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Programs include LPN/LVN, ADN, BSN, MSN, and more

While an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) can prepare you for an entry-level nursing position, a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) is fast becoming the minimum requirement for positions at major hospitals, mental health facilities, and physicians’ offices. In fact, because BSN degree programs feature in-depth coursework and more clinical experience, they offer better preparation for high-level positions such as critical care nurse, occupational health nurse, psychiatric nurse, and nurse manager. In addition, a BSN or higher is almost always a requirement for nursing career advancement.

There are two common paths to obtaining a BSN: (1) prelicensure programs that prepare students for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and (2) RN-to-BSN programs which enable licensed professional nurses to earn a bachelor’s degree in a shorter amount of time. BSN prelicensure programs typically require four years to complete fulltime and may include up to seven clinical rotations (98 clock hours). RN-to-BSN programs typically require 30 credit hours to graduate and can take as few as three semesters to complete.

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California RNs enjoy highly competitive salaries and a strong job outlook. Registered nurses in the state earn a median salary of $94,310 per year, which is the highest RN salary in the US. Nurses managers in the state average around $118,040 per year. Expected RN employment growth is 19% for the 2012-2022 decade.

To accelerate your education search, we’ve compiled below a list of accredited California schools that offer the state’s top BSN programs.

Bakersfield

California State University, Bakersfield
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 89.1% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)

Fresno

California State University, Fresno
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 90.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Fresno Pacific University
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Bachelor's in Nursing Research
University of Phoenix - Central Valley
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing

Inland Empire

California Baptist University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 90.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2011-12)
California State University, San Bernardino
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 84.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Loma Linda University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 80.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
West Coast University - Ontario
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 72.0% NCLEX pass rate (2011-12 through 2011-12)

Los Angeles County

California State University, Long Beach
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 95.4% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
California State University, Northridge
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 94.9% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2011-12)
University of California, Los Angeles
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 90.5% NCLEX pass rate (2010-11 through 2011-12)
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Nursing Research
California State University, Los Angeles
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 89.7% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Biola University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 88.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
West Coast University - Los Angeles
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 86.2% NCLEX pass rate (2011-12 through 2011-12)
Azusa Pacific University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 83.7% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Mount St Mary's College
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 82.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
American University of Health Sciences
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 78.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2011-12)
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
University of Antelope Valley
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing

Modesto

California State University, Stanislaus
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 96.4% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
University of Phoenix - Modesto
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 75.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)

Napa

Pacific Union College
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing

Orange County

Western Governors University - Santa Ana
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 100.0% NCLEX pass rate (2011-12 through 2011-12)
Concordia University Irvine
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 92.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
West Coast University - Orange County
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 87.0% NCLEX pass rate (2011-12 through 2011-12)
University of California, Irvine
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 83.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
California State University, Fullerton
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 74.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Vanguard University
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Brandman University
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
University of Phoenix - Southern California
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Pacific College
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Stanbridge College
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing

Oxnard / Thousand Oaks / Ventura area

California State University, Channel Islands
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 91.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)

Sacramento

California State University, Sacramento
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 96.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
University of Phoenix - Sacramento Valley
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing

San Diego County

Point Loma Nazarene University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 96.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
San Diego State University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 91.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
California State University, San Marcos
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 90.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2011-12)
National University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 78.5% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
United States University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 69.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
California College San Diego
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
University of Phoenix - San Diego
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing

San Francisco Bay metro area

California State University, East Bay
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 91.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Samuel Merritt University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 88.8% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
University of San Francisco
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 88.0% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
San Jose State University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 84.9% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
San Francisco State University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 84.1% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Dominican University of California
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 78.6% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
Holy Names University
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Unitek College - Fremont
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
University of Phoenix - Bay Area
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing

Sonoma

Sonoma State University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 92.8% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)

Other California cities

California State University, Chico
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 89.2% NCLEX pass rate (2007-08 through 2011-12)
San Diego State University - Imperial Valley
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Simpson University
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
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