Becoming a Nurse in California
One of the best places – if not the best place – to glean perspective on becoming an Registered Nurse in California is to read through the California Board of Registered Nursing 2013-2014 Annual School Report (PDF file), most recently updated in June 2015. The 23-page report is long, but it provides excellent data and trending. We have pulled the most applicable facts that you should know when you are researching RN to BSN programs to become a nurse in California.
- There are around 12,300 “spaces” open for nursing programs in CA, but as of the date of the last survey, there were around 13,300 applicants to nursing programs. This puts the university system over capacity, and can make them more selective.
- BSN programs had a slight increase in enrollment from 2012 to 2013 (most recent dates).
- The overall NCLEX pass rate for BSN’s at every California University decreased from 87.1% in 2012/2013 to 82.3% in 2013/2014.
- 68% of graduates from California BSN programs are employed within the state of California (this is a very good number).
- Unsurprisingly, 56% of graduates from California BSN programs work in hospitals, the most out of any industry.
RN Employment Trends - California vs. National AverageBelow is how California compares to the national average for Registered Nurse employment. We took the national averages and compared it to the outlook for California. All data comes from the BLS and ONET Online.
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State Licensure ReciprocityThe Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) allows nurses to have one license for nursing that gives them the ability to practice in the state where they current live as well as other states that are part of the compact agreement. Currently there are 25 states that are a part of the NLC agreement. California is NOT a part of the NLC compact agreement.
Source: National Council of State Boards of Nursing
The California State University System’s Impact on Nursing
The California State University System is by far the most expansive of all California universities, with 23 campuses and eight off-campus centers. The System is home to almost a half-million students (437,000), and has options all over California. The Cal State System is also the largest producer of bachelor’s degrees in the United States, with around 100,000 annually.
Nursing Schools Spotlight
Azusa Pacific University
APU’s RN-BSN program is one of the most reasonably priced degree programs in the state of California, at around $500 per credit hour. At 40 credit hours total, the RN-BSN program can also be completed in as little as 15 months, which is on the low end of the spectrum in terms of program length. You would need to be aggressive with taking your courses on a full schedule, however. APU also has an Online RN to BSN option.
California State University – Sacramento
The last reported numbers from the California Board of Nursing reports that California State University – Sacramento’s BSN program had an NCLEX pass rate of 97%, with 153 students passing in 2013/2014. Nursing is also the largest major at the university for undergraduates, with around 2,000 students in the program.
California Nursing Resources
- CA Nursing School NCLEX Pass Rates
- CA Board of Nursing
- California Nurses Association
- CA Department of Public Health
- American Nurses Association – California
- Association of California Nurse Leaders
- California Association of Health Facilities
- California Association for Health Services at Home
- California Hospital Association
- California Medical Association
- California School Nurses Organization
- SEIU Nurse Alliance of California
- United Nurses Associations of California