ADN Programs in California

California is one of the premier states for nurses. Employing over 250,000 registered nurses and with over 125 registered nurse/associates degree in nursing programs, California leads the charge for healthcare and for RN’s. It is an excellent state to be an RN, and if you are thinking about getting your ADN or continuing with an ADN-BSN or ADN-MSN degree, it will be worth it.

To become an RN in California, you have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam, like every other state in the U.S. The state highly recommends going to pre-licensure nursing school to get your ADN, BSN, ELM, or LVN.

In California, an ADN (Associate’s Degree in Nursing) is one of several educational pathways that will equip you to apply for your registered nurses license in California. An ADN program typically takes two to three years to complete, and will involve both classroom courses as well as clinical experience.

The classroom work will include courses in biology and other sciences, as well as in nursing. Your ADN program will also include clinical experience, under the supervision of a registered nurse mentor.

What does an ADN RN in California do?

The duties an RN can perform in California are the same for every RN, whether you have an ADN degree or some other type of education or experience.

What are the employment prospects for an RN with an ADN in California?

New graduates in highly popular urban areas in California are, surprisingly, having some difficulty in finding positions initially. Unfortunately, this difficulty exists in California whether you have an ADN or baccalaureate degree. Because of the recession, many older nurses who were planning on retiring continued to work, while nurses who had experience but had left nursing reentered the job force in response to economic stressors at home. However, rural areas (and there are rural areas in California) always can use qualified Registered Nurses. In addition, nursing organizations such as the American Society of Registered Nurses are working to help new nursing graduates find jobs. The ASRN has a “hidden jobs program,” available to its members, which is a database of jobs available solely to new nursing graduates, including those in California. In addition, this difficulty in finding a job as a new RN is only temporary; long-term prospects for RN’s are excellent. Accordingly to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the occupation of registered nursing is expected to be the second fastest growing occupation in the country.

What is the average salary of an ADN RN in California?

RN’s in California, including those with ADN degrees, have one of the highest average annual salaries in the nation, $84,593. While starting nurses typically will not make that much, their salaries will increase with experience. You should bear in mind as well that the average salary for RN’s in California varies widely by location. To show just one example, the average RN salary in the San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara region in California is $111,085, while the average RN salary in Yuba City, California is $64,181.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Training Schools: 2 Year Nursing Programs in California

Allan Hancock College

800 South College Drive

Santa Maria, CA 93454

(805) 922-6966 Ex. 3543

This program is a two semester program designed for LVN’s who wish to advance to a registered nurse’s license. The program starts in the spring, and is open to California licensed vocational nurses as well as individuals who have graduated from a practicing nursing program but have not yet obtained their LVN license.

American River College

4700 College Oak Drive

Sacramento, CA 95841

(916) 484-8254

This college offers a traditional two year nursing degree. The Registered Nurse (RN) application period. As with many nursing programs, there are more students eager to enter the program then there are spots for it; however, rather than a ranked system, American River places all qualified applicants into an admission pool, from which candidates for the program are chosen at random by computer.

Antelope Valley College

3041 West Avenue K

Lancaster, CA 93536-5426

(661) 722-6300 Ex. 6402

Antelope Valley’s nursing program requires two semesters of prerequisite courses, then four semesters of nursing courses after you are admitted to the program. This curriculum requirement is common of most nursing programs in California. An advanced track is available for those individuals who are either Licensed Vocational Nurses or are transferring from another program. Persons participating in the advanced track essential enter the nursing program during the third nursing semester, and will complete the program in one year.

Bakersfield College

1801 Panorama Drive

Bakersfield, CA 93305

(661) 395-4282

Bakersfield has two enrollment periods for is AAS in nursing classes. Applications for the program that starts fall semester must be received by the Nursing/Allied Health office between March 1 and March 31, and applications for the program starting Spring semester must be received in the Nursing/Allied Health office between September 1 and September 30. Application forms that are received either before or after these dates will not be accepted.

Butte Community College

3536 Butte Campus

Oroville, CA 95965

(530) 879-4338

Butte College’s main campus is located on a 928 acre wildlife refuge. Butte College has been in existence for over 40 years, and enrolls more than 20,000 students a year. In order to be admitted to Butte’s nursing program, a student must have a high school diploma, or equivalent, and be 17 or older. In addition, the student must have complete prerequisite courses in Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Microbiology, Nutrition, math, English, psychology and some form of public speaking or communication course.

Cabrillo College

6500 Soquel Drive

Aptos, CA 95003

(831) 479-6280

One of four occupational health fields taught at Cabrillo, the ADN program at Cabrillo prepares their students to take the NCLEX-RN licensing examination and apply to the state for their California registered nursing license. Students are admitted into the program in August or February. Two admission processes must be completed: admission to the college as well as admission to the ADN program itself.

Carrington College

8909 Folsom Boulevard

Sacramento, CA 95826

(916) 361-1660

Carrington College is one of the rare private colleges in California that offers an associate’s degree in nursing. While other Carrington campuses in other states offer a full two year program, the Sacramento program is designed solely for LVN’s who desire to become RN’s. It consists of a rigorous 8 month program, and as most nursing programs do, it includes both classroom work and clinical experience.

Cerritos College

11110 Alondra Boulevard

Norwalk, CA 90650

(562) 860-2451 Ex. 2551

In order to be admitted to Cerritos’ nursing program, applicants must have completed the necessary prerequisite courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and have a high school diploma or an equivalent. In addition, applicants must pass an application test that covers basic concepts in basic math, reading, English and science. Students also must have a valid United States social security number; a student will not be able to take the NCLEX-RN upon completion of the program without one.

Chabot College

25555 Hesperian Boulevard

Hayward, CA 94545

(510) 723-6896

Chabot offers both a basic four semester AAS in nursing degree or an accelerated fast track for LVN’s desiring to advance their careers. Chabot also is one of the rare schools whose students collectively achieve a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN examination. This occurred last year, when 39 Chabot students took the test.

Chaffey College

5885 Haven Avenue

Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737

(909) 652-6672

This college had the distinction of being one of the few ADN registered nursing schools to achieve a 100% NCLEX-RN pass rate in the previous year. 43 of their students took the test in that time period, and all 43 passed. The ADN program at Chaffey began in 1957, and since then around 2100 students have successfully completed the program.

Citrus College

1000 West Foothill Boulevard

Glendora, CA 91741

(626) 914-8720

This ADN-RN program is relative new, having started in the Fall of 2007. There are three tracks available in this program – the regular two-year track, an advanced placement track for LVN’s who wish to obtain their ADN in nursing, and a third track, called the 30 unit track, which allows an LVN to complete 30 units rather than the complete coursework for an ADN and still take the licensing exam and work as a registered nurse. The 30 unit option, though, is a California license only; individuals who obtain their license through the 30 unit option are not considered eligible to practice as RN’s by other states.

City College of San Francisco

50 Phelan Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94112

(415) 239-3218

According to the California Board of Nursing, this school has evening classes available. To be admitted to its ADN-RN, a student must complete certain prerequisite coursework, including anatomy, physiology, microbiology, English and math, as well has having an overall GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. In the first semester of this program, the student will incur expenses of about $1000, including tuition, uniform, nursing tools, a skills lab practice kit, health insurance and malpractice insurance. After the first semester, expenses decrease to between $400-500 per semester.

College of Marin

835 College Avenue

Kentfield, CA 94904

(415) 485-9319

As do most nursing programs, this ADN program will provide student nurses with both classroom instruction and clinical practice. There are a number of nearby hospital facilities at which a nursing student may perform her clinicals while at Marin, including California Pacific Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Francisco General Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital and the University of California Medical Center, all in San Francisco. Additional hospital facilities for clinicals are located in Kentfield, Berkeley, Oakland, Terra Linda, Greenbrae and Navato. Located in Kentfield, CA, Marin is about 17 miles away from San Francisco.

College of San Mateo

1700 West Hillsdale Boulevard

San Mateo, CA 94402

(650) 574-6218

As many nursing programs do, the San Mateo program often has more applicants than spaces available for its program. Because of this, San Mateo is very strict about its application procedures – applications must be submitted online and all of the prerequisites must be met as well as all of the necessary information provided to the school before a student will be considered. When there are more applicants who have successfully applied than slots available, prospective nursing students’ names are placed into a computerized “pool” and the names are drawn from that pool at random.

College of the Canyons

26455 Rockwell Canyon Road

Santa Clarita, CA 91355

(661) 362-3369

This ADN-RN program accepts applications twice a year, for both spring and fall admission, although individuals who wish to participate in the LVN to RN curriculum may only apply in August for admission the following spring. When there are more applicants at any level than slots available, this college uses a ranking system to admit applicants on a competitive basis based on their GPA’s and certain test scores.

College of the Desert

43-500 Monterey Avenue

Palm Desert, CA 92260

(760) 568-3093

In order to help students interested in the ADN-RN nursing program learn more a about the program, several group information sessions are offered through the year to help students learn about the RN program, the criteria for admission and nursing information in general. Topics that are covered in these specifically include a discussion of the courses a student must take prior to admission, the application process, details of the nursing curriculum and clinicals and other requirements of the nursing program and information about nursing as a profession.

College of the Redwoods

7351 Tompkins Hill Road

Eureka, CA 95501

(707) 476-4214

The College of Nursing at this school envisions the general two year ADN curriculum as a cube, with each face of the cube representing an important aspect of nursing. Using the cube as a framework, the nursing instruction provided at Redwoods is designed to educate a student in three broad areas: nurse-client relationships, nursing competencies and coursework.

College of the Sequoias

915 S. Mooney Boulevard

Visalia, CA 93277

(559) 730-3732

This college has both evening and weekend courses available as part of its nursing program, something that is relatively rare in California. The program is a standard, two year ADN-RN program, although it does offer clinical experience in a wide variety of health care settings, including medical settings, surgical settings, geriatric situations, perinatal cases, pediatrics clinics or hospitals and psychiatric and mental health hospitals and clinics. This variety gives a nursing student good exposure to the various types of roles he or she may be called upon to play upon graduation.

College of the Siskiyous

800 College Avenue

Weed, CA 96094

(530) 938-5212

Located in a city with the unlovely name of Weed, but with the breathtaking vistas that come with close proximity to Mount Shasta, Siskiyous’ RN program is only available to LVNs wishing to continue their education. Classes are admitted once a year. The program is two semesters in length, fall and spring, although admittees are also required to take a three unit course in the summer semester preceding the fall admission.

Contra Costa College

2600 Mission Bell Drive

San Pablo, CA 94806

(510) 235-7800 Ex. 4267

Admittance to the Contra Costa ADN program is competitive. As do some other California schools, all successful applicants are placed into a pool, from which the final admittees are drawn at random by a computer. However, even these students’ admission is conditional, until their background check is completed, and found to be clear, and until after a drug screen comes back clear as well.

Copper Mountain College

6162 Rotary Way, P.O. Box 1398

Joshua Tree, CA 92252

(760) 366-3791

Joshua Tree, California is a desert community about 30 minutes away from Palm Springs. Surrounded by desert countryside populated by the unique Joshua Tree, it is a jump-off point for back country campers and explorers. Because the community is a mix of working families, retirees and artists (including musicians), its eclectic downtown includes art galleries, expedition/camping outfitters, restaurants, gift shops, a bakery with Wi-Fi and even a Certified Farmers market on Saturday mornings. In addition, the Joshua Park National Park lies close to the town. Copper Mountain College is located in the city as well, offering a two year ADN-RN program, where at least some of the clinicals will be held at the Hi-Desert Medical Center, which serves 68,000 people in Joshua Park and the surrounding communities.

Cuesta College

Post Office Box 8106

San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

(805) 546-3119

In addition to the normal ADN-RN curriculum, Cuesta offers a pre-RN major designed to help students who begin their college career at Cuesta obtain the necessary pre-requisites for the RN major. Pre-RN majors are entitled to registration priority for the Human Physiology and Microbiology courses. While being a pre-RN major at Cuesta does not seem to give you added priority when it comes time for selection into the RN program, being a pre-RN major at Cuesta does mean that you have a guidance counselor to assigned to help you start planning for your RN admission from the minute you start take courses as a pre-RN major.

Cypress College

9200 Valley View Street

Cypress, CA 90630

(714) 484-7283

As are most two year ADN programs in California, Cypress is approved by the California Board of Nursing. Cypress’s ADN program is designed to prepare you to take the California licensing exam for registered nursing, known as the NCLEX-RN. This same test is administered nation-wide for most state’s nursing license. You also must complete an application to the Board of Nursing in order to receive your RN license. By qualifying for admission to the Cypress program, you can be confident that you will meet the other qualifications for the Board of Nursing, such as a clear criminal background check, unless your status has changed while attending Cypress.

De Anza College

21250 Stevens Creek Boulevard

Cupertino, CA 95014

(408) 864-5618

This school has two registered nursing programs – a two year Associate of Science Degree in nursing available to anyone regardless of whether they have previous nursing experience or not, and a LVN transitional Associate of Science Degree. The nursing department holds information meetings monthly, except during the summer, so that students are provided with basic information about entrance requirements for the nursing programs. Prospective students are also encourage to attend an application workshop that is designed to help the student be certain that he or she is going through the application process correctly. Students are encouraged to come to the application workshop the quarter before the semester they wish to file their application. Application workshops are held monthly, also.

East Los Angeles College

1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez

Monterey Park, CA 91754

(323) 265-8896

This school offers three programs that lead to a California registered nursing license. The first is the 30 unit option for LVN’s. This is a non-degree program that allows an LVN to take the California licensing exam upon the completion of 30 units of nursing courses. However, the registered nursing license obtained is recognized only in California, and cannot be transferred to another state. In addition, LVN’s who start out in the 30 unit option cannot later transfer to the LVN-RN or two year RN program mid-course. The second program is the standard two year RN nursing program, at the completion of which the student will have earned an Associate of Science in Nursing Degree, along with the right to take the NCLEX and obtain their license. This license is transferable to other states, depending on the particular state’s rules. Finally, the third program, which also will qualify the student for a license recognized by other states, is the LVN-RN option, where a student is given credit for certain nursing courses based upon his or her experience as an LVN.

El Camino College

16007 Crenshaw Boulevard

Torrance, CA 90506

(310) 660-3281

According to the California Board of Nursing, El Camino offers nursing courses in the evening as well as during the day. This school accepts applications for the ADN program twice a year, beginning the third Monday in September and the third Monday in March. Each application period is open for three weeks.

El Camino College/Compton Community Educational Center

1111 East Artesia Boulevard

Compton, CA 90221

(310) 900-1600 Ex. 2700

This nursing program offers both evening and weekend courses as well as daytime courses, which is fairly rare in California. Originally Compton Community College, the school’s original accreditation was revoked in 2005, at which time it became affiliated with El Camino College. Courses at the Compton Community Educational Center are El Camino courses, but they are taught by faculty dedicated to the Compton facility.

Everest College

1819 Excise Avenue

Ontario, CA 91761

(909) 984-5027

Everest College is one of the rare private schools in California that also offer an ADN school. While Everest College has nursing programs in other states, the California nursing program is quite a new program. For that first class, 64 students took the NCLEX-RN for a 68.75% pass rate.

Evergreen Valley College

3095 Yerba Buena Road

San Jose, CA 95135

(408) 270-6448

The ADN program at Evergreen leads to an ASN in nursing that will allow the graduating student to take the licensing exam for registered nurses and to apply to become a licensed registered nurse. The curriculum is divided between prerequisite courses, nursing major courses and general education courses. The prerequisite courses are anatomy, physiology, microbiology and English composition. A fifth course, general psychology, must be taken for graduation and licensure. While the college recommends that this course be completed prior to entry into the nursing program, it does not require that. There are 37 units worth of nursing courses, which include both class room and clinical work, as well as an additional 15 units of general education courses, spread out over four separate areas. The final coursework requirement is California’s compulsory 1 unit of physical education.

Fresno City College

1101 East University Avenue

Fresno, CA 93741

(559) 244-2604

Fresno City College is another of the rare California public ADN programs which offer evening and weekend courses. Fresno also has an accelerated fast track for its ADN program. It also is the largest public community college nursing program in California, not to mention being the second largest program in the United States. Due to the rigorous requirements placed on nursing students during their nursing class work and clinicals, this college strongly recommends that its students work no more than 16 hours per week outside of class when working on the nursing courses portion of the program.

Gavilan College

5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard

Gilroy, CA 95020

(408) 848-4883

Gavilan College’s program is an LVN-RN program only. Last year, Gavilan’s pass rate for its graduating LVN’s on the NCLEX-RN was 100%, with 17 LVNs taking the test. The program admits both practicing LVN nurses as well as those who have graduated and passed a LVN program without practicing as a nurse.

Glendale Community College

1500 North Verdugo Road

Glendale, CA 91208

(818) 551-5270

This ADN program is one of the few California programs, according to the California Board of Nursing, that have provide evening and weekend courses for its nursing students as well as daytime course offerings. One of the hallmarks of this program is the nursing resource lab, which provides an interim environment between classroom instruction and active clinicals that allows students to practice patient care in a safe setting, with enhanced learning tools such as software programs, along with mannequins to practice on and all supplies and equipment necessary to provide a simulated clinical setting.

Golden West College

15744 Goldenwest Street

Huntington Beach, CA 92647

(714) 895-8285

This college offers a standard two year ADN program, with prerequisite courses that will need to be complete prior to admission to the program. The School of Nursing is in the process of revising both its curriculum and the admission criteria. The curriculum revision will begin sometime after the Fall of 2012, while the revised admission criteria, which have not yet been announced, will apply to applicants for the Fall 2013-2014 term and forward. Currently, Golden West is not accepting either transfer or foreign students.

Grossmont College

8800 Grossmont College Drive

El Cajon, CA 92020

(619) 644-7301

The admission requirements for the nursing program at Grossmont have recently changed. Grossmont offers a standard two year ADN program along with an RN-LVN program and the 30 unit option unique to California for LVN students. Admission to the nursing program now is determined based upon a ranking established through a 100 point criteria grid suggested by the California State Chancellor’s office.

Hartnell College

156 Homestead Avenue

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 770-6146

This nursing program offers evening courses as well as daytime courses, and has an accelerated fast track for LVN-RN students depending on space availability. However, no summer session courses are offered; the four semesters’ worth of nursing instruction occurs in the Fall and Spring semesters only. The school has a limited amount of scholarship money for its program, along with other financial aid programs, including low-interest loans.

Imperial Valley College

380 East Aten Road

Imperial, CA 92251

(760) 355-6348

Located in the agricultural heartland of California, the college offers a two year, four semester ADN-RN program along with an accelerated LVN-RN option. There are many local nursing scholarships available in the area for nursing students, including scholarships funded by El Centro Regional Medical Center Women’s Auxiliary, Pioneers Memorial Hospital Women’s Auxiliary, Kaiser Permanente, Drexel Cooper, Walter Pool, Soroptimist and Philip Ricker.

ITT Technical Institute

Breckinridge School of Nursing

10863 Gold Center Drive

Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

(916) 851-5661

This program is run by one of the rare private schools in California to have an ADN-RN program. The Breckinridge School of Nursing runs programs at 35 campuses throughout the country, including this Rancho Cordova campus. Class sizes in the nursing courses vary from 15-30 students, and the program has a nursing lab available to complement both classroom instruction and clinical work.

Kaplan College

9055 Balboa Avenue

San Diego, CA 92123

(858) 279-4500

Kaplan College is a private school, which offers an ASN. Kaplan College is a multi-state college apparently affiliated as well with Kaplan University. The San Diego program is approved by the California State Board of Nursing, so as with any other ADN or ASN program in California, graduates from Kaplan who meet the other California State Board requirements will be eligible to take the nursing licensing exam and apply for their California registered nursing license.

Long Beach City College

4901 East Carson Street

Long Beach, CA 90808

(562) 938-4166

Offering the traditional four semester ADN-RN program, this college provides information beyond what most schools provide in connection with its RN program, including advisory sessions for prospective nursing students held the first Wednesday and third Tuesday by the RN program director throughout both fall and spring semesters, and a web page devoted solely to helping a student get ready for the first semester of the nursing program. This program page includes information about uniforms, background checks and other post-admission requirements.

Los Angeles City College

855 North Vermont Avenue

Los Angeles, Ca 90029

(323) 953-4000 Ex. 2053

This college offers a two year/four semester nursing program that leads to an ASN. Both classroom and clinical courses for the program are taught four days a week. The program accepts applications only twice a year – once in September for spring admission, and once in February for fall admission. To find out the specific dates each year during which applications will be accepted, contact the Nursing Department directly.

Los Angeles County College of Nursing & Allied Health

1237 N. Mission Road

Los Angeles, CA 90033

(323) 226-4911

This college is a public community college, unique in that it is owned by Los Angeles County and has a specific mission to provide qualified personnel for the Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Healthcare Network, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and other healthcare providers in Los Angeles County generally.

Los Angeles Harbor College

1111 Figueroa Place

Wilmington, CA 90744

(310) 233-4360

Harbor College offers two different registered nursing program tracks – the basic two year, four semester ADN-RN degree, along with an LVN-RN track. The basic admission requirements for the program include a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on all previous college coursework, a grade of “C” or higher, along with an overall 2.5 GPA in anatomy, physiology and microbiology, minimum grades of “C” in English, two psychology courses, high school or community college chemistry, and be a high school or higher institution of learning, or alternatively had obtained your GED.

Los Angeles Southwest College

1600 West Imperial Highway

Los Angeles, CA 90047

(323) 241-5327

Once a student is accepting in to the ADN-RN program at Southwest, there are a few health requirements that musts be met prior to him or her beginning classes. Because nursing students must be free from communicable diseases or other mental or physical conditions that could impact their ability to care for patients, a student must have a complete physical prior to beginning the nursing program, and every year thereafter. Students must also show that they are immune from the German measles, rubeola, varicella, Hepatitis B and mumps. In addition, students must be able to show that they are certified by the American Heart Association to perform CPR, as well as that they have liability insurance.

Los Angeles Trade-Tech College

400 West Washington Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 763-7170

LATTC offers a traditional ASN program. The LATTC nursing program utilizes five full-time faculty and staff members, two part-time faculty members, on full-time classified employee and one student employee. The nursing program provides students with both classroom instruction and clinical experiences, along with a little bit of instruction by computer, and some self-paced learning exercises.

Los Angeles Valley College

5800 Fulton Avenue

Valley Glen, CA 91401

(818) 947-2559

This college has both day and evening courses available. After you are accepted into the nursing program, and before you start classes, you will need to complete some additional steps, including agreeing to and completing a background check, having a complete physical in order to be able to submit a “health record” for the ADN program, completing a two-step tuberculosis screening, proof of immunity by titers for several childhood diseases, including mumps, chicken pox, German measles and rubeola. You also will need to submit a titer for hepatitis B.

Los Medanos College

2700 East Leland Road

Pittsburg, CA 94565

(925) 439-2181 Ex. 3286

This college’s registered nursing program has two tracks, a two year, four semester program for people without any prior nursing experience or nursing licenses, and an LVN to RN career growth option. Graduation from either track allows the graduate to take the RN licensing exam and, if the test is passed, to apply for a California RN license.

Mendocino College

1000 Hensley Creek Road

Ukiah, CA 95482

(707) 468-3099

The nursing program at this school is relatively new – the California State Board of Nursing approved it in 2005, and Mendocino graduated its first nursing class in 2007. Before you can be admitted to the program, you will have to complete certain prerequisite and general education courses, along with other requirements. Students interested in Mendocino’s nursing program are urged to talk to an academic advisor about the nursing program soon after they begin taking classes to ensure that they are on the right track for admission to the program.

Merced College

3600 M Street

Merced, CA 95348-2898

(209) 384-6123

A member of California’s public community college system, Merced offers both regular day courses as well as having weekend courses available. The School of Nursing has developed a Registered Nursing Program Application Handbook, available from the college’s bookstore or the nursing program’s web site. Merced follows the California Community College Chancellor’s Model for selection of nursing program participants. Interestingly, rather than making a threshold score of 67% part of the admission requirements, Merced has chosen instead to require those individuals selected into the program through the selection progress to take the TEAS-V after selection, with the provision that if they do not make the 67% threshold must complete a yearlong remediation program developed specifically for them, and then must apply for the nursing program again.

Merritt College

12500 Campus Drive

Oakland, CA 94619

(510) 436-2487

Merritt College’s nursing program began in 1961, when funding for the program was provided by the Kellogg Foundation. At the time, Merritt College was called “Oakland City College.” Merritt’s program is accredited by a number of organizations, including the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and approved by several government entities, including the California Board of Registered Nursing, the California Department of Education, the Veteran’s Administration in connection with the training of military veterans, the Federal Department and the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service in respect to education foreign students.

MiraCosta College

1 Barnard Drive

Oceanside, CA 92056

(760) 795-6651

Oceanside is a beautiful coastal community with both beaches and harbors. It is just south of Camp Pendleton, a well-known Marine base. Mira Costa’s ADN program is a two year, four semester program with courses offered in the Fall and Spring only and only during the day. The nursing program has recently switched its admission criteria over to the California Chancellor’s model admission requirements which use a rating system rather than a computerized lottery system.

Mission College

3000 Mission College Boulevard, MS#19

Santa Clara, CA 95054-1897

(408) 855-5016

The RN program at this school is an LVN-RN program only. The pass rates for the two most recent years were 80% and 82%, which is right at the national average.

Modesto Junior College

435 College Avenue

Modesto, CA 95350

(209) 575-6362

One of the interesting aspects of this ADN-RN program is its Human Patient Simulation Lab. The HSL allows students to practice various nursing skills on patient models, providing them valuable pre-clinical experience. For example, nursing simulation labs include caring for asthma patients, gastrectomy patients, status post-hip replacement patients and diabetes mellitus type 2 patients – and those labs are just in the first year! Students are expected to bring their stethoscopes and wear complete uniforms to each lab.

Monterey Peninsula College

980 Fremont Street

Monterey, CA 93940

(831) 646-4258

Located in the well-known coastal town of Monterey, California, this college enjoys the distinction of being one of the rare schools to achieve a 100% pass rate on the last NCLEX-RN exam. That year, the college had 52 students who took the test. A recent anonymous donation to the nursing college, officially known as the Maurine Church Coburn School of Nursing, has allowed the nursing simulation laboratory to acquire two state of the art electronic mannequins for its simulation lab, along with software, curriculum and additional materials.

Moorpark College

7075 Campus Road

Moorpark, CA 93021

(805) 378-1400 Ex. 1706

Moorpark has offered an ADN program since 1981. In 1981, the ADN program was offered as an extension of Ventura College’s ADN program, but in 1983, the program received independent approval from the California School of Nursing. In 1990, the program was also accredited by the National League of Nursing. The two year curriculum for the ADN program leads to the awarding of an ASN degree and qualifies the graduating student to apply to take the licensing exam for registered nursing and apply for a California RN license.

Mount St. Mary’s College

10 Chester Place

Los Angeles, CA 90007

(213) 477-2630

This program is another rare private college ADN nursing programs. Mount St. Mary’s is even rarer because, unlike Kaplan or ITT, it is a small independent private women’s college originally started by the Catholic Church. As part of its mission to educate young women, Mount St. Mary’s offers an afternoon, evening and weekend ADN program, one of the very few, if not the only, ADN programs in California that are only offered during the afternoon, evening and weekends. (There is a daytime baccalaureate nursing program.)

Mt. San Antonio College

1100 North Grand Avenue

Walnut, CA 91789

(909) 594-5611 Ex. 4560

One of the largest members of California’s more than 110 community colleges, this college has evening and weekend courses available. The college has both a two year, four semester program as well as an LVN-RN career track. As with most nursing programs, there are often more qualifying applicants than there are slots available; the college determines final entry based upon a computerized lottery system.

Mt. San Jacinto College

23287 La Piedra Road

Menifee, CA 92584

(909) 672-6752 Ex. 2601

This college offers both fall and spring program admission into the nursing program. Both programs require the student to submit a form verifying that the necessary prerequisites have been complete well in advance of the application due dates. For the fall program, applications are due between February 1 and 15, and for the spring program, applications are due September 1 through 15. The TEAS-V is administered to applicants who meet all of the other qualifications immediately before final selection. Final selection is based upon the criteria system suggested by the California Chancellor’s office rather than the computerized lottery process.

Napa Valley College

2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway

Napa, CA 94558

(707) 253-3132

Napa is the county seat of Napa County, which is where the Napa Valley wine country is located. The county possesses a Mediterranean climate and other characteristics that make it a perfect environment for growing grapes for wine-making. Admission into the ADN program at the college requires first that the student attend a mandatory information session prior to applying.

Ohlone College

43600 Mission Boulevard

Fremont, CA 94539

(510) 659-6030

This ADN program not only has a full two year nursing program, but also offers advanced standing for persons with certain medical credentials. People who have valid California LVN and psychiatric technician licenses can be admitted directly to the third semester of the program, if space is available. The nursing program has a director of the registered nursing program who is also a medical/surgical nursing instructor, five medical/surgical nursing instructors, one maternal/pediatric nursing, and a nursing skills lab coordinator.

Pacific Union College

1 Angwin Avenue

Angwin, CA 94508

(707) 965-7262

This college is a private liberal arts college supported by the Seventh Day Adventist church. The ADN program at this college offers both night time and weekend courses. The nursing program is proud of the fact that its program allows its students to participate in nursing clinicals from the very beginning of the program.

Palomar College

1140 West Mission Road

San Marcos, CA 92069

(760) 744-1150 Ex. 2279

Located 30 miles north of San Diego, Palomar’s nursing school admits 36 students into the ADN-RN class for the fall, and another 36 students for the spring program. People seeking to take advantage of the LVN-RN “step-up” program are admitted on a space available basis. Palomar College is one of the last community college nursing programs to maintain a waiting list, although the program will stop adding names to the wait list in 2012 as a means of phasing it out.

Pasadena City College

1570 East Colorado Boulevard

Pasadena, CA 91106-2003

(626) 585-7323

This ADN-RN program has most if not all of the same requirements, prerequisites, admission requirements and health requirements as do the other community college ADN-RN programs, but the nursing program here has enhanced its program by providing post-graduation assistance to its graduates. This assistance includes a job board, where the school encourages potential employers to post jobs, a nursing career manual, a discount on an NCLEX review course, and access to a social networking site called “AfterCollege” which is designed to help new graduates establish valuable contacts in their fields of study.

Pierce College

6201 Winnetka Avenue

Woodland Hills, CA 91371

(818) 719-6477

40 students are accepted into this two year nursing every semester. The two year degree offered by this college is a little unusual, since it is an Associate of Arts in Nursing rather than an Associate of Science degree or simply an Associate’s degree, but its effect is the same – the graduating student is eligible to take the California RN licensing exam, and to apply for a California license.

Porterville College

100 E. College Ave.

Porterville, CA 93257

(559) 791-2321

In order to be admitted into this ADN program, a student must complete four perquisite courses with a grade of C or higher. These courses are English composition, human anatomy, introductory physiology and microbiology. Both general education courses and four specific courses required by the Board of Nursing must be completed in addition to the four semesters of nursing courses in order for the student to receive his or her ADN in nursing. The college suggests that all of the general education and other courses that aren’t nursing courses be completed before a student begins the nursing program.

Reedley College at Madera Community College Center

30277 Avenue #12

Madera, CA 93638

(559) 675-4877

The RN program at this college is available only at its Madera Community College Center location and it accepts LVNs only. Because of this, the program takes only three semesters to complete rather than four. The first semester, however, only involves a two unit introductory/transition course. The estimated expenses a California resident will incur for the program are the following: $1221.00 for the first semester (this breakdown places most of the extra costs for uniforms, background checks and physicals in this semester since the course load is so small), $996.00 for the second semester and $812.00 for the third semester.

Rio Hondo College

3600 Workman Mill Road

Whittier, CA 90601-1699

(562) 908-3421

This program, begun the Spring of 1968, currently admits 100 students each year. It offers both a full two year, four semester program as well as an LVN-RN program. As do most California community colleges, this college meets the requirements to participate in both state and federal financial aid programs, including student loans. In addition, through community hospitals and other sources, there are many nursing scholarships outside of the auspices of state and federal financial aid as well. Each nursing scholarship’s qualifications are unique, depending on the needs and intentions of the donor.

Riverside City College

4800 Magnolia Avenue

Riverside, CA 92506

(909) 222-8407

This ADN program is supported by a strong, nationally recognized student nursing association. The Riverside chapter of the National Student Nursing Association received the Stellar Chapter Award, which recognizes a NSNA chapter’s participation with the national organization and its commitment to the profession as well. The Riverside program also offers several resources to its students post-graduation to assist them in making professional contacts, and obtaining jobs.

Sacramento City College

3835 Freeport Boulevard

Sacramento, CA 95822

(916) 558-2271

Located in California’s capital city, this ADN program has both a two year program as well as an accelerated fast track available as space permits. According to the California Board of Nursing, this college is one of the rare California community colleges to have weekend nursing courses available. Due to the rigorous nature of the program, the school “suggests” that students have no outside employment, but it does not insist upon it.

Saddleback College

28000 Marguerite Parkway

Mission Viejo, CA 92692

(949) 582-4700

Located in South Orange County, this school, which has been in existence since 1968, currently has over 500,000 alumni and offers over 300 different programs, which include programs leading to associate degrees, careers certificates and other forms of recognition. This rich history and course offering ensures that the ADN-RN student at Saddleback will attend classes in an exciting, vibrant environment.

San Bernardino Valley College

701 South Mount Vernon

San Bernardino, CA 91024

(909) 384-4450

In order to assist students who are interested in this ADN-RN program, this college offers approximately 9 informational meetings, lasting an hour and a half each, during the Fall and Spring semesters. In these meetings, a number of topics are covered, including the necessity of a pre-enrollment assessment, coverage of the prerequisite courses that are required for admission to the nursing program, a discussion of how and when to apply to the ADN-RN program, a description of the selection process and the program, a summary of the costs and financial aid that might be involved, as well as a description of the LVN-RN program.

San Diego City College

1313 Park Boulevard

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 388-3441

This program was designed with the goal of making sure qualified people who are interested in nursing as a career have access to a quality program. As with most ADN-RN programs, a student must first enroll in the college, then, after completing the necessary prerequisites, the student is allowed to apply for admission to the college’s nursing program.

San Joaquin Delta College

5151 Pacific Avenue

Stockton, CA 95207

(209) 954-5454

This ADN-RN program is a two year, four semester program that is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge they will need in order to become licensed as an RN in California, including the knowledge needed to pass the licensing exam, as well as the skills and knowledge they will need to perform successfully as an RN in one of the many health care situations that require RNs.

San Joaquin Valley College

8400 W. Mineral King

Visalia, CA 93291

(559) 651-2500

This college is a private college, founded in 1971, with nine campuses across the state of California. The Visalia campus offers both a two year/four semester ADN-RN program and an LV-RN program. During students’ clinical experiences, SJVC provides every 12 nursing students with 2 preceptors, which enables the students to obtain more experience during clinical rotations than they might otherwise receive.

Santa Ana College

1530 West 17th Street

Santa Ana, CA 92706-3398

(714) 564-6825

This college, as of September 30, 2011 had over 540 students on its first semester entry nursing list, and accordingly the school is not accepting any new admission applications until that list is exhausted. St. Joseph Hospital employees are the only exception to this rule. St. Joseph Hospital employees interested in applying to the ADN-RN program should contact the Dean of the School of Nursing regarding admission.

Santa Barbara City College

721 Cliff Drive

Santa Barbara, CA 93109

(805) 965-0581 Ex. 2366

According to its web site, this college’s nursing program is respected throughout Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas, which fact means that almost all of its nursing graduates, with in the ADN-RN program, the LVN program or the CNA program are hired before graduation. In addition, this program states that its pass rates are extremely high on the licensing exams that both registered nursing and LVN students must take before obtaining their California license.

Santa Monica College

1900 Pico Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 434-3453

To graduate from this college’s ADN program, a student must obtain a total of 71 credit hours; 16 of these are acquired in prerequisite courses, 19 units are obtain through specific courses required for graduation that are not part of the required nursing courses a student must take once accepted into the program, and the remaining units are obtained through required nursing courses that are part of the four term nursing program. One unique feature at this school is its collaboration with California State University, Dominguez Hills campus that is designed to allow a student to progress all the way from his or her ADN degree through to a Master’s degree in nursing education with both full time and part time options available.

Santa Rosa Junior College

1501 Mendocino Avenue

Santa Rosa, CA 95401

(707) 527-4271

Located in Sonoma County, this program has graduated almost 4300 nurses since it was first approved in 1959. There are approximately 80 new slots available each fall. Since the number of applicants often exceeds the number of slots available, this program determines a probability of success score for each student using the resources of both the nursing program and the institutional research program. Only those students who have a score above the cut-off score will be accepted to the program. If, after the cut-off score is determined, there still are more applicants than there are spaces, the college than uses a random computer lottery to determine which 80 applicants will be offered spaces in the nursing program, as well as to determine the order in which the remaining applicants will be placed on an alternate list. If a student is not selected for the program that year, he or she will have to reapply the next year, as the alternate list is not kept from year to year.

Shasta College

1400 Market Street

Redding, CA 96001

(530) 339-3606

As part of entry into its ADN-RN program, students at this college must participate in a mandatory program orientation, where a number of issues are presented and discussed. One of the more unique aspects of the orientation is its emphasis on planning for the time commitment required to nursing. The program provides first time nursing students with a suggested planner they can use, and provides blank planner pages for students further along in the program to fill out as is best for them.

Shepherd University

1111 W. Sunset Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 481-1313


This university is one of the few private universities in California to offer an ADN-RN program. Interestingly, while its NCLEX-RN pass rate was 100% for the previous year, Shepherd had only one student who took the test. This is because the program is a relatively new program, only being approved by the California Board of Nursing a few years ago.

Sierra College

5000 Rocklin Road

Rocklin, CA 95677

(916) 781-6220

While the main campus of Sierra College is located in Rocklin, the nursing program’s home is in Roseville on Sunrise Avenue. However, the nursing program can only receive mail through the Rocklin address, which means there is a several day lag between the time the Rocklin mail room receives nursing program mail and the time the nursing program receives it. It is important to keep this time difference in mind when corresponding with the nursing department for any reason, including admission materials.

Solano Community College

4000 Suisun Valley Road

Suisun City, CA 94585-3917

(707) 864-7108

This community college’s registered nursing program is a 2 year/4 semester program which will result in the student receiving an ASN, and being eligible to take the California state licensing examination as well as apply for a California registered nursing license upon completion. This program, as most California programs are, is designed around the California Board of Nursing’s regulations involving the education of registered nurses.

Southwestern College

Nursing Program

8100 Gigantic Street

San Diego, CA 92154

(619) 482-6352

This college is one of the few California community college nursing programs that have evening and weekend courses in nursing available, which is a huge plus for most non-traditional nursing students, providing them greater flexibility to juggle home, school and work. The Nursing Program is headquartered at the college’s Higher Education Center at Otay Mesa.

Unitek College

4670 Auto Mall Parkway

Fremont, CA 94538


Unitek is a private college offering a BSN nursing program. The registered nursing program at this school is an LVN-RN program. However, since it also offers an LVN program, it is possible to attend the school and receive your registered nursing degree without ever having to stop classes. The length of a program pertains to graduating in normal time.

Ventura College

4667 Telegraph Road

Ventura, CA 93003

(805) 654-6342

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, this program offers a number of dates on which interested students, whether still in high school, already at the college, or an LVN interested in further his or her career, can learn about the ADN-RN requirements, including prerequisites, the proper order in which to take classes, how to apply to the nursing program, and how this college’s waitlist works. It is highly recommended that students interested in the ADN-RN program attend such a workshop as soon as they know they are interested in nursing as a career.

Victor Valley College

18422 Bear Valley Road

Victorville, CA 92395

(760) 245-4271, Ex. 2285

According to the California Board of Nursing, this college has evening and weekend nursing courses available as well as traditional day courses. There are five steps a student needs to complete to enter the nursing program. First, the student must apply for, and be granted admission to, the college. After the student is admitted, he or she should make an appointment with the nursing counselor to formulate an educational plan for nursing which will allow them to complete both prerequisite and other non-nursing courses required for graduation. Following the procedures required by the nursing program, the student should then apply for the nursing program. There are two periods a year for submitting applications; currently, the wait list for the nursing program is one year from the time of application.

West Hills College Lemoore

555 College Avenue

Lemoore, CA 93245

(559) 925-3490

This community college, nationally recognized for its work in reaching under-served populations in its area, achieved 100% NCLEX-RN pass rate last year. Since only 2 students took the exam from West Hills in that time, the ADN program might possibly be a relatively new one. However, whether the ADN-RN program is new or not, West Hills College is both well-established and state of the art, a unique combination. Although it was founded in the 1930’s, West Hills moved into a state of the art facility in 2002, phase I of a multi-phase building program.

Yuba College

2088 North Beale Road

Marysville, CA 95901

(530) 741-6784

Yuba offers both day and evening nursing courses. The nursing program recently was moved into a state-of-the-art new instructional building, which contains over 20,000 square feet of space, along with an advanced simulation center for nursing, and distance learning facilities. The program accepts 60 students into the ADN-RN program each year, 30 in the fall and 30 in the spring.