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

What does it take to become a registered nurse (RN), licensed vocational nurse (LVN), or nursing assistant (CNA) in the San Francisco Bay metro area? Because RNs must perform a variety of challenging tasks – including administering treatments and medication, establishing care plans, and operating complex medical equipment – hospitals and healthcare providers require an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), or master of science in nursing (MSN). Many employers prefer a BSN or MSN degree.

Some of the top employers for RNs in the San Francisco Bay area are hospitals and healthcare providers. These include John Muir Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, and Mills-Peninsula Health Services.

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LVNs and CNAs must also meet education requirements. LVNs measure and record vital signs, prepare and give injections, and collect samples for testing. To prepare, they must complete a certificate or associate’s degree program in licensed vocational nursing, typically requiring 12 to 24 months of study. CNAs clean and bathe patients, assist with dressing and eating, and check vital signs. They must complete an accredited training program and obtain certification.

Graduates of RN, LVN, or CNA programs in California will join a considerable community of nursing professionals that enjoy the highest salaries in the field. The San Francisco Bay metro area is home to 34,710 RNs averaging $129,750 per year, 6,430 LVNs averaging $61,480 per year, and 11,480 CNAs averaging $36,100 per year. All of these salaries are significantly higher than the national averages for each role.

The following is a list of accredited nursing schools in California’s San Francisco Bay metro area that offer top-tier education programs in all areas of this lucrative field.

San Francisco Bay metro area nursing schools by NCLEX score

Chabot College
25555 Hesperian Boulevard | Hayward, California 94545
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 97.7% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Los Medanos College
2700 East Leland Road | Pittsburg, California 94565
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 97.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 88.4% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Merritt College
12500 Campus Drive | Oakland, California 94619
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 96.1% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Gavilan College
5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard | Gilroy, California 95020
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 95.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 90.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Ohlone College
39399 Cherry Street | Newark, California 94560
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 94.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
University of California, San Francisco
500 Parnassus Avenue | San Francisco, California 94143
Master's in Registered Nursing: 93.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Doctor's in Registered Nursing
Contra Costa College
2600 Mission Bell Drive | San Pablo, California 94806
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 92.9% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Samuel Merritt University
3100 Telegraph Avenue | Oakland, California 94609
Master's in Registered Nursing: 92.9% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 88.8% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Master's in Nurse Anesthetist; Master's in Family Practice Nursing
California State University, East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard | Hayward, California 94542
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 91.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street | San Francisco, California 94117
Master's in Registered Nursing: 91.3% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 88.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Doctor's in Family Practice Nursing; Graduate Certificate in Family Practice Nursing; Master's in Clinical Nurse Specialist; Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nurse Specialist; Doctor's in Registered Nursing
Unitek College - Fremont
4670 Auto Mall Parkway | Fremont, California 94538
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 90.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 75.1% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
College of Marin
835 College Avenue | Kentfield, California 94904
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 89.2% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue | San Francisco, California 94132
Master's in Registered Nursing: 88.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 84.1% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Carrington College California - Pleasant Hill
380 Civic Drive, Suite 300 | Pleasant Hill, California 94523
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 87.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue | San Francisco, California 94112
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 86.9% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 75.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Mission College
3000 Mission College Boulevard | Santa Clara, California 95054
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 86.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 82.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Evergreen Valley College
3095 Yerba Buena Road | San Jose, California 95135
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 85.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
San Jose State University
One Washington Square | San Jose, California 95192
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 84.9% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Master's in Registered Nursing
Unitek College - San Jose
1901 Charcot Avenue | San Jose, California 95131
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 84.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
De Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek Boulevard | Cupertino, California 95014
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 82.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
College of San Mateo
1700 West Hillsdale Boulevard | San Mateo, California 94402
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 79.9% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing
Dominican University of California
50 Acacia Avenue | San Rafael, California 94901
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 78.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Master's in Registered Nursing
NCP College of Nursing - Hayward
21615 Hesperian Boulevard, Suite A | Hayward, California 94541
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 74.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
NCP College of Nursing - South San Francisco
257 Longford Drive, Suite Five | South San Francisco, California 94080
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 74.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts - San Mateo
2121 South El Camino Real, Building C-200 | San Mateo, California 94403
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 73.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts - Concord
1401 Willow Pass Road, Suite 450 | Concord, California 94520
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 73.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Carrington College California - San Leandro
15555 East 14th Street, Suite 500 | San Leandro, California 94578
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 70.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Programs offered: Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Carrington College California - San Jose
6201 San Ignacio Avenue | San Jose, California 95119
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 69.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Programs offered: Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing
American College of Nursing
1855 Gateway Boulevard, Suite 180 | Concord, California 94520
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 69.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
WestMed College - San Jose
3031 Tisch Way, Suite 8PW | San Jose, California 95128
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 64.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Bay Area College of Nursing - Daly City
6767 Mission Street | Daly City, California 94014
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 54.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Bay Area College of Nursing - Palo Alto
824 San Antonio Road | Palo Alto, California 94303
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 54.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Oikos University
7850 Edgewater Drive | Oakland, California 94621
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 53.9% NCLEX pass rate (2010 through Q1 2013)
Medical Career College
41300 Christy Street | Fremont, California 94538
Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing: 46.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through Q1 2013)
Holy Names University
3500 Mountain Boulevard | Oakland, California 94619
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 Public Health and Community Nursing
Mt Diablo Adult Education
1266 San Carlos Avenue | Concord, California 94518
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing Assistant
University of Phoenix - Bay Area
3590 North First Street | San Jose, California 95134
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Nursing Administration; Master's in Nursing Education
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