You want to become a nurse in the thriving healthcare industry, but you’re afraid it’ll take years of schooling. One of the quickest, most direct ways to qualify to work in hospitals, clinics, and physicians’ offices is to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). You can complete LVN programs on a San Diego campus or online in as little as a year. This guide walks you through the heart of the LVN certificate programs and applicable degrees, including details on licensing, how hybrid (online/on-campus) LVN programs work, and how much you can earn as an LVN in San Diego after you graduate. To help you choose the right program, we’ve also created a list of the best LVN programs in San Diego.
College Spotlights: Best LVN Programs in San Diego
Whether you live in Carlsbad, Torrey Pines, or downtown, you’re digitally in reach of the best state-approved LVN programs in San Diego. We’ve chosen three accredited schools to spotlight below based on their affordability, accreditation, learning flexibility, and student support services. We also looked at tuition costs, degree requirements, and the estimated time to complete an online LVN program. Take a closer look at potential schools that will take you to the next step in your nursing career.
FAQs About LVN Programs in San Diego
Inside Look at Online LVN Programs in San Diego
There are approximately six schools that provide comprehensive online LVN programs in San Diego and prepare you for licensure. The benefits are optimal: you take courses at your convenience, you save on costs to commute to campus, and you are able to arrange your studies around family or work obligations.
Online LVN programs are hybrid in nature, meaning they’re divided between remote instruction and on-location clinical experiences. You may also be required to visit the campus for an orientation class and to complete in-person labs.
Common Questions About Online LVN Programs in San Diego
Will earning my credential from an online LVN program in San Diego impact my ability to get certified or licensed?
No, it will not. As long as you graduate from an approved LVN program and meet the other California LVN licensing requirements, you can become an LVN.
Will employers care if I took some of my LVN classes online?
It’s possible, but it’s not likely, and there are several reasons for this. First, your employer probably won’t know you took online classes. Second, most employers know that online learning is the future and it’s to be expected that post-secondary instruction, including nursing school, may contain some online learning components. Third, employers are primarily concerned with whether you graduated from an approved LVN program and that you have your California vocational nursing license.
Are online LVN programs more affordable than campus programs in San Diego?
There are a number of factors that go into tuition affordability. Because online LVN programs contain the same academic content as their on-campus equivalents, tuition tends to cost the same. On the plus side, online LVN schools may charge the same tuition for out-of-state-students, creating huge savings there. You’ll also save money by avoiding a costly commute to class multiple times a day.
Can I complete my LVN training in San Diego faster by taking classwork online?
It is possible to complete your training if you have self-paced or accelerated online course options. Additionally, depending on your other commitments, you can opt to take a course load that is heavier than the routine semester requirements. However, given the cohort learning format of many clinicals, even if you can complete the coursework requirements more quickly than your classmates, you may still need to wait to for them to catch up before you can do your clinical training alongside them.
LVN Licensing Information and Requirements in San Diego
To work as an LVN in San Diego, you must hold a current license from the State of California. There are no requirements for certifications or licensing issued by the city or county of San Diego. Here are steps for completing your California licensing:
- Graduate from an accredited LVN program that is approved by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT).
- Complete the online application at the BVNPT’s website.
- Pass the NCLEX-PN or NLN exams.
- Submit your education history.
Licenses must be renewed every other year and there is a 30-hour continuing education requirement. This continuing education requirement does not apply for your first renewal. You can find more details on California LVN license renewal process by going to their website.
How Much You Can Earn as an LVN in San Diego
Fortunately, LVNs can make a great living in San Diego. The BLS reports $61,830 in median annual earnings for LVNs in San Diego. The lowest San Diego LVN wages clock in at $46,210, while top earnings surpass $79,000. In terms of the California pay scale, San Diego is only second to San Francisco. The Bay Area median annual LVN wage is $67,520, with earnings of $52,600 at the bottom of the scale and $94,880 at the top. San Diego LVNs currently outpace the median annual wage of $60,240 in California. The wages also compare favorably to the national wage numbers, where LVNs earn a median annual income of $47,480 with $34,560 at the bottom of the scale and $63,360 for the top earners.
Annual Earnings for Licensed Vocational Nurses in San Diego
|10th Percentile||Median Earnings||90th Percentile|
|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|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||$40,590||$56,250||$83,150|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019