LVN to R.N.

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LVN-RN 30-Unit Option

The LVN-RN 30-Unit Option is designed as a career ladder for California Licensed Vocational Nurses who desire to become registered nurses. Upon completion of this program, an Associate’s degree in Nursing and/or Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree is not granted. Completion of the 30-Unit Option only allows students to become eligible to take the NCLEX for California RN licensure. Per the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website, most other states do not recognize California’s LVN-RN 30 Unit Option and will not issue RN licenses to these LVNs. It is highly recommended for LVNs to consider enrolling in an ADN or BS program in order to obtain a degree and to have the flexibility to obtain an RN license in other states. Most ADN programs will give LVNs credit for coursework completed in an LVN program.

Space Available Basis

Students in the LVN-RN 30-Unit Option are not matriculated San Diego State University students and may enroll in required coursework on a Space Available basis through Open University with SDSU Global Campus. Nursing coursework is reserved primarily for matriculated SDSU students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.


The 30-unit program allows the current LVN to apply for licensure as an RN through the California Board of Registered Nursing, and includes the following SDSU courses:

  • BIOL 211, 211L – Fundamentals of Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL 261 – Human Physiology (4)
  • NURS 304 – Clinical Pharmacology in Nursing Practice (3)
  • NURS 307W – Research, Evidence Based Practice, and Writing for Nurses (3)
  • NURS 316 – Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing (5)
  • NURS 400 – Nursing Care of Complex, High Acuity, or Critically Ill Patients (3.5)
  • NURS 400L – Nursing Care of Complex, High Acuity, or Critically Ill Patients Laboratory (2.5)
  • NURS 458 – Nursing Management and Leadership (3)
  • NURS 458L – Nursing Management and Leadership Laboratory (3)

Total: 30 units

LVN to RN Application
LVN to RN Application

Interested students should review the following resources:

Registration process and Course Fees through SDSU Open University

Contact Us

SDSU School of Nursing

Adams Humanities Building 3138
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-4158