Top RN to BSN Programs in California

California BSN in Nursing School Highlights

Number of Accredited RN to BSN Programs in California Schools with RN-BSN Programs
There are 41 nursing schools in California with CCNE or ACEN accredited RN to BSN / BSN programs. This ranks California 3rd in the United States for available nursing schools with Bachelor's in Nursing programs.
Average Enrollment of All Colleges in California Average Enrollment
California universities average enrollment is 12,468 students (larger than the national average). There are multiple options, including public universities (the California State University system is among the largest), and smaller, private universities in more remote locations.
SWES California City Availability
There are 23 total cities in California with nursing schools offering CCNE or ACEN-accredited Bachelor's in Nursing degrees. As you would expect, the more highly populated cities and their suburbs have more options: Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, among others.
41 CCNE or ACEN Accredited California BSN Programs in our database

California ranks in the top 3 for number of nursing programs, and it is near the top in terms of resources for nurses. Boasting over a dozen nursing associations, alliances, and organizations, the support for being a Registered Nurse in California is excellent.

The general theme of nursing in California is that programs have grown (by around 30% from 2004 to 2014), but still have not been able to accommodate the demand for prospective nurses looking to enroll in a program. Thus, many people looking at getting their RN-BSN have been considering an online RN to BSN program if they live in California.

Jump to All RN to BSN Programs in California

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 Average

Below 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.
 Employment
2012 Actual
Employment
2022 Estimated
Percent
Growth %
# of Jobs
Added
 
California RN's254,500297,40017%9,230
National Average2,711,5003,238,40019%105,260

State Licensure Reciprocity

The 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


List of BSN Programs

All Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs

RN to BSN Programs That May Be Currently Accepting Applicants
American University of Health Sciences
Signal Hill
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
Azusa Pacific University
Azusa
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
Biola University
La Mirada
  • RN to BSN - Department of Nursing
Brandman University
Irvine
  • RN to BSN - Marybelle and S. Paul Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions
California Baptist University
Riverside
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
California State University - Bakersfield
  • RN to BSN
California State University - Channel Islands
  • RN to BSN
California State University - East Bay
  • RN to BSN
California State University - Los Angeles
  • RN to BSN
California State University - Northridge
  • RN to BSN
California State University - San Marcos
  • RN to BSN
California State University Chico
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
California State University Dominguez Hills
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
California State University Fresno
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
California State University Fullerton
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
California State University Long Beach
  • RN to BSN - Department of Nursing
California State University Sacramento
  • RN to BSN - Division of Nursing
California State University San Bernardino
  • RN to BSN - Department of Nursing
California State University Stanislaus
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
Concordia University Irvine
  • RN to BSN - Division of Nursing
Dominican University of California
San Rafael
  • RN to BSN - Department of Nursing
Fresno Pacific University
Fresno
  • RN to BSN - BSN Program
Holy Names University
Oakland
  • RN to BSN - Department of Nursing
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
National University
La Jolla
  • RN to BSN - Department of Nursing
Pacific College
Costa Mesa
  • RN to BSN - Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Pacific Union College
Angwin
  • RN to BSN - Department of Nursing
Point Loma Nazarene University
San Diego
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
Samuel Merritt University
Oakland
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
San Diego State University
San Diego
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
San Francisco State University
San Francisco
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
San Jose State University
San Jose
  • RN to BSN - The Valley Foundation School of Nursing
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park
  • RN to BSN - Nursing Department
Southwestern College
Chula Vista
  • RN to BSN - RN-BSN Program
Stanbridge College
Irvine
  • RN to BSN - Nursing Program
Unitek College
Fremont
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing and Allied Health
University of California
  • RN to BSN - Program in Nursing Science
University of California Los Angeles
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing
University of San Francisco
San Francisco
  • RN to BSN - School of Nursing & Health Professions
Vanguard University of Southern California
Costa Mesa
  • RN to BSN - Nursing Program
West Coast University
  • RN to BSN - College of Nursing