Working as a certified nursing assistant is rewarding for many but the prevalence and work-related injuries, limitations in practice, position on the nursing team, and salary can be disadvantageous. Hence the reason for enrolling in a vocational nursing program to expand your role in patient care and earn more. Some vocational nursing programs require a current nurse aide certificate for admission and others may award extra points in the competitive admissions process to CNAs. The educational requirements include approximately 1,500 hours of theory and practical training in 12 months or less. Flexible full-time and part-time schedules will help you to accomplish your educational goals while you continue to work in the health care field.
High Desert Medical College
Certified nursing assistants may apply for admission to the vocational nursing program at High Desert Medical College and prepare for practice as a professional nurse. They must complete the prerequisite course VN PRQ before applying to the program. The prerequisite course introduces the student to critical thinking, basic arithmetic skills, medical terminology, normal anatomy and physiology, effects of disease on the body, medication dosage calculations and more. The 4-week prerequisite is delivered online and covers 128 clock hours. The vocational nursing program covers 1,679 clock hours and covers fundamentals of nursing, medical surgical nursing, mental health, child health, leadership, and clinical in various facilities. Graduates will receive a Certificate of Completion and be eligible to take the NCLEX for licensure as a vocational nurse. They have the option to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree by completing additional General Education courses. The duration of the program is 56 weeks.
- Must be at least 18 years of age. Parental signature is required for students who are 17 years old
- Provide documentation of high school diploma or GED
- Must be able to read, write, speak and understand English
- Take and pass the Wonderlic exam and earn a minimum passing score of 19
- Take and pass VN PRQ 101 (128 hours)
- Take and pass the entrance exam (HESI) with a score of 75 or above. An applicant who fails will not be allowed to retake the test of 48 hours
- Submit a 150-word essay “Why do you want to be a nurse?”
- Must successfully pass a background screening
- Complete a physical exam
- Provide documentation of all required immunizations
- Must obtain final approval from the Director of Nursing to be admitted to the program
- Attend the required student orientation
The program cost of $35,311 includes tuition, registration fee, STRF, textbooks, workbooks, lab fees, educational supplies, malpractice insurance, technology fee, CPR fee, uniforms, student ID, background check, and NCLEX registration.
- Website: https://hdmc.edu/
- Address: 2000 24th Bakersfield, CA 93301
- Phone: 888-633-4362
- NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 76%
Bakersfield Health Careers
An active certified nursing assistant certificate is required for admission to the vocational nursing program at Bakersfield Health Careers. Other prerequisites include anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, psychology, and medical math. The vocational nursing program includes theory, hands-on practice, and supervised clinical experiences to prepare students for success on the licensure exam and in their career as a vocational nurse. Course topics include basic concepts in pharmacology, nutrition, psychology, anatomy and physiology, medical surgical nursing, care of mother and her newborn, normal growth and development, concepts of leadership for healthcare in the classroom and clinical settings. The duration of the program is two years. Admission is limited to 15 students per cycle.
- Must be 18 years of age of older
- Must have an active CNA or CMA license
- Must have a high school diploma or GED
- Complete the prerequisite courses with a grade C or better – within 5 years of beginning the vocational nursing program – Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Math, Medical Terminology, Psychology
- Must submit an application for admission to the program
- Obtain a clear criminal background check including DMV
- Must hold current AHA CPR Card
- Provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination
- Must pass a drug screen
- Submit TB test results and report of the physical exam
- Submit record of immunizations – Hepatitis B, influenza, Varicella, MMR
The program cost of $6,500 and includes tuition, textbooks, fees, materials, and state licensure application.
- Website: http://www.basmedical.org/
- Address: 2727 F Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301
- Phone: 661-861-1151
- NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 100%
Certified nursing assistants may enroll in the vocational nursing program at Bakersfield College will acquire knowledge and skills to function as entry-level providers of career across the health/illness continuum. Apart from having a current nurse assistant certificate, applicants must complete the prerequisite coursework prior to the start of the program. Prerequisite courses are human anatomy and physiology, general psychology, expository composition, and medical terminology. Theory and practical instruction will cover principles of pharmacology, basic medical surgical nursing, foundatoions for vocational nursing practice plus lab, intermediate medical surgical nursing, critical thinking and leadership for the vocational nurse, maternal child pharmacology, maternal child nursing, and advanced medical surgical nursing. Students who complete the program’s 45 units will receive a Certificate of Achievement and be eligible to take the NCLEX for vocational nurses.
- Must have completed high school or GED
- Submit an application for admission to the Vocational Nursing program
- Submit unofficial or official college transcripts
- Must have an active CNA license
- Complete the prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C- human anatomy and physiology, general psychology, elementary algebra, expository composition, and medical terminology
- Must pass a designated drug and alcohol screen
- Obtain a satisfactory background check report – prior felony convictions will affect students’ ability for clinical placement, and the student will be subject to dismissal
- Obtain physical exam clearance
- Must have appropriate immunization and vaccinations and complete mask testing
- Must hold current CPR certification – BLS Life Support
The estimated cost for the entire program is $5,910 – tuition for the nursing courses only. Other costs include books, uniforms, drug screening, immunization tracker, BLS certification, lab coat, lab supplies, and NCLEX fee.
- Website: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/
- Address: 1801 Panorama Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93305
- Phone: 661-395-4281
- NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 89%
A certified nursing assistant certificate is not required for admission to the vocational nursing program at Unitek College but will give students an advantage in the competitive admissions process. CNAs must be able to provide documentation of certification with the admissions documents. They must also complete the prerequisite courses before applying for admission to the program. VN PRQ is designed to identify at risk students who may not succeed at the vocational nursing program. It will cover 80 hours of topics such as study skills, critical thinking, identification of learning preferences, communication in health, the role of the LVN and more. A passing score of 75% is required to pass the program and obtain admission to the VN program. The VN program comprises of 1620 instructional hours of theory and supervised clinical instruction. Course topics include Nursing Fundamentals, Introduction to Pharmacology, Medical Surgical Nursing, Maternal and Newborn Nursing, Pediatrics, and Professional Development. Graduates will receive a Vocational Nursing Diploma and be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN licensure exam. They can also apply to complete the Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing offered at Unitek. The duration of the program is 12 months.
- Attend a career planning session and admissions interview
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must have completed high school or GED – documents required
- Take and pass an entrance assessment exam
- Apply for admission to the program – submit all enrollment documents with the application
- Complete a satisfactory background screen
- Must provide valid US identification and social security card
- Complete the VN PRQ course within 12 months prior to the scheduled start date of the VN program – a minimum grade of 75% required
- Complete the physical exam requirements including immunizations and TB testing
- Must have current CPR certification – BLS for Healthcare Providers from the American Heart Association
The program cost of $37,953 includes tuition, textbooks, registration fee, supplies, lab fee, program fees, STRF, and technology fees. The prerequisite courses cost an additional $1,703.
- Website: https://www.unitekcollege.edu/
- Address: 333 Palmer Dr. Suite 200, Bakersfield, CA 94520
- Phone: 888-919-4220
- NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 73%
San Joaquin Valley College
CNAs may earn a competitive advantage in the admissions process when applying for the vocational nursing program at San Joaquin Valley College. They will develop knowledge and skills to function as an entry-level vocational nurse in acute and long-term care settings. Theory and practical instruction will teach students how to care for the sick, injured, convalescent, and disabled under the direction of a registered nurse or physician. The curriculum covers 1,585 hours of instruction. Course topics include Fundamentals of Nursing Theory, Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Surgical Nursing, Pharmacology for Nurses, Maternity, Pediatric and Intermediate Medical Surgical Nursing, Nursing Leadership, and Comprehensive Licensure Exam Review. General education requirements cover an additional 315 hours for students who wish to earn an associate of science degree. Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN for a license to practice in California. Full-time students complete the training in 64 weeks.
- Must be in good health and physically fit
- Must be at least 18 years by the expected start date
- Must have current CPR certification from the American Heart Association
- Must have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass a criminal background check and drug screen
- Must complete a physical exam with up-to-immunization
- Must have a negative TB test report
The program cost of $41,236.50 includes tuition, books, and supplies.
- Website: https://www.sjvc.edu/
- Address: 5300 California Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93309
- Phone: (661) 834-0126
- NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 58%