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Orange County, California is home to more than 30 bustling cities. One of the county’s largest cities is Santa Ana. With a population of more than 330,000 residents, Santa Ana houses a considerable percentage of OC’s 18,510 registered nurses (RNs), 6,120 licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), and 8,450 certified nursing assistants (CNAs). These professionals work at top area hospitals such as Coastal Communities Hospital, Kindred Hospital Santa Ana, and Western Medical Center.

RNs perform diagnostic tests and analyze results; administer treatments and medications; operate medical equipment; start, maintain, and discontinue intravenous lines; establish care plans; and educate patients and the public about medical conditions. Some may even manage health screening clinics or blood drives. RNs typically hold an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in the field, and they must successfully pass the national licensure examination before they practice.

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LVNs care for the sick or injured under the supervision of RNs, surgeons, and physicians, while CNAs provide hands-on care and perform routine tasks under the supervision of nursing and medical staff. Aspiring LVNs must complete an accredited certificate or associate’s degree program and pass the licensure examination, while CNAs must complete a brief certificate course and obtain state certification.

Besides employment opportunities at top Santa Ana hospitals, graduates of these programs can expect competitive salaries. Orange County-based RNs average $85,400 per year, LVNs average $48,690 per year, and CNAs average $27,450 per year.

We’ve compiled below a list of Santa Ana’s accredited nursing schools with a broad range of programs for aspiring RNs, LVNs, and CNAs.

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Santa Ana nursing schools by NCLEX score

CNI College
1610 East Saint Andrew Place, Suite 200 | Santa Ana, California 92705
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 92.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 74.5% NCLEX pass rate (2014-15 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Santa Ana College
1530 West 17th Street | Santa Ana, California 92706
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 86.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Western Governors University - Santa Ana
2900 South Harbor Boulevard, Suite 201 | Santa Ana, California 92704
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 82.7% NCLEX pass rate (2011-12 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
School Program NCLEX score Time period
CNI College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 92.6% 2009 to Q1 2013
Associate's Degree in Nursing 74.5% 2014-15 to 2016-17
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Santa Ana College Associate's Degree in Nursing 86.6% 2007-08 to 2016-17
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Western Governors University - Santa Ana Bachelor of Science in Nursing 82.7% 2011-12 to 2016-17
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option