Nursing Degrees in California

Every nursing program is governed by its state’s particular rules and regulations, and getting nursing degrees in California (CA) is no exception. The California Board of Nursing is any California nursing student’s first stop before they enroll in a nursing program.

The Board can give them information on:

–        Approved registered nursing and advanced practice registered nursing programs.

–        Pass rates.

–        Financial aid schemes.

–        Licensure and examinations.

–        Disciplinary actions.

–        Legislative updates.

Since getting nursing degrees in California isn’t like getting nursing degrees in other states, students should always become intimately familiar with the Board of Nursing, and what kind of information it can give them.

California Nursing Schools

Students pursuing associate’s degrees (ADN/ASN/AASN) can choose from public colleges like American River College in Sacramento, City College of San Francisco in San Francisco, and Los Angeles Trade-Tech College in Los Angeles, among others. There are also plenty of private nursing schools that offer two year nursing programs, like Sacramento’s Carrington College.

California doesn’t have as many four year nursing schools as they do two year schools, but they still offer plenty. Students looking for public schools with baccalaureate nursing degree programs (BSN) can go to California State University in Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Chico, East Bay, Fresno, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, North Ridge, Sacramento, San Bernadino, San Marcos, or Stanislaus, for example. Private four year schools include National University in San Diego, and University of Phoenix at Modesto in Salida.

Students looking for entry level master’s in nursing programs (MSN) can turn to public schools like California State University, San Francisco State University, or Sonoma State University. There are also several private schools with approved entry level master’s degree programs, like the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.

These are just some examples of all of the nursing schools in California. It’s possible for schools to gain or lose Board approval, so for more information on nursing schools in your area, you should contact the Board of Nursing for an up-to-date list of nursing schools in schools that currently meet their approval criteria, as well as which schools only admit Licensed Vocational Nurses, and which have accelerated degree programs.

Fewer schools offer Doctoral level nursing programs like those that award Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or PhD in Nursing degrees.

Approved Nursing Degree Programs in California- Beware of Fake Nursing Degree Programs

Not all nursing programs in California will allow students to take licensure examinations after graduation. Even some accredited institutions may offer nursing degrees that are not in line with the Board of Nursing’s educational guidelines, thus the Board will not allow graduates from those programs to sit for their examinations. This is true even if the student was essentially lied to by their school- even if the program claimed to have been approved by the Board of Nursing, it is up to the student to verify that claim with the Board prior to enrollment.

Any unapproved classes that are taken as part of a nursing degree program will not be counted, and students will need to re-take them in an approved setting before they can be allowed to take the NCLEX-RN. Without passing this examination and getting a nursing license, nursing graduates can’t practice.

Paying for Nursing School in California

There are several different financial aid programs available to California nursing students. The Nursing Scholarship Program offers some tuition money to registered nurses that are willing to put in at least two years working for an understaffed medical facility after graduation. “Taking Care of California,” offered by ALL Student Loan, is a loan forgiveness program designed to encourage more students to enter nursing programs. The Health Professions Education Foundation offers both scholarships and loan repayment schemes to nursing students who are willing to work in understaffed hospitals in rural or urban areas of California. There are many other loan and scholarship programs other than these, and the Board of Nursing can provide a comprehensive list of them.

California is hurting for nurses, so the state has made every effort to help students pay for their educations, and avoid being waitlisted for nursing degrees in California. The state has a very long list of approved RN and continuing education programs, so students should be able to find one that fits their needs.