Universities in California with Nursing Programs


If you live in California and want to pursue a nursing career, it is important that you choose nursing schools that are accredited by the State Board of Registered Nursing so that you will be able to become certified and practice in the state.

There are many accredited schools in the state that you can choose from, including those detailed below.

California Nursing Programs

California State University: This California University is one of the best in the state. Student’s can graduate in as little as 3 years. The school has a waiting list due to it being one of the best available. This long waiting list makes it very important that prospective students have high scores on the TEAS test in order to be considered and be granted an interview with the teaching staff that will ultimately be a determining factor in admissions. 18 of the 23 campuses offer BS programs in nursing and 12 offer MS programs in nursing which gives California residents many locations to choose from in order to get a nursing degree.

UCLA School of Nursing: The UCLA School of Nursing offers programs that start at the BS level and go through PhD level and Post Master Certificates. The school is located in Los Angeles and was founded in 1919. ­­ Students can complete their clinical work as several facilities including the UCLA medical center, the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, the UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center and more than 200 other medical facilities across the state. Fees range from $7000 per year for undergraduate students who live in the state to $25,000 per year for out-of-state students. Financial aid is typically the form of payment and the school’s financial aid office will help student’s find the aid that is available. The UCLA School of Nursing also offers a Pre-Licensure Master’s Entry Clinical Nurse program for people who hold a degree in a non-nursing field and wish to transition to nursing.

Samuel Merritt University: This fully accredited health university’s school of nursing has been educating nurses for over 100 years. The school is a private university located in Oakland, California that offers the following nursing programs:

  • Entry Level Master of Science Nursing with a focus on either Case Management or Family Nurse Practitioner;
  • Post Professional Master of Science in Nursing  in Case Management, Certified Nurse Anesthetist, or Family Nurse Practitioner;
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice;
  • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Samuel Merritt is recognized as one of California’s largest graduators of registered nurses in the state. The school is known for its small class size which allows for more personalized instruction.

San Diego State University School of Nursing: San Diego State University School of Nursing is an accredited nursing school that offers students in the nursing program an excellent education with degrees in all levels of education. The school has a media lab, a fundamental skills lab with ten beds, assessment labs that simulate real world experience and the Sharp Healthcare Human Patient Simulator that allows students to simulate real life experiences without endangering real lives. Clinical rotations are located throughout the San Diego area.

San Jose State University School of Nursing: Located in San Jose, California, the Valley Foundation School of Nursing provides nursing students with a range of programs from the general BS in nursing all the way through PhD programs in nursing. Students may choose from full-time and part-time programs in order to complete their degree. Students had a 92% pass first-time pass rate for the most recent NCLEX-RN, a testament to the education received at the school. Students practice their clinical work in local health facilities such as hospitals, health agencies and nursing centers in the community. San Jose State University graduates nurses that are well-qualified to help fill the many nursing positions in the state and help with the nursing shortage.

These schools are just a sampling of the hundreds of universities in California with nursing programs. In addition to universities there are also community colleges and online options that can provide the education needed to take the NCLEX-RN and become a registered nurse.

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★ Featured Online Nursing Programs

You might also be interested in one of the following featured nursing programs that are currently accepting students and have online or hybrid nursing programs. You can get in touch with these featured programs directly to get your questions answered. Be sure to check with each program on specific prerequisites for their program!

Online BSN Programs

Online MSN Programs

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