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RNtoBSNProgram.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.
Degree Finder
RNtoBSNProgram.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

Best Nursing Schools in Southern California in 2020 (On-Campus & Online)

Best Nursing Schools in Southern California in 2020 (On-Campus & Online)

Best Nursing Schools in Southern California in 2020 (On-Campus & Online)The exceptional nursing schools in Southern California potentially provide students with the opportunity to have a rewarding entry-level or advanced nursing career.

The need for nurses is expected to increase across the United States, with the 2018 through 2028 job outlook for RNs listed as ‘much faster than average,’ compared to the anticipated job growth for other occupations. This is true for nurses with two-year degrees, RNs, and nurses with advanced degrees and job titles. Students have many options when it comes to RN nursing schools in Southern California.

These best nursing schools in southern California potentially help you achieve your dream of becoming a nurse. Existing nurses pursue their goal of furthering their nursing career when they successfully complete an advanced nursing degree.

Why should I choose a nursing school in southern California?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals some interesting information about nursing opportunities in California, including in the Southern California area. Nursing school graduates have exceptional opportunities to pursue their goal of becoming a nurse with an exciting future.

The BLS revealed in May 2018 that California tops the nation as the state with the highest number of registered nurses (RNs). The State of California also ranks as the state with the highest pay rate for nurses in the U.S. When looking at the top-paying metropolitan areas for RNs, all the top ten areas are located in California, with most being in Southern California.

1. Grossmont College – ADRN

Grossmont College, located in El Cajon, near San Diego, is one of the best accredited nursing schools in Southern California. It provides students with the opportunity to complete the Associate Degree Registered Nursing (ADRN) program. There is also an LVN to RN option. Students with no previous nursing education complete prerequisite courses before enrolling in nursing courses. Military trained healthcare professionals receive advanced placement into the second semester of the nursing program upon providing proper documentation. Grossmont College offers two-years free college tuition through the Promise Program to first-time college students that are residents of California. You must also meet other program requirements. Students pay all other costs related to attending classes at the college. Non-residents pay tuition and all other costs.

Students complete classroom instruction, laboratory and clinical experiences.

  • Tuition: approx. $94 per credit hour
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Accreditation: ACEN

2. Saddleback College – ADN

Saddleback College, located in picturesque Mission Viejo, offers the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program for students starting their nursing education. The college accepts applications to the program twice each year, with no waiting list. Gain the foundation for an exciting nursing career when you complete this program, and sit for the NCLEX exam. Taxpayers help reduce the cost of tuition for students attending Saddleback College. 

  • Tuition: $46 per credit hour/unit
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 97.22%
  • Accreditation: ACEN

3. Western Governors University – RN to BSN Online

Expand on your existing nursing education, and skills when you enroll in the Western Governors University RN to BSN Online program. The Southern California school allows students in this program to work on their degree on their own time, while focusing on healthcare systems and policies, evidence-based practices, theory, research, therapeutic interventions in nursing, and current healthcare trends.

  • Tuition: approx. $221.66 per credit hour
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 97.96%
  • Accreditation: CCNE

4. California State University – Long Beach – BSN

California State University – Long Beach has a 50-year history of providing nursing education to its students. As one of the top nursing schools in Southern California, BSN degree programs at CSU-Long Beach prepare students that have no current nursing degree or experience for a career in nursing. Students gain the expertise to provide care to patients as a general RN in an acute care hospital, a medical or surgical clinic, a neonatal nursery or pediatrics setting, along with other settings such as gerontology care. Students also learn the skills to provide community-focused care.

  • Tuition: approx. $277.50 per credit hour
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 99.31%
  • Accreditation: CCNE

5. California Southern University – MSN Online

Advance your nursing career opportunities when you complete the online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program at California Southern University. The school realizes that current nurses often do not have the time to go back to school in a traditional classroom format. The online MSN program allows nurses to participate in a multi-disciplinary program. Students have the option of choosing to incorporate certain courses from the California Southern University School of Business when students want to increase their specialized expertise in some advanced areas of nursing.

Students learn to analyze and apply specific data, theories, economics, ethics, technology, and other skills as they relate to advanced nursing practice. Tailor your MSN to your interests when you register for this 36-credit-hour MSN program.

  • Tuition: $545 per credit hour
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Accreditation: CCNE

6. Santa Ana College – ADN

The Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program at Santa Ana College prepares students for entry-level nursing positions. The college also focuses on preparing students to pass the NCLEX exam, which allows students to obtain RN licensure. Students gain the skills necessary to work in a variety of healthcare settings. Students have the option of transferring to a four-year college or university to further their nursing education.

  • Tuition: $46 per credit hour/unit
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 94.68%
  • Accreditation: ACEN

7. California State University – Los Angeles – ABSN

The Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing at California State University – Los Angeles Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program prepares students that have a bachelor’s degree in another area of study for a career in nursing. Students complete both didactic and clinical coursework over an accelerated 15-month period. Graduating students are eligible to take the NCLEX exam and obtain their RN licensure.

  • Tuition: $444.93 per credit hour/unit
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 96.04%
  • Accreditation: CCNE, WSCUC

8. San Diego State University – RN to BSN

San Diego State University offers the RN to BSN program for current RNs that want to further their nursing education and advance their nursing career. Complete the program within 12 to 15 months, while mastering nursing leadership, nursing research, and applying evidence-based practices. There is a requirement to participate in a program-approved international experience, with the residency lasting for two to three weeks. Students wishing to be exempt from the international experience apply to the dean of the college.

  • Tuition: approx. $500 per credit hour/unit
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 97.39%
  • Accreditation: CCNE

9. Santa Monica College – LVN to ADN

Santa Monica College offers the LVN to ADN program for students that want to expand their nursing education and skills, and open advanced career opportunities. Are you a licensed LVN with IV certification, and direct patient care within the last two years? This program takes you to the next level in your nursing career and allows you to sit for the NCLEX exam upon program completion, and receive your RN license.

  • Tuition: $46 per credit hour/unit
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 90%
  • Accreditation: ACEN

10. Citrus College – RN/ADN

Citrus College, located in Glendora, offers an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) for students that want to become a Registered Nurse (RN). The college recognizes the demand for qualified nurses, and the importance of graduating students that are ready to begin their nursing career. Sit for the NCLEX exam upon program completion to obtain your RN licensure.

The program prepares students as team members, nursing providers, and nursing managers.

  • Tuition: $46 per credit hour/unit
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 86.21%
  • Accreditation: State of California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN)

11. University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) – MSN – MECN

The University of California at Los Angeles offers several nursing program options, including the unique Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Master’s Entry Clinical Nurse (MECN) program. Students with a bachelor’s degree in another area are eligible to apply to the program and pursue their goal of moving forward into nursing leadership roles.

Meet all the objectives of this program and take the NCLEX exam to obtain your RN licensure. Students then become eligible to receive their MSN degree, Clinical Nurse Leader certification, and Public Health Nursing certification. This program allows graduates to work in a variety of nurse leadership positions. Estimated tuition is based on non-resident status.

  • Tuition: approx. $526.33 per credit hour
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 95%
  • Accreditation: CCNE

12. University of San Diego – BSN to DNP

Achieve the highest level of advanced practice in nursing when you graduate from the University of San Diego with your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The BSN to DNP program is offered to current nurses that want to achieve the goal of working in clinical practice leadership at the doctorate level of practice. Choose the Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner in Emergency Care, the dual Pediatric/Family Nurse practitioner, dual Adult-Gerontology/Family Nurse practitioner, or the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner as your preferred program track. Complete the program in three years of full-time study, or opt for part-time study. The school also offers the MSN to DNP program, along with other nursing program options.

  • Tuition: $1,535 per credit hour/unit
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 95.08%
  • Accreditation: CCNE, WSCUC

13. Loma Linda University – RN to BSN Online

Loma Linda University offers several Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree options, including the RN to BSN program. This completely online program allows busy nurses with their associate degree in nursing the opportunity to continue working and taking care of family responsibilities without having to attend nursing classes in the traditional setting.

Enhance your current nursing skills and knowledge, and gain new nursing skills as you complete this program in your choice of full-time or part-time study.

  • Tuition: $660 per credit hour/unit
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 90.8%
  • Accreditation: CCNE, WASC

14. Pacific College – BSN Online

The online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Pacific College allows nurses that hold current Registered Nurse (RN) licensure to obtain their BSN degree. Students learn critical thinking, and leadership skills, while also gaining an understanding of how ethical, cultural, economic, and other issues potentially influences the delivery of healthcare and affects patients. Students also learn to apply their learned skills to evidence-based practices in nursing.

  • Tuition: approx. $400 per credit hour
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 77.27%
  • Accreditation: CCNE

15. Stanbridge University – RN to BSN Online

The Stanbridge University RN to BSN completion program provides current RNs with the opportunity to complete requirements to obtain a BSN degree in an online format. Enjoy the flexibility of the program while you obtain the skills to further your nursing career growth and achieve your goals as a nurse.

  • Tuition: approx. $760.11 per credit hour
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 94.83%
  • Accreditation: CCNE

16. Loma Linda University – Primary Care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – DNP

The Loma Linda University School of Nursing provides students with some of the highest technological advances in nursing education. The World-class clinical programs, and high-tech simulation centers Are you a nurse that wishes to provide care to adult and elderly patients, collaborate with primary care physicians, and provide management and supervision of elderly patients in primary care settings?

The Loma Linda University School of Nursing features 13 nursing degree programs.

  • Tuition: $672 per credit hour/unit
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 90.8%
  • Accreditation: CCNE

17. Mount Saint Mary’s University – BSN

Mount Saint Mary’s University was the first university to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in the State of California. The program combines traditional classroom instruction with clinical rotations. Clinical rotation experiences begin during your second year of the program. The university places emphasis on learning the full continuum of nursing care practice, ranging from adult medical-surgical nursing, to pediatric and maternal/newborn nursing, to mental health, and gerontology nursing. Graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam.

  • Tuition: $1,733 per credit hour/unit
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 89.63%
  • Accreditation: CCNE, WSCUC

18. Azusa Pacific University – LVN to BSN

Azusa Pacific University offers several nursing programs, including the LVN to BSN program. Are you a current Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) that desires to increase your career opportunities by completing your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree? If you’ve already gone through one of the vocational nursing schools in Southern California, this program offers the opportunity for you to take your nursing career to the next level, with a focus on theory, policy, research, and practice. Enhance your current nursing education, and skills while attending this traditional two-year program.

Azusa Pacific University, located in Azusa, in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains offers other nursing programs to help nurses advance their careers and education.

  • Tuition: $1,652 per credit hour
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 83.08%
  • Accreditation: CCNE, WSCUC

Methodology

We ranked each school by assigning a score for tuition, NCLEX exam pass rate, and accreditation. In the case of a tie, the school with the lower tuition received a higher score.

We do our best to be honest, fair, and accurate in our representation of each school. No school can pay us for a higher ranking. Any school wishing to be sponsored is listed separately and clearly labeled SPONSORED.

Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee tuition costs or other information because these things sometimes change.

If you would like to have your school listed, please contact us.

Degree Finder
RNtoBSNProgram.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

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