Best Ranked Nursing Schools
Find the Best RN to BSN, NP, ABSN Nursing Programs Near Me

9th Annual California RN Program Rankings by RNCareers.org

To 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 84 ADN degree programs and 40 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

With more than 160 nursing schools in California, it can be difficult to decide which program is best for your career. Forty programs are accredited by the CCNE and 47 accredited by the ACEN. That means that almost half the nursing programs in California are not yet accredited. Attending an accredited program helps ensure that students receive a high-quality education and that they can transfer their credits from one accredited institution to another.

After passing the NCLEX exam and becoming a Registered Nurse (RN), you can expect an average annual salary between $78,070 and $165,620. In California, the average RN earns about $124,000 per year or $59.62 per hour.

The job outlook for RNs in California is promising, with a projected growth rate of 10.8% from 2020 to 2030. Currently, California employs 324,400 RNs, representing 11% of all RNs in the United States. By 2030, the state will require 358,900 new RNs, equivalent to 21,200 new nurses per year.

California ranks highly in several categories within the nursing profession. It holds the #1 spot in the U.S. for RN salaries and the total number of RNs employed. It also ranks #1 for the number of new RNs needed by 2030. Even after adjusting for the cost of living, California maintains a strong ranking at #4 for RN salaries.

On another positive note, California is home to 19 of the top 100 nursing schools in the country.

RN Programs in California

Best ADN Programs in California

Chabot College

100.00% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA - 94545
  • (510) 723-6600
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 100.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 198
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,150
  • Book and Supplies: $1,125
  • Percent Received Aid: 67%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $2,907
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 34%

Chabot College nursing school is located in the Bay Area of northern California in the city of Oakland. It offers an AND degree in Nursing that is fully accredited. The program takes place on campus. The public institution boasts that the faculty has 20 or more years of experience. The majority of RN graduates move on to pursue their BSN degree with the CSUEB bridge program. Students who process a BA/BS degree or higher from a U.S. Regionally Accredited College/University are exempt from Chabot’s specific General Education and graduation requirements. Individuals who have held health care occupations while serving on active military duty in the Armed Forces of the United States and discharged under honorable conditions may be admitted to the Registered Nursing Program on a space-available basis following completion of all required courses.

Undergraduate programs – The ADN program is top ranked in the state of California and is known for a high licensure pass rate. Associate in Science in Nursing is a two-year, full-time program offered in four consecutive semesters excluding summers. Graduates work in a variety of healthcare settings or go on to earn a BSN. The nursing program accepts applications only once a year: each Fall, forty applicants are selected. Application opens November 1 until January 31 for the following incoming fall. The program has a specific course curriculum. Each course must include a lab and earn 4-5 semester units. Fixed courses are in English, sociology, psychology, and communications. LVNs have advanced standing and can enter the LVN-RN Program Upgrade. There are two LVN to RN options: the AS degree or the RN 30 unit non degree.

Grossmont College

100.00% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 8800 Grossmont College Dr, El Cajon, CA - 92020-1799
  • (619) 644-7000
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 100.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 263
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,332
  • Book and Supplies: $2,625
  • Percent Received Aid: 78%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $3,262
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 31%

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.

Students in southern California seeking a nursing degree come to Grossmont College, located in El Cajon near San Diego. The School of Nursing traditionally offers an RN, LVN to RN, and has now initiated 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. The BSN classes are competed at Grossmont College as well but are taught by PLNU faculty on campus. The Associate Degree Nursing Program is an approved School of Nursing by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

The Associate Degree Registered Nursing Programs at Grossmont College prepares individuals for national licensure to practice professional nursing in critical, acute, chronic, ambulatory and home health care settings. Applications to the Nursing Program will be accepted after prerequisite requirements are met. Program previews are available online. Intro to Health Professions sessions provide an overview of the Allied Health programs offered at Grossmont College including Cardiovascular Technology, Respiratory Therapy, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Orthopedic Technician, EKG/Telemetry Tech, and a short overview of Nursing.

Undergraduate programs – Students enrolled at Grossmont College School of Nursing can earn a degree with the option of several tracks: an Associate degree for RNs, LVN to RN, and RN to BSN. For students without previous nursing education, the nursing courses cover four semesters plus a prerequisite science courses. The nursing science didactic is coordinated with laboratory experience in local hospitals and health agencies under the guidance of nursing faculty members. In addition to the nursing courses, the major requires selected general education courses from the natural, behavioral and social sciences.

Sierra College

100.00% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 5100 Sierra College Blvd, Rocklin, CA - 95677-3397
  • (916) 624-3333
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 100.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 245
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,156
  • Book and Supplies: $1,792
  • Percent Received Aid: 89%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $3,215
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 40%

Sierra College is located in Rocklin, a town in Placer County, California, approximately twenty-two miles from Sacramento and about 6.1 miles northeast of Roseville in the Sacramento metropolitan area. It shares borders with Granite Bay, Loomis and Lincoln. Of note, the school occupies the unceded land of the Nisenan and Miwok peoples. The Secret Ravine, known in Nisenan as Hoyok, is home to an ancestral village site protected for generations by local tribal nations. Sierra College commits to an ongoing relationship with the United Auburn Indian Community and other local tribes and to respect the legacy of the first peoples of this land and their future generations, who are an integral part of the Sierra College community. Since its founding in 1936, Sierra College has focused on quality instruction and meeting the needs of the communities it serves. It  is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The school provides a pre-licensure education that prepare graduates to work as an RN in most hospital settings. The school provides a pre-licensure education that prepare graduates to work as an RN in most hospital settings.

Undergraduate programs - The Associate Degree Nursing Program at Sierra College is a full-time program over two years. The nursing program offer three tracks to become a Registered Nurse (RN). The LVN to RN Upward Mobility program is a one-year or one and a half year, full-time course that starts when there is an opening and takes place at the same time as the two-year Associate Degree Nursing program. It is designed for students who are already licensed vocational nurses. Through their partnership with California State University Sacramento (CSUS), selected Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) students can pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree concurrently for an accelerated completion.

The LVN to RN Upward Mobility program is a one-year or one and a half year, full-time course that starts when there is an opening and takes place at the same time as the two-year Associate Degree Nursing program. It's designed for students who are already licensed vocational nurses. If they successfully complete the program, they are likely to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

The Associate Degree Nursing Program at Sierra College is a two-year, full-time program. They provide pre-licensure education that will prepare you to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and to work as an RN in most hospital settings

Through their partnership with California State University Sacramento (CSUS), selected Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) students can pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree concurrently for an accelerated completion.

San Diego City College

99.54% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1313 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA - 92101-4787
  • (619) 388-3400
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 99.54%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 178
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,144
  • Book and Supplies: $1,126
  • Percent Received Aid: 77%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $3,456
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 23%

San Diego City College is located in sunny San Diego on the California shore. Since nursing encompasses has multiple facets including health promotion, health maintenance, health care during illness, injury, and rehabilitation, the program has certain prerequisites. Graduates work in the field, applying their knowledge from the biological, physical, behavioral and nursing sciences to care for clients in varied settings. The purpose of the San Diego City College Nursing program is to provide an educational opportunity for qualified individuals interested in a career in nursing. The program is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) and fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The Nursing Education Program offers free workshops to review the San Diego City College Nursing Education program. The curriculum and course sequence progresses from simple to complex knowledge and skills with an emphasis on the nursing process, caring, problem solving and critical thinking.

The Nursing Program graduate is prepared as a clinician to think critically, using the nursing process, while safely performing nursing care, teaching individuals, families, communities and members of the healthcare team. They function as a client advocate, provide leadership, manage resources, delegate tasks, and supervise unlicensed personnel within the legal scope of practice of the Registered Nurse. The student who completes the Nursing Education program will meet the standards of competency delineated by the Board of Registered Nursing for the State of California.

Undergraduate programs – San Diego City College School of Nursing offers an RN program,  LVN to RN program, and a 30-unit option program. AS graduates who seek to further their education also have the benefit of San Diego City College's collaboration with San Diego State University. This arrangement allows the nursing graduate to continue on for a BSN degree while working as an RN. Students accepted into this program will be required to successfully complete clinically-based courses held in health care facilities. These facilities require immunizations, background checks, and screening. Upon completion of the program, the graduate will make clinical judgments and management decisions to ensure accurate and safe client care. They are committed to practice within the ethical, legal, and regulatory frameworks of professional nursing practice. They will use standards of nursing practice to perform and evaluate client care in entry-level practice and  go on to participate in life-long learning.

Moorpark College

98.52% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 7075 Campus Rd, Moorpark, CA - 93021-1695
  • (805) 378-1400
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 98.52%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 169
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,398
  • Book and Supplies: $1,080
  • Percent Received Aid: 59%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $3,193
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 42%

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.

Merritt College

98.39% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 12500 Campus Dr, Oakland, CA - 94619-3196
  • (510) 531-4911
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 98.39%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 53
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,167
  • Book and Supplies: $1,724
  • Percent Received Aid: 69%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $2,022
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 21%

Merritt College in located in Oakland, California offers a nursing program for the ADN degree. The College’s mission is inspires students to create meaningful lives including fulfilling careers, community participation, self-expression, and a love of learning. The faculty strive to create a student-centered learning environment that leads to student retention, persistence and success. Merritt nursing students have the option to elect an ADN to BSN option by enrolling in the Cal State East Bay BSN (CSUEB) program, a transfer bridge program to a neighboring university. The student will meet with a Merritt College counselor to review their coursework and eligibility. The Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. The course of study includes instruction in applied nursing sciences, related natural and social/behavioral sciences, and clinical nursing experience in hospitals and healthcare facilities located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Undergraduate programs –  The program starts with the ADN in Nursing. There are specific admission requirements. In addition, there is an ADN to BSN Advanced Placement Option for ADN students to continue their education and complete the BSN program in one year. This is a 12-month intensive program where all courses are on-line except for the Community Health Practicum and Health Assessment course. The program begins with enrollment to the upper division leadership theory course taught on-line while the student is in the last semester of the program. The incoming ADN student will be awarded twenty upper division college credit units for passing the NCLEX-RN exam. The LVN to RN Upgrade Program is not active at this time the Cal State East Bay BSN (CSUEB) program, which is a transfer bridge program to a neighboring university.

Gavilan College

98.15% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd, Gilroy, CA - 95020
  • (408) 848-4800
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 98.15%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 76
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,166
  • Book and Supplies: $1,971
  • Percent Received Aid: 70%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $3,832
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 36%

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.

Ohlone College

98.00% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 43600 Mission Blvd, Fremont, CA - 94539-0390
  • 5106596000
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 98.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty:
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: N/A
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: N/A
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: N/A
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: N/A

Los Angeles Harbor College

97.79% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington, CA - 90744-2397
  • (310) 233-4000
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 97.79%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 92
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,238
  • Book and Supplies: $1,125
  • Percent Received Aid: 73%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $2,975
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 26%

Los Angeles Harbor College is a public institution located in Wilmington, California in the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area. It serves the diverse local community by providing access to associate and transfer degrees, certificates, economic and workforce development, and adult and noncredit instruction. The mission is promote equity, diversity, and student success through academic programs and support services that ensure our students become productive members of a global society.​The nursing program is ACEN accredited and ranks third for AND programs in the state. The School of Nursing offers an RN program and an LVN to RN program provided on campus. The four-semester program of concentrated study (after the completion of the program prerequisites) prepares the diverse body of students to become safe, competent, and caring practitioners for entry level positions in healthcare settings in the community, while cultivating professionalism, an appreciation for other peoples and cultures, and a desire for life-long learning.

Undergraduate programs -  The Registered Nursing programs offered to nursing students are at the Associate level. Coursework in the biological, social, and behavioral sciences and humanities form the basic foundation of the nursing program. The program integrates theoretical instruction in the classroom with small group discussions and clinical experiences in hospitals, home healthcare agencies,​ and other settings. Students have the opportunity to participate in simulated clinical experiences and practice clinical skills in the state-of-the art Simulation Laboratory and Nursing Learning Laboratory.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will use the Roy Adaptation Model to promote adaptation of individuals, families, and the community, and learn internalize professional behaviors of the nursing practice. They will formulate clinical judgments in practice that promote the health of patients. provide safe, patient-centered care, and assimilate effectively within nursing and inter-professional teams, while fostering effective communication to achieve quality patient care. They are adept at incorporating information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making.

Mira Costa College

97.68% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • One Barnard Drive, Oceanside, CA - 92056-3899
  • (760) 757-2121
Nurse Admin: ,
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 97.68%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 180
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,152
  • Book and Supplies: $1,972
  • Percent Received Aid: 77%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $3,776
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: N/A

MiraCosta College in southern California has two campuses: picturesque Oceanside and Cardiff on the coast. The mission of the Nursing Program is to educate a diverse population of qualified students to become safe, competent, and caring registered nurses who  provide care in a variety of settings throughout the community. The program serves as a foundation for educational mobility, personal growth, and lifelong learning. The Nursing Program directly aligns with the college mission by providing educational opportunities to a diverse population of students in a supportive, caring environment. MiraCosta College has partnerships with neighboring universities so that graduates may easily obtain their BSN after graduation - Chamberlain College of Nursing, California State University College of Nursing and Brandman University.

Undergraduate programs  - The nursing program offers a CNA program, a home health aide program, an LVN program, an RN program and  LVN to RN program. The AS degree is a full time, four semester (summers not included) program that meets during the day. (Days and times vary per semester.)  Upon completion, graduates may transfer their units to any 4-year college or university for a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN). Students holding a bachelor's degree in another discipline from a U.S. regionally accredited institution may not be required to take the general education requirements for the AS Registered Nursing degree. The Certified Nursing Assistant Program at MiraCosta College has been in place since 1987. Since then, hundreds of students have successfully completed the program, qualifying them for certificates from the California Department of Public Health. The Licensed Vocational Nursing Program was founded in January 1965, and is accredited by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. The Medical Office Clinical and Administrative Professional Program at MiraCosta College was founded in January 2019.

Glendale Community College

97.63% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1500 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA - 91208-2894
  • (818) 240-1000
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 97.63%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 222
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,171
  • Book and Supplies: $1,126
  • Percent Received Aid: 72%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $4,310
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 31%

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.

Monterey Peninsula College

97.61% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 980 Fremont St, Monterey, CA - 93940-4799
  • (831) 646-4000
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 97.61%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 125
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,178
  • Book and Supplies: $1,125
  • Percent Received Aid: 80%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $3,245
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: N/A

Monterey Peninsula College’s nursing school is a public institution located in picturesque Monterey, California. Its nursing programs are ACEN accredited. In addition, the school is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). The College has multiple campuses in the state at Oceanside, Monterey and Seaside. The Maurine Church Coburn School of Nursing offers an RN degree with an LVN to RN option. The Men in Nursing Program promotes and recruits men into the nursing program, then works toward male retention in nursing. It is unique to the program. Students avow a commitment to professionalism, life-long learning, and ultimately to advocating for patients and families. The nursing program admits generic (first semester) students once per year in the fall semester. Applicants are selected using a multi-criterion selection process whereby points are awarded for various criteria, heavily weighted by science and non-science GPA, as well TEAS result. Any health care work or volunteer experience is helpful, but patient contact is key.

Undergraduate programs - The Maurine Church Coburn School of Nursing, Monterey Peninsula College offers the associate of science degree leading to RN licensure. The program is offered in partnership with Montage Health.  Students may choose to co-enroll in the ADN-to-BSN program at California State University Monterey Bay the summer after completing the second semester of the nursing program at MPC. This collaborative enables the ADN RN (after licensure) to earn a BSN degree in 12-15 months after graduating from the community college. A foreign-educated nurse may be applying for California licensure and has been directed by the BRN to take specific courses in the U.S. The five pre-licensure specialties (med-surg, obstetrics, pediatrics, geriatrics, and psych/mental health) are offered within combined courses at MCCSN.

The nursing coursework itself consists of four semesters (starting the fall semester), with optional courses available in the summer for additional supervised clinical experiences. Basic EKG and other offerings as available. The pre-requisite course work encompasses twenty-six units of Science, Math, English, Lifespan Development, and Pharmacology. A full-time student can complete the prerequisite courses in 2-3 semesters (including a summer session), but the timeframe depends on previously completed transferrable courses as well as individual needs. There is no part-time option and most students try to complete all additional degree requirements (9 degree-required units that are not prerequisites) before entering the nursing program.

College of the Siskiyous

97.53% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 800 College Ave, Weed, CA - 96094-2899
  • (530) 938-5555
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 97.53%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 35
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,444
  • Book and Supplies: $1,080
  • Percent Received Aid: 76%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $4,745
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 29%

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.

Victor Valley College

97.05% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 18422 Bear Valley Rd, Victorville, CA - 92395-5850
  • (760) 245-4271
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 97.05%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 107
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,447
  • Book and Supplies: $9,233
  • Percent Received Aid: 89%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $4,043
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 22%

Victor Valley College is located in Victorville in southern 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. The nursing program prepares students for an entry-level position in nursing practice. The structure of the program promotes professional and personal growth, including continuing education, and provides upward and lateral mobility for career options. To be accepted into the Nursing Program, applicants must take and pass a Testing of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS V) Nursing exam (basic Mathematics, English, Reading and Science). Applicants who do not pass at 62% will be required to complete remediation and demonstrate readiness prior to starting the program. The Victor Valley College Registered Nursing program is fully approved by the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Registered Nursing.

Undergraduate programs - The Victor Valley College Associate Degree provides instruction and training to produce competent, knowledgeable, graduate nurses that provide quality nursing care to the public. The nursing graduate will practice nursing at any entry level in a variety of settings, including medical/surgical, psychiatric, maternal/child, perioperative, geriatric, critical care, and oncology. The role of the graduate nurse is a manager, educator, and professional provider of care in a rapidly changing health care environment. The school offers a CNA, or Certified Nursing Assistant certificate. The state approved CNA course enables students to become familiar with basic principles of nursing, including procedures and techniques. Clinical experience is provided in extended care facilities. Students learn to meet the patient's basic physical and psychological needs and promote a spirit of restoration and independence in a safe, efficient and competent manner.

Sacramento City College

97.00% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 3835 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA - 95822-1386
  • (916) 558-2111
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 97.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 303
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,288
  • Book and Supplies: $1,124
  • Percent Received Aid: 89%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $2,749
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 26%

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.

Ventura College

96.41% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 4667 Telegraph Rd, Ventura, CA - 93003-3872
  • (805) 654-6400
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.41%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 158
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,398
  • Book and Supplies: $1,080
  • Percent Received Aid: 93%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $3,041
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

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.

Santa Barbara City College

96.40% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 721 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, CA - 93109-2394
  • (805) 965-0581
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.40%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 235
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,232
  • Book and Supplies: $1,125
  • Percent Received Aid: 46%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $3,552
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 42%

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.

Saddleback College

96.36% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 28000 Marguerite Pky, Mission Viejo, CA - 92692-3635
  • (949) 582-4500
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.36%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 242
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,332
  • Book and Supplies: $1,124
  • Percent Received Aid: 46%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $2,707
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 44%

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.

Rio Hondo College

96.13% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 3600 Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA - 90601-1616
  • (562) 692-0921
Nurse Admin: ,
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.13%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 198
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,388
  • Book and Supplies: $1,125
  • Percent Received Aid: 91%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $3,254
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: N/A

Rio Hondo College is located in Whittier, California.  They offer an RN and an LVN to RN program.  They also offer a Psych Tech (PT) to RN program.  The programs for the LVN to RN and the PT to RN are similar.

Mt. San Jacinto College (Mt San Jacinto Community College District)

96.12% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1499 N. State St., San Jacinto, CA - 92583-2399
  • (951) 487-6752
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.12%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 186
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,406
  • Book and Supplies: $1,919
  • Percent Received Aid: 87%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $2,979
  • Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate: 27%

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."

Best BSN Programs in California

California State University-Long Beach

School of Nursing

98.51% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA - 90840-0115
  • (562) 985-4111
Nurse Admin: Michael L. Williams, PhD, RN, CCRN, CNE
Title: Director and Professor
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 98.51%
  • Programs: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN, Post Master's NP Certificate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 1088
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $6,846
  • Book and Supplies: $1,070
  • Percent Received Aid: 80%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $8,722
  • Percent Admitted: 42%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 17%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

California State University Long Beach is a public institution. The campus is the second largest of the 23-state university system. With over 50 years of experience, the School of Nursing at California State University Long Beach is nationally and internationally recognized for its excellence in nursing education and the quality of the faculty. the baccalaureate nursing program and the master’s degree program have been awarded full national and state accreditation. The student is the center of focus, where diversity, internationalism, and transculturalism are sought, valued and nurtured. The school educates professional nurses at the baccalaureate level to practice in collaborative or leadership roles in hospitals, clinics, and community health care agencies, while with a Master's degree, students are prepared for advanced practice roles such as, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse educators, nurse executives and leaders in public health nursing.

Undergraduate programs - The BSN program at California State University Long Beach is designed to expand the skills, knowledge, and scope of nursing practice and increase the understanding of today’s healthcare environment. The student will study a selected area of clinical practice in their senior year. The RN-to-BSN program is a 2-year upper-division program for students who have graduated from an Accredited Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program (or evaluation of diploma program for equivalency by an Accredited Associate Degree program) and hold a current California Registered Nurse (RN) license (or be eligible for license). During the first year in the program, students attend classes on a part-time basis. In their second year, the RN-to-BSN students merge with the Basic BSN students and attend classes on a full-time basis. The step-up summer bridge program allows current ADN students to complete non-clinical BSN courses prior to applying to the School of Nursing’s RN-to-BSN (ADN-to-BSN) program.

Graduate programs – The school offers MSN programs that integrates and applies the scientific theories from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, physical sciences, genetics, public health, quality improvement, organizational sciences for the delivery of evidence-based nursing care, as an advanced practice nurse (APN), to diverse groups of individuals, families, communities, and populations. Multiple specialties are on offer. Graduates assume roles either as nurse practitioners or nursing and healthcare systems executive managers.

The nurse practitioner program prepares competent nurse practitioners who possess the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities in physical diagnosis, psycho-social assessment and management of health-illness needs in a primary or acute care environment. The purpose of the Nursing and Healthcare Systems Executive Management program is to prepare nurses to assume executive-level positions and senior leadership roles in hospitals, clinics, healthcare systems and other healthcare entities serving patients in highly complex and diverse settings. The master of science degree is open to qualified students who desire advanced preparation in a variety of areas of clinical specialization and executive management.

California State University-Bakersfield

Department of Nursing

98.14% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 9001 Stockdale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA - 93311-1099
  • (661) 654-2782
Nurse Admin: Debra Wilson, PhD, FNP, RN
Title: Department Chair
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 98.14%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife, Nursing Administration, Registered Nursing, Research or Clinical Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 347
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $7,579
  • Book and Supplies: $1,266
  • Percent Received Aid: 91%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $9,484
  • Percent Admitted: 78%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 15%
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

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 3,000 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.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at California State University in Bakersfield prepares the next generation of  nurses with an exceptional education that incorporates biological, physical, and social sciences with concentrations in a variety of specialties like pediatrics, obstetrics, and critical care nursing. In addition to classroom instruction and in-depth training, students are exposed to a wide variety of clinical settings and patient populations within the community as part of their curriculum. The central California location is accessible to a multitude of small towns and rural areas.

Undergraduate program - The pre-licensure BSN program for students with no previous nursing experience requires approximately 1 year of pre-requisite courses and 3 years of focused nursing courses. Upon successful completion of the program and general education coursework, students will earn a BSN degree and will be eligible to apply for the RN licensure exam. CSU Bakersfield also offers a very popular online RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses who already have an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) who would like to obtain a Baccalaureate Degree (BSN). This program allows students to complete the baccalaureate degree in 15 months.

Graduate programs – At the graduate level, the CSUB School of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty. There are four advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) roles: Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), Certified nurse midwife (CNM), Clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and Nurse practitioner (NP). The FNP Program prepares APRNs for the role of nurse practitioners (NP) to provide care for individuals and families across the lifespan.

The FNP role includes preventative healthcare as well as assessment, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illness for individuals and families. Emphasis is placed on health promotion, disease prevention, and management of common health conditions. The Family Nurse Practitioner program is a 2-year full-time program, leading to a Master of Science degree in Nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty. Graduates are prepared to provide high-quality, evidence-based, and family centered care to infants, children and adults across the lifespan and from diverse backgrounds.

California State University-Fullerton

School of Nursing

97.48% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA - 92831-3599
  • (657) 278-2593
Nurse Admin: Penny C. Weismuller, DrPH, MSN, RN
Title: Professor and Interim Director
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 97.48%
  • Programs: Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Educator, Nursing Leadership, Registered Nursing, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN, MSN to DNP

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 1018
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $6,976
  • Book and Supplies: $1,203
  • Percent Received Aid: 80%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $8,612
  • Percent Admitted: 68%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 18%
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

California State University Fullerton School of Nursing is within the College of Health and Human Development. The special programs in Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse Anesthesia (offered in partnership with Kaiser Permanente School of Anesthesia) were ranked Best by U.S. News and World Report in 2017 and 2016. Conveniently located in northern Orange county, the school is CCNE and ACME accredited.

Undergraduate programs - The Traditional BSN is for direct-entry freshmen with no previous nursing education interested in earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The degree is completed full-time throughout either a four or a five year pathway. The Upper Division Transfer BSN option is for upper division transfer students. three years in length, it begins each fall semester. Current CSUF students are not eligible for this pathway. California residents with a previously-earned bachelor’s degree in another field may consider applying for accelerated BSN that runs over 2 years. The LVN-BSN program is for Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) and is two years in length. The RN-BSN option is limited to registered nurses. Students praise the fluid transition between the ADN-RN and BSN program.

Graduate programs – At the graduate level are the superior MSN and doctoral programs. MSN programs are in Leadership, Nurse Educator, School Nursing, Women's Health Care. There is also a School Nurse Services Credential. For those wanting to go on, they have a DNP Post-master’s and DNP Nurse Anesthesia choice. Candidates must have a master's degree to be considered. As part of the Southern California CSU DNP Consortium, a three-year sequential academic and clinical graduate program for nurses with a baccalaureate degree has been devised. Upon completion of the program, a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a concentration in Nurse Anesthesia is awarded.

The DNP Nurse Anesthesia program is offered in partnership with the Kaiser Permanente School of Anesthesia (KPSA). Founded in 1972, KPSA is a pioneer of graduate-level education for nurse anesthetists. Graduates have been recognized for significant contributions to clinical practice and research in the field of anesthesia. Alumni have also attained leadership roles in clinical settings as well as national professional organizations.

California State University-Stanislaus

School of Nursing

97.34% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • One University Circle, Turlock, CA - 95382-0299
  • (209) 667-3122
Nurse Admin: Marla Seacrist, Phd, RN
Title: Director
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 97.34%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 359
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $7,644
  • Book and Supplies: $1,225
  • Percent Received Aid: 92%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $9,179
  • Percent Admitted: 89%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 19%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

Turlock, a scenic town in Central California, is home to Stanislaus State University that operates as an open university with two campuses. The pre-licensure nursing track leads to the Bachelor of Science degree. School of Nursing-bound students indicate “Nursing (Pre-Nursing)” when applying. It is a competitive program with a supplemental criterion for permission to enroll. The faculty is well-versed in healthcare trends and technologies. Graduates integrate the knowledge, theories, and methods of various disciplines to inform decision-making. The goal is to promote quality care and patient safety while applying leadership skills in healthcare settings. They have skill in using patient care technologies, information systems and communication devices that support safe nursing practice for all populations. The degrees offered, requiring hands-on experience, are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Simulation is integrated into the School of Nursing curriculum to provide experiential learning opportunities throughout the program.

Undergraduate programs – The Pre-Licensure BSN Track is for candidates interested in pursuing a career in nursing. Once a student satisfactorily completes the program and is awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, they are ready to enter the workforce. The Online RN-BSN program provides students who are already Registered Nurses (RNs) with the opportunity for educational and professional advancement. It meet the needs of working registered nurses while allowing them to explore new perspectives. There is an LVN to BSN program and an  Accelerated Second Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ASBSN) at the Stockton campus designed for who hold a baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing. The CSU Stanislaus School of Nursing Simulation Program has an experienced team and dedicated faculty that strive to create the best learning opportunities for nursing students. the goal is to create confident, competent nurses that can promote patient safety and produce excellent patient outcomes.

Graduate programs – Stanislaus State is proud to offer an MSN in Family Practitioner. The spring semester begins on June 1st. Admission has certain requirements: a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 units of undergraduate coursework,  current license to practice as a registered nurse in the state of California, one-year full time nursing experience post initial R.N. licensure, successful completion (minimum grade of C) of an undergraduate statistics course, and two professional letters of reference to include a current or former employer.

University of San Diego/Hahn

Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science

97.16% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA - 92110-2492
  • (619) 260-4600
Nurse Admin: Jane Georges, PhD, RN
Title: Dean
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 97.16%
  • Programs: Adult Nurse Practitioner, CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated MSN, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, BSN to PhD, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 491
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,104
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: 82%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $30,353
  • Percent Admitted: 59%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 13%
  • Graduation Rate: 80%

As leaders in graduate nursing education for over 40 years, the University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Science Health knows the importance of compassion toward our patients and one another. The Hahn School of Nursing is a beautiful campus at Alcala Park overlooking the sensation Pacific Ocean. The aim is to produce the next generation of nurse scientists, leaders, advanced clinicians and informaticists ready to meet humanity’s most urgent needs with compassion and intellectual rigor. Following its long heritage of excellence over forty years, the school merges academic coursework, state-of-the-art technology and innovate teaching to populate the world with trained candidates. The faculty of internationally recognized scholars and clinician nurture and support each student, instilling the confidence needed to make a real difference in the world. Graduates are leaders in their fields, be it clinical, education or research. The School of Nursing supports activities focused on ethically sound and culturally sensitive educational experiences with global citizens, collaborative scholarship and research involving global populations.

Graduate programs – The University of San Diego has pioneered graduate education in the field and graduates hold leadership positions. The Master’s in Nursing (MSN), the Master’s Entry (MEPN) and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DPN) programs at the University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science: Beyster Institute for Nursing Research are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Building upon the baccalaureate degree with an upper-division focus on nursing, the Master of Science in Nursing offers three tracks: Executive Nurse Leader, Nursing Informatics, and Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist. All tracks share a common core of knowledge as students gain excellence in their respective areas through creative teaching methods. Designed for individuals with a baccalaureate degree or higher in another discipline, the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) students come from all walks of life.

Students in all programs enjoy hands-on practice in the Dickinson Nursing Simulation Center. In this sophisticated facility are standardized patient professional actors who recreate real-world situations. Because understanding cultural context is a vital part of nursing, the program provides outreach opportunities in underserved communities while fostering diversity that informs and invigorates our programs. In addition, on the advanced level is the PhD. in nursing for working professionals with a passion for solutions. PhD students include clinicians, university faculty, military officers, nurse executives and others who bring a wealth of experience and diverse backgrounds to classroom discussions. A Post-Master’s Certificate in Emergency Care for Family Nurse Practitioners is also granted.

Stanbridge University

Nursing Program

96.95% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 2041 Business Ctr Dr Ste 107, Irvine, CA - 92612
  • (949) 794-9090
Nurse Admin: Minerva Valdenor, DNP, MSN, RN
Title: BSN Program Director
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.95%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 47
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: N/A
  • Book and Supplies: $3,430
  • Percent Received Aid: 84%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $5,491
  • Percent Admitted: 35%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 10,025%

Stanbridge University is located in Irvine and Los Angeles, California. Stanbridge offers an Associate of Science in Nursing (RN) degree program. Stanbridge maintains a high standard of academic excellence by integrating innovative technology, hands-on practice, and community service for a holistic student experience.

Concordia University Irvine

Department of Nursing

96.79% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1530 Concordia West, Irvine, CA - 92612-3203
  • (949) 854-8002
Nurse Admin: Cheryl Smythe-Padgham, DNP, RN, WHNP-BC
Title: Assistant Dean, Director of Nursing
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.79%
  • Programs: Nurse Educator, Nursing Leadership, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 94
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,100
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: 100%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $20,908
  • Percent Admitted: 78%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 12%
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

Concordia University, a noted Christian institution, believes in caring, compassionate, and competent nursing. Toward this end, the Nursing Program is a contemporary, comprehensive program designed for students to learn the requisite information and acquire the advanced skills for excellent nursing care. The Department of Nursing is committed to educating a culturally and academically diverse student population to become holistic nursing professionals who uphold Christian values in their service to individuals, families, and communities.

The curriculum is designed around Dr. Jean Watson's philosophy of caring in nursing along with the standards identified by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). the goal is to educate nurses to in a self-actualizing process that is essential in ministering to those who need care. Working closely with faculty role models, students learn to see nursing as both a philosophical and scientific approach to caring for all those who seek healthcare, disease prevention and management, health promotion, and health education. The program embraces the development of the individual through liberal studies and scientific preparation. Each individual as a bio-psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual being with individual needs of utmost concern to the profession.

Undergraduate programs – In just 15 months, students with a prior bachelor’s degree can earn an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN). For looking to transition to nursing from another field, this ABSN second degree program offers a fast-track to a new career. It builds on the foundation of prior coursework and completes the program with required hands-on experience. In addition to classroom time, students complete 765 hours in clinical settings throughout program.

Graduate programs - The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at Concordia University Irvine is currently on hold. The Department of Nursing is developing new nursing education opportunities to continue to meet the needs of a changing healthcare environment and create the nurses of the future. The MSN prepares students the next phase of their career – whether as a nursing leader in healthcare management or as a clinical/academic advanced nurse educator. The Nursing Leadership track focuses on the advancement of healthcare delivery in the clinical setting, while the Nursing Education track equips graduates to teach nursing students in a variety of specialty content areas and become an advanced nurse educator in the hospital setting. The goal of the program is to equip students expert knowledge and a set of skills that differentiates them in the field of healthcare.

Holy Names University

School of Nursing

96.63% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 3500 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA - 94619-1699
  • (510) 436-1000
Nurse Admin: Aimee Paulson, DNP, FNP-C
Title: Chief Nurse Executive
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.63%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN, Post Master's NP Certificate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 40
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,125
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: 100%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $32,192
  • Percent Admitted: 89%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 8%
  • Graduation Rate: 39%

California State University-Sacramento

School of Nursing

96.29% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 6000 J St, Sacramento, CA - 95819-2694
  • (916) 278-6011
Nurse Admin: Tanya K. Altmann, PhD, RN
Title: Chair
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 96.29%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 822
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $7,392
  • Book and Supplies: $1,110
  • Percent Received Aid: 85%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $8,755
  • Percent Admitted: 83%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 18%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%

California State University Sacramento School of Nursing (SON) prepares nurses to lead diverse individuals, families, and communities in achieving optimal health through nursing science, collaborative practice, advocacy, and service. Degree types include Registered Nursing, and the school provides it offerings to students via campus formats. The level of nursing programs offered to nursing students include Bachelor, LPN to RN, Master and RN to BSN level degrees.

The mission is to transform healthcare through innovative nursing education, community partnerships, and policy engagement. SON serves students and the society at large by creating an environment in which faculty and students pursue the knowledge of nursing practice guided by the core values of caring, integrity, advocacy, collaboration, inclusion, equity, and leadership. Located in the state capitol, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs. The baccalaureate degree in nursing program and master's degree in nursing program at California State University Sacramento are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education California State University-Sacramento nursing school is a public institution located in Sacramento, California. Its nursing programs are CCNE accredited.

Undergraduate programs: SON offers a variety of BSN programs - a traditional BSN, an RN to BSN, and an LVN to RN 30-unit option non-degree program the LVN who wants to work as an RN but may not have time to complete an ADN or BSN degree. The baccalaureate program consists of a four-year curriculum of lower and upper division coursework. There are two years of General Education, including prerequisites and two years of clinical nursing. The time to complete the prerequisites may increase the time to complete the degree. The program content prepares competent professional practitioners of nursing who will help meet the changing health care needs of society.

The School of Nursing offers two pathways for students who start their nursing education in a non-baccalaureate program to earn a bachelor’s degree (BSN): an RN-BSN Traditional 15-Week Semester track and an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) to BSN Collaborative track. Both tracks are designed to be completed in 12-15 months if attending full-time. the RN-BSN track has a part-time attendance option. Hybrid (mostly online) classes provide maximum flexibility and the opportunity for self-directed study.

Graduate programs - The Master of Science in Nursing prepares registered nurses with baccalaureate degrees for roles in nursing practitioner, education, community, adult clinical roles, as well as credentialed school nurses. The curriculum emphasizes the systematic study of professional nursing practice and preparation for leadership roles. The program is designed for nurses currently employed in hospitals, long term care facilities, health agencies and educational institutions who require graduate preparations to qualify for positions of greater responsibility and complexity. Scheduling of program offerings and hybrid (mostly online) classes will provide maximum flexibility and the opportunity for self-directed study.

California State University-Los Angeles

School of Nursing

95.75% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 5151 State University Dr, Los Angeles, CA - 90032-8506
  • (323) 343-3000
Nurse Admin: Cinthya Sotelo, DNP, FNP-C, ENP-C
Title: Chief Nurse Administrator
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 95.75%
  • Programs: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric - Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 696
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $6,785
  • Book and Supplies: $1,226
  • Percent Received Aid: 95%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $10,159
  • Percent Admitted: 76%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 17%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

California State University Los Angeles, founded in 1947, boasts that they are ranked on US News & World Report’s Best Nursing Schools: Master’s list. The  Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing (PACSON) 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 with ease.

The mission of California State University Los Angeles Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing (PACSON) is to transform lives, foster healthy, thriving communities across greater Los Angeles in Southern California and the nation by cultivating and amplifying our students’ unique talents, diverse life experiences, and intellect. The University is a federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution.

Undergraduate programs – The school’s professional nursing curriculum leads to the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nursing. The undergraduate program is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).The nursing major is an impacted program that requires students to meet supplemental admission criteria. Applications for admittance are submitted between September and January, including transfer students.

Graduate programs - a Master's of Science in Nursing and post master's certificate programs are offered at the Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing. In fact, there are  six master's options for students interested in furthering their nursing education. For applicants who already have an MSN degree, each of the six options has a post master’s certificate available.

The DNP is a practice-oriented doctorate, such as the Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Optometry, or Doctor of Physical Therapy, in contrast to the research-oriented PhD. The purpose of the DNP is to develop advanced competencies for increasingly complex practice, faculty, and leadership roles in nursing and to provide an advanced educational credential for those in advanced practice. The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program is offered through a Consortium of Schools of Nursing at California State University, Fullerton, Long Beach and Los Angeles.

California State University-Chico

School of Nursing

95.23% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • First and Normal Sts, Chico, CA - 95929-0150
  • (530) 898-6116
Nurse Admin: Fay M. Mitchell-Brown, PhD, RN, CNE
Title: Director
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 95.23%
  • Programs: Nurse Educator, Nursing Leadership, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 510
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $7,864
  • Book and Supplies: $1,184
  • Percent Received Aid: 74%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $8,865
  • Percent Admitted: 90%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 13%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%

California State University-Chico nursing school is a public institution located in Chico, in northern California. Its nursing programs are CCNE accredited. The Bachelor, LPN to BSN, Master, and RN to BSN degrees granted include Registered Nursing offered via campus and online format. Of note, Chico State's RN-BSN Program ranks #5 in California.

Undergraduate programs  - The Basic BSN Program of the School of Nursing is an integral part of the College of Natural Sciences and is in accord with the University's primary goal to provide a quality education. The full-time program increases students employability by providing 5 semesters of hands-on clinical experience as required for a career in Nursing. After completion of the first semester, students enrolled in the Nursing Program are eligible to apply as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). This provides work experience in the field prior to program completion and graduation. Preceptors from all over the north of the state work with students. The RCNP Program is designed to give students and graduate nurses (RNs) an opportunity to work in a rural or semi-rural clinical hospital setting, engaging in independent nursing practice. The RN to BSN is offered online while students can avail themselves of the Rural SimCenter.

Graduate programs - The master's degree program at California State University, Chico has been in existence since 1970. Graduates currently function in influential health advisory positions at the state level as nursing faculty in programs throughout California, administrators in many types of health organizations, and expert clinicians and managers.

The online program is geared to meet the needs of nurses in rural areas. The MSN program has two options offered in alternating years: Nurse Educator and Nursing Leadership. The strong program enables students to gain advanced knowledge and skills. The core year provides a broad foundation in nursing research, technology, advanced nursing roles and health care organizational systems. The noted international Nurse Remediation Program (INRP) currently offers an Obstetrics Course and a medical/surgical track. Note: psychiatric or pediatric nursing courses are not available.

California State University-San Marcos

School of Nursing

95.01% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd, San Marcos, CA - 92096-0001
  • (760) 750-4000
Nurse Admin: Wendy Hansbrough, PhD, RN, CNE
Title: Director
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 95.01%
  • Programs: CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN, Post Master's NP Certificate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 392
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $7,727
  • Book and Supplies: $1,118
  • Percent Received Aid: 83%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $8,250
  • Percent Admitted: 79%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 18%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

The nursing journey starts at SCUSM School of Nursing in Riverside, California, a dynamic leader in the art and science of nursing. It seeks to educating ethically and culturally-sensitive nursing students with the goal of alleviating suffering while promoting, preserving, and restoring dignity for all patients.

The level of nursing programs offered to nursing students include Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, LPN to BSN, Master, Post Master's NP Certificate and RN to BSN level degrees. The mission of the School of Nursing is to offer innovative models of instruction, generates cutting edge research and creative activities, and advocates for health care needs in diverse local, regional, and global communities. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Undergraduate programs - The pre-licensure program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. When students complete their BSN degree, they are eligible for licensure as a Registered Nurse in California and certification as a public health nurse. The program runs as a three-year sequence (including two, required, 10-week summer terms) of courses leading to licensure. Courses are offered at variable days and times each term and may involve travel to clinical sites in areas around San Diego County and/or Southwest Riverside County.

It is a demanding, full-time program not compatible with a heavy workload. The LVN to BSN program is for students who meet the program's minimum eligibility requirements. Students who have already completed a Bachelor's Degree in another discipline may also apply for entry to this nursing program. Cohorts enter the ABSN in the fall, spring, and summer terms and enjoy the same professional support network.

The fast-paced, 24-month online additional Bachelor's is for students who hold a degree in a discipline outside of nursing and have not completed LVN or RN coursework. Students will earn approximately 78 semester units of study in both didactic and clinical coursework under expert guidance and using the best resources available. CSUSM also has an RN to BSN program, operating as an accelerated, online format designed for registered nurses. This fully-online program gives nurses the opportunity to earn their BSN in just 14 months.

Graduate programs - The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is completed on a part-time basis and provides superior graduate education to qualified students. The objective is to prepare nurses in generalist and advanced practice roles for positions in the health care industry, community or public health agencies, and academia, and for continued study at the doctoral level.

The MSN program includes a strong foundation in theory and research inquiry. It builds on the knowledge gained at the baccalaureate level and promotes nursing scholarship at the local, state, national and international level through research, service and practice. Values, ethics and multicultural perspectives are heavily embedded within the graduate program. Post-master’s certificates offered.

The Advanced Practice Nursing concentration prepares students for advanced practice as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).

Sonoma State University

Department of Nursing

94.83% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1801 E Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA - 94928-3609
  • (707) 664-2880
Nurse Admin: Krista Altaker, PhD, RN
Title: Department Chair
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 94.83%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN, Post Master's NP Certificate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 261
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $7,988
  • Book and Supplies: $1,022
  • Percent Received Aid: 73%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $7,985
  • Percent Admitted: 89%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 8%
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

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. Sonoma State University, a forward-thinking institution, understands the importance of educating nursing students about climate and health. They've partnered with the Nurses Climate Challenge - a national movement aimed at getting nurses to get involved and educate healthcare professionals and students about global warming.

The SSU Department of Nursing offers bachelors and master's degrees in a variety of formats that are both fully accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education(CCNE) and licensed by the California Board of Registered Nurses.

The Family Nurse Practitioner Program is offered in both full-and part-time format is offered in the geographic service areas of Sonoma State University, Chico, Redding and Turlock, Modesto, Stockton and Merced.

Sonoma State University, a forward-thinking institution, understands the importance of educating nursing students about climate and health. They've partnered with the Nurses Climate Challenge - a national movement aimed at getting nurses to get involved and educate healthcare professionals and students about global warming.

Sonoma State University’s nursing school is a public institution located in Rohnert Park, California. For over 40 years the Department of Nursing has been educating nurses. To date it have educated over 4000 Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Educators, and Nurse Leaders to serve the region, state, country, and world. All nursing programs are ACEN, ACME, CCNE and COA accredited. Degree types include Family Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nursing, and the school provides it offerings to students via campus and hybrid formats. The level of nursing programs offered to nursing students include Bachelor, Master and Post Master's NP Certificate level degrees. Sonoma State University as a forward-thinking institution understands the importance of educating nursing students about climate and health. Thus, they have partnered with the Nurses Climate Challenge, a national movement aimed at getting nurses to get involved and educate healthcare professionals and students about global warming.

Undergraduate programs - The first two years of the pre-nursing program consist of pre-nursing prerequisites and general education requirements. Upon completion of the pre-nursing courses, the student may apply for admission to more advanced programs. Sonoma State University offers "pre-licensure BSN" and "post-licensure" BSN programs. The pre-licensure program is designed for traditional BSN students whereas the post-licensure BSN program is for students who hold an ADN degree and their RN license. The Family Nurse Practitioner Program is offered in both a full- and part-time format in the geographic service areas of Sonoma State University: Chico, Redding and Turlock, Modesto, Stockton and Merced.

Graduate programs - The Family Nurse Practitioner program in the Nursing Department at Sonoma State University offers a Master of Science in Nursing with FNP emphasis. It is a four semester two-year program, a 46-semester unit program with a six-semester three-year, 46 semester unit part time option. The program is currently offered in Chico, Redding and Turlock, Modesto, Stockton and Merced. The program accepts students from all geographic areas in Northern and Central California who are required to attend seminars and labs on the SSU campus.

The Family Nurse Practitioner concentration focuses upon the theoretical and scientific bases for the diagnosis and treatment of common illness, as well as health teaching, counseling and preventive services. Emphasis is placed upon advanced clinical skills, including history-taking and physical examination, health screening, management of common illness, and techniques of prevention and risk reduction. There is also a four-semester two-year, 36-semester unit Post Master's Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program.

Simpson University

School of Nursing

94.21% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 2211 College View Drive, Redding, CA - 96003-8606
  • (530) 224-5600
Nurse Admin: Lisa Scott, MSN, RN, PHN, MBA
Title: Program Director
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 94.21%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 30
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,125
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: 99%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $18,183
  • Percent Admitted: 60%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 14%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%

Simpson University is a private not-for-profit institution located in Redding, California. It is California’s only Christian university north of Sacramento, offering undergraduate, adult, and graduate studies, seminary, and credential programs. The Betty M. Dean School of Nursing programs are CCNE accredited. Undergraduate degrees are offerings to students via campus formats in a learning environment where students can grow as lifelong learners and followers of Jesus Christ. Knowledgeable and dedicated faculty and staff use of innovative technology and a carefully constructed curriculum, including clinical experiences. The curriculum has been thoughtfully designed to produce bachelor-prepared graduate nurses who are competent and ready to provide safe and quality nursing care for those in need. The innovative strategies assist students with the professional development needed to meet the fast-paced and ever-changing healthcare environment. The high caliber of teaching that occurs within the School of Nursing, combined with the faith-infused curriculum, set this university apart from others.

Undergraduate programs – The school’s pre-licensure baccalaureate program combines nursing and general education courses. Theory courses are accompanied by clinical experiences, enabling increasing learning while validating what is taught in the classroom. During the final semester, students in leadership clinicals are partnered with community healthcare leaders providing exposure to the rapidly changing healthcare environment. Students also complete a professional portfolio that showcases accomplishments and leads to increased employment opportunities. Simpson University School of Nursing also offers an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (RN-BSN Track), catering to working registered nurses (currently licensed in the U.S.) who want to develop their professional skills. The degree expands the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of professional nursing, providing a meaningful understanding of healthcare’s rapidly changing environment.

The exceptional faculty and staff of the nursing program are building the vision and future of healthcare and are prepared to “model the head, hands and heart of Jesus”. They delight in the opportunity to assist nursing students with both their spiritual and professional development. The need for baccalaureate-prepared nurses is great and the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing program provides a quality education and opportunity to earn a degree that will open up tremendous professional opportunities.

California State University-San Bernardino

Department of Nursing

93.68% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA - 92407-2393
  • (909) 537-5000
Nurse Admin: Jie Yu, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, FNP-C, RN
Title: Department Chair/Associate Professor
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 93.68%
  • Programs: Nurse Educator, Nursing Leadership, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 498
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $7,213
  • Book and Supplies: $1,145
  • Percent Received Aid: 89%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $9,621
  • Percent Admitted: 78%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 20%
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

The Department of Nursing at California State University San Bernardo knows that professional nursing is a dynamic career with many opportunities. Registered Nursing is a prime occupation for job and professional growth and RNs are always in demand in California and other states. CSUSB offers what is needed the most to succeed – Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing degree programs.

The Department of Nursing continues to evolve toward improved collaboration and innovation in nursing education, scholarship, practice and service. Nursing faculty are diverse in their scholarly/research interests and activities. Faculty support student responsibility for participation in learning and utilize contemporary teaching methodologies. Student growth and development, future professional, and accountability are emphasized throughout the programs.

Undergraduate programs - The Department of Nursing continues to evolve toward improved collaboration and innovation in nursing education, scholarship, practice and service. The program averages over 400 undergraduate nursing majors in the generic pre-licensure BSN program based on twice a year admissions - fall and winter. The generic BSN program is offered at the main San Bernardino campus as well as at the Palm Desert campus. The RN to BSN program for those who already possess a California RN license is offered at both sites with students admitted in the fall. At the Palm Desert campus, the RN to BSN program is hybrid, with courses offered mostly via distance learning. This provides an opportunity to earn a BSN with a combination of online and traditional classroom instruction, allowing face-to-face interaction with a faculty member during four out of 15 semester weeks. Two cohorts are admitted annually to the fall and spring terms. Two clinical rotations require students to attend pre-arranged community or hospital agencies. Before completing this learning activity, students must demonstrate compliance with the nursing department requirements.

Graduate programs – During the CSUSB Master of Science in Nursing Program. Every student completes a series of core courses and selects from one of three concentrations: Advanced Community/Public Health Nursing, Population Health for Clinical Nurse Leaders, and Nurse Educator. Students choosing a full-time plans of study typically complete the degree in two to two-and-one half academic years. The program is offered in a hybrid format, combining the online delivery of most course lessons with a number of face-to-face sessions scheduled at either the San Bernardino or the Palm Desert campus to serve graduate students from both the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley.

Clinical practicums close to home correspond with practicum learning objectives. Practicum placements are arranged in agencies and facilities with whom CSUSB has formal affiliation contracts, most in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The Department of Nursing offers two post-graduate nursing certificate programs for Registered Nurses who hold an earned master’s or doctoral degree for those interested in expanding their expertise in an added specialty. The certificate programs build on completed graduate course work. Students can pursue Advanced Community/Public Health Nursing or Nurse Educator. The Foreign-trained Nurse option is a summer program.

San Diego State University

School of Nursing

93.34% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA - 92182-0001
  • (619) 594-5200
Nurse Admin: Karen Macauley, PhD, DNP
Title: Director and Professor
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 93.34%
  • Programs: Nursing Leadership, Registered Nursing, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 956
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $8,136
  • Book and Supplies: $1,091
  • Percent Received Aid: 61%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $9,481
  • Percent Admitted: 37%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 20%
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

The School of Nursing was established as a baccalaureate program within San Diego State University in 1953, with a Master’s program being added in 1982. The faculty is committed to providing excellent learning opportunities for students within an intellectually stimulating environment incorporating clinical practice, research, and service to the University and the community. San Diego State University maintains and promotes a policy of nondiscrimination and non-harassment on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, handicap, marital status, sexual orientation, and national origin.

The mission of the School of Nursing at San Diego State is to provide total healthcare of the individual and the family. It entails the prevention of illness, caring for those who are acutely ill, and helping people with long-term rehabilitative problems to live in the healthiest way possible. The program emphasizes that nursing both a science and an art. It has a foundation in biophysical and behavioral humanistic sciences, as well as in specific nursing practice skills and techniques. Students acquire knowledge from the natural and social sciences to develop critical thinking and professional decision-making abilities. They use current research in the application of the nursing process and develop leadership potential and accountability in professional practice. Graduates take on the emerging role of the professional nurse amid the trends affecting health and health care systems today.

Undergraduate programs – The undergraduate pre-licensed Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is available via direct-entry, to transfer students from community colleges and four-year institutions, and second baccalaureate students. Additionally, graduates of Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs and Diploma in Nursing programs may continue their studies to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree via the RN to BSN program. In addition, the LVN-RN 30-unit option is designed as a career ladder for California Licensed Vocational Nurses who desire to become registered nurses. Of note, it does not entail an Associate’s degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree. SON students train in state-of-the-art facilities including the Media Lab, Nursing Fundamentals Skills Lab, Health Assessment Lab, Sharp Healthcare Human Patient Simulation Center.

Graduate programs - The School of Nursing offers a graduate curriculum leading to the Master of Science (MS) degree in Nursing. This degree is for those who desire advanced professional roles in nursing. The graduate program requires a minimum of 36 units and is designed for either full-time or part-time study. A Master of Science (MS) degree in Nursing is offered for Advanced Practice Nursing of Adults and the Elderly (NP/CNS) Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems. Graduates are prepared for advanced professional roles as nurse clinicians, researchers, educators, and leaders in global healthcare.

California State University-Channel Islands

Nursing Program

92.92% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1 University Drive, Camarillo, CA - 93012
  • (805) 437-8400
Nurse Admin: LaSonya Davis, DNP, FNP, WHNP-BC
Title: Chief Nurse Administrator
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 92.92%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 223
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $6,817
  • Book and Supplies: $1,104
  • Percent Received Aid: 81%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $8,548
  • Percent Admitted: 79%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 8%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%

California State University-Channel Islands’ nursing school is a public institution located in seaside Camarillo that receives top ranking in the state. The school provides it offerings to students via campus formats. CI Nursing Department faculty and staff have the mission of preparing students for professional practice so they continuously grow and meet demands of the community and profession through educational and inclusive excellence. All nursing programs are CCNE accredited. The goal is to provide service and quality care to individuals, families and communities locally nationally and globally. Graduate nurses utilize evidence-based practice with a commitment to excellence in nursing practice. They will build an organizational culture that exemplifies collaborative practice, compassion, respect for others, and embraces diversity.

Undergraduate programs – Nursing is the art and science of care for individuals, families and communities in a variety of settings. Thus, the undergraduate degree program integrates the life, social and behavioral sciences with general education, nursing theory and clinical courses to produce graduates capable of functioning as a member of a multidisciplinary team, managing and coordinating personnel, services, resources and data in addition to patient care. The BSN features a clinical precepted experience. Along with the general curriculum, it prepare graduates for acute care, specialty units, public health, home health, extended care, assisted living, ambulatory, emergency, managed care, case management, occupational health and nursing management, staff development, and nursing education. Of note, the LVN 30 Unit Option is open on an available space basis.

There are several pre-licensure tracks: one is generic Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) on Camarillo's main campus for pre-nursing students who will complete the pre-requisites prior to or during the time of application, or one year prior to the fall program start. In addition, there is a BSN pre-licensure program at the Cottage Health System/Goleta Satellite campus. The ADN/RN to BSN is for the Associate degree nurse with an RN license currently enrolled in an AD Nursing program and is now seeking a full degree (Administered through the Extended University).

Graduate programs - The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) prepares advanced practice nurses to provide primary and acute care services to diverse populations across the healthcare continuum. The MSN is a hybrid program with two concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator. There are two one-week on campus intensive courses in the summer. All students attend the first on campus intensive before the beginning for their full semester of course work. Only Family Nurse Practitioner students take the second on campus intensive. All students complete core courses to practice nursing at an advanced level with a focus on the theoretical foundations of nursing, evidence-based practice, policy development, advocacy, informatics, and advanced nursing roles. They also compete coursework in advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and advanced health assessment. Family Nurse Practitioner students take specialty courses that prepare them to provide primary care services to individuals across the lifespan. The program is designed based on the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing Standards (2011) and prepares the student for continued study at the doctoral level.

California State University-Fresno

School of Nursing

92.56% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 5241 N Maple Ave, Fresno, CA - 93740
  • (559) 278-4240
Nurse Admin: Kathleen S. Rindahl, DNP, FNP-C
Title: Chair
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 92.56%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN, MSN to DNP

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 796
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $6,653
  • Book and Supplies: $1,125
  • Percent Received Aid: 88%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $9,769
  • Percent Admitted: 90%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 27%
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

The accredited nursing program at California State University Fresno aspires to empower the next generation of healthcare leaders. It boasts being the largest university in the Central San Joaquin Valley – the heartland of the state - with a school of nursing that is fully equipped with simulation labs and state-of-the-art resources. The College of Health and Human Services Pre-Health Program provides support to students exploring careers in health and human services professions with academic advising and career exploration. Students can attend the BSN program on campus or online. Hands-on experience is ample in the Valley as students can train a four large regional hospitals. It intends to prepare graduates for the changing role of nurses as healthcare practitioners. The Bachelor in Science in Nursing degree program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Applicants have certain prerequisites.

Undergraduate programs - The School of Nursing is proud to offer an undergraduate program that leads to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The degree requires a minimum of 120 semester units, and the nursing curriculum sequence covers five semesters. Theory and research-based knowledge is needed more than ever to ensure direct and indirect care to individuals and families in the field. RNs can pursue the RN-BSN track.

The Pre-Health Program allows students interested in nursing, kinesiology-exercise science, health science-community health and social work to explore these career pathways. The three-semester program is for first-time freshmen and is intended to take advantage of one’s lower division general education. Students  enroll in HHS 18: Career Pathways in Health and Human Services in their first semester and HHS 100T: Career Exploration in Health and Human Services in their second semester to assist in this exploration process. During the second semester, an academic counselor helps identify a major appropriate to the selected career path.

If a student continues in the nursing track - beginning in their third semester – he or she will complete the last prerequisites. Students must meet a minimum of a 3.0 Pre-Requisite and Cumulative GPA to apply for the prerequisite courses. Each semester, students are evaluated for meeting the minimums to continue in the program.

Graduate programs – The School of Nursing offers a Master of Science degree in Nursing to prepare nurses for advanced practice in the functional role of nurse practitioner primary care - family. Graduates acquire advanced knowledge and skill in physical diagnosis, psychological assessment, and management of health-illness needs in complex client and community systems. There are two pathways into the MSN. Program: the BSN graduate and the RN with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree. In addition to post-master’s certificates, students can enroll in the DNP program to develop advanced competencies for practice, teaching, and leadership roles, and to provide an advanced educational credential for those in practice.

Overview of Nursing Schools in California

  • There are 160 nursing schools in California. The CCNE accredits 53 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 48 schools in California.
  • Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) will take about 4 years to complete.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for ADN students in California is between 63.11% and 100.00%.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for BSN students in California is between 73.44% and 98.51%.
  • The average annual salary for registered nurses is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
  • Registered Nurses (RN) throughout the country and in California can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.

Nursing Programs Offered by California Nursing Schools

  • Registered Nursing: 132
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: 24
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 9
  • Nurse Educator: 8
  • Nursing Leadership: 6
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: 6
  • CNL: 6
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: 5
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: 4
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner: 3
  • Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: 3
  • Research or Clinical Nursing: 2
  • Administration, Research or Clinical Nursing: 2
  • Adult Psychiatric - Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 2
  • Nurse Anesthetist: 2
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner: 2
  • Nursing Informatics: 1
  • Nursing Administration: 1
  • Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing: 1
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Nurse Midwife: 1

California Nursing Schools with the Most Degree Types

More of the Best RN Programs in California

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in California

Research the best California NP programs, and find comprehensive guides to the following NP careers:

Become an APRN in California

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

RN Licensing Requirements in California

Comprehensive guide to California Nursing License Requirements Renewals RN and APRN

Nursing Salaries in California

How much do nurses earn in California?

California Nursing Resources

  • California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) - The California Board of Registered Nursing is the state agency responsible for the licensure and regulation of registered nurses (RNs) in California. They ensure public protection by setting and enforcing standards for nursing education, licensure, and practice.
  • California Nurses Association (CNA) - The California Nurses Association is a professional organization representing registered nurses in California. CNA provides a platform for advocacy, continuing education, and resources to support nurses and promote quality patient care.
  • California Association of Colleges of Nursing (CACN) - CACN represents the interests of baccalaureate and higher degree nursing education programs in California. The organization promotes academic excellence, research, and professional development in nursing education.
  • California Nursing Students' Association (CNSA) - The California Nursing Students' Association is a student-run organization that represents nursing students across the state. CNSA offers resources, networking opportunities, and support for students pursuing careers in nursing.
  • Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) - ACNL is a professional organization for nurse leaders in California. They focus on advancing the nursing profession by fostering leadership development, promoting nursing research, and advocating for sound health policy.
  • California Institute for Nursing & Health Care (CINHC) - The California Institute for Nursing & Health Care, now known as HealthImpact, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the nursing profession in California. They collaborate with educators, policymakers, and healthcare leaders to improve nursing education, workforce development, and healthcare outcomes.
  • California Student Nursing Association (CSNA) - CSNA is a pre-professional organization that supports nursing students in California. The association provides opportunities for leadership, mentorship, and professional growth.
  • California Simulation Alliance (CSA) - The California Simulation Alliance is a statewide resource that promotes the use of simulation in nursing education and practice. CSA offers training, resources, and networking opportunities to enhance the quality and effectiveness of healthcare simulation.

RN Programs Near Me

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