What is an LVN’s Scope of Practice in California?

CDI Nursing Graduates in White Gowns

Prospective LVNs and people interested in becoming an LVN in California naturally have questions about the career. While an LVNs scope of practice is somewhat narrower than that of an RN (a registered nurse with a four-year BSN), you still have plenty of opportunities ahead of you. 

What is the Career Path for an LVN in California?

LVNs are licensed, registered nurses, and enjoy many of the same career options as their RN counterparts. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the need for “licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.”

That means healthcare facilities all over the country will need new nurses for several more years. The above statistic does not include the vast number of baby boomer-aged nurses who retired during the COVID-19 pandemic, making the hiring need even greater. 

Today, LVNs can work at a wide range of facilities and in numerous environments, including: 

  • Hospitals 
  • Travel nursing
  • Home health care
  • Palliative care
  • Clinical environments/doctor’s offices  

For more information, check out our article Getting a Job: 5 Career Paths for LVNs. 

How Does a Job as an LVN Pay in California?

The good news about becoming an LVN is that not only is it one of the most in-demand careers in California, it’s also one of the more well-paid ones. As an LVN, you could earn more than some careers that require four-year degrees

According to the job site Salary.com, the salary range for an LVN in California is anywhere from  $51,948 to $63,634. However, that range may be on the low end. Per the career search site Indeed (as of the time of this posting), the annual pay for an LVN in California is over $90,000/year.


Of course, like any other career, the longer you work, the more you earn. 


Indeed also ranked LVNs as one of the top-paid professions in the country.

Careers are about more than pay, however. As an LVN you also make a true impact on the people you work with. Whether it’s your patients or the other nurses and doctors on your team, nurses improve the lives of or the community around them. It’s not just lucrative, but deeply rewarding and important. 

What Kind of Salary Does an LVN Make in Los Angeles?

Due to the higher cost of living, LVNs in Los Angeles tend to earn higher salaries than in other California cities. 

From Indeed: “The average salary for a licensed vocational nurse is $92,089 per year in Los Angeles, CA.” 

However, with experience and time, an LVN in Los Angeles could earn a SIX-FIGURE INCOME. 

From Indeed.com: Salaries by years of experience in Los Angeles, CA

Nurses became more visible as vital frontline workers during the pandemic. We have always said that nursing is a calling and that anyone who answers that calling is a true hero

With the country facing a retirement boom (from aging baby boomers), long-term care facilities and home health care agencies are just two categories of employers that will need more vocational nurses for the next decade or more. 

In short: LVNs are set to enjoy a stable career punctuated by a ton of opportunities for quite some time. 

LVN to RN: How Hard is it to Transition Later? 

An LVN-to-RN bridge program allows you to get a BSN degree after you’ve already received an associate’s degree in nursing. Some programs may allow you to test or opt out of some nursing prerequisites based on your job experience.

Today, the wait lists for four-year nursing programs are long, and with the shortage of nursing instructors, that’s unlikely to change soon. If four-year programs continue to have a bottleneck in their admissions processes, bridge programs may prove to be the fastest and most economical path toward becoming an RN.

One of the many advantages of becoming an LVN is that you can do so relatively quickly. Accelerated vocational programs like CDI’s can get you a degree and a job in the field even in just over a year. If you enroll in our LVN program, you could work as an LVN in as little as 13 months. Typical associate degree programs (through a community college, for example) take only two years.

CDI’s Accelerated LVN Program in Los Angeles

No matter what the future holds for you as a nurse, consider the advantages of enrolling in a school that’s been named the best LVN program in Los Angeles. CDI offers a 13-month classroom schedule with hands-on instruction, free tutoring, and free exam prep.

We take pride in giving you the confidence and the experience you need to become a nurse the moment you step onto our campus. We also offer a hybrid in-person/online program that allows you to attend some of our courses right from the comfort and convenience of your own home.
Give us a call today to learn more about making your dream of becoming a nurse a reality.


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