Orange County CA LVN schools- which is best?

  1. Hi I am new to this but hopefully someone will have the answers I need!!! I am looking to start an LVN program this Fall in Orange County CA. From what I have found online it seems like the best two are Stanbridge OR Concorde. Does anyone know if these are good/ bad?? Or does anyone have another school located in OC they would say is best? Thanks!!!
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    About Irishpigtails

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 2


  3. by   raekaylvn
    Quote from Irishpigtails
    Hi I am new to this but hopefully someone will have the answers I need!!! I am looking to start an LVN program this Fall in Orange County CA. From what I have found online it seems like the best two are Stanbridge OR Concorde. Does anyone know if these are good/ bad?? Or does anyone have another school located in OC they would say is best? Thanks!!!
    I graduated from Concorde a year ago. Stanbridge was brand new when I started my LVN program. Concorde is actually a good school, as long as you're ok dealing with their boatloads of crap and bull. The people that run their program and teach it aren't very good people people. They do what they need to do to produce NCLEX passing LVN's. The teaching can be good, depending on the teacher. There are a couple you have to teach yourself with. Most of the clinical instructors are great. I honestly feel like I'm a good nurse because of them, but I believe if you're going to be a good nurse, then you'll get the best out of any schooling.

    If you can afford Concorde, I'd go with them. Just go into it knowing that you'll be dealing with a lot of bull over the next 15 months. You could look into the ROP program, they did clinicals at some of our sites. Plus its cheaper. Don't go to American Career, I've heard lots of negative things from former students. Check locl community colleges as well. Any route you go, good luck!
  4. by   Irishpigtails
    Concorde and Stanbridge are the same price- I also looked into CNI... Does anyone know anything about CNI? AS it stands now I am addmitted to all three schools- I just need to pick one and for the cost I REALLY don't want to choose the wrong one!
  5. by   ShilohPepsi
    I'm about to finish term 2 (of 4) at Stanbridge. Just keep in mind that all these schools are businesses, and act as such. Their bottom line is all money. So far I don't regret my decision to come here because I've heard from students at other schools and they mostly have the same complaints. The administration here is rediculous, but so far my teachers have been great. I have heard bad things about the term 4 instructor, she is also the director of nursing here so there's no fighting with her. We are in acute care right now for clinicals, first term and half of second term we were in long term care. From here on out we are in acute care. I have heard good things about American Career College too. Basically I would choose the school that works best with your schedule and just keep in mind that you have a goal in mind. If you have to put up with some crap along the way, oh well. I think you'll find similiar complaints everywhere. Good luck.
  6. by   claird22
    In reply to Irishpigtails,

    Good luck with finding a school that suits you. For me, it has been a long, frustrating process. First of all, DO NOT go to CNI. I have been going back & forth with CNI for a full year now. I just moved to CA a year ago from last month and I immediately was looking into schools, and CNI is the first I was able to pull up. It is all about the $ there and their program SUCKS and the instructors SUCK. Not only that, they fail to mention to a lot of their students that added on to thats 12 months of theory and clinicals, they require you stay an additional 3 months to study for the NCLEX before you can even take it. So along with the 12 months of HORRIBLE hours and clinicals that are all over the place and some of them, you don't even know the times until the week of so you can't plan anything else, you have to take an extra three months to study for the NCLEX. I could go on and on about this school. So after I realized CNI was a crock after hearing the same from several other people, I looked into Stanbridge. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something was really fishy about Stanbridge. I'm sorry, but it really seemed like ******** to me, the way they were kissing my butt and sugarcoating everything. They were a really small facility and they are still pretty new and me personally, I would rather go somewhere that has been around for a long time and they are well known in the area. Everyone I ever mentioned Stanbridge to, didn't even know who they were. I understand that a lot of these private schools are basically business related, but they just seemed way too flaky to me and way too concerned of how they were going to receive their money before you started. I have been trying to become a nurse for 3 years now. Trust me, I have done my research. I have half my clinicals completed to go to Golden West for the RN program, but it's such a wait I would like to do something in the meantime while I work on my remaining clincals as well. So finally, I was in the doctor's office with one of my children and I was speaking to a Medical Assistant, because for a short while, I was interested in the possibility of becoming a medical assistant as well. She told me if I was interested in nursing, to just go for the nursing and don't settle with anything lower if that is what you want because as intimidating as it may seem, it is well worth it in the end to just go through with it and have it over with. She recommended Pacific College in Costa Mesa for their LVN program. I looked this place up and finally, it seemed like I found a good, accredited college with a lot of good reviews as well (which you could not find with CNI unless you did a ton of research). I called and they were really friendly and send me a packet in the mail, told me to look over the packet and then give them a call back to set up an appointment. I called and set up an appointment and actually went in today. I think I have finally found a good school, they really seem sincere and they don't beat around the bush and lie about their program. They admit it is a hard program and you have to stay very focused and study hard. I would rather have someone tell me straight up than to look me in the eyes and lie to me and say "oh you will do just fine, anyone could do it" when they don't even know me. They have been around for many years and I read lots of good reviews. So obviously, I would recommend them. They also offer PT hours which works great for me with 3 small kids. Good luck to you and I hope you find a school you are happy with! By the way, FT takes 12 months at Pacific College, with no added time for NCLEX and their hours stay within 7-3:30 M-F (including clincals). For PT, the days are Tues & Thurs 6-10:30PM and Sat/Sun from 7-3:30 (including clinicals).
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Nov 29, '09 : Reason: changed to all *******
  7. by   fgamiao
    I recommend that you check out this website: This website lists numerous accredited schools for those interested in vocational nursing or psychiatric techinican programs. There are both public and private schools that you could attend. I also live in Orange county, California.
    Listed is a bunch of schools that I checked out: North Orange County Regional Occupational Program offers VN program which costs an estimate $3,000.00. Downey Adult School VN program costs $5,000. Long Beach City College also has a VN program. I worked with people who graduated from private schools such as Concorde, Summit, and Coast Health College. Overall, I observed that the person who graduated from Concorde seem to get positive results. My other co-workers who graduated from Summit and Coast Health College seem very insecure in their performance. I suggest that you be very careful and keep your options open.
  8. by   tilthewheelsfalloff
    I'm a student currently enrolled at CNI College in Orange. I wish I had never chosen this place. I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE.............. NOT EVEN MY WORST ENEMY!(not that I have any )
    My theory instructors that I have had are Great! I am a good student with very good grades. I have never failed any system or any of the many online tests they have us take, such as ERI. I give much respect to the instructors that actually have a heart and care about their students. That's not where the problem is................... the problem is that the Director of Nursing is a very demeaning, negative person. Then she has a little sidekick that will make your life miserable. These two ladies that run the Nursing Dept are very hurtful little creatures. If you are like me and stand up for yourself and don't kiss anyone's butt and don't feel the need to apologize when you have done nothing wrong then this is not the place for you. You are not aloud to have an opinion, you are not aloud to voice your concerns, and you are not aloud to question ANYTHING about your education either. Don't be fooled like I was when I met them! They will put on a great big smile for you and once they have you enrolled and have your money everything will change. They are unprofessional, have no respect for students or faculty. I have seen and heard how badly these 2 ladies treat some of the instructors. I would be so embarrassed as a teacher to be ridiculed in front of my students. I have very bad anxiety because of their actions and my chest hurts with frustration every time I know that they will be around. I could only imagine how the students that need a little bit more help to pass their test feel. Many of them come back crying to class because they have been put down so much for not being an A+ student. Is that really encouraging? Is it ok for these two ladies to see a student crying her eyes out and be told to hush and not be so sensitive and before you go back to class go fix yourself? These are REAL situations that have happened to my fellow classmates and the list goes on and on.
    If you are considering going here I would talk to current students. Alone. If you are getting a tour by one of these oh so nice ladies and they put a student on the spot to tell you how great CNI is, don't expect an honest opinion. Just won't happen. They have us all scared to voice our real opinion and we don't want to deal with them afterwards. I am too far into the program to quit or transfer. When I was in Term1 a Term 4 student told me to get my education elsewhere. I should have listened. I have wanted to be a nurse for many years. Now that my daughter is old enough, I am able to go back to school and be closer to manifesting my dream of working in the medical field. It's horrible to know that these two women are crushing so many dreams and making people want to quit. I know we all need to be tough and no one said that nursing school was easy but I truly believe in encouragement rather than being put down. I'm not paying $33,000 to be put down or demeaned.
  9. by   Delta18
    Here's the actual low down on how the LVN schools work in Orange County, Ca. They are all a "cookie cutter" system that is driven by money. The sad part is that it is a "cloning" process in a very small petri dish. All the schools circulate the SAME instructors, this is due to the small pool of RN's that are willing to work at the schools. These instructors are usually moonlighting nurses (who are the clinical staff - they take the students to the clinical sites, because they usually have PART TIME hours). The FULL TIMERS are usually those instructors that are RNs pursuing their MSN or their MSN-NP degrees. They need the time in front of a class, that way they use some of their pay to offset their tuition costs, and some of their "class prep" as part of their prep for their graduate work for their own degrees. Ok, to give you an example, one instructor at CNI gets into a tiff with management, he leaves to go to Standbridge to work as an instructor for better pay. Then Ms. A who was an instructor at ACC (Buena Park, CA), who used to work at CNI comes back to CNI because she gets bounced for being "a substandard" instructor at ACC. Then that simmers for about a year. Another instructor who brags to everyone that she has LVN, RN, MSN, PHN....BELIEVE ME FOLKS - this lady has taught at every facility in Orange County, including Santa Ana College. She is the type of instructor that has bi-polar issues and will make your life hell because she thinks with the string of abbreviations behind her name - it means that she's second to Jesus Christ himself. Are you at the point of hating the story yet. Unbelievable? Ask term 3 students at any of these schools what happens. Ok, so back to one of the instructors who is found to be teaching from her "power points" which is not according to school policies - because it does not meet the CA-boards guidelines for Nurse education. She demands higher pay because she's gone to another school, and they blindly said they'd give her more $$$. The current school she's a part of basically "gives her the finger" - she leaves to work at Stanbridge. Now after a year, the first instructor leaves Stanbridge because of issues with the person who is writing Stanbridge's curriculum. He comes back to work at CNI. Bear in mind that all of this happens with multiple instructors at a given time, yet all of them circulate on their own time to any of the LVN schools in Orange County, CA. Wow...right???!

    That's only the part of it......Here's the next big thing....No matter how good any of these instructors are....the schools are run by money mongering ****** that will tell you anything to get you in the door. But what they don't tell you is that the job market for LVN's is NOT GOOD, and why? Because NO ONE hires LVNs that would give you the experience you need to work in a hospital. Sure if you are a "staff" UAP (sitter, CNA, translator) or unit secretary at a place like Kaiser or Fountain Valley Regional - you've got a better shot at getting hired on at your facility. But if you are just someone coming in to change your career path....good luck! The recruiters won't tell you can be a homeless, drunk, junkie prostitute monkey...and as long as you have a SSN to get that $30+K from a lender or the Federal Gov't....these schools will take you! THEY WILL TAKE YOU that's the truth.

    Ok, here's the last bit of my "rant". But mind you, this is all the truth with no "ambiguities" - if it seems convoluted, it is because that is how the system takes advantage of YOU. The administrators of the programs the "Directors of Nursing" at the schools are also cookie cutter. Yet, they are the one thing that is different based on their temperament and their culture. I say this, because at CNI...well the D.O.N. and her administrative staff are "Asian" in a very BROAD just to clarify...they are NOT all ORIENTAL...but they come from the ASIAN continent and the "Pacific islands" close to the shore line. Ok, if you are operating an school in America, you'd think that the type of nepotistic b.s. that you would see in places like Guam, USA and the Philippines would not permeate into the system. But at CNI, you have an Assistant D.O.N. who has clawed her way to the top by kissing ***, while being an incompetent nurse, who often brags that she has 15 years of "oncology nursing" under her belt. The woman cannot even identify the basic structures of the would think that with 15 years of dealing with patients who tend to go the route of dialysis...she would know something like that. What makes matters worse is that she "overcompensates" for her obvious lack of experience and education. She picks on the students to the point of trying to "fail" them or harass them through her "enforcement" of the rules. For example, you are required to have WHITE shoes....other than expensive nursing's hard to find ALL WHITE athletic you buy one that has a slight streak of gray with a small R#bok logo on the side...mind you it's all WHITE with a small gray sliver...What could happen you ask - try repeated write ups (which go in to your record) that will not go away until you buy new shoes! That is the extent of this woman's concern. She is the Assistant D.O.N. - and not only can the students not stand her...the faculty at their last faculty meeting made it very clear that she is not qualified to be in the position she's in. She's gotten into a cat fight with another instructor on campus, because she pulled rank and basically used her position to bully another instructor who needed to leave for a personal reason. She threatened disciplinary action on an instructor who has had perfect attendance. But that's the ironic part. Before coming across this information, I thought instructors were instructors - who were colleagues with the administration. But at CNI, the instructors are treated just as badly as the students. It's crazy. I know. Onto the D.O.N. she has allowed people who have gotten drunk in class to remain in the program...they were silently reprimanded, but allowed to stay. Meanwhile hard working students who are having a hard time are made to feel guilty and put down about their problems. If you have to work while you are in the program....FORGET IT...I know for a fact the following statement was uttered to a student - "Why do you have to work, why can't you just let your parents pay for you school, and pay them back afterward." WHAT THE **** is that?! Nursing is an art of empathetic compassion...there is NONE of that in any of these programs. ACC also has that issue when it comes to their 75 plus classes - no direct attention to student's needs. Stanbridge has a revolving policy on changing things at the last minute. You sign your financial aid paper work, thinking your classes are going to start at 0800 everyday...then they change it on you last minute and say that the classes are now going to start at 0645. "Is it that extreme", you ask. YES. That is the "cookie cutter" trend that I am speaking of.

    Good luck in your decision making process...My advice is go to Saddleback or Golden West College and enroll in their ASN programs - save your money and experience less stress! Also, work with a more competent staff that has integrity, and is held to an actual WASC accreditation!
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Nov 29, '09 : Reason: please do not post names even initials of people and profanity changed to all **
  10. by   Delta18
    One thing that I forgot, to add to what I had posted was the fact that all the schools in the Orange County area of California "share" instructors like venereal disease. Granted not all the instructors are bad. But the bad ones definitely circulate...and they get let go, but they get picked up again and again. They do something stupid or unsafe; they lose a clinical site; or they do something that angers management - and what ends up happening is that they move from site to site. I also forgot to mention Pacific College down in Costa Mesa. At all of these LVN schools?! ABSOLUTELY, I was party to watching a clinical nurse from ACC, who was trying to get into CNI, remove an NG-tube from a patient in the ED at a local hospital. She yanked the think clear out like a "whip" (like Indiana Jones) and lets the thing drop to the floor - and states to the students present "You have to do it like that, with NO FEAR!" Picture Indiana Jones drawing his whip and using it...that's what it looked like. A staff nurse at the hospital saw this, reported it to Ms.D (not real name but another instructor) and said the instructor was not to be allowed at the facility ever again - the clinical instructor was let go the following Monday (not passing her "probation". Ms. P (again not real name) another clinical instructor for CNI lost a psyche facility because she could not make med-pass on time. She blamed the students, and the students were "scape goated" by the D.O.N. and the administrators. Ms. P also instructed students to "lance" themselves for blood glucose tests while at a facility. #1 Infection control VIOLATION! HELLO!!! #2 OSHA VIOLATION because the facility now has 12-15 students with sharps injuries all obtained at a clinical site!!! #3 Blood borne pathogen exposure/Open wounds around some patients that have things like MRSA; VRE; and ESBL - not to mention HIV/AIDS. You would think she'd have double thought that one - but when confronted, her rationale was (actually quoted) "You students must feel the pain that your patients feel." This is probably one of the stupidest things that I have ever heard come out of a human being! You want to do "sharps" training for blood glucose testing - you do it in a CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT where you and your school are covered by insurance, and the students are not exposing patients to what is in their blood - and more importantly you students are not exposed to harmful pathogens that now have easy access to a wound! DUH! Ms. D still is gainfully employed by Ms. P

    As a graduate of CNI, I was also in the predicament that a lot of people are in regards to what to do - especially in this down economy. I actually went to every one of the schools and did their entrance exams and interviews, I even went as far as to run financial aid at 2 of them when I narrowed it down to who I thought would have been the better of the bunch. None of them in my opinion were "best". They all have their "perks" that they try to throw your way - Stanbridge offers a "free" PDA and Laptop (it's part of the tuition - it ain't free), and much to an IT certified tech's disapproval both items are JUNK! You can spend your own money and get much better stuff for less! That's their way of roping you in. CNI does it through "extra NCLEX prep" that is offered at "no extra charge". Yeah, you pay for it with your initial fees. Same deal with the "freebys". There is no such thing as "free" with these people. More importantly, they say they are "saving" you something - no they are not. The owners of CNI - Mr.& Mrs. "H" (remember no names) are definitely in this for the money. They pour on this sob story about their son being treated for cancer or something back in the 90s, and they were so impressed with the staff at a local hospital, that they decided to "open a school to educate nurses." It's ******** - they didn't DONATE money to add needed staff at the hospital - they decided to make $$$ on the production of nurses. They are in a constant battle with the instructors at CNI who actually are about teaching - the arguments stem from text books that are poorly written to why the instructors are monitored via closed circuit cameras in every one of the rooms on campus. Yet, mediocre instructors get away with gross negligence and incompetence. The owners also forbade the D.O.N. from allowing instructors to issue course syllabus during all the terms at CNI. Why? Because they don't have an actual curriculum. It is sad to say that the California Board of Vocational Nursing does not actually do their job when it comes to the auditing of a facility like this. In order to combat the spread of incompetence and predatory educational recruitment, you would think that California would monitor these schools more closely. But NO, it is going to take something like the "mortgage industry" fiasco to cause a state oversight hearing to address THIS unconscionable business practice. Students are constantly "taken for a ride" in regards to what is going on at these places. ACC says that they cultivate "you" they don't - with a class level of 75 people with one instructor, ask yourself if you honestly think that the instructors are going to care about what goes on with your learning. Concorde has issues just maintaining sites, programs like their BLS certs, that it falls to the students to do what they can to keep all their "requirements" in check. You would think that they would be on top of things like this - especially since your paying $30K for a year. Stanbridge can't maintain its instructor staff, because the guy doing their curriculum has a Bachelors in Biology. Why is this a problem, well for one thing the guy gets into fights with the theory instructors, because RN instructors know what subject matters need more weight in lecture and what needs less. But this guy gets carte blanche, from their "D.O.N." and their school's president/owner, in planning what gets taught. Ridiculous sounding right? You'd think that the actual nurse educators would be calling the shots. But sadly, NOPE - that's not the case. In the 1 year that I spent at CNI, it was such an eye opening experience about the HYPOCRISY that the field of nursing has become in way of "education". The "story book" tales of Florence Nightingale are lost here in the land of sunshine and the "leftist-socialist" ideal - were everyone is equal & all hold the common belief in "Kum Bay Ya"! It's all a crock of $#!@ - not being too vulgar about it.
    The one question that a lot of readers are going to ask is - how the heck did I get all this information on all these schools?!? I spent 1 year of learning what I needed to pass my classes and pass the NCLEX. In between that I listened to instructors, watched the trends of who was coming and going, and I befriended a lot of the support staff at the schools. 1 of them, God rest her soul, committed suicide - stemming from being fired from CNI. Her treatment at the hands of the administrators, the dean of students, and the D.O.N. was deplorable. There are those instructors at Stanbridge and Concorde who have told me that they are just biding their time for their masters programs to culminate = that way they can move on to schools like community colleges or ASN-RN programs elsewhere. The sad part about all of this, is that in looking at how these schools operate, who owns them, and what is being done to the students - there isn't enough that a "bankrupt", immoral, and defunct state like California can do to enforce things. Thus, anything at this point, short of a complete shut down of these programs, would be "knee jerk" reaction at best. It will not be addressed until this whole thing blows up and becomes as bad as what occured with the Housing/Mortgage boom....names in the news headlines like Argent, Ameriquest, New Century....will be replaced by names like Stanbridge, CNI, Concorde, Pacific, and American Career.

    Again, to all prospective students - BEWARE! Think before you allow yourself to be taken for a ride, that will see you floundering for work - even if you are an honors graduate. Do your homework....and again, if you can - go to an actual school - a state school with an ASN program or a BSN program, and if you really want the LVN license - get the requirements from the CA-Board of LVN and Psych Technicians...follow that while you are in your nursing classes - challenge the board when the time comes up - take the NCLEX-VN...then move onto your RN. It's just not worth it to go the route that so many of us "suckers" settled for!
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Nov 29, '09 : Reason: please do not post names even initials of people and profanity changed to all **
  11. by   confused0101
    Hi... WHat school are you currently attending now????
  12. by   fgamiao
    October 6, 2009

    I am currently enrolled at Hacienda La Puente Vocational Nursing Program. I highly recommend this school even though it's an adult school. It offers a lot of support from staff and students. My teachers are awesome! They are knowledgable in a lot of nursing theories and practices. I already completed 3 1/2 months in the program and I am grateful that I chose this school. My clinical site is on a med/surg floor at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Baldwin Park. I live in Garden Grove and travel more than majority of my's worth the sacrifice! For those who are curious about this school...the monthly fee is $300.00 for 12 months. Hacienda La Puente Adult School is a branch out from Hacienda La Puente School District. This program is actually funded by the government. For those considering LVN option...consider this school before thinking of going to a private school.
  13. by   Delta18
    To "confused0101" - I'm finished with school and received my license last year. I've kept in touch with many of the staff at CNI and some of the other colleges I listed, because I was able to build a friendship with a lot of them. They've all given me sound advice on what to do to get past the NCLEX and to get myself out of that "mine field"! R.O.P. programs here in Orange County are a mixed bag - the one thing that cannot be argued is this..."What you put into it, you will get back." Anyone who enrolls in both public and private programs will find that they are surrounded by people of different maturity levels. They have both the capability of making an outstanding class -or- a class that stands out. "So what?" you may ask. The problem with the class that stands out - is for it's notorious offenders, like my class had. There were cheaters, people who were consistent flunk outs because all they would do is complain about their failures being everyone's fault except their own. Of course, there is always the "overachiever" when it came to causing our class to be held back - our favorite class dip $#!t who would get drunk in the back, because she said she couldn't understand our Jordanian instructor. The funny thing, is that 80% of the class did well in that instructor's class. The other 20% including the "lush" were the idiots who slept in the back of the classroom from term 1 through 4. For anyone thinking about an LVN the ASN. It's more time...yes, but you can still challenge the board in pretty much all states - if you meet the requirements for an LVN license, while you are in the ASN program. That's advice I wish I had, before I went through the hassles.
  14. by   lillor
    Were you able to get a job as an LVN after you graduated CNI? I'm currently a 4th term ACC student and hoping I can find a job after all of this while continuing on at a community college with the LNV to RN bridge program.