One of the fastest paths to licensure as a registered nurse is an associate’s degree in nursing, or ADN, program. Associate’s degree options vary by school and may include an associate of science (AS) and/or an associate of applied science (AAS) track. These programs take approximately two years of fulltime study to complete, and they prepare graduates to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Licensed vocational nurses provide frontline patient care under the supervision of surgeons, physicians, and registered nurses. They collect samples for testing, monitor medical equipment, measure vital signs, dress wounds, provide injections, and gather medical information from patients. Some LVNs even help to deliver, care for, and feed infants. Experienced LVNs may supervise certified nursing assistants and aides (CNAs).

One of the fastest routes to licensure as a registered nurse (RN) is an associate’s degree program. A traditional ADN curriculum requires two years of fulltime study and prepares graduates to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Many of California’s approved ADN schools also offer an advanced placement option for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), often called an LVN-to-RN bridge program. Indeed, several schools like Allan Hancock College and College of the Siskiyous offer only the LVN-to-RN track.

Licensed vocational nurses care for the sick, injured, convalescent, and disabled under the supervision of registered nurses, surgeons, and physicians. They measure and record vital signs, dress wounds, prepare and give injections, collect samples for testing, and clean and monitor medical equipment. LVNs also gather information from patients for medical and insurance purposes, teach family members how to care for patients, and supervise junior healthcare staff such as certified nursing assistants (CNAs).

For our 2020 rankings, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac collected data on over 3,000 nursing schools and campuses throughout the United States. More than 1,100 of the institutions surveyed were private, including vocational and career schools, liberal arts colleges, and universities. We evaluated each school on three dimensions:

For our 2020 rankings, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac collected data on over 3,000 nursing schools and campuses throughout the United States. More than 1,800 of the institutions surveyed were public, including community and technical colleges, four-year colleges, and universities. We evaluated each school on three dimensions: