Vocational Nursing Certificate and Degree Programs in Bakersfield

The Bakersfield area has two colleges that offer licensed vocational nursing programs within 50 miles of downtown. Learn about the schools' programs, admission info and program requirements for these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Bakersfield Vocational Nursing Programs

Aspiring licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) in the Bakersfield, CA, area have only a couple schools to choose from. This article highlights these schools, which are both less than an hour from downtown Bakersfield. The table at the end of the article compares valuable school statistics, such as tuition and graduation rates.

  • Bakersfield College is a large community college located 4.3 miles from downtown Bakersfield. The school offers a Certificate of Achievement in Vocational Nursing.
  • Located 50.9 miles from Bakersfield is Porterville College, a small, public community college that offers an LVN certificate program.

Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College offers several educational and vocational opportunities at the certificate and associate's degree level. Nursing programs are offered through the Allied Health Division, which also offers the radiologic technology and EMT programs.

LVN Certificate

The Certificate of Achievement Vocational Nursing program at Bakersfield College is three semesters and provides students with the knowledge and training to begin working in the field. LVN academic courses include nursing fundamentals, basic pharmacology, gerontological nursing and pediatric nursing. Clinical laboratory work ensures that students have medical-surgical and patient/newborn nursing skills. Graduates should be prepared to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

Porterville College

Established in 1927, Porterville College offers educational programs that lead to Job Skills Certificate (JSC), Certificate of Achievement (COA) and associate's degree programs. In addition to nursing programs, the Division of Health Careers offers a psychiatric technology program.

LVN Certificate

The three-semester LVN certificate program at Porterville College provides students with the opportunity to complete nursing classes and train in a hospital setting. During the first semester, students take classes covering topics involving fundamentals of nursing, life span development and medical-surgical nursing. The following two semesters ensures that students have a basic understanding of the endocrine, respiratory and nervous system, as well as pediatric and maternity nursing. Clinical practice is required each semester. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN.

Comparison of Schools

The table below, which compares important school information, can make it easier to choose the right school.

Bakersfield College Porterville College
School Type Two-year; public Two-year; public
Total Enrollment (2011) 17,619* 4,190*
Campus Setting Large city Small city
Tuition $4,044 total cost (2012-2013)* $4,618 total cost (2011)
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2011) 72%* 88%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2011) 71%* 70%*
Graduation Rate (students who began in 2008) 19%* 18%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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