RN to BSN Programs in California

By EveryNurse Staff on March 17, 2022

RN to BSN Programs in California

RN to BSN programs are designed to help registered nurses who already have an associate degree or diploma in nursing to upgrade their education by earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing. These post-licensure programs are ideal for working nurses who are interested in taking on more responsibility and assuming leadership roles in the workplace.

There are approximately 40 nursing schools across the state of California that offer RN to BSN programs. This post will discuss the admissions requirements for an RN to BSN program and provide you with a list of the best public and private institutions, as well as out-of-state colleges and universities with online RN to BSN programs available to residents of California.

Benefits of California RN to BSN Programs

There are significant professional benefits for nurses who advance their education through RN to BSN programs. According to a 2020 survey of 647 nursing schools conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the average job offer rate for new BSN graduates at the time of graduation was 76%. This rate grew to 94% within 4-6 months of graduation.

Additionally, data from the American Community Survey reveals that over the previous decade, the percentage of ADN-prepared registered nurses employed in hospitals dropped from 65% to 60%, while the employment of BSN-educated RNs increased from 67% to 72% over the same period. Together, this data clearly reveals a trend of employers having a strong preference for BSN program graduates.

Online RN to BSN Programs in California

Nursing schools are increasingly offering flexible learning options to students seeking a BSN degree. Hybrid course formats provide students with a combination of online and traditional classroom instruction. This “blend” of traditional face-to-face classes and virtual learning is very popular among working nurses who need flexibility and enhanced convenience so they can maintain an active presence at work while earning their degrees.

Modern technology has made it possible to take a majority of the classes required for RN to BSN programs entirely online. Students are expected to log on to a learning management system where they can access lectures, take exams, and communicate with faculty through the platform. They also participate in online discussions with classmates on various forums and message boards.

California RN to BSN Program Admission Requirements

Admissions requirements for RN to BSN programs vary depending on the college or university. Students should expect a competitive application process as nursing schools in the state of California typically receive thousands of applications and accept only a small percentage of qualified applicants. Prospective students should be prepared to meet the following application requirements:

  • Proof of an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a nursing diploma from an accredited nursing school.
  • An active, unencumbered RN license.
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale with prerequisite courses in Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physiology, English, and Statistics.
  • Candidates must meet all health compliance requirements and pass a criminal background check.
  • If the applicant’s first/primary language is not English, the applicant must submit evidence of English proficiency.
  • A physical examination and all required immunizations are required before entry into the program.

Degree Guides

Best RN to BSN Programs in California

Each year, our experts scrutinize public and private data from several hundred qualifying nursing programs to create comprehensive rankings of the best nursing schools in the U.S. Our list of the best RN to BSN programs in California is an objective assessment of each program’s academic excellence and value as measured by eight weighted categories: 1) Academic Experience, 2) NCLEX-Pass Rates, 3) Post-Graduate Success, 4) Student Selectivity, 5) Faculty Resources, 6) Financial Aid, 7) Graduation Rate Performance, 8) Affordability.

To be considered for this ranking list, a school must be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and be approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

RN to BSN Programs in California

California State University, Long Beach

Address: 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90840
Enrollment: 32,900 undergraduate students

RN to BSN Programs in California

San Diego State University

Address: 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182
Enrollment: 30,347 undergraduate students

RN to BSN Programs in California

California State University, Fullerton

Address: 800 N. State College Boulevard, Fullerton, CA 92831
Enrollment: 35,087 undergraduate students

RN to BSN Programs in California

San Jose State University

Address: One Washington Square, San José, CA 95192
Enrollment: 27,723 undergraduate students

RN to BSN Programs in California

California State University, Los Angeles

Address: 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032
Enrollment: 22,743 undergraduate students

RN to BSN Programs in California

Loma Linda University

Address: 11262 Campus Street, Loma Linda, CA 92350
Enrollment: 4,434 total students

RN to BSN Programs in California

California State University, Chico

Address: 400 W 1st Street, Chico, CA 95929
Enrollment: 16,044 undergraduate students

RN to BSN Programs in California

California State University, Northridge

Address: 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330
Enrollment: 34,713 undergraduate students

RN to BSN Programs in California

California State University, Stanislaus

Address: One University Circle, Turlock, California 95382
Enrollment: 9,686 undergraduate students

RN to BSN Programs in California

California State University, San Bernardino

Address: 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407
Enrollment: 17,963 undergraduate students

Contributing Data Sources

How Much Does a BSN Make in California?

BSN-educated registered nurses typically earn higher salaries than their colleagues with an ADN degree. This is one of the reasons why a sizable number of ADN-prepared nurses go back to school to pursue a BSN program.

Salary data from the California Employment Development Department (EDD) reveals that the median wage in 2021 for registered nurses in California is $120,813 annually, or $58.09 hourly. This wage is substantially higher than the national median salary for RNs of $80,010 or $38.47 per hour (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Listed below are the median wages for California RNs by metropolitan area.

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara $159,145
San Rafael $156,329
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco$156,296
Vallejo-Fairfield $153,911
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley $150,209
Santa Cruz-Watsonville $145,996
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade $139,821
Salinas $135,341
Santa Rosa $122,129
Napa $118,619
Redding $118,231
Stockton-Lodi $117,435
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine $116,347
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale$115,497
San Diego-Carlsbad $114,783
Hanford-Corcoran $114,415
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara $112,456
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario $111,497
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura $107,753
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande $107,426
Merced $105,845
Fresno $99,254
Bakersfield $97,683
Chico $89,102
El Centro $86,572
Visalia-Porterville $85,919

Additional Resources for California Students

RN to BSN Programs in California FAQ

The length of RN to BSN programs varies from college to college and can range from just under two years (for an accelerated program) to four years (for a traditional 4-year baccalaureate degree). RN to BSN programs require incoming students to have already earned an associate degree in order to pursue a bachelor’s, which means that the course curriculum can typically be completed in significantly less time than a traditional 4-year degree. For example, the average length of an RN to BSN program at San Diego State University is 12 to 15 months.

The fastest RN to BSN programs can be completed in approximately 12 months. Fast-track programs are able to significantly reduce the time and cost it takes to earn your degree by giving you credit for prerequisites you have already earned in your ADN program. Additionally, many programs give RNs the opportunity to “test out” of certain courses by demonstrating competency in a particular subject area. In other words, if you have already taken anatomy as an ADN student, you will receive credit for that course and not have to repeat it in your bachelor’s program.

ADN to BSN programs can be very challenging depending on the college or university you attend and your aptitude for the course material. However, as an ADN-prepared nurse, you already have a foundation of knowledge that will help you succeed in your bachelor’s program. Registered nurses are trusted with the health and well-being of their patients, so you can expect your classes to be challenging and demanding of your time.

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