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Did you know that the largest profession in California is nursing, not entertainment? It’s true! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California is home to more than 450,000 nurse practitioners (NPs), registered nurses (RNs), licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs). In Pasadena, many of these healthcare professionals earned their degree or certificate at a top local college such as Integrity College of Health, North-West College, or Pasadena City College.

These schools offer a breadth of nursing programs. For example, Integrity College of Health has a vocational nursing program, while Pasadena City College has an LVN certificate, an associate of science in nursing (ASN) for aspiring RNs, and an LVN-to-RN bridge program. North-West College offers the rare associate of arts in nursing (AAN) as well as an LVN certificate program.

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Graduates of Pasadena’s nursing schools are prepared to seek positions at the city’s major hospitals and healthcare centers. The area has many large healthcare employers including Huntington Memorial Hospital, Aurora Las Encinas Hospital, Verdugo Hills Hospital, and Glendale Adventist Medical Center. Depending on the role, yearly earnings can range from $30,000 for entry-level positions to $180,000 or more for advanced roles.

Nurse practitioner is one such advanced role. NPs diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications, order diagnostic tests, and administer physical exams. They also perform medical procedures such as biopsies, cryotherapy, and casting. Nurses in this field must first become RNs and then pursue specialized graduate education. A master of science in nursing (MSN), doctor of nursing practice (DNP), or doctor of philosophy (PhD) in nursing are common pathways. Specializing in a focal area of nursing is common as well. Popular NP focal areas include acute care, family practice, gerontology, cardiology, pediatrics, and emergency care.

Registered nurse is also a senior nursing role. RNs coordinate patient care, administer treatments and medications, and educate patients about medical conditions. They typically work side-by-side with doctors and physicians, and they often supervise LVNs and CNAs. RNs usually hold an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Some may also hold an MSN. Besides a degree, a valid license is required to practice, so RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Vocational nurses care for the sick and injured under the supervision of RNs, physicians, and surgeons. They often supervise CNAs and other junior healthcare personnel. LVNs must complete a state-approved certificate or associate’s degree program and pass the NCLEX-PN national licensure examination.

Nursing assistants fill entry-level patient care roles. They frequently bathe patients, help them get dressed, serve them meals, and transfer them between the wheelchair and bed. CNAs work under the supervision of RNs, LVNs, and other medical staff. They must complete a brief training program of approximately 100 hours and obtain state certification.

If you want to start your nursing career in Pasadena, California, don’t hesitate. We’ve compiled below a complete list of local nursing schools to get you started.

Featured Schools

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Pasadena nursing schools by NCLEX score

Pasadena City College
1570 East Colorado Boulevard | Pasadena, California 91106
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 89.7% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2016-17)
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 80.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
North-West College - Pasadena
530 East Union Street | Pasadena, California 91101
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 88.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Integrity College of Health
1460 North Lake Avenue, Suite 102 | Pasadena, California 91104
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing: 69.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Pasadena City College Associate's Degree in Nursing 89.7% 2007-08 to 2016-17
Certificate in Vocational Nursing 80.6% 2009 to Q1 2013
LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
North-West College - Pasadena Certificate in Vocational Nursing 88.0% 2009 to 2012
Integrity College of Health Certificate in Vocational Nursing 69.1% 2009 to Q1 2013