San Marcos Healthcare
Learning Center


Q: Is this a regular vocational nursing program?

     No. It is an equivalency method (method 3) wherein you use your experience as a nursing assistant or prior education to qualify for the LVN exam (NCLEX-PN)

(This EQUIVALENCY method is one of the qualifying method
to sit for NCLEX-PN in the state of CA.)

Q: Is your course accepted by the Board to meet the Pharmacology course requirement?      
     Yes. You may call the Board directly and inquire about us. Click here to see a letter from the board to a student inquiring about our course (letter courtesy of the student herself (a new widow will appear. allow pop up in your browser)

Q. Is the course accredited?
      Accreditation applies to a school or program that confers any degree. This course is not a part of a degree program. We don't offer any program that confers any degree and therefore you will not find us in the list of institutions that are accredited. This is a stand alone course and no degree is conferred after course completion. This course is mainly used to meet the Pharmacology requirement of the equivalency method (method 3) for the CA state board for Vocational Nursing.

Q: What are the requirements under method 3 to be eligible for the state board exam and do I have to be a CNA?
   No, you don't have to be a certified nursing assistant. As long as you are involved with direct patient care, the board will give equivalent credits for your experience. Having the certification however will earn you additional 5 months credits towards the required experience.

see a sample evaluation here   
(a new widow will appear. allow pop up in your browser)

There are 2 basic requirements set by the board under method 3
Below is a summary and taken directly from the board's website. For detailed and updated requirements, please visit 

Method 3: Qualification Based on Equivalent Education and/or Experience Authority per section 2873 of the Vocational Nursing Practice Act and section 2516(b) of the California Code of Regulations: Qualifying for licensure examination based on prior education and experience, often referred to as "the equivalency method", requires the applicant to provide documentation of a minimum of 51 months of paid general duty inpatient bedside nursing experience in a clinical facility and completion of a 54-theory-hour pharmacology course

1. Experience Requirement:

Pursuant to the California Code of Regulations section 2516(b), 51 months of paid general duty inpatient bedside nursing experience must include a minimum of each of the following:

51 months paid experience of which:

48 months medical/surgical of which 40 months MUST be in a hospitalon an inpatient ward (oncology, ICU, telemetry etc.) or a long term skilled facility.

A maximum 8 months may be gained in an outpatient such as clinic, ER, doctor's office, outpatient rehab, EMT, psychiatric. The Board wants the majority of the med/surg experience (18+ inpatient) to be in a hospital on an inpatient ward or long term skilled facility handling adults.

1.5 months (240 paid hours) pediatrics

1.5 months (240 paid hours) maternity or genitourinary

Maternity and pediatrics may be gained in any of the above settings including inpatient and outpatient and does not count toward the 8 month maximum in outpatient medical/surgical.

All hours must be within the previous 10 years and half must be within the previous 5 years.

If you have a CNA certificate, submit a copy with your application for 5.0 months of med/surg credit.

No credit for home health, assisted living or residential care facilities, phlebotomy, or CEU type courses.

Staffing agencies/registries may be an employer however, they are not supervising the work at the facility. Those hours must be signed by a supervisor at the facility and returned in the facility's official envelope.

All hours must be signed by a licensed supervisor and returned to the facility's official preprinted business sealed envelope. FedEx/UPS envelopes are not official envelopes. Due to the volume, the Board cannot check to see if mail has arrived before evaluation. If you would like verification, you may want to send documents where you have a tracking or return receipt.

You can print out an application at under the licensing tab, licensure for LVN by examination, method 3.

2. Completion of  54 hour Pharmacology Course 

In addition to the required paid bedside nursing experience, the applicant must also have completed a pharmacology course of at least 54 theory hours that covers the following content:

Knowledge of commonly used drugs and their action
Computation of dosages
Preparation of medications
Principles of administration

54 theory hour pharmacology course for nursing (cannot be pharmacy technician or medical assisting courses). Pharmacology documents must be sent in the school or providers envelope, transcript style.

No credit is given for medical assisting courses or certificates, however, the Board may grant credit for prerequisites of a nursing program for courses such as anatomy, psychology, nutrition oral communication, health ethics, microbiology. If you have any of these courses, the Board will require an official transcript from an accredited college. Education does not expire. These courses must be from a college for credit/units and receive a grade of C or better. CEU courses or courses from private vendors do not qualify.

Q: Do you offer 54 hour Pharmacology courses?

Option 1: Online course: $275 - $375 (click here to learn more about the online course)
Option 2: Online (virtual) class: $425 (click here to learn more about the online class)
Q: Is your course accepted by the Board?      

You may call the Board directly and inquire about us. Click here to see a letter from the board to a student inquiring about our course (letter courtesy of the student herself (a new widow will appear. allow pop up in your browser)

Q: Is there any additional courses that I need to take?

     None. The only course required by the board is 54 hours of Pharmacology. No other courses are needed. 

Q: What are the requirements to get into your Pharmacology course?

     Unlike other schools where they require you to attend/take several courses before you can take their Pharmacology course, we don't require you to take anything. 

The only requirement that we need from students who signs up for our class is for them to understand that this course is mainly used to meet the requirements for equivalency method. It does not confer any degree. The experience requirement will be your responsibility. Whether you meet it or still working on your experience does not affect your ability in taking the course. You can sign up anytime for the class from our website

Q: Where can I get the application form and employment verification form?

     The forms for application, employment verification as well as details of the licensing requirement can be seen at under the licensing tab, licensure for LVN by examination, method 3. link:

Q: Do you offer any courses that will help me prepare for the exam? I don't feel prepared if I only take the Pharmacology.

     Although the board only requires the completion of a 54 hour Pharmacology course besides the experience requirement to qualify for the exam, Pharmacology course alone will not prepare you for it. We offer NCLEX preparatory course especially designed for those who have not gone through a regular nursing program. Click here for details of our NCLEX Preparatory course.

 Q. Will you help us in the process of application such as filling up the forms and reviewing our documents for submission to the board?

    This is a free service that we provide to our students. We will guide you in the application process and can check the accuracy and completeness of your documents before you submit it to the board. If you are not our student and you want us to review your documents, we can do these for a corresponding fee. Disclaimer: We don't evaluate your experience. Only the board can evaluate and determine your eligibility for licensure.

Q. How do I apply for examination once I am done with the course?

   Click here for a step by step guide for online application by examination