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With more than 450,000 nursing professionals, California has the largest population of nurses in the United States. They are among the highest-paid professionals in the healthcare industry, with advanced nursing roles commanding $180,000 or more per year. Compensation for Lancaster-based nurses is particularly impressive. For example, the city’s certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) earn an average annual salary of $183,470, while its nurse practitioners (NPs) take home $122,120 per year.

Lancaster’s more junior nurses also earn very competitive pay. The average local salary for registered nurses (RNs) is $96,960, while the top decile earns $130,000 or more annually. Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) earn $49,630 on average and $68,000-plus on the high end. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) typically earn $30,000-$42,000 per year.

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Though salaries are noteworthy, the nursing industry in Lancaster, California, is very competitive. To stand out from the crowd, you will need a certificate or degree from a top nursing school. Advanced practice nurses like CRNAs and NPs typically hold a master of science in nursing (MSN), doctor of nursing practice (DNP), or doctor of philosophy (PhD) in nursing. RNs must hold a hospital diploma, associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). LVNs must complete a state-approved certificate or associate’s degree program in vocational nursing, while CNAs must take a brief training program of approximately 100 hours.

Fortunately, Lancaster is home to some of the best nursing schools in the region, including esteemed institutions like University of Antelope Valley, Saint Joseph’s School of Nursing, and Antelope Valley College. Collectively, these schools offer nursing programs at all levels. For example, University of Antelope Valley offers LVN and RN-to-BSN programs. Saint Joseph's School of Nursing has CNA and LVN programs.

These and other accredited programs in the area prepare students for the requisite licensure exams. Aspiring RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN) before practicing. Similarly, newly minted LVNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) before entering the workforce. Aspiring CNAs must complete a state-mandated written competency exam.

After passing the respective licensure examination, graduates are prepared to compete for positions at major hospitals and healthcare centers across the region. Lancaster’s largest healthcare employers include Antelope Valley Hospital, Palmdale Regional Medical Center, High Desert Regional Health Center, and Lancaster VA Medical Clinic.

If a career in nursing sounds like a good fit for you, we can help you get started. Browse our complete list of nursing schools in Lancaster, California, to explore some of the best options in the metropolitan area.

Featured Schools

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Lancaster nursing schools by NCLEX score

Antelope Valley College
3041 West Avenue K | Lancaster, California 93536
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 86.7% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 62.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
University of Antelope Valley
44055 North Sierra Highway | Lancaster, California 93534
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 72.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Career Care Institute - Lancaster
43770 15th Street West, Suite 115 | Lancaster, California 93534
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 70.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Saint Joseph's School of Nursing
816 West Lancaster Boulevard | Lancaster, California 93536
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 58.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
High Desert Medical College
701 West Avenue K, Suite 123 | Lancaster, California 93534
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 53.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Antelope Valley College Associate's Degree in Nursing 86.7% 2007-08 to 2016-17
Certificate in Vocational Nursing 62.7% 2009 to Q1 2013
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
University of Antelope Valley Certificate in Vocational Nursing 72.9% 2009 to Q1 2013
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Career Care Institute - Lancaster Certificate in Vocational Nursing 70.5% 2009 to Q1 2013
Associate's Degree in Nursing
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Saint Joseph's School of Nursing Certificate in Vocational Nursing 58.1% 2009 to 2012
High Desert Medical College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 53.7% 2009 to Q1 2013