This three-semester curriculum provides education in nursing care and technical and manual skills in working with patients of all age groups. Vocational nurses work under the direction of the registered nurse or physician in settings such as long-term care facilities, home health agencies, physician offices/clinics, and acute care agencies.

Our program began in 1953 and to date, we have more than 1800 students who have completed the program. Vocational nurses in California are called Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) after they pass the state NCLEX-PN examination for licensure (in many other states they are called Licensed Practical nurses).

Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) work under the direction of a physician or registered nurse, utilizing scientific and technical expertise and manual skills to provide direct patient care to assigned patients. Duties within the scope of practice of the LVN typically include, but are not limited to, the provision of basic hygienic nursing care, measurement of temperature, pulse, respirations and blood pressure, basic prescribed medications, performance of skin testing and patient education. Vocational nurses are prepared with the knowledge, skills and ability to administer safe, competent nursing care as a beginning level practitioner in a variety of settings.

You can view a detailed occupational guide for Licensed Vocational Nurses in California published by the State of California Employment Development Department.

Upon successful completion of the three-semester program, the student receives a certificate of completion from Shasta College and is qualified to take the NCLEX-PN examination to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse.

The Board of Vocational Nursing & Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT) publishes the NCLEX-PN first time pass rates.  First-time pass rate reflects the percentage of graduates that pass the NCLEX-PN exam the first time.

The Shasta College Vocational Nursing Program seeks to develop and transmit knowledge regarding nursing practice and delivery of safe and effective health care to various patient populations and diverse cultures. The faculty and students, working collaboratively with the community, share responsibility in creating an educational environment conducive to learning, creative problem-solving approaches and critical thinking skills.


Vocational Nursing is a science and an art with the ultimate goal of providing safe, competent health care. The vocational nurse is committed to:

  • Promotion of optimal health.
  • Promotion of self-care.
  • Prevention of illness.
  • Delivery of quality, evidence-based health care to individuals, families and communities. 

The recipient of nursing care is viewed as a dynamic and holistic being, which includes physiological, psychological, sociological and spiritual life components, living within an ethnic cultural context. The vocational nurse values cultural diversity and provides culturally sensitive care. It is essential to treat all individuals with respect and dignity. The recipient of care is an active member of the health care team and is responsible in making decisions that affect his/her health and health care. 

The vocational nurse provides safe nursing care under the auspice of the registered nurse and/or physician. This care is characterized by critical thinking and problem-solving skills, clinical competence, accountability, effective communication skill and emphasis on health education and a commitment to the value of caring.  

The vocational nurse demonstrates patient advocacy, ethical and legal behavior and responsibility for professional growth throughout their career. Vocational nurses are prepared to provide competent and safe basic level care in a variety of health care settings.

Follow the links below for more information on the following:

Licensed Vocational Nurses interested in becoming a Registered Nurse can access the Associate Degree Nursing Program (RN) Advanced Placement page to finding out more information regarding into the ADN program.