Registered Nursing

Train to Work as a Registered Nurse

SJVC’s Visalia campus offers the Registered Nursing program, which prepares students to work in the medical field as a Registered Nurse. Students learn to administer medication and treatment to patients, perform laboratory work and give diagnoses. In addition, SJVC Visalia’s Registered Nursing program allows currently licensed Vocational Nurses to transfer credits from their LVN studies to the required course work needed for the Registered Nursing program.

Registered Nursing Program Details

Skills Students Learn

Students in our Registered Nursing program learn:

  • Med-Surg nursing
  • Geriatric & pediatric care
  • Obstetric & neonatal nursing
  • Mental health care

Program Course Examples

Courses* taken by our Registered Nursing students include:

Fundamentals of Nursing Theory
This course is an introduction of the foundation of nursing theory and concepts to promote and maintain safe, effective health care with culturally diverse patients. Students will integrate the professional nursing roles of clinician, teacher, leader, and advocate while demonstrating critical thinking and utilizing the nursing process in the promotion of health and the foundational care of client response to physiological and psychosocial health conditions of the adult client. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

Health Appraisal
Health appraisal integrates psychosocial and pathophysiological processes, which includes techniques of history taking and health assessment in nursing practice and knowledge of normal findings and common deviations. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

Pediatrics Theory
This course provides an introduction to nursing care of the pediatric client and family, emphasizing wellness, illness, hospitalization and pediatric development. Students will examine nursing care of the pediatric client from birth through adolescence and their families. Concepts include disease process, medical treatments, nursing responsibilities, interventions and expected outcomes, as well as cultural, psychosocial, ethical and legal issues. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

*Students will take additional program courses on top of the three listed courses. Courses may vary by program, credential level and campus.

Program Outcomes

Students in the Registered Nursing program can earn an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing in approximately 21 months. Licensed vocational nurses can often complete the core RN program in 12 months if earning an A.S. Degree, or 11 months if earning a Certificate of Completion. LVN to RN program length depends on if students have completed all prerequisite courses.

Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN), a requirement for practice as a registered nurse.

Program Availability

SJVC’s Registered Nursing program is available at the Visalia campus.

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be prepared to work as a skilled member of the healthcare team. Career opportunities include working in hospitals, private practices, clinics or home care agencies.

On the job, Registered Nurses can expect to:

  • Administer medication and treatment to patients
  • Manage and assign tasks to the health care team
  • Perform routine laboratory work
  • Assist physicians in exams and surgeries

Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

In order to be eligible for the RN and LVN to RN programs, applicants must have a high school diploma, current CPR certification and have completed the necessary prerequisites with a GPA of 2.5 or higher from an institution accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

LVN to RN students must have a current LVN license. Prerequisites include English, Math, Speech, Sociology, Psychology and several life sciences.

Prerequisite Courses:

  • Writing and Composition
  • Intermediate Algebra
  • Human Anatomy with Lab
  • General Chemistry with Lab
  • Introduction to Sociology or Cultural Anthropology
  • Introduction to Public Speaking/Oral Communication
  • Microbiology with Lab
  • Human Physiology with Lab
  • General Psychology

In addition, students must complete 3 units within GE Breadth Area C2 (literature, philosophy, foreign language) to fulfill the general education associate degree requirements. If the student does not have units to transfer, the following course may be taken at SJVC: PHIL 1C: Ethics (3.0 Units) Ethics must be taken at SJVC if not transferred in at the time of enrollment.

Applicants must also have current CPR certification through the American Heart Association for Health Care providers.

To be considered for the program, applicants must also meet the technical standards. Technical standards provide a reference against which candidates for enrollment to the program are evaluated by the Admissions Committee in the selection of students for the RN program.


Application Process

The RN and LVN to RN programs have a highly-selective application process in which only the most qualified candidates are chosen to fill available seats.

RN Application Process
For RN, applicants are evaluated on several criteria, including GPA, assessment tests, work experience and a personal interview.

Admission is determined based on a point scale of the following categories:

  • ATI TEAS assessments, to be administered during the application process
  • Postsecondary education (Attainment, GPA)
  • Healthcare work experience
  • Application panel interview

LVN to RN Application Process
For LVN to RN, prospective students are responsible for providing proof of admission requirements and submitting additional required documents related to the application process. During the process, prospects will earn points, and final selection is based on total points earned. When a complete application file is received, the applicant takes entrance assessment exams, writes a personal goal statement and meet with the Registered Nursing Program Director and faculty committee for a personal interview.

The final selection will be based on points earned in the following categories:

  • RN Fundamentals 2013
  • Personal Goal Statement written on site
  • GPA scores for general education pre-requisite classes
  • Interview

Only applicants with the highest point totals based on their GPA on their prerequisite courses and their LPN-STEP exam will be scheduled for interviews. You must be selected for an interview to be considered for enrollment into the LVN to RN program at SJVC.

When the number of qualified applicants exceeds the capacity of the class, applicants may apply for admission the following year. It is the applicant’s responsibility to reapply. No waiting list is maintained or priority given for previous applicants. Each class is selected of candidates with the highest points.

For both RN and LVN to RN, applicants with the highest number of points will be selected.

To begin the application process to SJVC’s Registered Nursing program, download the application and necessary admissions forms.

To begin the application process to SJVC’s LVN to RN program, download the application and necessary admissions forms.

Official transcripts from all regionally accredited institutions attended must be included in the application packet. The applicant must request transcripts of all completed prerequisite courses be sent to SJVC by the application deadline.

30-Unit Option
In accordance with the Board of Registered Nursing Policy (Section 1435.5) California Licensed Vocational Nurses may apply for the non-degree program. This program is commonly referred to as the “30-Unit option” and prepares the student to take the NCLEX-RN Examination, but does not award an A.S. Degree. Completion of this option may not meet the criteria to practice in other states. Non-degree applicants will be considered on a space available basis only and if program resources allow. See the Program Director for more information.

Foreign Institutions & Transfer of Credit
Applicants who have completed coursework outside of the United States must have their transcripts evaluated by the International Education Research Foundation, Inc. (IERF) or equivalent organization. An official copy of the Academic Detailed Report from IERF or an equivalent organization must be included with the application. All applicants must include course descriptions of prerequisite coursework in the application packet.

SJVC accepts credits for the following courses or their equivalents from accredited Colleges and Universities upon evaluation of their transcripts:

Course Number Course Name Semester Units
ENG 1 Reading/Composition 3.0
MTH 55 Intermediate Algebra or Higher* 3.0
CHEM 3 General Chemistry with lab 4.0
SPC 1A Intro to Public Speaking/Oral Communication 3.0
BIOL 10 Human Anatomy with lab 4.0
PHIL 1C Ethics** 3.0
SOC 1 Intro to Sociology or Cultural Anthropology 3.0
BIOL 14 Microbiology with lab 4.0
BIOL 45 Human Physiology with lab 5.0
PSY 1 General Psychology 3.0

*Intermediate Algebra must be equivalent to SJVC’s Math 121/122. **Ethics must be taken at SJVC if not transferred in at the time of enrollment.

A one-page written personal statement explaining why the applicant wants to become a registered nurse (to be done during the interview orientation meeting) must be submitted with the application packet, along with two letters of recommendation from individuals knowledgeable of and able to evaluate the applicant’s health care experience.

Qualified candidates will be considered for invitation to interview with the selection committee.

For additional information, please contact the RN Admissions Advisor at (559) 651-2500 ext 109 or email

Program Start Dates

Upcoming start dates:

Cohort Start Application Deadline
RN April 5 2016 February 1 2016
LVN to RN January 6 2016 October 2 2015

Accreditation and Approvals

San Joaquin Valley College’s RN program is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).

Board of Registered Nursing
1747 North Market Blvd., Ste. 150
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 322-3350 |

Institutional Accreditation

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at

State Approvals

SJVC is a private institution and is approved to operate as an accredited institution by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Approval to operate means that SJVC has been found in compliance with the standards set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter 8) and Title 5, Division 7.5 – Private Postsecondary Education of the California Code of Regulations.

Any questions that a student may have regarding the college catalog and/or catalog supplement that have not been satisfactorily answered by the institution may be directed to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education at:

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 980818
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818

Physical Address
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833

Telephone Numbers
Toll free (888) 370-7589
(916) 431-6959

Fax Number
(916) 263-1897


View additional State Approvals for SJVC.