seriously, you need to talk to students who have attended pasadena city college, are attending there, or search these forums for any threads relating to the school. i have consistently heard that there are a lot of unhappy students in that program. it's a tough program which is why they have such a high nclex pass rate. i live in a community right next to pasadena and, interestingly, as much as i have been an inpatient at the hospital here in arcadia i've not found one nurse who works here who graduated from pcc. most went to other schools in the area. as a california resident you can attend any community college nursing program you want. you are not restricted by geography.
i wouldn't be all that concerned about nclex pass rates. when you sit down to take that test it's you vs. the test. as a student you have an obligation to learn as much as you can. it is not the duty of the teachers, nor their responsibility to teach you everything. rather, it is your duty to learn it. the teachers are merely facilitators and there to provide guidance and help to you. i would submit that the reason some schools have lower nclex pass rates is because they allow students into their nursing programs that other schools turn away or flunk out. these same schools with low pass rates give some people a chance to become nurses who might never get a chance at another school. what these students do with the opportunity is up to them and not necessarily the fault of the teachers or the program they are in. schools with high pass rates expect high performance from their students and often "weed" out those who are not working up to their standards and put a lot of pressure on them to quit or drop out or eventually just flunk out those who are not doing well by their standards. some programs have a different agenda and their primary goal is to provide opportunity rather than worry about nclex pass rates because that is what their community wants of their college district.
the fact is that once you get your license, no one really gives a rat's behind where you went to school or what your score was on your nclex. i know. i was a manager for a number of years who interviewed and hired both experienced nurses and new grads. it just wasn't part of the interview questioning. in california you can work as an interim permitee before you even take the nclex, so in all likelihood, you'll be working for the same outfit before and after you take the nclex. all they'll be interested in is "did you pass?"
the only thing of concern is what kind of nursing job experience you have. in my 30+ years as a nurse i've yet to be questioned about the two nursing schools i went to (i have an adn and a bsn) or my state board scores. the va that i worked for was interested in my schooling only to verify that i was truthfully telling them the schools i had attended and graduated from for my fbi file.
there are many other nursing schools in the la area. you can find them on this list: http://www.rn.ca.gov/schools/programs.shtml