CNA to LVN Programs Santa Ana, CA

Licensed vocational nurses have a unique role in the daily operations of acute and long-term health care facilities. They provide valuable support to registered nurses and physicians and attend to patients’ needs. They work under the direct supervision of registered nurses, attending to clinical duties such as assisting patients in basic hygiene, monitoring vital signs, and providing preliminary care. LVNs spend a lot of time with patients, providing emotional support to patients and their families. In some facilities, LVNs may collect samples for testing, supervise nurse aides, administer medication, perform wound care, and assist with the development of patient care plans. Success as a vocational nurse starts with a genuine desire to care for others. If you’re a current certified nurse aide, you can take patient care to the next level by enrolling in a vocational nursing program to acquire the knowledge and skills to pass the licensure exam for vocational nurses. CNAs may qualify for advanced placement in vocational nursing programs or receive special consideration in those programs with selective admissions.

Mission College

The vocational nursing certificate program at Mission College is open only to persons who can provide proof of current Californian Nursing Assistant Certification. CNAs will develop the language of the profession of nursing to communicate appropriately, analyze relevant information in the use of the nursing process and apply the principles of evidence-based practice, demonstrate personal and professional growth, and complete all requirements for eligibility for licensure. Classroom sessions will meet 10 to 12 hours per week. The clinical sessions are approximately 16 hours per week and clinical simulation is 3 hours per week. Course topics include patient nursing care fundamentals, medical surgical nursing, pharmacology, fundamentals skills, clinical practicum, nursing process and communication, care of geriatric patients, general psychology, pharmacology, care of obstetrical and neonatal patients, nutrition and disease, human nutrition, care of pediatric patient, leadership and professional practice, and human growth and development. Students must achieve a score of 75% or higher in all core courses to graduates. Graduates will be eligible to apply to take the licensure exam. The duration of the program is three semesters.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must have a current CNA certificate
  • Must take and pass an entrance exam
  • Must pass a criminal background check and drug screen
  • Must provide proof of current immunizations
  • Must have current CPR BLS certification

Tuition costs $46 per unit for California residents.

  • Website:
  • Address: 3000 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054
  • Phone: (408) 855-5007
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 77%

Summit College

The vocational nursing program at Summit College is open to certified nursing assistants looking to advance their careers by becoming a professional nurse. Professional faculty use their experience to prepare students for real-world situations. Students will develop clinical skills through hands-on learning and benefit from small class sizes. The curriculum provides a broad foundation in various specialties including obstetrics, pharmacology, pediatrics, nutrition and psychology and patient education for a solid foundation. Students will also learn a variety of patient care techniques and protocols during classroom and clinical sessions. Areas of study include anatomy and physiology, nutrition, medical surgical nursing, nutrition, psychology, communication, pharmacology, patient education, leadership and supervision, pediatric nursing, maternity nursing, gerontological nursing, communicable diseases and community nursing, nursing fundamentals and process, normal growth and development, and rehabilitation nursing. The curriculum will cover a total of 1586 contact hours. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX for Practical Nurses. The duration is 12 months full-time or 18 months part time. Evening and weekend schedules are available.

Admission criteria:

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must complete an interview with an Admissions Advisor
  • Must be of compulsory age
  • Must pass an entrance exam
  • Must pass a criminal background check and drug screen
  • Must provide proof of current immunizations
  • Must have current CPR BLS certification

Total charges for the program are $31,400 for day-time students.

  • Website:
  • Address: 804 East Brier Drive, San Bernardino, CA 92408
  • Phone: (888) 504-2552
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 83%

North Orange County ROP

North Orange County ROP vocational nursing program is open to currently certified nursing assistants. The program is approved by the California Department of Education and accredited by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Students will prepare for practice as a vocational nurse in California through classroom theory, simulation labs, and clinical sessions are community health facilities. The curriculum covers a total of 1560 clock hours of instruction, including 600 hours of real-world experiences. Areas of study include nutrition, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing, normal growth and development, concepts of leadership, maternal-child nursing, and psychology. Graduates will receive a Certification of Completion are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN to become a licensed vocational nurse. The duration of the program is 12 months.

Admission criteria:

  • Must have a current/valid government photo ID indicating prospective student is 18 years of age or older
  • Must have a valid social security card
  • Must submit official, sealed transcripts indicating possession of a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Must complete medical terminology before applying to the program
  • Must have American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers Card. Certification must stay current throughout the program
  • Must have a cumulative score of 70% or higher on the HESI Admission Assessment Exam
  • Must pay for, complete and clear a background check, drug test, and physical exam/lab tests/titers/immunizations
  • Must attend a mandatory online orientation

The total program cost is $20,252. Students must pay $4,250 upon registration.

CNI College

The Vocational Nursing Diploma Program equips certified nursing assistants with knowledge and skills to pass the licensure exam for vocational nurses. The program is delivered in residence and includes theory and practical experiences. Students will learn basic nursing care skills care for acutely and chronically ill clients, with predictable health outcomes, in structured settings such as hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, a clinic, doctor’s offices, long term care, corrections, home health care or for a nursing registry. The curriculum covers 1560 clock hours of instruction. Course topics include introduction to client-centered care, life cycles, body systems, oncology, pediatrics, nursing specialties, rehabilitation nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics, leadership and supervision, immunology, senior practicum, and capstone course. Graduates will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) for licensure as a practical or vocational nurse.

Admission criteria:

  • Must complete a potential student questionnaire form for admission
  • Must attend an initial personal interview with an Admissions Advisor
  • Must be at least 17 years or age
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must provide documentation of current CNA certification
  • Must take and pass the TEAS VII entrance exam with a minimum score of 50%
  • Must successfully take the Pre-Vocational Nursing Program Academic Preparatory Course as a learning activity before beginning the Vocational Nursing Program
  • Must complete an Enrollment Agreement – signed by a parent or guardian if under 18 years of age
  • Must provide documentation of any required health examinations, pathology test, and/or immunizations
  • Must complete a background check after admission to the program

Tuition for the program is $36,841. Financial aid is available for eligible students.

  • Website:
  • Address: 1610 E Saint Andrew Place, Ste 200, Santa Ana, CA, 92705
  • Phone: 800-455-4700
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 87%

American Career College

Certified nursing assistants must enroll in the vocational nursing program at American Career College to acquire the skills and knowledge to function as a licensed vocational nurse in acute and long-term care facilities. The curriculum covers a total of 1630 hours including 803 clinical hours. Course topics include vocational nursing student success, intro to human anatomy and physiology, fundamentals of nursing, vocational nursing student readiness, nutrition, medical surgical nursing, geriatrics, psychology, pharmacology, psychology, mental health, growth and development, maternal child nursing, and concept mastery. Graduates will be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN for state licensure. The duration of the program is 55 weeks. The program is divided into terms (4 terms) approximately 13 weeks in length.

Admission criteria:

  • Must meet with an Admissions Advisor
  • Must complete a campus tour
  • Must take and pass a standardized entrance exam
  • Must complete an enrolment agreement
  • Must pay a non-refundable application fee upon enrolment
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Applicants with a CNA certificate may receive advanced standing credit
  • Must obtain a background clearance at the time of enrolment
  • Must complete health screening examinations, pathology tests, and/or immunizations
  • Must take and pass the Wonderlic SLEQ entrance exam with a minimum score of 21 or a score of 70% on the HESI

The program cost of $40,210 includes tuition, fees, books, and supplies.


Crystal G

Crystal is a certified Registered Nurse (RN) with a passion for writing about nursing education. Through her articles, Crystal shares insights and tips to help fellow nurses enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest developments in the field. With a focus on practical advice and relevant topics, Crystal's writing is a valuable resource for nursing professionals seeking to advance their careers.