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California Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN'S) are eligible to apply for a one-year transition program known as the Step-Up LVN to ADN Program. Students take a transition course before joining the ADN class in the third semester of the program. Credit toward first-year ADN courses is granted upon evidence of LVN licensure. 

The Step-Up Program provides basic education and experience in Nursing which will qualify the graduate for an entry-level Registered Nurse (RN) position in health care agencies following licensure. A cohort of Step-Up students are admitted once per year and complete the second year of the ADN program.

The Step-Up class in 2021 will begin Spring 2021, and not during summer semester as it had in previous years. Moving forward, future Step-Up classes will begin in spring semester. 

Transcripts & Foreign Degrees

Official transcripts from other colleges attended must be mailed directly from previous institution(s) and sent to Southwestern College (SWC) Admissions & Records Department: 900 Otay Lakes, Chula Vista, CA 91910. Once official transcripts are received by SWC, you may submit a request to have your transcripts evaluated by the College. Evaluation of transcripts is not automatic. 

Transcripts from an institution(s) outside of the United States (U.S.) must be evaluated by a certified credentials evaluation service before credit can be granted. If you have a degree from a college or university outside the U.S., your transcript must be evaluated by an approved National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) agency. A copy of the evaluated transcript must be submitted with your application packet to meet program and/or graduation requirements.

Quarter units are not equal to semester units. Transfer courses taken on the quarter system may not be equivalent to the required semester units.

Other Qualifications

In addition to the prerequisites, applicants must provide evidence of the following qualifications at time of application:

  • Copy of current California LVN license; 
  • Verification of U.S. high school diploma or satisfactory score on the GED or other high school equivalency test;
  • Demonstrate college-level math:
    • a grade of “C” or higher in Math 60 or higher math course with equivalent content, except MATH 100 or MATH 115 which do not meet the minimum program standards; 
    • placement into Math 60 on College math assessment;
    • an approved petition (forms available from the College Assessment Office).
    • Recommended for students planning to transfer to a BSN Program: MATH 119, PSYC 270, or SOC 270. These statistics courses can also be used to satisfy the Math 60 program prerequisite.
  • Demonstrate college-level reading:
    • a grade of “C” or higher in ENGL 115 or equivalent reading course (ADN 140 will be honored if taken prior to Fall 2020);
    • a result of “proficiency” on the College reading assessment;
    • an approved petition (forms available from the College Assessment Office);
  • Work experience as a LVN:
    • one-year of recent work experience preferred but not required as a LVN in an acute or sub-acute setting.

30-Unit Option

California LVN's may take the "30 unit option" but will not be graduates from the nursing program or the College unless all other requirements are met. Please contact the director of the program for an explanation of the advantages and limitations of this option. Vocational nurses completing this option may be graduates of the Southwestern College Nursing Program and of the College only if they complete other graduation requirements prior to taking the licensure examination. Only those completing the requirements in the major are eligible to wear the Southwestern College Nursing pin.

TEAS Testing

ALL LVN, Step-Up LVN to ADN and Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) students must pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) Version 6 with a score of 62 or higher. Please visit the TEAS Testing page for more information.

Note: If you apply for the Step-Up Program between July 19, 2021 - September 9, 2021, the previous TEAS policy applies, and you may use a TEAS Version 6 test score dated 2016 – 2021 (updated 8/2021).