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

Orange County is home to an impressive 18,510 registered nurses (RNs), 8,450 certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and 6,120 licensed vocational nurses (LVNs). These professionals earn some of the most competitive salaries in the healthcare industry. Orange County-based RNs average $85,400 per year, LVNs average $48,690 per year, and CNAs average $27,450 per year.

To break into this lucrative career field, you’ll need the right education, skills, and experience. RNs typically hold an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), or a master of science in nursing (MSN). Licensure is required as well, and many Orange County hospitals and healthcare providers prefer a BSN or MSN degree. LVNs must complete an accredited, state-approved certificate or associate’s degree program and obtain a license, while CNAs must complete an accredited training program and obtain certification.

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With proper training, graduates are well prepared for the demands of these challenging positions. On a typical day, RNs will perform a number of duties including treating patients, performing diagnostic tests, establishing care plans, and providing emotional support to families. LVNs do everything from measuring and recording vital signs to teaching family members how to care for patients. CNAs check vital signs and help patients perform routine tasks such as cleaning, bathing, and eating; some might administer medication.

Skilled nursing professionals are in high demand at some of Orange County’s top hospitals and healthcare centers. These include Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, and St. Jude Medical Center.

The following is a list of Orange County nursing schools that offer some of the best CNA, LVN, ADN, BSN, and MSN programs in the state of California.

Orange County nursing schools by NCLEX score

Western Governors University - Santa Ana
2900 South Harbor Boulevard, Suite 201 | Santa Ana, California 92704
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 100.0% NCLEX pass rate (2011-12 through 2011-12)
Saddleback College
28000 Marguerite Parkway | Mission Viejo, California 92692
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 95.3% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing
Cypress College
9200 Valley View Street | Cypress, California 90630
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 95.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
North Orange County Regional Occupational Program
1617 East Ball Road | Anaheim, California 92805
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 94.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
CNI College
702 West Town and Country Road | Orange, California 92868
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 92.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Concordia University Irvine
1530 Concordia West | Irvine, California 92612
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 92.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Golden West College
15744 Goldenwest Street | Huntington Beach, California 92647
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 90.7% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing
Santa Ana College
1530 West 17th Street | Santa Ana, California 92706
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 89.3% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Stanbridge College
2041 Business Center Drive, Suite 107 | Irvine, California 92612
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 88.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Concorde Career College - Garden Grove
12951 Euclid Street, Suite 101 | Garden Grove, California 92840
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 88.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
West Coast University - Orange County
1477 South Manchester Avenue | Anaheim, California 92802
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 87.0% NCLEX pass rate (2011-12 through 2011-12)
University of California, Irvine
501 Aldrich Hall | Irvine, California 92697
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 83.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Master's in Nursing Science
American Career College - Orange County
1200 North Magnolia Avenue | Anaheim, California 92801
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 78.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
California State University, Fullerton
800 North State College Boulevard | Fullerton, California 92831
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 74.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Master's in Registered Nursing
Pacific College
3160 Red Hill Avenue | Costa Mesa, California 92626
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 71.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing
California Career Institute - Garden Grove
12141 Brookhurst Street, Suite 101 | Garden Grove, California 92840
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 70.0% NCLEX pass rate (2010 through 2012)
Everest College - Anaheim
511 North Brookhurst Street, Suite 300 | Anaheim, California 92801
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 70.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Summit College - Anaheim
1360 South Anaheim Boulevard | Anaheim, California 92805
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 64.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing Assistant
Casa Loma College - Anaheim
2641 West La Palma Avenue | Anaheim, California 92801
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 63.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Bethesda University
730 North Euclid Street | Anaheim, California 92801
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 39.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Brandman University
16355 Laguna Canyon Road | Irvine, California 92618
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Doctor's in Registered Nursing
University of Phoenix - Southern California
3100 Bristol Street | Costa Mesa, California 92626
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Nursing Administration; Master's in Family Practice Nursing; Graduate Certificate in Family Practice Nursing; Master's in Nursing Education
Vanguard University
55 Fair Drive | Costa Mesa, California 92626
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
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