Vocational Nursing Program

Associate in Science Degree (AS)

Certificate of Achievement (COA)

The Vocational Nursing (VN) program is a full-time BVNPT approved program, 3 semesters in length. Each semester is 12 units.

Instruction is provided over 4 days per week, with varying times for theory and clinical. Graduates of the program receive a Certificate of Achievement and are qualified to take the NCLEX-PN licensure examination. If additional course requirements are met, the Associate Degree in Science can be earned. There are mandatory nursing orientations. Students may be dismissed for excessive absenteeism. Students are expected to take the seat in the semester offered.

The licensed vocational nurse is qualified to find career opportunities in sub-acute and skilled nursing care facilities, outpatient clinics, doctor’s offices, corrections and home health. Clinical experiences in the program are at Sutter Health, Dignity Health and Eskaton Care Center, Greenhaven.

Applicants with a conviction history may not be allowed in a clinical facility and may not be qualified for a nursing license. The BVNPT has the right to deny any graduate the opportunity to take the licensure exam.

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Enrollment Eligibility

To be eligible for enrollment in the program, the student must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete program application and submit by due date to be considered for acceptance into the program
  • 12th grade or equivalent as granted by the California State Department of Education
  • BIOL 100 with a grade of “B” or better; or BIOL 430 and BIOL 431 with grades of “B” or better
  • AH 110, FCS 324, NUTRI 300, and PSYC 300 with a grade of “C” or better and a cumulative GPA of 2.5 in these four (4) courses
  • ENGRD 11 or eligibility for ENGRD 110 as determined by the reading assessment process for applicants who do not have an Associate Degree or higher
  • In-progress grades will not be accepted for prerequisite courses. Courses taken for credit/no credit (C/NC) will be calculated into GPA’s as a “C” grade.
  • It is highly recommended that the student take a medical dosage calculation class prior to beginning the program.
  • A grade of 75% or better is mandatory in each required course for progression in the vocational nursing program. If the clinical performance is “unsatisfactory,” the semester grade will be “F” regardless of achievement in theory.
  • Completion of the Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS), developed by the Assessment Technologies Institute, LLC (ATI). Testing provides diagnostic information for individual remediation while in the program. Additional information is available on this Nursing website
  • The SCC Nursing Program reserves the right to make changes in the enrollment process, academic requirement, grading standards, and other processes without notice at any time
  • Admission, Reentry or Transfer: please refer to menu above on this Nursing website

Recommended High School Preparation

Classes in biology, mathematics, and English.

Enrollment Process

Eligible students are selected for the program according to the following steps:

  • A Los Rios Community College District student identification number is required to access the online application. A successfully completed online application along with submission of required supporting documentation will determine eligibility for the random selection pool from which a class is selected. Student must reapply each semester. There is no waiting list.
  • Applications for enrollment and all supporting documentation as requested per enrollment application must be submitted to the Science and Allied Health Division during open enrollment only.
  • Students accepted to the nursing program will be required to undergo a criminal background check and a drug screening test prior to the first day of class.
  • NOTE: Vocational Nursing courses must be taken in sequence

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • utilize the nursing process within organized health care systems to help patients with common illnesses meet their basic human needs through direct patient care services.
  • provide individualized nursing measures to assist patients in need of rehabilitation, including lifestyle changes in the hospital, home, or in the community.
  • apply established standards of care, critical thinking skills, and scientific knowledge when performing nursing functions or procedures.
  • maintain therapeutic communication essential to the achievement of health-related patient and/or organizational goals.
  • demonstrate the ability to accurately report and document patient assessments, interventions, changes in patient status, and outcomes of care in the written and electronic medical record (EMR).
  • act as a patient advocate and teacher in assisting patients and families to prevent illness and maintain their optimum level of functioning and health.
  • organize care for a group of patients and participate in providing direction for personnel with less preparation or experiences in other than acute care settings.
  • apply knowledge of cultural patterns, beliefs, and practices in providing culturally sensitive competent care.
  • assume responsibility for his/her own professional development and function with accountability within the legal boundaries of LVN practice.

Program Description

The Vocational Nursing Program at Sacramento City College is approved by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. Upon successful completion of the three-semester, 53-unit program, the student is eligible to apply for the National Licensing Examination to qualify as a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Students enrolled in this program are required to complete nursing courses with related clinical experiences. The program issues a certificate upon completion and prepares the graduate for employment. With completion of additional requirements, an Associate in Science Degree may be achieved. In addition to regular expenses such as enrollment fees, living costs, activity fees, and books, nursing students have the expense of uniforms, equipment, malpractice insurance, graduation, and licensing costs. Students are also responsible for their physical examination, immunizations, background check, and drug screen, as well as transportation to and from clinical agencies for day and evening learning experiences. All students must have a current CPR with Automated External Defibrillator (AED) from the American Heart Association or Professional Rescuer American Red Cross.

Students with a conviction record will be required to disclose this information to the State Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT). The board reviews individual circumstances on a case-by-case basis to determine whether a person is qualified to be licensed as a Vocational Nurse. For further information consult the BVNPT website at http://www.bvnpt.ca.gov/enforcement/enforcement_faq.shtml

The nursing program is a full-time rigorous course of study. In order to ensure academic success and to protect students’ health, full time employment is not advisable. It is recommended that students who must continue outside employment reduce their hours to 8-12 hours or less per week.

Informational meetings are held several times each semester and provide prospective students with information on program prerequisites, enrollment process, and other facts about the program. For information call (916) 558-2271 or visit the SCC web site.

Recommended high school preparation: classes in biology, mathematics, and English.

Completion Requirements

Associates in Science Degree (AS)

The Nursing, Vocational Associate in Science (A.S.) degree may be obtained by completion of the required program, plus general education requirements, plus sufficient electives to meet a 60-unit total. See SCC graduation requirements.

Certificate of Achievement (COA)

The Certificate of Achievement may be obtained by completion of the required program with grade of “C” or better or equivalent.

Career Opportunities

This program prepares the student for employment as a licensed vocational nurse. The LVN may work in:

  • doctors’ offices
  • ambulatory care settings
  • skilled nursing facilities
  • correctional facilities
  • home health
  • long term care facilities

to provide basic patient care to clients of all ages under the supervision and direction of physicians or registered nurses. The specific procedures performed vary greatly depending on the work setting.

Program Requirements

  • Applicants must be able to read, write, and speak English.
  • High school preparation includes algebra, biology, and chemistry with laboratory experience.
  • Other college preparation courses include Medical Dosage Calculations, Pre-Algebra or eligible Elementary Algebra, and English Reading.
  • Educational requirements include a high school transcript or GED, prior college degree, or foreign high school NACES evaluation for equivalency in the United States.
  • If the candidate does not have an A.S. Degree or higher, an English Reading Skill Development course or eligibility to take an Efficient Reading course, is required.



There are a total of 15-22 (22 total units if Bio 430 & 431 completed) prerequisite units for the program. Prerequisite courses include:

  • BIOL 100 Introduction to Concepts of Human Anatomy and Physiology, 3 units, or
  • BIOL 430 & 431 Anatomy and Physiology, 10 units

with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Also required is:

  • AH 110 Medical Language for Health-Care Providers, 3 units
  • NUTRI 300 Nutrition or NUTRI 480 Nutrition Honors, 3 units
  • FCS 324 Human Development: A Life Span (also known as PSYC 370), 3 units
  • PSYC 300 General Principles or PYSC 480 General Principles Honors, 3 units

with a minimal GPA of 2.5 or above.

Financial Requirements

The financial requirements of the program are approximately $4000, which includes:

  • tuition
  • uniforms
  • books
  • Nurse Kit
  • physical examination
  • background check and drug screen
  • immunizations
  • immunization tracker
  • CPR certification
  • malpractice insurance
  • badges
  • graduation
  • licensing fees

The student must have access to a computer, Internet, printer, ink and paper; the student must also have reliable transportation to off-campus clinical facilities. Financial aid and scholarships are available. Applicants are encouraged to meet with a SCC counselor and attend VN Program Information Meetings.

Applying to the Program

The applicant must apply to the district to obtain student identification number which is essential to access the online application process through eServices. Students must reapply each open enrollment period; there are no waiting lists. All documents must be submitted with the online application cover page. Incomplete applications are not processed. It is the responsibility of the student to make sure there are no missing documents.

TEAS Assessment

The student must take the Test for Essential Academic Skills from the Assessment Technology Institute (ATI TEAS) before applying. The ATI TEAS test provides diagnostic information for individual remediation while in the program The TEAS may be taken at any ATI testing site.

There is a TEAS Study Package ($115) which includes a study manual and practice tests available for purchase at www.atitesting.com/onlinestore. There are limited copies on reserve in the Learning Resource Center (LRC). Sacramento City College offers a Prerequisite Skills Assistance Course (LTAT 92) for 0.5 units, which provides software specific review for each area of TEAS test and is coordinated by Learning Skills and Tutoring Center in LRC.


Instruction is provided over 4 days per week, with varying times for theory and clinical. There are mandatory nursing orientations. Students may be dismissed for excessive absenteeism. Students are expected to take the seat in the semester offered.