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Nursing Schools and Colleges in Los Angeles with Degree Overviews

There are several school options within about 10 miles of Los Angeles for students seeking to earn a degree in nursing. Read an overview of three schools and learn about admission and program requirements to decide which school is right for you.

Los Angeles Nursing Schools

Aspiring nurses who want to study in Los Angeles have several options. Read on to find out about three of the schools within a 20-minute drive of downtown LA and to learn about the programs' prerequisites, curricula and clinical requirements. Find the comparison table in this article to learn more school facts, and read the paragraph about other school options at the conclusion.

  • Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is about three miles from downtown Los Angeles and offers master's programs for those who want to become registered nurses or certified family nurse practitioners. The school also offers a post-master's certificate in nursing.
  • Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health, which is around six miles from downtown LA, offers a basic RN and an advanced placement for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) associate's degree program. The school also offers a non-degree program for LVNs.
  • Students may also earn an associate's degree or complete a non-degree program for LVNs in nursing at the Los Angeles Southwest College located about four miles from downtown.

Comparison of Schools

Knowing as many school facts as possible can be helpful when making this important decision, whether those are related to the cost of your schooling or the surrounding atmosphere of the schools themselves. Check out the following table for helpful input.

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health Los Angeles Southwest College
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 543* 208* 5,848*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city Large suburb
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $27,376 for graduate students* $2,400 per semester** $1,220 per year in-state; $7,538 per year out-of-state for full-time students*
% of Undergraduate Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Assistance (2016-2017) 70% (grant or scholarship aid), 57% (Pell grants), 85% (federal student loans)* 48% (grant or scholarship aid), 39% (Pell grants), 36% (federal student loans)* 74% (grant or scholarship aid). 39% (Pell grants), 6% (federal student loans)*
% of Undergraduates Students Admitted (2017) 90%* N/A* Open admissions policy*
Retention Rates for First-Time Students (2016-2017) N/A* N/A* 59% for full-time students, 37% for part-time students*
Graduation Rates for First-Time Students 25% (for students who began Fall 2011)* N/A* 12% (12% transfer-out rate) (for students who began Fall 2014)*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

This university was established in 1996 and is located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of southern Los Angeles. Through the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing, students can complete master's programs to prepare for licensure as a registered nurse and certification as a clinical nurse leader or family nurse practitioner.

Master of Science in Nursing Entry-Level Track

This degree program is designed to accommodate students who do not have a professional background in nursing and have a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field. Students will complete 81 units of coursework in areas such as health systems management, maternal child nursing and pharmacology. The program also includes prerequisite lab hours in anatomy, microbiology and physiology. In the last year of study, students will complete two residency sessions. Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and the Certified Nurse Leader (CNL) credential exam.

Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Nurses who have a bachelor's degree in nursing can enroll in this program to prepare for the FNP certification. Students can obtain the NP credential from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. The program focuses on addressing the healthcare needs of underprivileged members of the population. Topics covered in this program include advanced epidemiology, disease prevention and health promotion. Students also receive clinical training through field practicum experiences. To earn this degree, students must complete 51 units.

Family Nurse Practitioner Post Master's Certificate Track

Students who complete this program are eligible to sit for the FNP national certification. The curriculum is offered part-time and includes one weekend session per month. Students will complete clinical training through a faculty approved practicum. To successfully complete this certificate program, students must complete 39 units of coursework.

Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health

This college is part of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. This department operates four area hospitals and several health centers throughout Los Angeles. The nursing programs offered are approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

Associate of Science in Nursing (Basic RN Program)

Students in this program complete 73 units of coursework. Classes are available in clinical child nursing, medical-surgical nursing, nursing pharmacology and psychiatric nursing. All clinical coursework in completed in a lab setting. In total, students will spend 21 units in clinical training.

Associate of Science in Nursing (Advanced Placement for Licensed Vocational Nurses Option I)

This degree program is designed to prepare licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) to become RNs. Students start out by taking a nursing transition prerequisite course during the summer semester prior to taking core classes. Students receive clinical lab training in gerontology, psychiatric and medical-surgical nursing. To earn the degree, students must complete 75 course units. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

Advanced Placement for Licensed Vocational Nurses Option II

This program curriculum is similar to option 1, except students do not receive the associate's degree in nursing and are not considered graduates of the college. However, LVNs who complete this program are also eligible to take the RN licensure exam for the state of California. Students who select this option will complete 30 units of coursework and lab training.

Los Angeles Southwest College

This college is located at the Los Angeles Unified School District Middle College High School. The college offers high school students the opportunity to complete an associate's degree program while earning their high school diploma. The college's nursing department is accredited by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

Associate of Science in Nursing

This degree program prepares students to become entry-level RNs. Admission requirements include completion of a physical exam, TB skin test and polio vaccination. Students are also required to complete prerequisite courses in areas such as anatomy, physiology and microbiology. To complete these and other sciences courses successfully, students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.5.

30-Unit Option for Licensed Vocational Nurses

Students who enroll in this program are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. However, completion of this program does not qualify for the associate's nursing degree, and students are not considered graduates of the college. In addition, students may not be recognized as RNs in states outside of California.

Other Schools

Students who wish to train for a career in anesthesiology can do so at the University of Southern California. Through the university's Keck School of Medicine, students can earn a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP). Another option is the Los Angeles Trade Technical College located about five miles from the downtown area. Students at this school can complete an LVN-RN Career Ladder and a registered nursing associate's degree program. The school also offers a 30 unit non-degree program in registered nursing.


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