BSN Programs in California

With career opportunities that range from working at a community clinic to traveling the world, nurses with an undergraduate-level degree typically encounter an array of employment possibilities. Statewide demographics are continuing to grow and change, leading to many locations in the United States experiencing a nursing shortage. As one of the hardest hit states in the nation, graduates of BSN programs in California often encounter a larger number of available job positions. Fortunately, there are plenty of schools in the state providing solid training through fully accredited programs.

Schools with BSN Programs in California

Finding a BSN Program

There are many different BSN programs to choose from. Though some people prefer campus based programs, the online option has become increasingly popular, especially in the nursing industry. See a Complete List of BSN Programs...

California BSN Checklist

  • Apply to a college or university that offers an accredited BSN program. For example, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) will apply to an LPN-to-BSN program.
  • Upon graduation, pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) exam in California.
  • Gain licensure as a registered nurse in California – submit an application to the California Board of Nursing, and pay the ~$200 fee.
  • When applicable, renew RN license every two years, and pay the ~$140 fee.
  • The completion of 30 contact hours per renewal period is a continuing education requirement for the state of California.

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  • San Francisco State University offers a BSN course of study through the School of Nursing at the College of Health and Social Sciences. The CCNE accredited program has two options to consider: pre-licensure for students with an interest in having a nursing career, and advanced placement for RNs who do not have a bachelor’s degree. The University also offers an RN-to-BSN Advanced Placement Option (APO) Program geared towards junior transfer students only. Applicants for this program must have already completed a minimum of 60 semester units, which includes all lower division GE requirements and all nursing pre-licensure courses.
  • The School of Nursing at San Diego State University currently admits 160 students each academic year (80 for Fall admission and 80 for Spring admission) with transfer students being considered only in the Fall. Incoming freshmen into the BSN program are classified as pre-nursing pre-majors, and are not directly admitted into the School of Nursing. Students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing related field can apply for a second bachelor’s degree in Nursing.
  • Classes for the CCNE-accredited BSN program at San Jose State University are taken at the school’s Valley Foundation School of Nursing at the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. Some of the courses that a student entering the traditional four-year approach will encounter include Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Adult Care Management. The RN-to-BS in Nursing program (also known as the Bridge Program) allows registered nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree, as well as offers a 30-unit option for licensed vocational nurses looking to earn an RN license in California.
  • The BSN program at University of California-Irvine usually takes a student four years to complete. Two years are spent studying basic sciences before entering into the upper-level nursing science curriculum during his or her junior and senior years of college. Graduates of the program leave with a bachelor’s degree and can take the NCLEX-RN exam to gain a nursing license in California. The school program is also accredited by the CCNE.
  •  With campus locations in Los Angeles, Ontario and Anaheim, students attending West Coast University can gain nursing skills and experience on the baccalaureate level. The CCNE accredited programs offered at the various campuses are generally completed in as little as 39 months – without having to earn LVN certification. In addition to acquiring classroom instruction, students will practice in a variety of community settings, including both acute and long-term care facilities.
  • The curriculum and mission of the BSN programs at Loma Linda University stay in line with Seventh-Day Adventist traditions. Offering a variety of undergraduate tracks to consider, the University accommodates students with no previous degree or nursing license; students with a BA in a field other than nursing; students with an LVN license; and working registered nurses (who prefer part-time study).
  • California State University also offers undergraduate instruction in nursing at several different campus locations throughout the state, including in Fullerton, Fresno, Long Beach, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Marcos, and San Bernadino.

Salary Data

Earning an undergraduate degree allows professionals to branch out into other areas of nursing that not only require a higher level of responsibility, but also pays more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses in California with a BSN qualify to make a median salary of $94,120, making the state one of the top five highest-paying locations across the United States.

The BLS also identifies the state of California as having one of the highest employment levels in the nation concerning the RN position.

A nurse interested in obtaining a bachelor’s degree in their field may choose between an on-campus course of study and taking online courses. To explore additional options regarding the pursuit of an undergraduate nursing education, consider some of the following school programs for California residents: