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Licensed Vocational Nursing Schools and Colleges

Licensed vocational nursing (LVN) programs prepare students to be members of healthcare teams and provide basic nursing care to patients in hospitals and similar medical settings. LVN is a title used only in California and Texas and is equivalent to licensed practical nursing (LPN).

Licensed vocational nurse programs are available at the certificate level, preparing students for careers in the medial field. These programs are available from many schools around the country, and are typically completed in two years or less depending on enrollment status.

10 Licensed Vocational Nursing Programs

The following California and Texas schools offer LVN programs to prospective nurses:

College/University Institution Type Location In-State Tuition (2015-2016)*
Carrington College - Boise 2-year; private for-profit Boise, Idaho $54,125
Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts 2-year; private for-profit San Mateo, California $30,034
College of the Redwoods 2-year; public Eureka, California $1,142
Clovis Adult Education 2-year; public Clovis, California $12,000
Merritt College 2-year; public Oakland, California $1,156
Angelina College 2-year; public Lufkin, Texas $3,750
Lone Star College 2-year; public The Woodlands, Texas $3,184
Howard College 2-year; public Big Spring, Texas $3,772
St. Philip's College 2-year; public San Antonio, Texas $5,550
Brazosport Community College 4-year; public Lake Jackson, Texas $3,405

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

State-approved programs prepare graduates to pass the National Council Licensure Examination - Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN), which is necessary to receive licensure. When looking into schools with LVN programs:

  • Candidates should ensure that the college they are considering has an accredited, state-approved LVN program, provided by the Texas and California boards of nursing.
  • Prospective students should look for an LVN school that offers extensive clinical experience, which builds the capacity to handle demanding nursing hours and practice nursing skills.
  • Nursing students may find it helpful to enroll in an LVN college program that encourages educational mobility, which may save money and time in the pursuit of further nursing qualifications.
  • Students should look into a school's passage rates to discover what percentage of graduates pass the NCLEX-PN on their first attempt.

LVN Program Overview

Full-time students can often complete this program in 12 months, and part-time students can usually finish it in 20-24 months. A large part of a student's education includes gaining clinical practice, which is usually carried out at a nearby hospital or healthcare facility. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some programs have coursework prerequisites, and many programs require students to take a standardized exam to qualify for acceptance.

Many schools, both public and private, offer dedicated LVN certificate programs to help jumpstart your career as a nurse. Tuition and location may be important factors, so students should be sure to consider the costs of moving as well as school when finding the right college for them.


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