California LPN Programs and Schools

California is definitely a state of great physical variation, from large cities to deserts, rolling hills, mountains, ocean, beachfront, and grand forests. If you live in California and desire to be a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), also known in most of the rest of the United States as licensed practical nurse (LPN), and you are looking for information on the profession and California’s licensing requirements, keep reading.

This page has several sections of information on LVNs and the educational process related to LVNs. The first section describes what a California LVN schooling program might be like. After that, the follow section describes some possibly job duties of LVNs in California. Next, the third section covers basic information on getting licensed as a vocational nurse in California, and the fourth section lists some information about where a person may be able to find California LVN programs.

LVN Schooling Programs: Fundamental Information

LVN schooling programs resemble RN schooling programs, with classes, labs, and clinicals usually comprising the program. Classes may include both general and nursing-specifc information and topics; a few examples of both might be English or writing, general psychology, maternal-child information, mental health subjects, pharmacology, medical dosage, and nutrition. Some of various courses that a person might take classes may be accompanied by laboratory sections, where students may get the opportunity to practice their skills. A professor or teacher may supervise the students as they practice these skills so that the students become better at the skills. Students in an LVN schooling program in California may also participate in clinicals, which is where they may work  during the week in a specific medical setting for a certain amount of time, experiencing LVN work in the real world. Typically, students in clinicals will start out with a lower level of responsibility and as they progress, they may gain more complex responsibilities. They can then take the clinical experience and apply what they have learned in a real setting.

General LVN Job Functions in California

LVNs in California perform a variety of job-related tasks. They may change bandages, cleanse wounds, bathe patients, dress patients, and help patients with personal hygiene. This is often known as bedside care. LVNs may also act as a liaison of sorts between the patient and their physician, communicating the patient’s general concerns and health status information to the doctor. They may monitor the patient’s health status through taking vital signs, such as a patient’s blood sugar level, their blood pressure, temperature, weight, and height. LVNs also sometimes perform tasks requiring specialized schooling, such as assisting with dialysis, working with catheters, and working with IVs. Other job tasks that LVNs in California may be called to do include completing paperwork (i.e. insurance billing), supervising nursing assistants or aides, administering medications, bottle-feeding babies, and moving and lifting patients from bed to a wheelchair (or vice versa). Job tasks may vary according to the location of a job, and the places that LVNs work are diverse. They may work in hospitals (and in many different units in hospitals), nursing homes or assisted living facilities, private homes, medical clinics, and other medical settings.

Basic California LVN Licensing Information

Licensed vocational nurses in California must be licensed by the California Board of Vocational Nursing (BVN). For comprehensive information regarding licensing, visit their website at Some information regarding California’s licensing requirements and process follows.

Applicants must be minimum of 17 years old and have graduated from high school or the equivalent; proof must be provided of this educational requirement. They also must have graduated from an state-approved LVN program and completed an application for which instructions should be available through the school. A criminal background check must be completed, and the BVN recommends using Livescan to have the fingerprinting done, although manual fingerprint cards are available for applicants who do not have access to Livescan. Applicants must also complete the National Council Licensure Exam – Practical Nurse (NCLEX) or National League for Nursing Test Pool Practical Nursing Examination (NLN) with a passing score. Applicants can also apply for an interim permit that allows them to work as a vocational nurse for 9 months or until such time that the results of the exam taken are received. If the applicant with the interim permit receives a passing score on the exam, he or she can continue working under the interim permit for a maximum of six months until the LVN license is received. Otherwise, if the applicant fails the exam, the interim permit is invalidated.

Information for out-of-state or endorsement applicants, military applicants, applicants who may wish to apply experience as an equivalent to education, and more information on the exams required can be found at the BVN website. Updated fees and information for applicants with criminal records can also be found on the BVN website.

California Schools That May Offer LVN Schooling

Northern California

College of the Siskiyous
800 College Ave, Weed, CA 96094
(530) 938-5555

College of the Redwoods
7351 Tompkins Hill Rd, Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 476-4100

Gavilan Community College
5055 Santa Teresa Blvd, Gilroy, CA 95020
(408) 848-4800

Hartnell Community College
411 Central Ave, Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 755-6700

Los Medanos Community College
2700 E Leland Rd, Pittsburg, CA 94565
(925) 439-2181

Merced Community College
3600 M St, Merced, CA 95348
(209) 384-6000

Mission Community College
3000 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054
(408) 988-2200

Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 965-0581

Santa Rosa Community College
1501 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 527-4011

Shasta Community College
11555 Old Oregon Trail, Redding, CA 96003
(530) 242-7500

Southern California

Allan Hancock College
800 S College Dr, Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 922-6966

Bakersfield College
1801 Panorama Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93305
(661) 395-4011

Citrus College
1000 W Foothill Blvd, Glendora, CA 91741
(626) 963-0323

Los Angeles Harbor College
1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington, CA
(310) 233-4200

Los Angeles City College
855 N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA
(323) 953-4000

Los Angeles Trade Tech
400 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 763-7000

Los Angeles Valley College
5800 Fulton Ave, Valley Glen, CA
(818) 947-2600

Los Angeles Southwest College
1600 West Imperial Highway, Los Angeles, CA
(323) 241-5461

Miracosta Community College
1 Barnard Dr, Oceanside, CA 92056
(760) 757-2121

Rio Hondo Community College
3600 Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA 90601
(562) 692-0921

Riverside City College
4800 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, CA 92506
(951) 222-8000

West Los Angeles College
9000 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA
(310) 287-4200