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While the city of San Francisco offers a variety of opportunities for registered nurses (RNs), licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), and nursing assistants (CNAs), these positions are competitive and challenging. RNs are responsible for treating patients, operating medical equipment, establishing care plans, and educating patients and the public about medical conditions. Some even run health screening clinics, blood drives, and more. LVNs care for the sick or injured under the supervision of RNs, surgeons, and physicians. CNAs provide hands-on care and perform routine tasks under the supervision of nursing and other medical staff.

To become an RN, you must hold an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in registered nursing and successfully pass the NCLEX-RN national licensure examination. LVNs must completed a state-approved certificate or associate’s degree program and pass their own national licensure examination, the NCLEX-PN. CNAs require a brief certificate program (typically just a few months) and state certification.

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Graduates of these programs are prepared to seek positions at top San Francisco hospitals such as UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco General Hospital, St. Francis Memorial Hospital, and San Francisco VA Medical Center. Besides excellent employment opportunities, graduates here can expect to earn some of the highest salaries in the nursing field. San Francisco’s 14,630 RNs average $131,840 per year, the highest average RN salary in the United States. The city’s 2,170 LVNs earn $60,950 annually, and its 4,210 CNAs average $40,580 per year; the latter is also the highest average CNA salary in the country.

Below we’ve compiled a list of accredited nursing schools in San Francisco that offer some of the best RN, LVN, and CNA education programs in California.

Featured Schools

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San Francisco nursing schools by NCLEX score

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
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 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
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
School Program NCLEX score Time period
University of California, San Francisco Direct Entry MSN 94.0% 2007-08 to 2016-17
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
LVN-to-RN 45-Unit Option
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate PhD
University of San Francisco Direct Entry MSN 88.6% 2007-08 to 2016-17
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87.4% 2007-08 to 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 Francisco State University Direct Entry MSN 87.0% 2007-08 to 2016-17
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 83.0% 2007-08 to 2016-17
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
City College of San Francisco Associate's Degree in Nursing 85.1% 2007-08 to 2016-17
Certificate in Vocational Nursing 75.3% 2009 to Q1 2013
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option