Program of Study

Vocational Nursing
37 week program/1408 VN Training Hours (Total 1652 hours, including Pre-requisites and 10 hours for CNA)


2017 Median Pay  $56,500 per year
$27.19 per hour
Entry-Level Education  Postsecondary non-degree award
Number of Jobs, 2016  724,500
Job Outlook, 2016-2026  12% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2016-2026  88,500

What Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Do:

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (known as LPNs or LVNs, depending on the state in which they work) provide basic medical care. They work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors.

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses typically do the following:

  •     Monitor patients’ health—for example, by checking their blood          pressure
  •     Administer basic nursing care, including changing bandages and inserting catheters
  •     Provide for the basic comfort of patients, such as helping them bathe or dress
  •     Discuss health care with patients and listen to their concerns
  •     Report patients’ status to registered nurses and doctors
  •     Keep records on patients’ health

Duties of LPNs and LVNs vary, depending on their work setting, For example, they may teach family members how to care for a relative; help to deliver, care for, and feed infants; collect samples for testing and do routine laboratory tests; or feed patients who need help eating.

Because medical care is regulated, LPNs and LVNs may be limited to doing certain tasks, depending on their state. In some states, for example, LPNs with proper training can give medication or start intravenous (IV) drips, while in other states they cannot. State regulations govern the extent to which LPNs and LVNs must be directly supervised; for example, an LPN may provide certain forms of care only with instructions from a registered nurse.

Experienced licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses oversee and direct other LPNs or LVNs and unlicensed medical staff.

Job Outlook

Employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. As the U.S. population ages, the overall need for healthcare is expected to increase. This trend will lead to increased employment of LPNs and LVNs in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other healthcare settings. LPNs and LVNs also will be needed in residential care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted-living centers. Many procedures that once could be done only in hospitals are now being done outside of hospitals, creating demand in other settings, such as outpatient care centers.
Job Prospects

A large number of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses are expected to retire over the coming decade. Job prospects should, therefore, be excellent for licensed and experienced LPNs and LVNs.


The median annual wage of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses was $51,800 in May 2013. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,680, and the top 10 percent earned more than $56,010.

Three-fourths of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses worked full time in 2010. The rest worked part time or on variable schedules. Many LPNs and LVNs work nights, weekends, and holidays because medical care takes place at all hours. They may be required to work shifts of longer than 8 hours.

CAJ Program of Study:

The Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center is approved by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians.

Schedule of Classes

  • Theory (Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm)
  • Clinical (Monday-Friday 6:00am-2:30pm)


  • As per the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (hereinafter referred to as “BVNPT”) rules, there is a (5) year time out applied to all prerequisites; which means transfer credit shall be given for related previous education completed within the last five years.  This includes the following courses:
    •  Accredited vocational or practical nursing courses.
    • Accredited registered nursing courses.
    • Accredited psychiatric technician courses.
    • Armed services nursing courses.
    • Certified nurse assistant courses.
    • Other courses the school determines are equivalent to courses in the program.The required prerequisites below must be completed before you will be considered for admission.  Prerequisites may not be taken concurrently with the vocational nursing program.
  • Students intending to take prerequisite classes at other colleges or universities need to verify the numbers of hours are the same.  We acknowledge all WASC accredited schools as well as other adult education schools that are WASC accredited ONLY.
  • You MUST take CNA or have your CNA license.  There is no exception.

How to Apply

1. ALL potential applicants must attend a school orientation and take an assessment which takes place every Wednesday at the main campus located at 5451 Lemon Hill Avenue, Sacramento, CA. No reservation is necessary.

2. In order to have an appointment with the Director of Nursing, you must have a completed file.  This is:

A. High school transcripts; if you didn’t receive your HS transcript, a GED will be accepted.  If you have received your high school education outside of the United States you will need to have your transcripts evaluated.

B. Passing CNET, HESI or TEAS test scores.

C. Official (sealed envelope) transcripts for college work completed to date. We cannot give transfer credit for any courses over five years old.

D. Two (2) Professional Letters of Reference related to your employment duties and abilities and time. We do not accept letters from friends or relatives.

E. Current CPR Cards. 

F.  Copy of CNA Certificate/License.  Your license must be valid.

G.  Immunization Record, TB/PPD, TDAP, Hepatitis A & B Vaccines

H. Must have a recent medical clearance (physical) indicating the potential student has zero restrictions or limitations of lifting up to 100 lbs.

3. Please be advised that we do not maintain a waiting list.  We do not have a lottery system.


Write the Nursing Entrance Examination (Kaplan Admissions Exam) with a passing grade for each section. You will be tested on Reading Ability, Numerical Ability, Language Ability and Science.  

All potential students are required to complete the pre-nursing assessment testing.

In order to be accepted in the program potential students must complete all prerequisites and must have passed Admission Exams in order to get an interview.


  • The total cost of the exam will be $25.00.
  • The student must pay for the exam prior to the test date.  No checks will be accepted.  

Program Cost

Cost of the program is $19,500 plus books which cost approximately $962 (varies based upon changes made by publisher).

Please submit all prerequisite items to Marquita White, Vocational Nursing Program Assistant.  No appointments will be scheduled unless your file is complete.  If you have any questions please contact (916) 433-2600.

Employment Opportunities

  • Hospitals
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Medical Offices
  • Clinics
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Home Health Agencies

Employment Outlook-Excellent!

  • Population aging
  • Healthcare industry growing rapidly
  • Many LVN’s are retiring

CAJ Gainful Employment Data:

• Graduation Rate for Completers:  89%
• Placement Rate for Completers:  85%

Required Orientation & Assessment

  • Every Wednesday 8:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.
  • Please bring your government issued picture ID (i.e. Driver’s License, DMV ID card, etc).