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

A master of science in nursing (MSN) is the best degree option for professional nurses looking to advance their careers. While a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) can lead to advancement opportunities as well, an MSN or higher is highly desired by hospitals, universities, and other medical facilities seeking skilled administrators, educators, and managers. Most MSN programs require 18-24 months to complete.

An entry-level master’s in nursing (ELM) is the best master’s degree route for non-nurses. The ELM program is designed for individuals holding a bachelor’s degree or higher in another field, and it usually takes 1-2 years to complete (depending on transfer credits).

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MSN degree-holders have access to a wide variety of career paths including nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, nurse manager, and nursing home administrator. Graduates can expect an outstanding hiring and earnings outlook for these positions. Expected employment growth for nurse managers and administrators is 21% for the 2012-2022 decade and 31% for nurse anesthetists, midwives, and practitioners. The average salary for managers and administrators is $88,500 nationwide and an impressive $118,040 in the state of California. The average salary for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners as a group is $96,460 nationwide. In California, average annual earnings are $163,570 for nurse anesthetists, $120,450 for nurse midwives, and $110,590 for nurse practitioners.

We’ve compiled below the accredited California schools that offer some of the state’s top master of science in nursing (MSN) programs.

Featured Schools

Fresno

California State University, Fresno
5241 North Maple Avenue | Fresno, California 93740
  • Master of Science in Nursing

Inland Empire

California Baptist University
8432 Magnolia Avenue | Riverside, California 92504
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Master of Science in Nursing
California State University, San Bernardino
5500 University Parkway | San Bernardino, California 92407
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Loma Linda University
11262 Campus Street | Loma Linda, California 92350
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • MSN: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing

Los Angeles County

Azusa Pacific University
901 East Alosta Avenue | Azusa, California 91702
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Master of Science in Nursing
California State University, Dominguez Hills
1000 East Victoria Street | Carson, California 90747
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Boulevard | Long Beach, California 90840
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • MSN: Adult-Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing & Health Systems Executive Management
  • MSN: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive | Los Angeles, California 90032
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
1731 East 120th Street | Los Angeles, California 90059
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Mount Saint Mary's University
12001 Chalon Road | Los Angeles, California 90049
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of California, Los Angeles
405 Hilgard Avenue | Los Angeles, California 90095
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
University of Southern California
University Park | Los Angeles, California 90089
  • Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
West Coast University - Los Angeles
12215 Victory Boulevard | North Hollywood, California 91606
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Western University of Health Sciences
309 East Second Street | Pomona, California 91766
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion

Modesto

California State University, Stanislaus
One University Circle | Turlock, California 95382
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion

Orange County

California State University, Fullerton
800 North State College Boulevard | Fullerton, California 92831
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Stanbridge University
2041 Business Center Drive, Suite 107 | Irvine, California 92612
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
University of California, Irvine
501 Aldrich Hall | Irvine, California 92697
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of Phoenix - Southern California
3100 Bristol Street | Costa Mesa, California 92626
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Vanguard University
55 Fair Drive | Costa Mesa, California 92626
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion

Sacramento

California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street | Sacramento, California 95819
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue | Davis, California 95616
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of Phoenix - Sacramento Valley
2860 Gateway Oaks Drive | Sacramento, California 95833
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing

San Diego County

California State University, San Marcos
333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road | San Marcos, California 92096
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
National University
3678 Aero Court | San Diego, California 92123
  • Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
Point Loma Nazarene University
3900 Lomaland Drive | San Diego, California 92106
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive | San Diego, California 92182
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
United States University
830 Bay Boulevard | Chula Vista, California 91911
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of Phoenix - San Diego
9645 Granite Ridge Drive | San Diego, California 92123
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park | San Diego, California 92110
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing

San Francisco Bay metro area

Dominican University of California
50 Acacia Avenue | San Rafael, California 94901
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Holy Names University
3500 Mountain Boulevard | Oakland, California 94619
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Samuel Merritt University
3100 Telegraph Avenue | Oakland, California 94609
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue | San Francisco, California 94132
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Master of Science in Nursing
San Jose State University
One Washington Square | San Jose, California 95192
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of California, San Francisco
500 Parnassus Avenue | San Francisco, California 94143
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of Phoenix - Bay Area
3590 North First Street | San Jose, California 95134
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street | San Francisco, California 94117
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion

Sonoma

Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue | Rohnert Park, California 94928
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing

Vallejo / Fairfield area

Touro University California
1310 Club Drive | Vallejo, California 94592
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion

Other California cities

California State University, Chico
First & Normal Streets | Chico, California 95929
  • Master of Science in Nursing
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