Find a nursing school near you

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

The state of California is home to the nation's top public university: University of California, Berkeley. Several other public California colleges are among the top 25 in the nation, and many are home to some of America’s best nursing schools. Choosing a public nursing school education in the state offers benefits that go beyond reputation. For starters, public universities in the state (and across the US) cost less. Public universities are primarily funded through state government subsidies, so state or county residents will pay an average tuition rate of $8,893 per year (as of 2013-2014). Private school students paid an average of $30,090 for the same school year.

Next, because public institutions typically cater to a larger student body, they often offer more degree program options. Finally, while some public colleges are just as selective as many of their private counterparts, most are far more accessible.

Find a school

The state of California has hundreds of top-tier public nursing schools to choose from. A few of the top public nursing schools in California include the California State University system (14 campuses with nursing programs), the University of California system (four campuses with nursing programs), San Francisco State University, and San Diego State University.

Graduates of these programs have a significant number of employment options from which to choose. Some of the major California nursing employers include San Francisco General Hospital; Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto; University of California, Davis Medical Center in Sacramento; and Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.

Below is a comprehensive list of public nursing schools in California that offer accredited nursing programs in one or more areas of this rewarding career field.

Bakersfield

Bakersfield Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Bakersfield College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Nursing Assistant
California State University, Bakersfield
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Cerro Coso Community College - Indian Wells Valley
Programs offered: Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Cerro Coso Community College - Kern River Valley
Programs offered: Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing

Fresno

California State University, Fresno
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
Clovis Adult Education
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Fresno Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Fresno City College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing

Inland Empire

Baldy View Regional Occupational Program
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Beaumont Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Nursing Assistant
California State University, San Bernardino
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
Chaffey College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
College of the Desert
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Associate's in Registered Nursing
Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Nursing Assistant
Copper Mountain College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Mt San Jacinto College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Palo Verde College
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Nursing Assistant
Riverside City College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Nursing Assistant
San Bernardino Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
San Bernardino Valley College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Victor Valley College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing

Los Angeles County

Antelope Valley College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Baldwin Park Adult & Community Education
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing Assistant
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
California State University, Long Beach
Programs offered: Master's in Nursing Administration; Master's in Public Health and Community Nursing; Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
California State University, Los Angeles
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
California State University, Northridge
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Cerritos College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Citrus College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
College of the Canyons
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Downey Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
East Los Angeles College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing
East Los Angeles Occupational Center
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing Assistant
El Camino College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
El Camino College Compton Center
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
El Monte-Rosemead Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Glendale Community College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing
Hacienda La Puente Adult Education
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Nursing Assistant
Jordan-Locke Community Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Long Beach City College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Los Angeles City College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Los Angeles Harbor College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Los Angeles Southwest College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Los Angeles Valley College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Lynwood Community Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Manual Arts-Crenshaw Community Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Mt San Antonio College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
North Valley Occupational Center
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Pasadena City College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Pierce College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Pomona Adult & Career Education
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing Assistant
Rio Hondo College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Santa Monica College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
University of California, Los Angeles
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing; Bachelor's in Nursing Research; Master's in Nursing Research; Doctor's in Nursing Research
West Valley Occupational Center
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing

Merced

Merced College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing

Modesto

California State University, Stanislaus
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
Modesto Junior College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing

Napa

Napa Valley College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing

Orange County

California State University, Fullerton
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
Cypress College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Golden West College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing
North Orange County Regional Occupational Program
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Saddleback College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing
Santa Ana College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
University of California, Irvine
Programs offered: Master's in Nursing Science; Bachelor's in Registered Nursing

Oxnard / Thousand Oaks / Ventura area

California State University, Channel Islands
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Moorpark College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Ventura College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing

Sacramento

American River College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing Assistant
California State University, Sacramento
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
Charles A Jones Career & Education Center
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Nursing Assistant
Sacramento City College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Sierra College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Twin Rivers Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Patient Care Aide
University of California, Davis
Programs offered: Graduate Certificate in Family Practice Nursing; Master's in Nursing Science

Salinas

Hartnell College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Monterey Peninsula College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing

San Diego County

California State University, San Marcos
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Grossmont College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Grossmont Health Occupations Center
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
MiraCosta College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Nursing Assistant
Palomar College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
San Diego City College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
San Diego Continuing Education
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing Assistant
San Diego State University
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
Southwestern College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing

San Francisco Bay metro area

California State University, East Bay
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Chabot College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
City College of San Francisco
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
College of Marin
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
College of San Mateo
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing
Contra Costa College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
De Anza College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Evergreen Valley College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Gavilan College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Los Medanos College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Merritt College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Mission College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Mt Diablo Adult Education
Programs offered: Certificate in Nursing Assistant
Ohlone College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
San Francisco State University
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
San Jose State University
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
University of California, San Francisco
Programs offered: Master's in Registered Nursing; Doctor's in Registered Nursing

San Luis Obispo

Cuesta College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing

Santa Barbara

Allan Hancock College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Santa Barbara City College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing

Santa Cruz

Cabrillo College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing

Sonoma

Santa Rosa Junior College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Sonoma State University
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing

Stockton

San Joaquin Delta College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing

Vallejo / Fairfield area

Solano Community College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing

Visalia / Porterville area

College of the Sequoias
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing Assistant
Dinuba Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Porterville College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Tulare Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Visalia Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing

Other California cities

Butte College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing
California State University, Chico
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing; Master's in Registered Nursing
Cerro Coso Community College - Eastern Sierra College Center
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing
College of the Redwoods - Del Norte
Programs offered: Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
College of the Redwoods - Eureka
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
College of the Siskiyous
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Feather River College - Fall River Mills
Programs offered: Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Feather River College - Quincy
Programs offered: Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Hanford Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Imperial Valley College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Lassen Community College
Programs offered: Associate's in Licensed Vocational Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Madera Community College Center
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Mendocino College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
San Diego State University - Imperial Valley
Programs offered: Bachelor's in Registered Nursing
Shasta College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing; Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Tri-County Regional Occupational Program
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
Ukiah Adult School
Programs offered: Certificate in Licensed Vocational Nursing
West Hills College Lemoore
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
Yuba College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
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