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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 includenurse anesthetistandfamily practice nurse.The time it takes to complete a degree will wholly depend upon your degree path coupled with the schools accreditation requirements. Undergraduate degree programs will generally take two to four years to complete. Prior to submitting your application for a nursing license from theCalifornia Nursing Board, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Explore a full list of programs below or search for the bestnursingschool 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 Fresno, CA LVN unitekcollege.edu
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Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts Fremont, CA LVN gurnick.edu
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American Career College - Ontario Lakewood, CA LVN americancareercollege.edu
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American Career College - Los Angeles West Covina, CA LVN americancareercollege.edu
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Capital Area School of Practical Nursing San Marcos, CA LVN caspn.edu
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Homestead Schools Bakersfield, CA LVN homesteadschools.net
Western Career College - Sacramento Saratoga, CA LVN carrington.edu
Concorde Career College - San Diego Fullerton, CA LVN concorde.edu
Blake Austin College Sunnyvale, CA LVN blakeaustincollege.edu
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Mercy Hospital School of Practical Nursing San Luis Obispo, CA LVN mercymiami.com
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Angeles Institute Los Angeles, CA LVN angelesinstitute.edu
Clovis Adult Education Visalia, CA LVN cusd.com
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Garnet Career Center Clovis, CA LVN garnet.edu
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Career Development Institute Escondido, CA LVN cdi.edu
University of Antelope Valley Riverside, CA LVN uav.edu
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Citrus College Berkeley, CA LVN citruscollege.edu
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Southeastern Technical College Garden Grove, CA LVN southeasterntech.edu
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College of the Redwoods Redlands, CA LVN redwoods.edu
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Long Beach City College Loma Linda, CA LVN lbcc.edu
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Riverside Community College Whittier, CA LVN rcc.edu
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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
Riverside Community College Whittier, CA ADN-RN rcc.edu
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Fresno City College Eureka, CA ADN-RN fresnocitycollege.edu
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San Joaquin Valley College - Visalia Stockton, CA ADN-RN sjvc.edu
Unitek College Fresno, CA ADN-RN unitekcollege.edu
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Modesto Junior College Oxnard, CA ADN-RN mjc.edu
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Bakersfield College Azusa, CA ADN-RN bakersfieldcollege.edu
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Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health Los Angeles, CA ADN-RN lacounty.gov
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San Joaquin Delta College Clovis, CA ADN-RN deltacollege.edu
College of the Canyons Redwood City, CA ADN-RN canyons.edu
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Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Monica, CA ADN-RN santarosa.edu
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Mt San Antonio College Moorpark, CA ADN-RN mtsac.edu
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Career Networks Institute Signal Hill, CA ADN-RN cnicollege.edu
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Cypress College El Cajon, CA ADN-RN cypresscollege.edu
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Mount St. Mary's College Walnut, CA ADN-RN msmu.edu
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Saddleback College Sacramento, CA ADN-RN saddleback.edu
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Glendale Career College Glendale, CA ADN-RN success.edu
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Long Beach City College Loma Linda, CA ADN-RN lbcc.edu
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Antelope Valley College Sacramento, CA ADN-RN avc.edu
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Santa Ana College El Monte, CA ADN-RN sac.edu
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Pasadena City College San Marcos, CA ADN-RN pasadena.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 Mission Viejo, CA BSN samuelmerritt.edu
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Azusa Pacific University San Diego, CA BSN apu.edu
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West Coast University - Ontario Anaheim, CA BSN westcoastuniversity.edu
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National University Emeryville, CA BSN www.nu.edu
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California State University - Fullerton Fresno, CA BSN fullerton.edu
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California State University - Sacramento Northridge, CA BSN csus.edu
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University of San Francisco San Anselmo, CA BSN usfca.edu
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Loma Linda University Riverside, CA BSN llu.edu
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California State University - Long Beach Hayward, CA BSN csulb.edu
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Mount St. Mary's College Walnut, CA BSN msmu.edu
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San Jose State University San Jose, CA BSN sjsu.edu
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San Diego State University San Diego, CA BSN sdsu.edu
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California State University - Los Angeles Long Beach, CA BSN calstatela.edu
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California Baptist University Aptos, CA BSN calbaptist.edu
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California State University - East Bay Fullerton, CA BSN csueastbay.edu
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Purdue University Stanford, CA BSN purdue.edu
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Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA BSN pointloma.edu
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San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA BSN sfsu.edu
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California State University - Dominguez Hills Chico, CA BSN csudh.edu
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California State University - Fresno Carson, CA BSN fresnostate.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
Azusa Pacific University San Diego, CA MSN apu.edu
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University of California - San Francisco La Jolla, CA MSN ucsf.edu
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California State University - Long Beach Hayward, CA MSN csulb.edu
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Samuel Merritt University Mission Viejo, CA MSN samuelmerritt.edu
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Western University of Health Sciences Anaheim, CA MSN westernu.edu
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California State University - Dominguez Hills Chico, CA MSN csudh.edu
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California Baptist University Aptos, CA MSN calbaptist.edu
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California State University - Fullerton Fresno, CA MSN fullerton.edu
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California State University - Los Angeles Long Beach, CA MSN calstatela.edu
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California State University - Sacramento Northridge, CA MSN csus.edu
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San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA MSN sfsu.edu
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Sonoma State University Fairfield, CA MSN sonoma.edu
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Purdue University Stanford, CA MSN purdue.edu
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Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA MSN pointloma.edu
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California State University - Fresno Carson, CA MSN fresnostate.edu
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San Jose State University San Jose, CA MSN sjsu.edu
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Loma Linda University Riverside, CA MSN llu.edu
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San Diego State University San Diego, CA MSN sdsu.edu
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National University Emeryville, CA MSN www.nu.edu
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California State University - Chico Pomona, CA MSN csuchico.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

+103% Above State Median Income

+107% Above National Median Income

Nurse's in California take home an average 40.00 per hour. Annual earnings for Nurse's working in the State of California average $85,349 which is 103% above the state median income and 107% above the national median income for all occupations. Employment for a Nurse makes up just 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 2,087,530 $40.00 $85,349
State Average 16,070,230.00 $19.75 $41,090.00
National Average 155,760,000.00 $19.33 $35,977.00
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
MEDIAN: $40.00
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online

Source:
Graduate data is from the 2013-2014 school year.
IPEDS Survey 2012-2020: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.

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