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Nursing Schools in California

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The top nursing schools in California will help to provide academic opportunity for college-bound students to navigate a variety of degrees. Nursing degree options found with California colleges include a variety of certificate programs, associate degrees in nursing (ADN), bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), master of science in nursing (MSN), doctorate degrees in nursing science (DNSc), and PhD programs. Additionally, students have the ability to upskill from one degree to another as evidenced in a second degree BSN, RN to BSN, or LPN to BSN program. An array of specialty degree options are also avaialbe from dozens of accredited universities that may include nurse anesthetist and family practice nurse. The time it takes to complete a degree will wholly depend upon your degree path coupled with the school’s accreditation requirements. Undergraduate degree programs will generally take two to four years to complete. Prior to submitting your application for a nursing license from the California Nursing Board, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Explore a full list of programs below or search for the best nursing school in California with our award-winning search platform today.

Browse Nursing Schools in California By Type

Top Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Programs in California By Number of Graduates

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) programs usually take 9 - 12 months to complete and you would have to pass a licensing exam prior to being licensed in the state. Schools listed below are sorted by the number of LVN program students enrolled.

Institution Name Location Programs Website Request Information
Unitek College Fremont, CA LVN unitekcollege.edu
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Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts San Mateo, CA LVN gurnick.edu
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Career Care Institute Lancaster, CA LVN ccicolleges.edu
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American Career College - Ontario Ontario, CA LVN americancareercollege.edu
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American Career College - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA LVN americancareercollege.edu
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American Career College - Anaheim Anaheim, CA LVN americancareercollege.edu
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Kaplan College - San Diego San Diego, CA LVN brightwood.edu
Career Networks Institute Orange, CA LVN cnicollege.edu
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Casa Loma College - School of Nursing and Allied Health Van Nuys, CA LVN casalomacollege.edu
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Kaplan College - Sacramento Campus Sacramento, CA LVN brightwood.edu
CES College Burbank, CA LVN cescollege.edu
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Stanbridge University Irvine, CA LVN stanbridge.edu
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Downey Adult School Downey, CA LVN das.edu
Kaplan College - Vista Vista, CA LVN brightwood.edu
North - West College - Riverside Riverside, CA LVN www.nw.edu
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Angeles Institute Artesia, CA LVN angelesinstitute.edu
Pacific College Costa Mesa, CA LVN pacific-college.edu
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American Career College at St. Francis Lynwood, CA LVN americancareercollege.edu
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Blake Austin College Vacaville, CA LVN blakeaustincollege.edu
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Western Career College - San Jose San Jose, CA LVN carrington.edu

Top Associate Level Registered Nurse (RN) Programs in California By Number of Graduates

The minimum degree requirement to become a Registered Nurse is to obtain an Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) or Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree, which usually takes about 2 years to complete. You would also have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam prior to being state licensed. Schools listed below are sorted by the number of students enrolled in the program.

Institution Name Location Programs Website Request Information
Fresno City College Fresno, CA ADN-RN
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Kaplan College - San Diego San Diego, CA ADN-RN brightwood.edu
Riverside Community College Riverside, CA ADN-RN rcc.edu
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Bakersfield College Bakersfield, CA ADN-RN bakersfieldcollege.edu
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Pasadena City College Pasadena, CA ADN-RN pasadena.edu
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Antelope Valley College Lancaster, CA ADN-RN avc.edu
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College of the Canyons Santa Clarita, CA ADN-RN
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East Los Angeles College Monterey Park, CA ADN-RN elac.edu
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Mt San Antonio College Walnut, CA ADN-RN mtsac.edu
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Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Rosa, CA ADN-RN santarosa.edu
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Modesto Junior College Modesto, CA ADN-RN mjc.edu
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Saddleback College Mission Viejo, CA ADN-RN saddleback.edu
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Unitek College Fremont, CA ADN-RN unitekcollege.edu
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El Camino College Torrance, CA ADN-RN elcamino.edu
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Golden West College Huntington Beach, CA ADN-RN
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Santa Ana College Santa Ana, CA ADN-RN sac.edu
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Grossmont College El Cajon, CA ADN-RN grossmont.edu
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Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health Los Angeles, CA ADN-RN
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Butte College Oroville, CA ADN-RN butte.edu
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Long Beach City College Long Beach, CA ADN-RN lbcc.edu
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Top Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Programs in California By Number of Graduates

See the top schools offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. A BSN program usually takes 4 years to complete, and a licensing exam (NCLEX) is also required. Some of these schools may also offer a RN to BSN bridge programs. The top 10 schools listed below are sorted by the number of students enrolled in their BSN program.

Institution Name Location Programs Website Request Information
Samuel Merritt University Oakland, CA BSN samuelmerritt.edu
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West Coast University - Los Angeles North Hollywood, CA BSN westcoastuniversity.edu
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West Coast University - Orange County Anaheim, CA BSN westcoastuniversity.edu
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Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA BSN apu.edu
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West Coast University - Ontario Ontario, CA BSN westcoastuniversity.edu
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California State University - Fullerton Fullerton, CA BSN
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National University La Jolla, CA BSN www.nu.edu
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California State University - East Bay Hayward, CA BSN csueastbay.edu
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San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA BSN
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California State University - Sacramento Sacramento, CA BSN csus.edu
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California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA BSN csulb.edu
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California State University - Dominguez Hills Carson, CA BSN csudh.edu
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Mount St. Mary's College Los Angeles, CA BSN msmu.edu
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California State University - San Marcos San Marcos, CA BSN csusm.edu
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San Diego State University San Diego, CA BSN sdsu.edu
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University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA BSN usfca.edu
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California State University - Fresno Fresno, CA BSN csufresno.edu
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San Jose State University San Jose, CA BSN
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Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA BSN
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California State University - San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA BSN csusb.edu
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Top Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs in California By Number of Graduates

Getting your Master of Science in Nursing will take about 5-7 years from start to finish. You would still need to take a exam prior to being fully licensed to practice in the state. The schools listed below are sorted by the number of students enrolled in their Master's program.

Institution Name Location Programs Website Request Information
California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA MSN csulb.edu
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University of California - San Francisco San Francisco, CA MSN ucsf.edu
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California State University - Fullerton Fullerton, CA MSN
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Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA MSN apu.edu
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California State University - Dominguez Hills Carson, CA MSN csudh.edu
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Western University of Health Sciences Pomona, CA MSN westernu.edu
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San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA MSN
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California State University - Fresno Fresno, CA MSN csufresno.edu
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Samuel Merritt University Oakland, CA MSN samuelmerritt.edu
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California State University - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA MSN calstatela.edu
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Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA MSN pointloma.edu
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Sonoma State University Rohnert Park, CA MSN sonoma.edu
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San Diego State University San Diego, CA MSN sdsu.edu
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California State University - Sacramento Sacramento, CA MSN csus.edu
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United States University Chula Vista, CA MSN usuniversity.edu
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California State University - San Marcos San Marcos, CA MSN csusm.edu
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California State University - San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA MSN csusb.edu
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Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA MSN
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California Baptist University Riverside, CA MSN calbaptist.edu
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California State University - Stanislaus Turlock, CA MSN csustan.edu
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Registered Nurses in California can make a salary between $70,000 to $139,000 per year. The list below shows registered nurse salaries in areas throughout California.

  • Merced: $101,000
  • El Centro: $82,000
  • Yuba City: $85,000
  • Los Angeles, Long Beach, Glendale: $100,000
  • Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario: $98,000

Nurse's in California Compared to Median Income Averages

+149% Above State Median Income

+175% Above National Median Income

Nurse's in California take home an average 48.92 per hour. Annual earnings for Nurse's working in the State of California average $101,750 which is 149% above the state median income and 175% above the national median income for all occupations. Employment for a Nurse makes up just 0.08% of the working population in California and is limited due to the specific qualifications required along with the schooling involved in this career path. The increasing demand for qualified Nurses coupled with the educational barrier to enter the field is met with a steady supply of eager college graduates anxious to make a long-lasting impact in the lives of others in and around California.

Average Income for a Nurse in California

Employment Median Hourly Wage Median Annual Wage
California Nurse 274,650 $48.92 $101,750
State Average 16,681,200 $19.67 $40,913.60
National Average 153,156,000 $17.82 $37,040
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
MEDIAN: $48.92
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online

Source:
Graduate data is from the 2013-2014 school year.
IPEDS Survey 2012-2015: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.