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RN to BSN Programs in California 2018: The Best 30 Schools (Online & Campus)

RN to BSN Programs in California 2018: The Best 30 Schools (Online & Campus)

Nursing is one of the fastest growing job sectors. The demand for qualified nurses in California (How to become a nurse) is expected to rise over the next decade, in part due to the aging Baby Boomer population. Deciding to pursue the RN to BSN programs in California can provide an excellent path towards career growth, and it can provide nurses access to larger salaries and career advancement.

Current working nurses holding an ADN and a current California nursing license can enroll in an online RN to BSN degree program. These course offerings typically lead to graduation within 1 to 2 years. California public universities partner with local community colleges to help those with associate degrees to transition into a baccalaureate program.

Earning a BSN can provide nurses with the ability to command higher salaries in this growing industry. If you are a registered nurse holding an ADN and want to earn a four-year degree, check out the following list of the best BSN programs in California. With a host of different tracks and learning settings throughout the state, there’s sure to be a program that’s perfect for you.

 

California Nursing Facts

  • California’s per capita ratio of nurses remains significantly lower than that of the rest of the nation
  • A significant percentage of the nursing workforce plans on retiring in the coming years
  • Only 36% of current nurses hold a BSN
  • The average hourly wage of California nurses is $48 per hour

*NCLEX-RN Pass Rates are the latest available numbers gathered from the California Board of Registered Nursing website. Graduation rates are gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics website.

Here are the Best RN to BSN Programs in California

1. San Diego State University

san diego state university best rn to bsn programs in calfornia

San Diego State University offers a combination of on-campus lectures and clinical work, and students also have the option of studying abroad in a 10- to 14-day program for a unique learning experience. Courses begin every fall.

  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $2,871
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 96.84%
  • Program Length: 12 to 15 months
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or diploma from an accredited school; minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0; Current California driver’s license
  • Accreditation: CCNE

2. California State University-Stanislaus

california state university stanilaus best rn to bsn program in california

California State University-Stanislaus offers in-person classes that give students an immersive educational experience. Full- and part-time tracks provide flexible options for working nurses, and an online option provides distance learning courses that lead to graduation in as little as a year.

  • Location: Turlock, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $7,038/year
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 98.53%
  • Program Length: 3 semesters or 5 semesters
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN licensure; completed AD or diploma in nursing from an accredited school; Grade average C or better
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

3. California State University-Chico

california state university chico best rn to bsn degrees in california

The online RN to BSN program at California State University – Chico is geared toward working registered nurses who might otherwise have difficulty attending in-person classes, such as those living in rural areas. The program is offered online and can be completed in 15 months. Some on-campus instruction is required, but typically these requirements don’t exceed a few days per semester.

  • Location: Chico, CA
  • Estimated Tuition+Fees: $7,348
  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 96.88%
  • Program Length: 15 months
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN licensure; ADN from an accredited university or college
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

4. California State University – San Bernardino

california state university san bernardino best rn to bsn degree in california

California State University – San Bernardino offers an RN to BSN online program with once-monthly in-person sessions. This program also provides an opportunity to continue past the baccalaureate level to the MSN program. Students already holding a bachelor’s degree are not required to take general elective courses.

  • Location: San Bernardino, CA
  • Estimated Tuition+Fees: $2,291.94
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 91.53%
  • Program Length: Six Semesters
  • Admission Requirements: Current California RN licensure; ADN from an accredited university or college
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

5. California State University – Fullerton

california state university fullerton best rn to bsn schools in california

California State University – Fullerton offers an RN to BSN program for working nurses along with support from a dedicated advisor. Partnerships with area community colleges allow for seamless transition into this program. Students can choose from on-campus or distance learning options.

  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $366/unit
  • Graduation Rate: 62%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 95.45%
  • Program Length: Three semesters
  • Admission Requirements: Current California nursing licensure; completion of at least 60 transferable semester units; minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

6. California State University – Los Angeles

California State University – Los Angeles rn to bsn school in california

The California State University – Los Angeles Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing offers an RN to BSN program that leads to degree completion within two years. Low tuition and the ability to enter the M.S. degree program make this school a desirable option for working nurses looking to advance their careers.

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Estimated Tuition+Fees: $6,632/academic year
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 96.55%
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Admission Requirements: Current California RN licensure, ADN or diploma from an accredited program with a minimum GPA of 2.75 or better
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

7. Stanbridge University

Stanbridge University rn to bsn colleges in california

Stanbridge University offers an RN to BSN degree completion program designed to help students advance their careers by providing opportunities for upward employment mobility. Using Edverum, their own exclusive online learning platform, Stanbridge offers coursework that will help them have an edge in high-demand areas of modern healthcare and makes it a convenient and flexible way to earn their BSN while still working.

  • Location: Irvine, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $33,041/year
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 100%
  • Program Length: 13 months
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN licensure and an associate degree from an accredited institution
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

8. California State University – Fresno

california state university fresno best rn to bsn college in california

California State University – Fresno offers a unique RN to BSN program that focuses on research, evidence-based practice and leadership skills. Graduates will have completed 90 hours of clinical study for hands-on learning opportunities. Those completing the program are eligible to apply for a California Public Health nursing certificate.

  • Location: Fresno, CA
  • Estimated Tuition+Fees: $3,292.50 (full-time)
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 85.71%
  • Program Length: Varies depending on transferable credits
  • Admission Requirements: California RN licensure; ADN from an accredited program; cumulative GPA of at least 2.5
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

9. California State University – Channel Islands

california state university channel islands best rn to bsn courses in california

California State University – Channel Islands provides a year-round RN to BSN program that lasts 22 months. Students get three four-week breaks to provide school- and work-life balance for working nurses. With classes meeting every Friday, students also have the flexibility to attend school around their work schedule.

  • Location: Camarillo, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $375/unit
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 92.68%
  • Program Length: 22 months
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN licensure; completed ADN or diploma in nursing from an accredited school
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

10. Sacramento State University

sacramento state university best rn to bsn course in california

 

Sacramento State University is part of the California State public college system. Every nurse graduating from this school also get the public nurse health certificate. Students who are currently working nurses are given priority during the admissions process.

  • Location: Sacramento, CA
  • Estimated Tuition+Fees: $3,602
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 95.1%
  • Program Length: Two to three semesters
  • Admission Requirements: Current, unencumbered California RN licensure; California residency; cumulative GPA of 2.6 or better
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

11. California State University – East Bay

california state university east bay best rn to bsn classes in california

California State University – East Bay offers two tracks for its updated RN to BSN program. Students can choose from an accelerated full-time option or a part-time program. The hybrid curriculum combines online learning with occasional weekly classes. Students who successfully complete either program can also apply for a California Public Health nursing certificate.

  • Accelerated nursing program in California: Hayward, CA
  • Estimated Resident Tuition: $6,840/academic year (full-time)
  • Estimated Non-Resident Tuition: $16,344/academic year (full-time)
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 90.91%
  • Program Length: One to two years
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN licensure; ADN from an accredited university or college
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

12. Point Loma Nazarene University

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Point Loma Nazarene University redesigned its RN to BSN program specifically to accommodate working nurses. In-person classes meet once per week at nearby community college campuses for added convenience, while online courses provide flexible scheduling options.

  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $470/unit
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 80.6%
  • Program Length: 15 months
  • Admission Requirements: ADN from an accredited school;
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

13. California State University – Northridge

california state university northridge best rn to bsn programs in california

California State University -Northbridge serves 36,000 students. The school’s BSN program offers a hybrid learning option that combines 1-2 days of in-person classes each week in addition to online courses. Guidance and counseling services give students one-on-one assistance with career planning and a support system throughout the program.

  • Location: Northridge, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $3,444
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 89.47%
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN licensure; ADN or diploma from an accredited school; minimum GPA of C or better
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

14. California State University – Bakersfield

california state university bakersfield best rn to bsn program in california

California State University – Bakersfield’s RN to BSN program focuses on nursing theory and research. Graduates are eligible to apply for a California Public Health nursing certificate and a certificate in nursing management. Online courses and 130 on-site clinical hours provide a well-rounded educational platform for working nurses.

  • Location: Bakersfield, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $3,652 (full-time)
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 96.08%
  • Program Length: 4 semesters/15 months
  • Admission Requirements: Current California RN licensure; ADN from an accredited university or college
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

15. Simpson University

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Simpson University in Redding, California offers a post-license nursing RN to BSN program that offers a unique class structure. Students take one class at a time every Thursday night. The progression of courses builds upon the concepts taught in each previous course.

  • Location: Redding, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $27,250/year
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 100%
  • Program Length: 12-month program
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum 2.5 GPA; credits earned at an accredited college or university; current RN licensure
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

16. San Francisco State University

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San Francisco State University offers two roadmaps for its RN to BSN program. Students can select from the College of San Mateo campus or the City College of San Francisco campus for in-person courses. Full-time and part-time options allow for greater flexibility in scheduling.

  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $7,254/year
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 81.93%
  • Program Length: Program length varies by campus and program selection
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or equivalent from an accredited program; minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5; current California RN licensure or exemption due to military status
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

17. Concordia University Irvine

concordia university irvine best rn to bsn schools in california

Concordia University Irvine lets students choose which option is right for them. Online, on-campus and hybrid courses, in addition to full- and part-time tracks, provide flexible options for working nurses. Small class sizes for in-person courses provide a supportive learning environment.

  • Location: Irvine, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $490/unit
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 90.79%
  • Program Length: 12 to 24 months
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or diploma from an accredited college or university; current, unrestricted California RN license
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

18. Azusa Pacific University

azusa pacific university best rn to bsn school in california

Azusa Pacific University offers two RN to BSN programs. Working nurses looking for a BSN can attend in-person courses or complete a RN to BSN degree online. With the online option, there’s no need for students to visit the campus. Clinicals are offered at local medical facilities to provide a hands-on learning experience.

  • RN to BSN online in  California
  • Estimated Tuition: $19,150
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 86.42%
  • Program Length: Three semesters
  • Admission Requirements: 60+ units of transferable credits; minimum 3.0 GPA; current, unrestricted California RN license
  • Accreditation: CCNE

19. National University

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One of the best online RN to BSN programs in California is National University. It features an online RN to BSN completion program with courses lasting 4 or 8 weeks. Each student is assigned a counselor to provide guidance throughout the program. This school was founded by a retired Navy lieutenant, and it offers military friendly degree options, including discounts for military personnel and their dependents.

  • Location: La Jolla, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $362/quarter unit
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 92.31%
  • Program Length: Varies depending on course load
  • Admission Requirements: Current, active, unencumbered RN licensure; minimum 2.0 GPA; ADN from an accredited school
  • Accreditation: CCNE, AACN

 

20. Unitek College

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Unitek College is a private, for-profit school offering a 100% RN to BSN online in California. Students can transfer up to 90 credits and can graduate in just 12 months, depending on courses selected and credits transferred. Each online class is capped at 20 students, providing a more supportive learning environment.

  • Location: Fremont, South San Francisco, Hayward, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $32,910/year
  • Graduation Rate: 81%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 72.34%
  • Program Length: Current RN licensure; ADN or diploma from an accredited college or university
  • Admission Requirements: 12 months
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

21. Fresno Pacific University

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Fresno Pacific University’s RN to BSN program provides a well-rounded offering of courses, including those covering community and public health nursing and nursing research. The 18-month program features both online and in-person courses to meet the demanding schedules of working nurses.

  • Location: Fresno, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $30,976/year
  • Graduation Rate: 62%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 77%
  • Program Length: 18 months
  • Admission Requirements: 60 transferable baccalaureate level units; minimum 2.4 GPA; two years post-secondary experience
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

22. California Southern University

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California Southern University offers an RN to BSN program that incorporates current technology and patient care practices to provide students with a solid educational foundation. Online courses provide scheduling flexibility for working nurses.

  • Location: Costa Mesa, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $150/credit
  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: N/A
  • Program Length: 1 to 3 years
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN licensure; ADN from an accredited university or college
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

23. Loma Linda University

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Loma Linda University gives students a wide selection of options for RN to BSN students. Working RNs can choose completely online part-time or full-time course loads, which can lead to graduation in as few as 4 quarters. This school’s program is faith-based and community-centered.

  • Location: Loma Linda, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $345/quarter unit
  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 94.96%
  • Program Length: As few as 4 quarters (1 year)
  • Admission Requirements: As a degree in nursing from a regionally accredited university; current California RN licensure; C or better in prerequisite courses
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

24. Pacific Union College

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Pacific Union College’s RN to BSN program is designed to meet the needs of working nurses. Students can attend courses full time at the Angwin campus, or they can select the Napa campus for a part-time program. This school was founded in 1882, and it is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian institution.

  • Location: Angwin, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $29,415/year
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 83.15%
  • Program Length: One to two years
  • Admission Requirements: ADN with current licensure; completion of the majority of general education requirements
  • Accreditation: ACEN

 

25. Mount St. Mary’s University

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Mount St. Mary’s University offers both a traditional BSN program and an RN to BSN option. Students attend courses during the day and must obtain at least 127.5-semester units to graduate. Nurses learn in both classrooms and clinic settings to provide a range of learning opportunities.

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $20,009
  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 78.62%
  • Program Length: Varies depending on the track chosen
  • Admission Requirements: Current California RN licensure; ADN from an accredited school
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

26. United States University

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United States University gives students the chance to obtain a BSN within 12 months through an online learning program. Affordable tuition and supportive, experienced faculty make this school a desirable option for working nurses.

  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $7,800/year
  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 68.42%
  • Program Length: 12 months
  • Admission Requirements: Valid, unrestricted RN licensure; degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited school; minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

27. Vanguard University of Southern California

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The Vanguard University of Southern California provides a host of undergraduate and graduate programs for nursing students. The RN to BSN program can be completed in 2 years.  On-campus classes give students the chance to interact with faculty. This school was founded in 1920 with the purpose of training Christian workers to serve in ministries throughout the state.

  • Location: Costa Mesa, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $16,610
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: N/A
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN licensure; ADN or diploma from an accredited school
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

28. Samuel Merritt University

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Samuel Merritt University holds courses at its Oakland and Sacramento campuses. Nurses working for select hospitals and clinics, federally qualified health centers and public health departments may be awarded a scholarship that covers the 80% of tuition costs.

  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $49,199/year
  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 92.2%
  • Program Length: 20 months
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of an ADN program; current, unencumbered California RN licensure; minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Accreditation: CCNE

 

29. Brandman University

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Brandman University offers both hybrid and online programs for working nurses to choose from. Three entry points throughout the year give working nurses flexibility when enrolling. The program starts with a 3-day virtual immersion session to help familiarize themselves with the online learning setup. Nurses graduating from the RN to BSN program can apply to the BSN to DNP program.

  • Location: Irvine, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $500/credit
  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: N/A
  • Program Length: 12 months
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN licensure; ADN or ASN from an accredited nursing program; minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • Accreditation: ANCC

 

30. Holy Names University

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Holy Names University gives students the chance to earn a bachelor’s degree in just 15 months. Accelerated-format courses and distance learning opportunities provide added flexibility for working nurses who want to continue their educations. Part of the school’s focus is centered on social justice values, giving students a foundation for lifelong service.

  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $38,800/year
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 68.57%
  • Program Length: 15 months
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN licensure; completion of an ADN or diploma from an accredited institution
  • Accreditation: CCNE

Best RN to BSN Programs in California Ranking Method

All schools are ranked by a number of factors including estimated tuition, graduation rate, and NCLEX-RN pass rates, with the NCLEX-RN pass rates making up the majority of each school’s score and consequent ranking. Scholarship opportunities are available at many schools. Check the website for any school you are interested in for further details about tuition. For more information on how we ranked our pages, please see our methodology page.

Are you an administrator at a school on our list? If you would like to make edits to your listing, please contact us here.

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