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.

Featured Schools

Bakersfield

Bakersfield Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Bakersfield College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
California State University, Bakersfield
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Cerro Coso Community College - Indian Wells Valley
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Cerro Coso Community College - Kern River Valley
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing

Fresno

California State University, Fresno
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Clovis Adult Education
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Fresno Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Fresno City College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

Inland Empire

Baldy View Regional Occupational Program
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Beaumont Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
California State University, San Bernardino
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Chaffey College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
College of the Desert
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Copper Mountain College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Mt. San Jacinto College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Palo Verde College
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Riverside City College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
San Bernardino Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
San Bernardino Valley College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Victor Valley College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

Los Angeles County

Antelope Valley College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Baldwin Park Adult & Community Education
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
California State University, Long Beach
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Graduate Certificate: Nursing Education
  • LVN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • 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
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Adult-Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
California State University, Los Angeles
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • LVN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
California State University, Northridge
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Cerritos College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Citrus College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
College of the Canyons
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Downey Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
East Los Angeles College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
East Los Angeles Occupational Center
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
El Camino College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
El Camino College Compton Center
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
El Monte-Rosemead Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Glendale Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Hacienda La Puente Adult Education
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Jordan-Locke Community Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Long Beach City College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Los Angeles City College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Los Angeles Harbor College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Los Angeles Southwest College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Los Angeles Valley College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Lynwood Community Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Manual Arts-Crenshaw Community Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Mt. San Antonio College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
North Valley Occupational Center
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Pasadena City College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Pierce College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Pomona Adult & Career Education
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Rio Hondo College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Santa Monica College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
University of California, Los Angeles
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • LVN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • LVN-to-RN 45-Unit Option
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
West Valley Occupational Center
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing

Merced

Merced College
  • Associate of Arts in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

Modesto

California State University, Stanislaus
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Modesto Junior College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

Napa

Napa Valley College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

Orange County

California State University, Fullerton
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • LVN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Cypress College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Golden West College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
North Orange County Regional Occupational Program
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Saddleback College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Santa Ana College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
University of California, Irvine
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 45-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD

Oxnard / Thousand Oaks / Ventura area

California State University, Channel Islands
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Moorpark College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Ventura College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

Sacramento

American River College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
California State University, Sacramento
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Sacramento City College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Sierra College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
University of California, Davis
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner

Salinas

California State University, Monterey Bay
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Hartnell College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Monterey Peninsula College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

San Diego County

California State University, San Marcos
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Grossmont College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Grossmont Health Occupations Center
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
MiraCosta College
  • Associate of Arts in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Palomar College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
San Diego City College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
San Diego Continuing Education
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
San Diego State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Southwestern College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

San Francisco Bay metro area

California State University, East Bay
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Chabot College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
City College of San Francisco
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
College of Marin
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
College of San Mateo
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Contra Costa College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
De Anza College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Evergreen Valley College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Gavilan College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Los Medanos College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Merritt College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Mission College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Mt. Diablo Adult Education
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Ohlone College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
San Francisco State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
San Jose State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of California, San Francisco
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 45-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD

San Luis Obispo

Cuesta College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

Santa Barbara

Allan Hancock College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Santa Barbara City College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

Santa Cruz

Cabrillo College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

Sonoma

Santa Rosa Junior College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Sonoma State University
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Stockton

San Joaquin Delta College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

Vallejo / Fairfield area

Solano Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option

Visalia / Porterville area

College of the Sequoias
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Dinuba Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Porterville College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Tulare Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Visalia Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing

Other California cities

Butte College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
California State University, Chico
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Cerro Coso Community College - Eastern Sierra College Center
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
College of the Redwoods - Del Norte
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
College of the Redwoods - Eureka
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
College of the Siskiyous
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Feather River College - Fall River Mills
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Feather River College - Quincy
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Hanford Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Imperial Valley College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Lassen Community College
  • Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Madera Community College Center
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Mendocino College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
San Diego State University - Imperial Valley
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Shasta College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Tri-County Regional Occupational Program
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
Ukiah Adult School
  • Certificate in Vocational Nursing
West Hills College Lemoore
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
Yuba College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN 30-Unit Option
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