LVN to BSN Program in Orange County, CA

Get a head start on your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree by leveraging the skills and experience you already have as a licensed vocational nurse.

LVN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Orange County LVN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Orange County

10 Weeks

10-week terms allow for start dates throughout the year

34 Months

Earn your BSN degree in as little as 34 months at the Accelerated program pace

9 Units of Advanced Placement Credit

Your previous nursing licensure grants you 9 credits toward your BSN degree

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West Coast University Orange County has been voted as a FAVORITE in the Career College/Trade School for the San Gabriel Valley Readers Choice Awards!

LVN to BSN Program in Orange County Highlights

Real Life Icon

Simulation labs that allow you to master your nursing skills in a hospital setting


Hands-on practice in a variety of medical settings, from med-surg units to labor and delivery

No-cost tutoring and wealth of NCLEX study resources to help you prepare for exam day

Your Success

Help selecting a site for your clinical placement and guidance through the entire process

Why Choose the LVN to BSN Program at WCU-Orange County?

With California’s nursing shortage expected to last through 2029 (according to a recent California RN workforce study),1 there is a great need for registered nurses in this state. In our LVN to BSN program in Orange County, you can use your existing experience as credits toward your Bachelor of Science and Nursing and prepare for a career as an RN.

Benefit from a curriculum of general education and nursing theory courses combined with hands-on experience through simulation exercises and on-site clinical experience. With a student-centric culture, we provide guidance and support every step of the way, from help studying for your RN licensure exam to assistance with your job search.

We want to help you make a difference in your community!

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  • Flexible online and campus programs
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Overview: LVN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

Program Details

Accelerated Pace


120 Credits

34 Months

7 Semesters


General Education within the Area of Study

Course Number Course Name Total Credit Hours
Number Name Hours
PATH 370 Pathophysiology 3
PHIL 434 Medical Ethics and Issues 3
Total Credit Hours: 6

Approved Credits

NURS 199D Advanced Placement Credit (LVN) 9

General Education Redesign

Category and Requirements WCU Course Requirements Transferable / Options
Cat. and Req. Trans. / Options
Foundational Course FYS 001(0): First Year Seminar
(only offered at Los Angeles and Ontario Campuses prior to Spring II 2024)
FHE 100(3): Foundations of Higher Education
(offered at all Campuses; Los Angeles and Ontario Campuses starting Spring II 2024)
A1- Written Communication (5 Semester Credits and 2 Courses Minimum) **ENGL 140(3): Written Communication I

**ENGL 240(3): Written Communication II

Any equivalent courses that meet the General Education categorical requirements.
A2. Oral Communication
(2.5 Semester Credits Minimum)
**SPCH 142(3): Oral Communication Any equivalent courses that meet the General Education categorical requirements.
A3. Critical Thinking
(2.5 Semester Credits Minimum)
**PHIL 341(3): Critical Reasoning Any equivalent courses that meet
the General Education categorical requirements.
A4. Quantitative Reasoning
(5 Semester Credits and 2 Courses Minimum)
MATH 108(3): College Mathematics I

MATH 211(3): Statistics

Any equivalent courses that meet
the General Education categorical requirements.
B1– Social and Behavioral Sciences / Cultural Diversity, Tradition
(8 Semester Credits and 3 Courses Minimum)
**PSYC 160(3): Psychology

**PSYC 290(3): Life Span Psychology

**HUM 370(3): Cultural Pluralism

Equivalent to PSYC 160

Equivalent to PSYC 290

Any equivalent courses that meet the General Education categorical requirements.

B2. Life and Physical Sciences
(12 Semester Credits and 4 Courses Minimum)
ANAT 260(4): Human Anatomy

PHYS 261(4): Human PhysiologyCHEM 280(4): Chemistry

MICR 290(4): General Microbiology

Equivalent to ANAT 260

Equivalent to PHYS 261

Non-transferable at the Orange County Campus starting Summer I 2023

Equivalent to CHEM 280

Equivalent to MICR 290

B3. General Education Capstone
(3 Semester Credits)
CAPS 401(3): General Education Capstone
(only offered at Los Angeles, Ontario Campuses prior to Spring II 2024)
A minimum of 46 credits is required for graduation.

Note: The following course must have been taken in the last 5 years: ANAT 260, CHEM 280, MICR 290, and PHYS 261.

Note: If scheduled, the following courses are to be taken at WCU: FYS 001, FHE 100, CAPS 401, and PATH 370 and PHYS 261 (Orange County campus only, starting Summer 1 2023).

**As of April 2019, this course will be delivered online, asynchronously, through the institution’s Learning Management System except where otherwise authorized by the Program Dean/Director.

Core Nursing Courses

Course Number Course Name Total Credit Hours
Number Name Hours
NURS 110 Introduction to Professional Nursing 2
NURS 180 Pharmacology 3
NURS 190 Physical Assessment 2
NURS 201 Medical Surgical Nursing-Promoting Wellness 3
NURS 210L-AB RN Skills Laboratory 2
NURS 211L Medical Surgical Nursing 3
NURS 222 Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing: Promoting Wellness in the Mentally Ill 3
NURS 223L Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing: Promoting Wellness Practicum 2
NURS 225 Nutrition in Health and Disease 3
NURS 306 Expanding Family and Community (OB) 2
NURS 307 Developing Family and Community (PEDS) 2
NURS 316L-A Expanding and Developing Family and Community Practicum (OB) 1.5
NURS 317L-A Developing Family and Community Practicum (PEDS) 1.5
NURS 340 Public Health Nursing 3
NURS 342L Public Health Nursing Practicum 2
NURS 350 Research in Nursing 3
NURS 420 Principles of Leadership and Management 3
NURS 431 Disaster Management 2
NURS 440 Issues and Trends in Nursing 3
NURS 480 Advanced Medical Surgical Nursing: Promoting Wellness Practicum 3
NURS 481L Advanced Medical Surgical Nursing: Promoting Wellness Practicum 3
NURS 493* Integration of Nursing Concepts 3
NURS 497 Nursing Capstone 1
NURS 498L Integration of Nursing Practices 3
Total Credit Hours: 59.0

NURS 210L: (LVN/LPN to BSN students only)

*NURS 493R – Taken if student is unsuccessful in NURS 493.

Note: Upon satisfactory completion of the transition courses (NURS 110 and NURS 210L), the LVN/LPN to BSN student will receive 9 units of Advanced Placement Credit (NURS 199D or NURS 199E).

Program Credit Distribution (LVN/LPN-BSN)
Program Credit Dist.(LVN/LPN-BSN)
Approved Credits from Previous Licensure 9.0
General Education Semester Credits 46.0
General Education within the Area of Study 6.0
Core Nursing Courses 59.0
Total Program Semester Credits 120.0
Tuition & Financial Aid

How Much Does the LVN to BSN Program in Orange County Cost?

We know school is a substantial commitment. At WCU, we want to equip you with all the information you need to make the right decision for your future.

Our goal is to give you a clear understanding of LVN to BSN tuition costs so you can be well-informed as you navigate the application and enrollment process. To assist you in your decision, we provide a breakdown below of the LVN to BSN program costs at West Coast University-Orange County.

We offer several financial aid options — including scholarships, grants, and loan access — to help support you through your studies.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Tuition and Fees:

Los Angeles, Orange County and Ontario Campuses


Degree Type

Bachelor of Science

(Starting Fall I 2024)

Bachelor of Science

(Starting Fall I 2024) 

Bachelor of Science

(Starting Fall II 2024)

Total Program Credits 120  120 120 
Program Length(Full-Time)
8 semesters  8 semesters 8 semesters 
Full-Time Status(12 to 18 credits) $17,892 $18,250  $15,000 
3/4-Time Status(9 to 11 credits) $14,914 $15,212  $12,450 
1/2-Time Status(6 to 8 credits) $11,578 $11,810 $9,750 
Less than 1/2-Time Status(under 6 credits) (per credit) $1,986  $2,026  $1,665
Total Tuition Costs(Full-Time) $143,136 $146,000  $120,000 
Registration Fee(refundable) $75 $75 $75 
STRF Fee1(non-refundable) $0 $0 $0 
Estimated Total Book Costs2 $5,207 $5,262  $5,262 
Estimated Total Book Shipping Cost2 $521 $526
Estimate for Uniforms Fees2 $130 $250  $250 
Estimate for Supplies &Licensure Preparation Fees2 $2,345 $2,345 $2,345 
Technology Fee3($100 per semester) $800 $800 $800 
General Education Resource Fee4 $500 $500 $500 
Core Nursing Fee5     $26,000 
Estimated Total Program Costs $152,714 $155,758  $155,758 


Indirect Costs:

10 Month Academic Year6    
   Prior to Fall I 2024  Starting Fall I 2024
with parents off campus  with parents off campus 
Federal Student Loan Fees $100  $100  $100 $100 
Course Materials (Personal Electronic Device-1st year only) $1000  $1000 $1,000 $1,000 
Food & Housing $2,980 $9,920 $3,120  $10,410
Transportation $2,060 $2,060 $2,160
Personal Expenses $6,740 $6,740 $7,070  $7,070 
Total $11,780 $18,720 $13,450

1 Effective April 1, 2024, the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) assessment rate will be zero dollars and zero cents ($0.00) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges.

The State of California established the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) to relieve or mitigate economic loss suffered by a student in an educational program at a qualifying institution, who is or was a California resident while enrolled, or was enrolled in a residency program, if the student enrolled in the institution, prepaid tuition, and suffered an economic loss. Unless relieved of the obligation to do so, you must pay the state-imposed assessment for the STRF, or it must be paid on your behalf, if you are a student in an educational program, who is a California resident, or are enrolled in a residency program, and prepay all or part of your tuition.

You are not eligible for protection from the STRF and you are not required to pay the STRF assessment, if you are not a California resident, or are not enrolled in a residency program.

It is important that you keep copies of your enrollment agreement, financial aid documents, receipts, or any other information that documents the amount paid to the school. Questions regarding the STRF may be directed to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, 1747 N. Market Blvd. Ste 225 Sacramento, CA 95834, (916) 431-6959 or (888) 370-7589.

To be eligible for STRF, you must be a California resident or enrolled in a residency program, prepaid tuition, paid or deemed to have paid the STRF assessment, and suffered an economic loss as a result of any of the following:

  1. The institution, a location of the institution, or an educational program offered by the institution was closed or discontinued, and you did not choose to participate in a teach-out plan approved by the Bureau or did not complete a chosen teach-out plan approved by the Bureau.
  2. You were enrolled at an institution or a location of the institution within the 120-day period before the closure of the institution or location of the institution or were enrolled in an educational program within the 120-day period before the program was discontinued.
  3. You were enrolled at an institution or a location of the institution more than 120 days before the closure of the institution or location of the institution, in an educational program offered by the institution as to which the Bureau determined there was a significant decline in the quality or value of the program more than 120 days before closure.
  4. The institution has been ordered to pay a refund by the Bureau but has failed to do so.
  5. The institution has failed to pay or reimburse loan proceeds under a federal student loan program as required by law or has failed to pay or reimburse proceeds received by the institution in excess of tuition and other costs.
  6. You have been awarded restitution, a refund, or other monetary award by an arbitrator or court, based on a violation of this chapter by an institution or representative of an institution, but have been unable to collect the award from the institution.
  7. You sought legal counsel that resulted in the cancellation of one or more of your student loans and have an invoice for services rendered and evidence of the cancellation of the student loan or loans.

To qualify for STRF reimbursement, the application must be received within four (4) years from the date of the action or event that made the student eligible for recovery from STRF.

A student whose loan is revived by a loan holder or debt collector after a period of noncollection may, at any time, file a written application for recovery from STRF for the debt that would have otherwise been eligible for recovery. If it has been more than four (4) years since the action or event that made the student eligible, the student must have filed a written application for recovery within the original four (4) year period, unless the period has been extended by another act of law.

However, no claim can be paid to any student without a social security number or a taxpayer identification number.

2 The Estimate for Book, Uniform, and Supply fees reflect the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price totals compiled in December 2022 and are subject to change. Supplies become student purchases once issued to student. Students who drop or have been dismissed after supplies have been issued will assume ownership for these items and will not be eligible for refunds. For details on all of the supplies, contact the Bursar Office.

BSN | Supplies issued in NURS 101L Fundamentals of Nursing Skills Lab.

3 Technology Fee includes student technical support, Office 365, blended and online course delivery/learning management system, mobile app, student portal technology and access, and required electronic course materials/software.

4 The General Education Resource Fee includes costs associated with ATI Smart Prep materials. The General Education Resource Fee will be waived for Active Duty, Active Duty Spouse, Reserve, Reserve Spouse, Veterans, Veteran Spouse, Department of Defense employees, dependents utilizing parent's veteran's education benefits, and Veteran Affairs employees.

The Core Nursing Fee will be billed each semester in which Core Nursing courses are scheduled and covers costs associated with background checks and drug screenings; the operation of equipment for Simulation, Technology, including but not limited to the establishment, scheduling, coordination, site visits, on-going management, and other expenses related to clinical activities. 5 Core Nursing Semesters multiplied by $5,200 per Core Nursing Semester

6 The purpose of the Cost of Attendance (COA) is to provide students and families with an estimated cost to attend West Coast University. The COA includes both direct and indirect cost estimates. Direct costs are paid directly to West Coast University and are shown separately for each program. Indirect costs are not paid to West Coast University and are estimates students may use to budget expenses they may incur while attending school. While actual indirect costs may vary, West Coast University estimates these amounts based on the number of months in an academic year and whether students will live with parents or off campus.

Note 1: Students who wish to take Challenge Exams will be subject to a fee of $100 for each Challenge exam. Please see the campus Bursar Office for a full price listing.

Note 2: Course Audits - If a course(s) is being audited.  credits for these courses will be included for the student's schedule status for billing, based on the schedule statuses and amounts shown above.  Pre-licensure Nursing students should refer to the program's Dismissal Policy for information surrounding course auditing.

Note 3: The Total Tuition Cost can be converted to Cost per Credit Hour by using the following calculation:

Total Tuition Cost (Prior to Fall I 2024) ($143,136) divided by the Total Program Credits (120) = Cost Per Credit Hour ($1,192.80).

Total Tuition Cost (Starting Fall I 2024) ($146,000) divided by the Total Program Credits (120) = Cost Per Credit Hour ($1,216.67).

Admission Requirements

For admissibility into the LVN to BSN program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Submit a completed WCU application for admission
  2. Submit WCU-approved documentation of high school graduation or equivalent
    1. Foreign high school diplomas/credentials or their equivalent must have an official evaluation performed by an approved organization
  3. Participate in an admissions interview arranged by a university admissions advisor
  4. Achieve a HESI composite score of 76 or higher
    1. HESI exam scores must be within three (3) years of enrollment date
    2. HESI exam scores below 76 are denied admission
    3. Examination Retake Details:
      1. BSN applicants will have a maximum of two attempts, a week apart, to successfully pass the admissions exam
      2. If an applicant does not pass the admissions exam after two attempts, he or she must wait a period of 1 months to retest and must provide proof of remediation
    4. Additional acceptable external scores are eligible for full admission:
      1. TEAS score of 43 or higher
        1. TEAS exam scores must be within three (3) years of enrollment date
      2. SAT score of 835 or higher & ACT score of 16 or higher
        1. SAT and ACT and must be within three (3) years of enrollment date
        2. WCU only collects Verbal and Quantitative scores for SAT and ACT
  5. Complete an enrollment agreement (must be signed by a parent or guardian if the applicant is under 18 years of age)
  6. Meet program-specific entrance requirements
    1. Applicants to the LVN-BSN program must provide proof of current unobstructed licensure as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

For more information on program requirements, please visit our catalog.

Academic Calendar

New academic terms begin, on average, every 10 weeks. The number of semesters required for your program varies based on the program pace you select. To see a list of term start and completion dates, view the Academic Calendar.

Simulation Centers

Technologically Advanced Simulation Labs

At WCU, we believe in immersive learning. That’s why we provide our students with technologically advanced simulation centers where they can practice what they learn in an environment that mimics real healthcare environments. In the Simulation Lab, our LVN to BSN students practice the core functions of a registered nurse on high-fidelity manikins, which can cry, sweat, and even give birth!

With industry-current equipment and instructor feedback, the Sim Lab is the perfect place for students to gain hands-on experience before completing their clinical rounds. Simulations helps students prepare for various types of healthcare environments, including:

  • Medical and surgical units
  • Pediatrics
  • Maternity/OB
  • Mental health

Experience WCU for Yourself!

Attend an info session to learn what all the buzz is about.

Clinical Placements

clinical placements

Assistance with Clinical Site Placements

We want all our students to have successful clinical experiences. To help them in the process, we have a Clinical Placements team that is available to assist with site selection and ensure that the site meets all the necessary requirements. We leverage our network of hospitals and healthcare partners in the local area to give our students more options.

If you need help finding the right site for your clinical practice hours or you have any questions along the way, there is a coordinator of clinical relationships who is ready to assist you.

NCLEX Support

Getting You Ready for the NCLEX-RN

Upon graduation, the next big step will be to take your RN licensure exam. NCLEX-RN preparation is built into our program—not only in our curriculum, but also in various levels of support during your time at WCU-Orange County.

To help you feel confident on exam day, we provide:

  • NCLEX bootcamps to build up your knowledge and skills
  • A virtual library of exam-prep books and videos
  • An NCLEX advisor who can answer your questions
  • Complimentary tutoring

Career Services

Ongoing Support

From the time you’re a student to well beyond graduation day, our Career Services team is here to support you through your job search and professional journey. Our career advisors can provide you with one-on-on guidance, help polishing your resume, interview preparation tips, and even assistance tracking down open nursing positions.2

We’ll help you put your best foot forward so you can maximize your professional opportunities!

There are a variety of work settings where registered nurses can find employment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, common RN employers include:

  • Hospitals
  • Ambulatory healthcare services
  • Nursing and residential care facilities
  • Government facilities
  • Educational services3

Featured Faculty

Katie Kay

Katie Kay, DNP, RN, PCCN-K

Dean, College of Nursing

Dr. Katie Kay is the Dean for West Coast University’s College of Nursing where she provides direct oversight to the academic quality and delivery of prelicensure-through-doctoral nursing education. She is a nurse educator and leader with a collaborative, service-oriented mindset. Dr. Kay remains passionate about accessibility for both education and healthcare to improve the way we are delivering care to the communities we serve.

Prior to her appointment at West Coast University, Dr. Kay served as the Vice President of Healthcare Academics at Emeritus where she was the in-house expert for nursing and healthcare education. In her time at Emeritus, she partnered with several leading academic institutions to create high-quality, accessible, and affordable upskilling and reskilling programs to address key gaps in healthcare delivery and healthcare leadership.

Dr. Kay has also previously held the title of Senior Director of National Academic Operations at Chamberlain University, where she was responsible for providing leadership to university-wide academic, quality, and experiential learning initiatives. In her tenure at Chamberlain University, she also worked as adjunct faculty and held the role of Associate Dean of Faculty in the Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner track.

Her passion for accessibility also stems from her work as an administrator at a large metropolitan hospital where she had oversight of the day-to-day operations of 22 inpatient units. Primary areas of leadership included patient safety, acuity management, throughput, accreditation, advocacy for professional nursing practice, and re-attainment of Magnet distinction.

The most recent publications for Dr. Kay includes The 3 P’s: Pharmacology Physical Assessment, and Pathophysiology (Crowley, Wallace, Letz, and Kay) and a poster presentation titled “Innovative Approaches to Clinical and Practicum Placements.”

Dr. Kay is a member of the American Association for Critical Nurses, the National League of Nursing, and the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, and she serves as the Executive Director for the Association of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners.

Chiarina Piazza

Chiarina P. Piazza, PhD, MEd, RN

Dean, College of Nursing | California Program Director

Dr. Piazza has been working in the university since 2009. Her past roles included Faculty; Campus Associate Dean of Nursing, Academics; Campus Dean of Nursing; and Associate Dean, College of Nursing. Most recently, she has been appointed to the position of Dean, College of Nursing.

She has a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of San Diego, a Master of Education from Cambridge College, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles.

With a commitment to community service, Dr. Piazza is a Commissioner for the Sister Cities Commission of Anaheim. And has previously served as Commissioner, Orange County Human Relations, and Board Member for the School Nurses of California Foundation.


How long does it take for an LVN to earn a BSN?

Our LVN to BSN program in Orange County allows you to obtain your degree in 34 months at the Accelerated pace.


What is an LVN to BSN bridge program?

As a licensed vocational nurse, you already have valuable skills and experience in your field. Our program allows you to leverage that experience toward your BSN (in the form of credits), helping you complete your bachelor’s program faster than you would if you were not an LVN. This essentially helps “bridge the gap” between your experience and your degree.

Can I become an RN after completing the LVN to BSN program?

After completing your program, you will be able to sit for your RN licensure exam. Our Orange County LVN to BSN program helps you prepare for the exam through your coursework, clinical experience, and additional study resources that we offer, such as NCLEX boot camps and no-cost tutoring.

Is financial aid available?

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify. In addition to student loans, there are also institutional scholarships and grants that you may qualify for. You can discuss your options with a WCU financial aid advisor, or get started by viewing our Financial Aid page.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at West Coast University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 655 K Street, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, (202) 877-6791 (

Have Questions?

Pursuing your degree is a big choice. Fill out our form and one of our admissions advisors will contact you to answer any questions you may have!

1 University of Southern California, San Francisco, “Forecasts of the Registered Nurse Workforce in California,” August 2022

2 WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment.

3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses, “Work Environment,” Updated Sept. 8, 2022

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.