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To prepare for a career as a registered nurse (RN) in Santa Barbara, California, you must complete an associate’s (ADN), bachelor of science (BSN), or master of science (MSN) degree program. Licensure is required as well. These programs will prepare you to conduct diagnostic tests and analyze results, establish care plans, operate medical equipment, work with intravenous lines, and much more.

Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) support RNs by measuring and recording vital signs, dressing wounds, preparing and giving injections, monitoring catheters, collecting samples for testing, and cleaning medical equipment. Some even help deliver and care for infants. Aspiring LVNs must complete a certificate or associate’s degree program and obtain a license.

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Nursing assistants (CNAs) perform an entry-level role in Santa Barbara’s healthcare system. They clean and bathe patients, assist with dressing, serve meals, assist with eating, and check patient’s vital signs. Aspiring CNAs must complete a brief accredited training program and obtain certification.

With a comfortable population of 3,010 RNs, 520 LVNs, and 1,160 CNAs, Santa Barbara is a great place to begin a nursing career. The Santa Barbara area is home to major hospitals and healthcare facilities such as Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute at Santa Barbara, Marian Regional Medical Center, and Lompoc Valley Medical Center. RNs at local healthcare facilities average $85,460 in annual salary, LVNs earn $56,880 per year, and CNAs take home about $33,520 annually.

The following is a list of accredited Santa Barbara nursing schools that offer excellent education and training programs in all areas of this rewarding field.

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Santa Barbara nursing schools by NCLEX score

Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Drive | Santa Barbara, California 93109
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 98.1% NCLEX pass rate (2010 through Q1 2013)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 92.1% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Santa Barbara Business College - Santa Maria
303 East Plaza Drive, Suite One | Santa Maria, California 93454
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 96.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Allan Hancock College
800 South College Drive | Santa Maria, California 93454
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 96.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 81.9% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Santa Barbara City College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 98.1% 2010 to Q1 2013
Associate's Degree in Nursing 92.1% 2007-08 to 2016-17
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Santa Barbara Business College - Santa Maria Certificate in Vocational Nursing 96.5% 2009 to Q1 2013
Allan Hancock College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 96.1% 2009 to 2012
Associate's Degree in Nursing 81.9% 2007-08 to 2016-17
Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option