In our California RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key California RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of California, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

California RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs8544
Average NCLEX Passing Rate88.72%87.43%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range67.27% to 100.00%56.96% to 97.15%
Average Net Price$8,456.88$18,391.28
Average Net Price Range$2,695.00 to $27,925.00$2,791.00 to $39,870.00
Average Student Loan$7,205.45$20,192.08
Average Student Loan Range$3,500.00 to $24,000.00$11,666.00 to $42,032.00
See Additional DetailADN Rankings for California StateBSN Rankings for California State

Best Ranked RN Programs in California

Best Ranked RN Programs in CaliforniaTo help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both California and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 82 ADN degree programs and 36 BSN degree programs in California. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in California to provide our state rankings. View our methodology


Grade
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US Rank
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100.00 ADNMonterey Peninsula College11 Monterey

Monterey Peninsula College has multiple campuses – in Oceanside, Monterey and Seaside, California.  The Maurine Church Coburn School of Nursing offers an RN degree with an LVN to RN option  Unique to the Maurine Church Coburn School of Nursing is the Men in Nursing Program, which promotes and recruits men in the nursing program, then works towards male retention in nursing.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
100.00 ADNChabot College11 Hayward

Chabot College is located in Hayward, California.  They boast that their faculty has 20 or more years of experience.  Also, the majority of their RN graduates move on to pursue their BSN degree at CSUEB bridge program.  They also have incredible NCLEX-RN pass rates – over the past 5 years, pass rates have ranged from 96.3% to 100%.

PublicCampusSee School Details
99.46 ADNVictor Valley College22 Victorville

Victor Valley College is located in Victorville, California.  The nursing program is housed under the Dr. Prem Reddy School of Health Sciences Department.  They offer an RN degree and an LVN to RN option.  Their nursing program “prepares students for an entry-level position in nursing practice. The structure of this program promotes professional and personal growth, including continuing education, and provides upward and lateral mobility for career options.”

PublicCampusSee School Details
99.20 ADNSierra College38 Rocklin

Sierra College is located in Rocklin, California.  Their nursing department offers a CNA program, and their RN program offers both the general RN program and an LVN to RN option.  In addition, students may elect to pursue their BSN concurrently with the River City Collaborative, which means that they would have certain BSN degree requirements to attend do while they are completing their ADN education

PublicCampusSee School Details
99.09 ADNLos Angeles Harbor College412 Wilmington

Los Angeles Harbor College is located in Wilmington, California.  They offer an RN program and an LVN to RN program.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
99.06 ADNGrossmont College513 El Cajon

Grossmont College is located in El Cajon, California.  They offer an RN, LVN to RN, and now offer an RN to BSN program, with the assistance of a local university, Point Loma Nazarene University.  The RN classes must be completed at Grossmont College, and then the BSN classes are competed at Grossmont College as well, but are taught by PLNU faculty on-campus

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
98.98 ADNMerritt College615 Oakland

Merritt College is located in Oakland, California.  Their nursing program is an ADN program.  Merritt nursing students also have the option to elect an ADN to BSN option, by enrolling in the Cal State East Bay BSN (CSUEB) program, which is a transfer bridge program to a neighboring university.

PublicCampusSee School Details
98.92 ADNSan Diego City College716 San Diego

San Diego City College is located in San Diego, California.  They offer an RN program, an LVN to RN program, and a 30-unit option program.  ADN graduates who seek to further their education also have the benefit of San Diego City College’s collaboration with San Diego State University; this allows the nursing graduate to continue for their BSN degree while working as an RN.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
98.57 ADNMira Costa College922 Oceanside

MiraCosta College has two campuses in Oceanside, California and a campus in Cardiff, California.  Their nursing program offers a CNA program, a home health aide program, an LVN program, an RN program and an LVN to RN program.  MiraCosta College has several partnerships with neighboring universities so that their graduates may easily obtain their BSN after graduation, should they so choose – Chamberlain College of Nursing, California State University College of Nursing and Brandman University, which also discounts the price for MiraCosta students..

PublicCampusSee School Details
98.17 ADNCuesta College1233 San Luis Obispo

Cuesta College is located in San Luis Obispo, California.  They offer an RN and an LVN to RN program.  Their LVN to RN program is 3 semesters, with the summer off.  Clinical rotations are done at neighboring facilities.  They also require their LVNs to have at least one year of experience prior to admittance into their program.

PublicCampusSee School Details
98.00 ADNOhlone College1336 FremontPublicCampusSee School Details
97.98 ADNMoorpark College1437 Moorpark

Moorpark College is located in Moorpark, California.  They offer an RN program.  LVNs can apply for advanced placement into the program; this accepts the LVN into the second or third semester of the program.  While they do not have a specific LVN to RN program, this allows the LVN to proceed more quickly through their RN education.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
97.81 ADNMt. San Jacinto College (Mt San Jacinto Community College District)1641 San Jacinto

Mt. San Jacinto Community College has campuses in San Jacinto, California and Menifee Valley, California.  They offer an RN and an LVN to RN program.  Their nursing department philosophy, “focuses on the individual needs of the students and patients (persons), within the context of families, communities and environments who exist on a health continuum.”

PublicCampusSee School Details
97.69 ADNSaddleback College1848 Mission Viejo

Saddleback College is located in Mission Viejo, California.  They offer a generic RN program and an LVN to RN program.  They also have a “Southern California New Graduate RN Transition Program” that is open to Orange County community college nursing graduates who have graduated within the past year; it is designed to transition the nurse from the school setting directly into the work setting.  The program pairs the new graduate with a practicing RN for the duration of the program, working approximately 240 hours on the night shift.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
97.64 ADNChaffey College1950 Rancho Cucamonga

Chaffey College is located in Rancho Cucamonga, California.  Their nursing program was founded in 1957 and was one of the first five associate’s degree nursing programs in California.  They offer an RN program, a VN to RN program and a VN to RN (non-degree option).

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
96.80 ADNGlendale Community College2177 Glendale

Glendale Community College is located in Glendale, California.  Glendale Community College offers an RN and an LVN to RN program.  Unique to Glendale Community College is their Foreign Nurse Graduate program.  This program is designed for foreign nurse graduates who have a deficiency in their education that is preventing them from taking the NCLEX-RN.

PublicCampusSee School Details
96.68 ADNBakersfield College2280 Bakersfield

Bakersfield College is located in Bakersfield, California.  They offer an RN program, an LVN to RN program and the 30-unit option program.  Bakersfield College also has a partnership with Cal State University Bakersfield (CSUB), where their graduates can easily transfer into an ADN to BSN program.

PublicCampusSee School Details
96.20 ADNHartnell College2699 Salinas

Hartnell College is located in Salinas, California.  Their nursing curriculum “is evolving and embraces new ideas and technology, yet is guided by foundational elements of safety, quality, and ethical-legal standards.”  Their ADN program is four semesters (or two years) after completion of about a year of prerequisites.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
96.10 ADNImperial Valley College27102 Imperial

Imperial Valley College is located in Imperial, California.  Imperial Valley College offers an LVN, an RN and an LVN to RN program.  Their LVN to RN program is broken down into “track 1” and “track 2” – track 1 is for students who seek the ADN degree.  Track 2 is the 30-unit option, which allows the LVN to get their RN license in 2 semesters bu not actually getting their ADN degree.

PublicCampusSee School Details
95.87 ADNCollege of the Sequoias28114 VisaliaPublicCampusSee School Details
95.77 ADNCollege of the Siskiyous29118 Weed

College of the Siskiyous is located in Weed, California.  They boast that they have one of the most beautiful campuses in California because their campus is housed on the base of Mount Shasta in Northern California.  They offer an LVN to RN “Step-up” program.  Their program is two semesters, although they require their students to take a three unit Transition course over the summer.

PublicCampusSee School Details
95.71 ADNDe Anza College30121 CupertinoPublicCampusSee School Details
95.66 ADNPacific Union College31123 AngwinPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
95.61 ADNLos Angeles Pierce College32126 Woodland HillsPublicCampusSee School Details
95.54 ADNSanta Rosa Junior College33129 Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa Junior College is located in Forestvilla, California.  They offer an RN and an LVN to RN program.  In addition, they have a partnership with Sonoma State University School of Nursing, allowing graduates to pursue their BSN or MSN after graduation from Santa Rosa Junior College.

PublicCampusSee School Details
95.40 ADNMt San Antonio College34136 WalnutPublicCampusSee School Details
95.33 ADNEvergreen Valley College35138 San JosePublicCampusACENSee School Details
95.19 ADNCollege of Marin36141 Kentfield

College of Marin is located in Kentfield, California.  Their mission is to “…educate entry-level practitioners for roles as providers of care across the health care continuum, as managers of care, and as active members within the profession of nursing.”  Their program is small and exclusive – they select only 36 students each fall.

PublicCampusSee School Details
95.18 ADNSacramento City College37142 Sacramento

Sacramento City College is located in Sacramento, California.  Their nursing department offers an ADN and an LVN and Career Mobility (VN-RN) program, which are four semesters and three semesters respectively.  They also offer an LVN to RN 30-unit option, which readies the nurse to take the NCLEX-RN exam, but does not meet the requirements for an associates degree.

PublicCampusSee School Details
95.02 ADNVentura College38149 Ventura

Ventura College is located in Ventura, California.  Their ADN degree is unique – the student can elect simple to enroll for their RN degree, or to enroll for the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to the California State University (CSU) Systems.  Many students elect this option if they believe that they will want to work as an RN while pursuing their BSN degree.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
94.96 ADNAmerican River College39153 Sacramento

American River College is located in Sacramento, California.  They offer an RN program and an LVN to RN program.  Each semester, they have anywhere from 200 to 300 qualified applicants for their nursing programs.  Their nursing programs begin twice yearly, spring and fall.

PublicCampusSee School Details
94.81 ADNLong Beach City College41161 Long Beach

Long Beach City College is located in Long Beach, California.  They offer an LVN program, in addition to an ADN program.  Their ADN program also offers an LVN to ADN options.  Graduates of the LVN to RN program at Long Beach City College are eligible to enroll in neighboring universities in their ADN to BSN or ADN to MSN programs.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
94.44 ADNReedley College at Madera Community College Center43172 Reedley

Reedley College is located in Reedley, California.  Their LVN to RN program is located in their Madera Center.  Unique to Reedley College is the Madera College Advantage Program (MCCAP), which works to transition high school seniors into college life.

PublicCampusSee School Details
94.38 ADNNapa Valley College44175 NapaPublicCampusSee School Details
94.14 ADNWest Hills College-Lemoore46188 Lemoore

West Hills College – Lemoore is located in Lemoore, California.  They offer an RN program and an LVN to RN program.  They also offer the 30-unit option for LVNs.  The LVN to RN program is three semesters, beginning with a summer semester.  The LVN to RN students then meet up with the traditional RN students to finish out the final two semesters.

PublicCampusSee School Details
93.91 ADNRiverside City College47200 Riverside

Riverside City College is located in Riverside, California.  Riverside City College’s ADN program was founded in 1957, and is nationally recognized as number two in the state of California for program completion.  They offer an LVN, RN, RN to LVN and a 30-unit option program.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.71 ADNModesto Junior College48210 ModestoPublicCampusSee School Details
93.67 ADNSanta Barbara City College49213 Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara City College is located in Santa Barbara, California.  Their school of nursing educates CNAs, LVNs, an RNs.  They also have an LVN to RN option.  They also have two LVN to to RN options; both will require the same nursing classes but do allow entrance to LVNs with different prerequisites.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.64 ADNSanta Monica College50215 Santa Monica

Santa Monica College is located in Santa Monica, California.  They offer an ADN and an LVN to ADN program.  The LVN to ADN program can be completed in three semesters.  The LVN seeking entrance into the LVN to ADN program must have at least one year of nursing experience within the past two years and must also have IV certification.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.42 ADNMendocino College51225 Ukiah

Mendocino College is located in Ukiah, California.  They offer both an RN program and an LVN to RN program; their LVN to RN program is a bit shorter, being three semesters as opposed to four semesters.  They are proud to boast that their most current NCLEX-RN pas rate is 100%.

PublicCampusSee School Details
93.39 ADNAntelope Valley College52227 LancasterPublicCampusSee School Details
92.95 ADNCollege of San Mateo53244 San MateoPublicCampusSee School Details
92.93 ADNLos Angeles Valley College54245 Valley Glen

Los Angeles Valley College is located in Valley Glen, California.  Their program offers an RN program, an LVN to RN option and an LVN 30 unit option.  They also offer an ADN-BSN collaborative program, which links the student to California State University.  This allows the student to obtain their ADN degree and continue immediately for their BSN degree while working as an RN.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
92.78 ADNCollege of the Desert55254 Palm DesertPublicCampusSee School Details
92.66 ADNPalomar College56260 San Marcos

Palomar College is located in San Marcos, California.  They offer two types of RN degrees – an Associate of Arts (AA) in Nursing and an Associate of Science (AS) in Nursing.  Both have identical nursing coursework, with the AA program requiring additional general education credits.  They also have an LVN to RN option and an LVN 30-unit option.  The LVN 30-unit option allows an LVN to take the coursework required to take the NCLEX-RN in one year, without receiving either an AA or AS degree.  Of note with this option is that this is specific to California – this license may not transfer to other states.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
92.61 ADNEl Camino College (El Camino Community College District)57263 Torrance

El Camino Community College is located in Torrance, California.  They offer an ADN, LVN to ADN and a 30 unit option.  In addition, they do allow students to apply to their program with advanced placement; these students include LVN/LPNs, LPTs and transfers from other accredited nursing programs.

PublicCampusSee School Details
92.27 ADNSanta Ana College58276 Santa AnaPublicCampusACENSee School Details
92.21 ADNLos Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health59277 Los Angeles

Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health is located in Los Angeles, California.  This community college is owned and operated by the County of Los Angeles.  The nursing program began in 1895 and has evolved over the years into the program it is today; it graduates 100 to 150 RNs yearly.

PublicCampusSee School Details
92.02 ADNLos Angeles City College60282 Los Angeles

Los Angeles City College is located in Los Angeles, California.  Acceptance into their program is based on a “lottery” – qualified applicants must meet multiple requirements (such as prerequisites, an assessment test, and an application).  All that qualify are placed into the lottery and those who are drawn are given entrance into their program.  Graduates from their program may opt to attend Cal State University LA for their ADN to BSN program; this will allow the graduate to work as an RN while continuing their education.

PublicCampusSee School Details
91.89 ADNSan Joaquin Delta College61286 StocktonPublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.86 ADNButte College62287 OrovillePublicCampusSee School Details
91.79 ADNCitrus College63289 Glendora

Citrus College is located in Glendora, California.  They offer an LVN program, an RN program and an LVN to RN program.  Their nursing program is fairly new compared to other nursing programs in California – their LVN to RN program was founded in 2007, with their ADN program forming in 2008.

PublicCampusSee School Details
91.53 ADNContra Costa College64300 San PabloPublicCampusSee School Details
91.51 ADNCity College of San Francisco65301 San FranciscoPublicCampusSee School Details
91.44 ADNSolano Community College66306 FairfieldPublicCampusSee School Details
91.19 ADNCypress College67318 Cypress

Cypress College is located in Cypress, California.  Cypress College boasts that their Health Science Division programs are ranked among the highest in the nation and the state, with NCLEX-RN pass rates that are higher than national standards.  They offer an RN and an LVN to RN career mobility program.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.44 ADNShasta College68343 ReddingPublicCampusSee School Details
90.29 ADNPorterville College69350 PortervillePublicCampusSee School Details
89.97 ADNCopper Mountain College (Copper Mountain Community College)70363 Joshua TreePublicCampusSee School Details
89.96 ADNGavilan College71364 Gilroy

Gavilan College is located in Gilroy, California.  They offer an LVN program, an RN program, an LVN to RN program and a 30-unit option program.  Gavilan College was founded in 1919, and originally was named San Benito County Junior College.  In 1963, the name was changed to Gavilan College.

PublicCampusSee School Details
89.87 ADNLos Medanos College72366 PittsburgPublicCampusSee School Details
89.69 ADNCollege of the Redwoods73374 EurekaPublicCampusSee School Details
89.62 ADNEl Camino College-Compton Education Center75377 ComptonPublicCampusSee School Details
89.39 ADNCerritos College76387 NorwalkPublicCampusACENSee School Details
89.22 ADNUnitek College77392 FremontPrivate For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
89.18 ADNGolden West College78394 Huntington Beach

Golden West College is located in Huntington Beach, California.  They offer an RN and an LVN to RN program.  They also offer co-enrollment programs for ADNs seeking to become BSNs with Concordia University, California State University – Fullerton, and Vanguard University.  The student would attend Golden West College full-time, but could concurrently attend one of these universities one to two evenings per week to shorten the length of time of the BSN program.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
87.83 ADNMerced College81444 MercedPublicCampusSee School Details
87.61 ADNCollege of the Canyons82454 Santa ClaritaPublicCampusSee School Details
87.60 ADNYuba College83455 MarysvillePublicCampusSee School Details
87.35 ADNAllan Hancock College84465 Santa MariaPublicCampusSee School Details
86.97 ADNSan Bernardino Valley College85476 San BernardinoPublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.59 ADNCNI College86489 OrangePrivate For-ProfitCampus, OnlineSee School Details
85.80 ADNSouthwestern College87510 Chula VistaPublicCampusACENSee School Details
84.62 ADNSan Joaquin Valley College-Visalia89534 VisaliaPrivate For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
84.45 ADNFresno City College90539 FresnoPublicCampusSee School Details
83.52 ADNLos Angeles Trade Technical College92564 Los AngelesPublicCampusSee School Details
82.92 ADNCabrillo College93579 AptosPublicCampusSee School Details
77.25 ADNLos Angeles Southwest College94656 Los AngelesPublicCampusSee School Details
77.11 ADNMission College95658 Santa ClaraPublicCampusSee School Details
75.58 ADNCarrington College96665 SacramentoPrivate For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
73.94 ADNEast Los Angeles College97676 Monterey ParkPublicCampusSee School Details
61.63 ADNMount St Mary's University-Los Angeles99711 Los AngelesPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
99.49 BSNCalifornia State University-Long Beach12 Long Beach

California State University – Long Beach is located in Long Beach, California.  For BSN nursing, they offer a traditionl nursing program, designed for students without a prior nursing license, and a “registered nurse student” program which is designed for students already holding an RN license.  They also offer a DNP program.

PublicCampusACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
98.18 BSNCalifornia State University-Sacramento232 Sacramento

California State University – Sacramento is located in Sacramento, California.  They offer a variety of BSN programs – a traditiona BSN program, an RN to BSN program and an LVN to RN 30-unit option, non-degree program.  The non-degree program serves the LVN who wants to work as an RN but may not have time to complete an ADN or BSN degree.  On the downside, they do not have a degree after completion and their nursing license may not transfer state-to-state.

PublicCampusCCNESee School Details
97.78 BSNSonoma State University343 Rohnert Park

Sonoma State University is located in Rohnert Park, California.  Sonoma State University offers “pre-licensure BSN” and “post-licensure” BSN programs. The pre-licensure program is designed for traditional BSN students, where as the post-licensure BSN program is designed for students who hold an ADN degree and their RN license.

PublicCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
96.48 BSNUniversity of California-Los Angeles486 Los AngelesPublicCampusACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
96.26 BSNCalifornia State University-Bakersfield599 Bakersfield

California State University – Bakersfield is locate in Bakersfield, California.  The BSN degree has been offered at CSUB since 1970, when the university was founded.  Since that time, over 2000 nurses have graduated from their nursing program.  Their nursing program expanded in 1987, and began a master’s in nursing administration program.  It has since expanded and now includes family nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurse leaders, and nurse educators.

PublicCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
95.92 BSNCalifornia State University-Los Angeles6109 Los Angeles

California State University – Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles, California.  They have the ability to boast that they are ranked on US News & World Report’s Best Nursing Schools: Master’s list.  Their nursing department offers a traditional BSN program, an accelerated BSN program, an ADN to BSN program and multiple post-graduate options.  In addition, they have collaborative agreements with various community colleges, allowing ADN graduates to segue into their programs easily.

PublicCampusACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
95.02 BSNCalifornia State University-Fullerton7145 FullertonPublicCampus, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
93.75 BSNSamuel Merritt University8202 OaklandPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
92.19 BSNCalifornia State University-Fresno9262 FresnoPublicCampus, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
92.10 BSNLoma Linda University10266 Loma LindaPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
91.21 BSNWest Coast University11297 North HollywoodPrivate For-ProfitCampusACME, COASee School Details
90.39 BSNNational University12315 La Jolla

National University has 19 locations throughout California, with 4 military learning centers.  They have multiple types of nursing programs, from BSN, LVN to RN, LVN to BSN, RN to BSN, doctorate of nursing practice, master of science in nurse anesthesia and master of science in nursing.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
89.38 BSNUniversity of San Francisco13345 San FranciscoPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
88.25 BSNCalifornia Baptist University14370 RiversidePrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
88.09 BSNMount St Mary's University-Los Angeles15376 Los AngelesPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
85.22 BSNSan Francisco State University16439 San FranciscoPublicCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
84.47 BSNAzusa Pacific University17450 AzusaPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details

Online RN Programs in California

Today there are very few disadvantages to earning an online RN degree in California. With advances in online learning coupled the need to educate more nurses because of the nursing shortage, many nursing schools are offing online nursing programs. For nurses needing to complete clinicals, nursing programs usually help a nurse to find one. Be sure to choose an accredited program that meets quality standards set by either the ACEN or CCNE accrediting agencies. An accredited online RN Nursing program will help ensure that your units pass can transfer to another accredited college and help you in gain employment. Learn more about online RN programs.

California RN Licensing Requirements

RN License by Endorsement

Candidates who are licensed in one of the other 50 states can obtain licensure by endorsement. They must also meet the following requirements:
  • Completion of an approved education program meeting all requirements as set by California
  • Obtaining a passing score on the NCLEX or State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE).
  • Appropriate fees
  • Completed endorsement application
  • Completed fingerprints using either Live Scan or the Applicant Fingerprint Card
  • A recent passport-type photography
  • Verification of License

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

Candidates who have studied abroad also have the opportunity to gain licensure through the state of California. In order to complete this the following documentation must be provided:
  • Passing an exam to prove comprehension in the English language
  • Curriculum similar to that of a California college
  • Application for licensure

California State Board of Vocational Nursing

2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 205 Sacramento, CA 95833 Phone: (916) 263-7800

RN Salaries in California

The RN-BSN Programs are known as bridge programs or BSN completion programs. They are designed to give credit to experienced RNs based on the knowledge they already have. The experience they gained working, as an RN will help move them towards a Bachelor’s degree. Courses in humanities and medical ethics can prepare even the most well informed professional nurse to seek out a career in advanced practice. A typical nursing school in California offers RN to BSN programs that include curriculum such as:
  • Developmental psychology and sociology
  • Algebra
  • Nursing management of complex health issues
  • Foundations in nursing informatics
  • Health assessment and diagnostic reasoning
  • Pathophysiology concepts for nursing

California Registered Nursing Salaries

The Los Angeles area has the most registered nursgin, but they are paid the highest annual median wage in all of the metropolitan areas in the state of California. However, the Oakland metropolitan area has the highest hourly mean wage.
Area nameEmploymentHourly mean wageAnnual median wage
Bakersfield-Delano, CA4,370$40.09$80,850
Chico, CA2,240$37.17$72,480
El Centro, CA680$36.71$73,200
Fresno, CA5,870$40.48$78,380
Hanford-Corcoran, CA1,180$43.91$89,550
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division70,140$45.26$95,040
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA88,420$44.80$93,590
Merced, CA800$44.16$92,260
Modesto, CA3,360$50.17$103,900
Napa, CA1,690$48.18$101,610
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Division20,310$59.01$127,480
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA4,470$41.29$86,760
Redding, CA1,780$43.25$90,240
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA23,980$43.04$88,480
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA15,750$50.67$108,620
Salinas, CA2,500$48.63$101,630
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA23,490$41.23$83,500
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA34,460$60.09$130,480
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Divi14,150$61.63$134,260
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA14,510$58.57$130,030
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA1,300$42.02$89,010
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division18,280$43.04$88,310
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA2,570$45.64$92,880
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA1,380$59.17$136,570
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA3,580$49.36$101,740
Stockton, CA3,840$42.99$90,370
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA2,260$54.95$114,340
Visalia-Porterville, CA1,840$35.89$74,380
Yuba City, CA700$38.56$78,210
Eastern Sierra Region of California nonmetropolitan area260$38.46$78,240
North Coast Region of California nonmetropolitan area1,670$32.92$66,910
North Valley Region of California nonmetropolitan area240$37.63$80,650
Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan ar1,200$35.88$71,850
Source: http://www.dol.gov/, 2014 Data