A (Health) Caring Career
The Vocational Nursing (VN) degree and certificate programs at Southwestern College prepare students for direct patient care. A major portion of the educational experience takes place in a variety of healthcare settings, including hands-on lab work in state-of-the-art Southwestern College facilities.
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- Upon completion of the program, the student will demonstrate the ability to articulate professionally and competently in the healthcare setting on issues regarding patient care.
- Demonstrate the ability to analyze patient data related to the medical condition(s) and adjust patient care according to the findings.
- Upon completion of the program, the student will demonstrate the ability to analyze patient data related to the medical condition(s) and adjust patient care according to the findings.
- Upon completion of the program, the student will analyze, compute and correctly provide medications to the patient in the healthcare setting.
- Upon completion of the program, the student will demonstrate collegiality and appropriate communication techniques when working with diverse healthcare providers, patients and family members.
- Upon completion of the program, the student will demonstrate critical thinking skills and differentiation in plan of care for patients from various cultural backgrounds.
A Look Into Vocational Nursing
The Southwestern College Vocational Nursing Program is approved by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. Any student has the right to contact the BVNPT at any time throughout the Vocational Nursing Program.
The address and telephone number of the BVNPT:
Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, #205
Sacramento, CA 95833-2919
About Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) and the program
Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN's) provide direct patient care under the supervision of physicians, dentists, and registered nurses in a variety of health care settings such as clinics, long-term care, home health, and in some cases acute care settings. Students who successfully complete the Vocational Nursing Program are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN examination to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse.
The VN program is three-semesters in length and includes supervised clinical experience in local health care facilities. Students should be prepared to be in class or clinical as early as 6:30 am. Some classes may be scheduled in the evening hours and/or on weekends. In addition to the nursing courses, each student must satisfactorily complete required general education courses which may be taken prior to or concurrently with nursing courses (Psych 101 during the third semester). We strongly recommend that the general education courses be taken prior to the nursing courses. Basic computer skills are strongly recommended.
Vocational Nursing courses must be taken in sequence. A minimum grade of “C” or better is required for classes (theory) and “CR” (credit) in laboratory/clinical courses in each nursing course to continue in the program.
The Nursing Program policy supports the provision of reasonable accommodations to assist students with disabilities in the program
After completing the Vocational Nursing (VN) Program prerequisites and other requirements, you may submit your VN application packet. Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) for prerequisites and TEAS test score will be considered for program admission.
The application period for the VN class that begins Fall 2024 is:
March 4 - April 12, 2024
The VN Program application packet can be submitted in person or by U.S. Mail.
If sending by mail, it must be postmarked by the deadline to be considered
- Download and review the Vocational Nursing Program Checklist & Application (PDF) for details on all that is needed to apply.
- The required documents and forms on pages 1-2 must be submitted by the application deadline (April 12, 2024).
- If you are offered a seat in the program, additional documents and forms listed on page 3 will be submitted by specific dates provided to you by the Nursing & Health Occupation Programs (NHOP) Office.
Letters of acceptance will be emailed to SWC email accounts after the application deadline and after all applications have been reviewed. Notifications will not be sent to personal email accounts. Applicants who are accepted into the program will NOT be able to postpone their acceptance and will need to reapply, if they defer.
The Vocational Nursing (VN) Program is three-semesters in length (fall and spring semesters only; no classes, lab or clinicals during the summer). 30 students are accepted every 18 months. Seats are offered only to those applicants who have verified completion of the program prerequisites courses with a letter grade of "C" or better and other program requirements. Coursework in progress will not be accepted.
*Official transcripts from previously attended colleges must be sent college to college. Have your previous college(s) send official transcripts by mail or electronically to: SWC Admission and Records, 900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista, CA. 91910.
Transfer credit for courses taken at a non-academic institution or in another school's nursing program (e.g., military or armed-services medical training; courses taken in a practical, vocational, or registered nursing program; certified nursing assistant courses, etc.) will be evaluated for transfer credit on a case-by-case basis. These courses must have been completed within five years of application to SWC VN Program, and may require skill testing and/or written examinations to verify skill and knowledge competency (Vocational Nursing Practice Act, Article 5, Section 2535).
- *SWC defines official transcripts as those sent directly from college to college. Transcripts in a student's hands are considered "unofficial transcripts," even if transcripts are in a sealed and stamped envelope.
- Important: Program prerequisites completed outside of SWC must be cleared by the Prerequisites Office using a Program Enrollment Prerequisite Evaluation (PEPE) form. Please see the Vocational Nursing Program Checklist & Application (PDF) for details and link to the form. It takes 3-5 business days to process this form and a copy must be included in your VN application packet to show prerequisites taken at previously attended colleges have been cleared for the program.
Vocational Nurse (VN) Prerequisites
|Program Prerequisites||Course Number||Units||Complete PRIOR to Program Prerequisites|
|Human Anatomy||*BIO 260||4 w/ lab||Required before BIOL 260: BIOL 100 & 101 or equivalent must be taken before enrolling in BIOL 260.
*BIOL 260 will be required when applying for Fall 2021 and future cohorts (curriculum change approved November 2019). BIOL 190 will no longer be accepted for the VN Program.
|Physiology||*BIO 261||4 w/ lab||Required before BIOL 261: Chem 100 or 102 or 170, or equivalent; and BIOL 260 or equivalent must be taken
before enrolling in BIOL 261.
*BIOL 261 will be required when applying for Fall 2021 and future cohorts (curriculum change approved November 2019). BIOL 190 will no longer be accepted for the VN Program.
|Principles of Child Development||CD 170||3||None|
|Fundamentals of Nutrition||HLTH 204||3||None|
|Intermediate Algebra||**MATH 60 (or) MATH 119 (or)
|4||**MATH 60 has been discontinued and no longer offered as of Summer 2023 but will be
accepted if previously taken.
Required before MATH 119: Intermediate algebra proficiency, as determined through the Southwestern College Multiple Measures Process.
|College Composition||ENGL 115 (or)
|4||Recommended (before taking ENGL 115): Reading 158. Prerequisite (before taking ENGL 115): English 99 or 114; or equivalent|
|Certified Nursing Assistant||CNA Certification||8.5||Active certification or license (from CA): CNA, Corpsman, Medical Assistant, EMT, Patient Care Technician, ER Technician, Home Health Aid, Psychiatric Technician; or Paramedic (cannot be expired when applying for the VN Program). (*Effective 10/2022).|
Once accepted into the program, you must register for all the courses shown for each semester unless you have already passed the course with a grade of “C” or better.
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