Schools with MSN Programs in California

  • Nurses attending the University of San Diego to earn a CCNE-accredited MSN will take classes at the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science. With an emphasis placed on research, theory and practice, nurses will encounter eight different concentrations, which include Executive Nurse Leader, Health Care Informatics, Family Nurse Practitioner, or Family/Lifespan Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. The University also has a Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) that is geared towards students possessing a bachelor or higher degree in a field other than nursing, and it attracts people who are looking towards nursing as a new career.
  • Classes to obtain a CCNE-accredited MSN degree at San Diego State University are administered through the School of Nursing, where students may choose from three different concentrations of study: Advanced Practice Nursing of Adults and the Elderly, Woman’s Health Nursing, or Nursing Leadership in Healthcare Systems. Students pursuing the Advanced Practice Nursing of Adults and Elderly Concentration with a specialization in acute/critical care become prepared to assume the role of nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist. Specialties that students in the Women’s Health Nursing Concentration may consider are Nurse-Midwifery, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, or Nurse-Midwifery and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.
  • San Francisco State University offers a graduate program for registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, where they may focus their studies on administration, adult acute care, pediatrics, women’s health, community health, or becoming a family nurse practitioner. The University also offers a Generic MSN program to grant nurses with a baccalaureate degree in another field the chance to pursue an advanced education within the field. Students may choose to specialize in administration, adult acute care, pediatrics, women’s health, or community health.
  • California State University offers a multitude of options throughout the state for nurses looking to obtain a CCNE accredited Master of Science in Nursing. Depending on a nurse’s focus of study, they may attend one of the CCNE-accredited MSN programs found in the following cities:
  1. Dominguez Hills in Carson – Clinical Nurse Leader, Family Nurse Practitioner (online), Nurse Administrator (online), Nurse Educator (online), and Parent-Child Clinical Nurse Specialist (online)
  2. Fresno – Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Educator, Primary Care/Family Nurse Practitioner, and Primary Care/Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  3. Fullerton – Nursing Leadership, School Nursing, Women’s Health Care -Nurse Midwifery, and Women’s Health Care – Nurse Practitioner
  4. Long Beach – Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult-Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN/MHA, MSN/MPH, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric-Mental Nurse
  5. Los Angeles – Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner – Primary & Acute Adult, Nurse Practitioner – Primary & Acute Pediatric, Nurse Practitioner – Psychiatric & Mental Health, Nursing Administration, Nursing Case Management, Nursing Education, Psychiatric/Mental Health CNS, and School Health
  6. Sacramento – Advanced Clinical Role, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, and School Nursing
  7. San Marcos – Master of Science in Nursing
  8. Stanislaus in Turlock – Gerontological Nursing, Nursing Education
  • The School of Nursing at San Jose State University is home to a CCNE accredited Master of Science in Nursing that provides an advanced degree program in specialties, such as Nurse Educator, Nurse Administrator, and Nurse Informaticist.
  • Nurses with an interest in earning a MS in Nurse Anesthesia may study at University of Southern California (USC), located in Los Angeles, which offers an AANA/CANAEP accredited program through the Department of Anesthesiology at the Keck School of Medicine at USC.

California MSN Checklist

  • Obtain a California registered nursing license.
  • Successfully complete a master’s program related to nurse’s interest. For example, Clinical Nurse Specialists are expected to pursue a degree devoted to a clinical field of nursing.
  • Fulfill supervised clinical experience requirements, if applicable.
  • Gain certification with the California Board of Nursing (~$200 fee). The Board will need official transcripts submitted by the academic program, as well as receive appropriate forms verifying experience.
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in California.

California Salary & Job Outlook

In order to take advantage of the increasing job opportunities in California for nurses with an MSN, completing an accredited degree program is highly recommended. Upon earning a Master of Science in Nursing and fulfilling all licensure requirements, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the following median salaries for common MSN degree-related occupations in California: nursing instructor or teacher ($89,060), nurse practitioner ($98,970), and nurse midwife ($113,070), which the BLS reports as one of the highest salaries offered across the nation for this occupation. The BLS also reports that California is one of the top five highest-paying states in the United States for medical and health service managers with a median yearly salary of $113,810.