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Programs include LPN/LVN, ADN, BSN, MSN, and more

What does it take to become a registered nurse (RN), licensed vocational nurse (LVN), or nursing assistant (CNA) in the San Francisco Bay metro area? Because RNs must perform a variety of challenging tasks – including administering treatments and medication, establishing care plans, and operating complex medical equipment – hospitals and healthcare providers require an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), or master of science in nursing (MSN). Many employers prefer a BSN or MSN degree.

Some of the top employers for RNs in the San Francisco Bay area are hospitals and healthcare providers. These include John Muir Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, and Mills-Peninsula Health Services.

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LVNs and CNAs must also meet education requirements. LVNs measure and record vital signs, prepare and give injections, and collect samples for testing. To prepare, they must complete a certificate or associate’s degree program in licensed vocational nursing, typically requiring 12 to 24 months of study. CNAs clean and bathe patients, assist with dressing and eating, and check vital signs. They must complete an accredited training program and obtain certification.

Graduates of RN, LVN, or CNA programs in California will join a considerable community of nursing professionals that enjoy the highest salaries in the field. The San Francisco Bay metro area is home to 34,710 RNs averaging $129,750 per year, 6,430 LVNs averaging $61,480 per year, and 11,480 CNAs averaging $36,100 per year. All of these salaries are significantly higher than the national averages for each role.

The following is a list of accredited nursing schools in California’s San Francisco Bay metro area that offer top-tier education programs in all areas of this lucrative field.

Featured Schools

San Francisco Bay metro area nursing schools by NCLEX score

Chabot College
25555 Hesperian Boulevard | Hayward, California 94545
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 98.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Los Medanos College
2700 East Leland Road | Pittsburg, California 94565
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 97.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Merritt College
12500 Campus Drive | Oakland, California 94619
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 96.4% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Gavilan College
5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard | Gilroy, California 95020
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 95.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.1% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
University of California, San Francisco
500 Parnassus Avenue | San Francisco, California 94143
  • Direct Entry MSN: 94.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 45-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
Ohlone College
39399 Cherry Street | Newark, California 94560
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 91.2% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
College of Marin
835 College Avenue | Kentfield, California 94904
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 90.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Samuel Merritt University
3100 Telegraph Avenue | Oakland, California 94609
  • Direct Entry MSN: 90.3% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Contra Costa College
2600 Mission Bell Drive | San Pablo, California 94806
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 90.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Unitek College - Fremont
4670 Auto Mall Parkway | Fremont, California 94538
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 90.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 75.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
California State University, East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard | Hayward, California 94542
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 88.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street | San Francisco, California 94117
  • Direct Entry MSN: 88.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.4% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
San Jose State University
One Washington Square | San Jose, California 95192
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.1% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Evergreen Valley College
3095 Yerba Buena Road | San Jose, California 95135
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue | San Francisco, California 94132
  • Direct Entry MSN: 87.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 83.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Mission College
3000 Mission College Boulevard | Santa Clara, California 95054
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 86.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 76.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2016-17)
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue | San Francisco, California 94112
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 85.1% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 75.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Unitek College - San Jose
1901 Charcot Avenue | San Jose, California 95131
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 84.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
De Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek Boulevard | Cupertino, California 95014
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 84.3% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
College of San Mateo
1700 West Hillsdale Boulevard | San Mateo, California 94402
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 80.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Dominican University of California
50 Acacia Avenue | San Rafael, California 94901
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 78.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
NCP College of Nursing - Hayward
21615 Hesperian Boulevard, Suite A | Hayward, California 94541
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 74.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
NCP College of Nursing - South San Francisco
257 Longford Drive, Suite Five | South San Francisco, California 94080
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 74.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts - San Mateo
2121 South El Camino Real, Building C-200 | San Mateo, California 94403
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 73.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts - Concord
1401 Willow Pass Road, Suite 450 | Concord, California 94520
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 73.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Carrington College - San Jose
6201 San Ignacio Avenue | San Jose, California 95119
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 69.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
American College of Nursing
1855 Gateway Boulevard, Suite 180 | Concord, California 94520
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 69.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
WestMed College - San Jose
3031 Tisch Way, Suite 8PW | San Jose, California 95128
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 64.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Holy Names University
3500 Mountain Boulevard | Oakland, California 94619
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 61.6% NCLEX pass rate (2012-13 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Bay Area College of Nursing - Daly City
6767 Mission Street | Daly City, California 94014
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 54.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Bay Area College of Nursing - Palo Alto
824 San Antonio Road | Palo Alto, California 94303
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 54.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Oikos University
7850 Edgewater Drive | Oakland, California 94621
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 53.9% NCLEX pass rate (2010 through Q1 2013)
Medical Career College
41300 Christy Street | Fremont, California 94538
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 46.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Mt. Diablo Adult Education
1266 San Carlos Avenue | Concord, California 94518
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
University of Phoenix - Bay Area
3590 North First Street | San Jose, California 95134
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
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