Last Updated: September 11, 2022
Best Nursing Schools in California
California is one of the economically sound locations in the country that is desirable to those who wish to wish as nurses. This is mainly due to the higher salaries that are offered to nurses when compared to other states. While the median salary range in itself is generally higher for nurses in this state, candidates who are better qualified will have the possibility of earning more at any given point.
This state employs more nurses than any other state in the country which is around 290,000 candidates but at the same time, the state is looking to hire more nurses to fill all the vacancies under this post. This allows graduates of nursing to seek work within California especially if they wish to work with better schedules.
Choosing the Best Nursing School
While choosing a nursing school, candidates will have to be mindful of a few factors to ensure that they are receiving the best degree in the field. They will initially have to consider if the nursing school is good for them. This will include factors like the student-to-faculty ratio, research achievements, approach to education, etc. Candidates will then have to consider the NCLEX pass rate which will give an insight into how the syllabus of the program is beneficial for taking this licensure.
They will also have to consider other common factors like the tuition and acceptance rate. It will also be ideal for them to cross-check whether the programs have been accredited by the CCNE or ACEN. Most nursing schools in California are accredited by the CCNE.
Cost of Studying Nursing in California
The cost of taking a nursing program in California is entirely dependent on the kind of institution one is choosing to go to and the type of degree one plans to pursue. The lowest tuition rate is generally seen for associate degree programs in the field whereas the master’s program in the field can cost considerably higher amounts. This is especially because it is uncommon for candidates to take a master’s degree in the subject since most students only take up enough credentials to be eligible for the NCLEX examination.
The tuition amount that candidates will have to pay will also be dependent on whether the candidate is from within the state or from outside the state. In-state candidates generally pay a lower amount than out-of-state students in public institutions. Private institutions will have the same tuition fee for all candidates.
List of Top 10 Nursing Schools
The best nursing schools in California include-
|Institution||Location||In-State Fee||Out-of-State Fee||NCLEX Pass Rate|
|UCSF||San Francisco||$12,500 per year||$25,000 per year||89%|
|UCLA||Los Angeles||$24,500 per year||$36,500 per year||90.91%|
|UC Davis||Davis||$28,000 per year||$40,200 per year||93.7%|
|UCI||Irvine||$24,200 per year||$36,500 per year||88.64%|
|UCSD||San Diego||$1,600 per credit||$1,600 per credit||92%|
|USF||San Francisco||$1,500 per credit||$1,500 per credit||91%|
|California State University||Fullerton||$8,500 per year||$18,000 per year||96.97%|
|USC||Los Angeles||$2,000 per credit||$2,000 per credit||-|
|Cal State LA||Los Angeles||$8,200 per year||$16,500 per year||88.89%|
|SDSU||San Diego||$9,500 per year||$17,000 per year||95.8%|
University of California, San Francisco
The School of Nursing under this university is considered to be the best in the state and one of the best in the country for all kinds of nursing programs. It has a student population of around 600 out of which 43% are underrepresented students. The school has an NCLEX pass rate of 89% and a National Certification Exam Pass rate of 93%. The institution offers master's, and doctoral programs in nursing along with a post-doctoral program.
The estimated fee for nursing programs here is around $12,500 per year for in-state students and around $25,000 per year for out-of-state students.
University of California, Los Angeles
The UCLA School of Nursing offers programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in this field of study. It has a student enrollment rate of 600 out of which 84% are women. There are around 97 faculty members and 23 academic fellows in this school. It is considered to have the 10th best BSN program out of all the 5 degrees offered here. The degrees offered here include BSN, MECN, MSN, Ph.D., and DNP. All the programs here are accredited by the CCNE.
The estimated fee for nursing programs here is around $24,500 per year for in-state candidates and around $36,500 per year for out-of-state students.
University of California, Davis
The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing in this institution offers programs at graduate and doctoral levels only. The programs they offer include a master’s entry program in nursing, an MHS physician assistant program, a DNP-FNP, and a Ph.D. program. They also offer MS programs with specializations in family nurse practitioner and leadership.
The estimated fee for studying here is around $28,000 per year for residents and around $40,200 for non-residents.
University of California, Irvine
The School of Nursing in this institution offers programs at undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. It has a total enrollment rate of 300 along with around 45 faculty members. The degrees offered here include BS and MS in Nursing, DNP, and Ph.D. The DNP and MS programs allow candidates to specialize in Family Nurse Practitioner and Community & Population Health Nursing respectively. This is the only UC institution that offers faculty practice with around 55 clinical practice sites.
The estimated fee for studying here is around $24,200 per year for residents and around $36,500 per year for non-residents.
University of San Diego
The Hahn School of Nursing is considered to be one of the best nursing schools in the state with programs starting at a master’s level. Candidates will be able to take certification courses, an MSN degree, a MEPN degree, DNP, and a Ph.D. in nursing through this institution. It has a student enrollment rate of 300 along with around 39 full-time faculties. Around 80% of the students who have enrolled in programs here are women.
The estimated fee for the programs here is around $1,600 per credit for all students since it is a private institution.
University of San Francisco
The School of Nursing and Health Professions at this institution offers programs at undergraduate and graduate levels. At an undergraduate level, candidates will be able to take a BSN-MSN program which has a duration of 5 years in all. At a graduate level, candidates will be able to take MS programs with specializations in digital health informatics, nursing, and public health. They will also be able to take doctoral programs in clinical psychology, family nurse practitioner, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
The estimated fee for the program is around $1,500 per credit for all students. This is because it is a privately funded institution.
California State University, Fullerton
This institution offers traditional, accelerated, and bridge programs in medicine at undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. It has an enrollment rate of above 200 along with over 25 full-time faculty members. Around 71% of the students here are women. Candidates will be able to take a traditional BSN program, LVN-BSN, RN-BSN, etc. at undergraduate levels and they will be able to take MSN programs with specializations in leadership, nurse educator, school nursing, women’s health care, etc. at a graduate level. They will also be able to take a general DNP or a DNP with a specialization in Nurse Anesthesia.
The estimated fee for the program is $8,500 per year for in-state students and around $18,000 per year for out-of-state students.
University of Southern California
This is a private institution with a total enrollment rate of 186 for nursing programs along with around 6 full-time faculty members. Around 82% of students among these are women. The MSN-FNP program here is well known for its hybrid mode of teaching. The program is accredited by the CCNE and the California Board of Registered Nursing.
The fee for nursing programs here is around $2,000 per credit for all students.
California State University, Los Angeles
The Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing in this institution offers traditional, accelerated, and bridged programs in nursing at undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. It is considered to be one of the most affordable institutions for taking this field of study. Candidates will be able to choose from four types of BSN programs at an undergraduate level and take up an MS degree at the graduate level with specializations in pathophysiology, health assessment, pharmacology, etc.
The fee that one has to pay for nursing programs here is around $8,200 per year for residents and around $16,500 per year for non-residents.
San Diego State University
The School of Nursing in this institution offers programs at undergraduate and graduate levels. Candidates will be able to do programs like BSN, RN-BSN, MSN, and LVN-RN from this institution. The MS degree offers specializations in advanced practice nursing of adults & the elderly, and nursing leadership in healthcare systems.
The estimated fee that one has to pay here is around $9,500 per year for in-state students and around $17,000 per year for out-of-state students.