LVN to RN 30-Unit Option (Non-Degree)

Additional LVN to RN Info

Frequently Asked Questions

LVN to RN 30 Unit Option (Non-Degree) Brochure

Next Application Date

Fall 2019 LVN to RN Supplemental Nursing Application -  Please check back on June 15, 2019 to see if we have space available.  Thank you! 

Spring 2019 LVN to RN Supplemental Nursing Application - We regret we do not have space available to admit LVNs this Spring.  We will not be accepting applications for the Spring 2019 term (posted 1/11/19).


Please call the School of Nursing at 916/278-4106.  Thank you!     

Thank you for your interest in our program. We regret that we do not have sufficient staff resources to offer individual counseling to prospective students. In the event that the information below does not answer your questions, please call the School of Nursing at 916/278-4106.

Please read through the information and also consult our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) link In right column to learn more about this unique program offering.

Licensure, Credentialing, and Certification Requirements

Admission into programs leading to licensure, credentialing, or certification eligibility does not guarantee that students will obtain a license, credential, or certification. Licensure, credentialing, or certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure, credentialing, or certification requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure, credentialing, or certification requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure, credentialing, or certification requirements. Information concerning licensure, credentialing, or certification requirements are available from Sara Niekamp, School of Nursing, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6096; 916-278-6714.


There are two prerequisite courses required by California state law for the 30-Unit Option, physiology with lab and microbiology with lab. Applicants must also possess a valid California LVN license, a 3.0 combined GPA on the prerequisites and a 3.0 overall GPA on the 30 most recent graded semester units. Applications from students who do not meet the GPA requirements (3.0 combined GPA on prereqs AND overall 3.0 GPA) will not be considered. The typical application deadline for the spring semester is October 15th,  and the deadline for the fall semester is March 1st.  Applications are made available on this website beginning February 1st for fall and September 15th for spring. You can locate the application by checking the link in the upper right hand box located on this page. The number of students admitted each semester varies with space available; there may be no space available if all slots are filled with continuing traditional BSN students. Selection from qualified applicants will be based on GPA.

When applying by mail use the following address:

School of Nursing
Attn: LVN to RN 30-Unit Option Applications
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA  95819-6096

Special note: Do not mail transcripts to the main campus Admissions & Records because the School of Nursing cannot access those! Make sure you submit to the School of Nursing only. You are advised to obtain a confirm receipt when you mail your application.

If you would prefer to drop off your application packet in person, please come to the School of Nursing in Folsom Hall. Folsom Hall is located slightly off of the main campus at 7667 Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95826 (one block west of Home Depot and directly across from Sutter Center for Psychiatry). There are two 30-minute parking spaces in front of the building that are free. The drop box is located in the main reception area. 

The physiology and microbiology prerequisite courses must be equivalent to those offered by Sacramento State and must include a laboratory. To determine equivalency of community college courses in California, visit Online micro and physio courses are not accepted; there must be an in-person lab for these courses. Vocational or trade school micro and physio courses are also not accepted at this time for the LVN to RN 30-Unit Option Program.

The prerequisite courses must be completed at the time of application for the student to be considered part of the priority applicant pool. Students may apply to the program with prerequisites in progress, but the overall application will not be considered until the final grades for prerequisite courses are known and the application will not be part of the priority pool. Non-priority pool applicants are not considered unless and until all priority pool applicants have been offered an open slot in the program and there is still space remaining for additional admissions.

Due to the fact that all RN programs in California are required to offer the 30-Unit Option and the programs are limited by law to two prerequisite courses, students are not required to meet the admission eligibility requirements of Sacramento State! The School of Nursing has an agreement with Admissions & Records so that interested applicants are asked to apply directly to the School of Nursing for the 30-Unit Option and then, if selected for admission to the 30-Unit Option program, each applicant will be admitted to the University as a “late admit.” This is important, because there is a fee to apply to Sacramento State but there is no fee to apply to the 30-Unit Option program. Remember, you should only apply to the University if you intend to pursue another degree on campus should you not gain admission to the 30-Unit Option program.  

All 30-Unit Option applicants are required to submit official (sealed) transcripts for all colleges or universities attended (including vocational schools), regardless of whether a degree was earned. Sacramento State transcripts are accessible by the admissions team and need not be sent in with the application.  

Re-Entry Policy: If a student was previously enrolled in a registered nurse (RN) program but did not complete the program, the student may or may not be eligible to apply to the 30-Unit Option program at Sacramento State. School of Nursing policy dictates that if a student left a previous RN program while in good standing, that student must wait for a full year following program exit before being eligible to apply to any program in the School of Nursing. If the student was not in good standing (e.g. failed out, was dismissed, withdrew while failing courses), then the student must wait for 10 years before being eligible to apply to any program in the School of Nursing. Student standing at the time of previous program exit will be determined only if the School of Nursing is preparing to admit a candidate. 

The Curriculum:

Section 1435.5 in the Laws Relating to Nursing Education Licensure – Practice in the State of California provides an opportunity for the Licensed Vocational Nurse to prepare for licensure as a Registered Nurse by completing no more than 30 units of designated courses. The Sacramento State LVN to RN 30-Unit Option program has been designed to meet the educational needs of the LVN and to meet the California Board of Registered Nursing requirements for the 30-Unit Option. The program is a FULL-TIME, NON-DEGREE program and will not result in a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing).

The LVN to RN 30-Unit Option program curriculum is presented below:








Microbiology with Lab




Physiology with Lab




First Semester:




NURS 123 - Nursing Families in Complex Illness

Advanced Med-Surg (includes Advanced Geriatric Nursing)


45 lecture hrs = 3 hrs weekly at SACRAMENTO STATE;

135 clinical hrs = approx. 15 hrs weekly at local hosp

NURS 119 - Mental Health Nursing for the LVN to RN

Psychiatric Nursing


45 lecture hrs = 3 hrs weekly at SACRAMENTO STATE;

45 clinical hrs = approx. 15 hrs weekly for 3 wks at local acute care psych facility

Second Semester:



NURS 137 – Nursing the Childbearing Family

Obstetrical Nursing


45 lecture hrs = 3 hrs weekly at SACRAMENTO STATE;

90 clinical hrs = approx. 15 hrs weekly for 6 wks at local hosp

NURS 138 – Nursing the Childbearing Family

Pediatric Nursing


45 lecture hrs = 3 hrs weekly at SACRAMENTO STATE;

90 clinical hrs = approx. 15 hrs weekly for 6 wks at local hosp

NURS 133 – Leadership & Management for the LVN to RN

Leadership & Mgmt for working nurses


30 lecture hrs = mostly online




Note: Students who have taken the combined Anatomy & Physiology courses must take both I & II in lieu of the physiology prerequisite; grades for both I & II will be part of the GPA calculation.

Only the NURS 138 (Peds) course will be available for challenge credit, pending approval by the pediatric course faculty, for LVNs who currently work in an acute care pediatric setting (e.g. a hospital pediatric unit). All other courses are required and students are not permitted to “test out.” More information regarding the NURS 138 challenge exam process will be provided upon admission to the program.

LVN to RN 30-Unit Option students are placed into existing nursing courses which generally operate on weekdays for lecture and clinical (weekend clinical is possible but rare). All clinical rotations occur at local Sacramento area facilities. Attendance at clinical experiences is mandatory; weekly attendance is mandatory for some lecture courses while for others is strongly recommended. Only one course is online (NURS 133). There is no part-time program.

To the best of our knowledge, no state outside of California recognizes California RN licenses earned via 30-Unit Option applicant status. The 30-Unit Option is unique to California state law and your permanent Board of Registered Nursing records will state 30-Unit Option status at the time of licensure. Your status at licensure will not change, regardless of future educational degree attainment. It is the students’ responsibility to verify endorsement requirements with other states before selecting the LVN to RN 30-Unit Option. It is in your best interest to investigate this issue further if you anticipate moving to another state once you obtain your RN license in California.

Sacramento State does not have a LVN to BSN program at this time. If you are interested in applying directly to our BSN program, please visit the traditional BSN advising information pages found within our School of Nursing website for information about the program and when the next BSN group advising session will be held. Students who satisfactorily complete the program are eligible to apply for admission to the RN to BSN program after completion of all the prerequisite coursework and receipt of the RN license. However, the RN to BSN program may require additional courses for 30-Unit Option RNs. 

Thank you again for your interest in our program!