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

San Diego County is home to one the nation’s largest populations of nursing professionals. Approximately 23,670 registered nurses (RNs) live in the area, as well as 8,320 nursing assistants (CNAs) and 5,170 licensed vocational nurses (LVNs). These skilled professionals work at a variety of top hospitals and healthcare centers, such as Tri-City Medical Center, San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care Center, Kindred Hospital, and Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

San Diego County RNs, LVNs, and CNAs perform a variety of challenging duties that require the right education, training, and licensure. RNs treat patients, administer medication, establish care plans, and educate the public about health conditions. LVNs measure and record vital signs, dress wounds, and collect samples for testing. CNAs handle basic tasks such as bathing patients, serving meals, assisting with eating, and checking vital signs.

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To prepare for these positions, RNs must complete an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), or master of science in nursing (MSN) program and obtain a license. Many employers prefer a BSN or MSN, especially for high-level positions. LVNs must complete a state-approved certificate or associate’s degree program and obtain a license, while CNAs must complete an accredited training program and obtain certification.

In addition to a variety of employment opportunities, graduates can expect to earn a competitive salary in their respective fields. Currently, San Diego County-based RNs average $83,160 per year, LVNs average $48,190 per year, and CNAs average $27,670 per year.

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

San Diego County nursing schools by NCLEX score

Point Loma Nazarene University
3900 Lomaland Drive | San Diego, California 92106
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 96.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Master's in Nursing Administration
MiraCosta College
One Barnard Drive | Oceanside, California 92056
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 95.2% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 90.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing; Certificate in Nursing Assistant
Palomar College
1140 West Mission Road | San Marcos, California 92069
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 95.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park | San Diego, California 92110
Master's in Registered Nursing: 93.9% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Master's in Adult Health Nursing; Master's in Family Practice Nursing; Doctor's in Nursing Science; Master's in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing; Master's in Clinical Nurse Specialist; Doctor's in Nursing Practice; Master's in Clinical Nurse Leader
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive | San Diego, California 92182
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 91.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Master's in Registered Nursing
San Diego City College
1313 Park Boulevard | San Diego, California 92101
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 91.4% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Concorde Career College - San Diego
4393 Imperial Avenue, Suite 100 | San Diego, California 92113
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 91.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
California State University, San Marcos
333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road | San Marcos, California 92096
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 90.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2011-12)
Grossmont Health Occupations Center
9368 Oakbourne Road | Santee, California 92071
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 90.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Grossmont College
8800 Grossmont College Drive | El Cajon, California 92020
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 87.1% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Kaplan College - San Diego
9055 Balboa Avenue | San Diego, California 92123
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 84.8% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 68.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing
Southwestern College
8100 Gigantic Street | San Diego, California 92154
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 80.1% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 68.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Programs offered: Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing
National University
3678 Aero Court | San Diego, California 92123
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 78.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Kaplan College - Vista
2022 University Drive | Vista, California 92083
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 77.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing Assistant
United States University
830 Bay Boulevard | Chula Vista, California 91911
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 69.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Master's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Family Practice Nursing
UEI College - Chula Vista
310 Third Avenue, Suites C6-C7 | Chula Vista, California 91910
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 58.9% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through Q1 2013)
California College San Diego
6602 Convoy Court, Suite 100 | San Diego, California 92111
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
San Diego Continuing Education
4343 Ocean View Boulevard | San Diego, California 92113
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing Assistant
University of Phoenix - San Diego
9645 Granite Ridge Drive | San Diego, California 92123
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Nursing Administration; Master's in Nursing Education
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