approved LVN program and obtained state licensure as an LVN.
Are online LVN programs more affordable than campus programs in Sacramento?
Online LVN programs are usually comparable to their traditional, on-campus program offerings in terms of tuition. However, because of the flexibility online learning offers, it’s easier to continue working while taking classes. This can result in extra income that can help pay for an LVN education. Additionally, taking any components online could prove more affordable than a fully on-campus program simply through reduced commuting time and costs.
Can I complete my LVN training in Sacramento faster by taking classwork online?
No. Even though some courses like general education pre-requisite courses may be available for some online LVN programs, there are still in-person clinical requirements that you have to complete.
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
LVNs in Sacramento can expect competitive starting pay and the opportunity to significantly increase their earnings as they gain experience. The median salary for LVNs in Sacramento is $61,600, far higher than the national average. Additionally, earners in the 90th percentile in Sacramento receive over $93,000 compared to just $80,000 at the state level and $64,000 nationally.
Annual Earnings for Licensed Vocational Nurses in Sacramento
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021