Last Updated on January 17, 2023
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You’ve come to the right place for all the relevant and latest information you need on colleges across the globe, their tuition fees, scholarship schemes and their global ranking. All you’ve got to do now is read on to discover more. A BSN is also a great start to other careers in the medical field across California. You might choose to return to school later to pursue an MSN, which opens the door to other careers like nursing education, nursing management, and even research. You may also choose to pursue the FNP degree in CA, which would allow you to work as a nurse practitioner. A nurse practitioner has more responsibilities than an RN but receives higher pay.
For someone interested in health care, becoming a registered nurse is a smart career move. As a BSN-prepared nurse, you will be in a great position for your career as an RN in California. Nurses in California often receive competitive salaries, and they benefit from laws that protect them from being overworked. If you are looking to become a registered nurse in California, getting a bachelor’s degree in nursing is a solid start.
Nurses are increasingly in demand due to a national shortage of qualified professionals. The nursing profession is both demanding and rewarding. Nurses trained with a bachelor’s degree are more prepared to meet those demands than nurses with an associate’s degree. A top school of nursing will provide a challenging program that prepares you to practice as a registered nurse. Baccalaureate programs provide at least four years of full-time classes and clinical experiences before their students graduate and take the National Council Licensure Examination, also known as the NCLEX.
About CSUN Accelerated BSN
With programs at 20 campuses across the state, the CSU is helping to prepare California’s nursing workforce. Learn more about the various nursing specializations among bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.
If you are seeking a degree in nursing, finding the right school is important. Many things will set apart a top university from other similar schools. Some nursing schools will have objective benefits, while others may have subjective benefits that fit your needs.
Here are some aspects you should consider when comparing nursing schools.
- Program OfferingThe first thing to ask of every school you look at is whether the program aligns with your goals to become a nurse. Undergraduate and graduate students can add a concentration to their degree program. Before choosing a school, look into what concentrations are offered and make sure the school can adequately train you for the specialization you want to pursue. Does the program offer you the ability to pick an area of concentration or specialization? Does the school provide an accelerated BSN option for students who have already completed a baccalaureate degree?
- Admission Requirements and PrerequisitesSince nursing is a science-based field of study, almost all universities require students to complete a few prerequisites before starting their program; this is especially true for non-traditional BSN programs. Keep in mind, a program that does not have these requirements may not provide demanding coursework that will properly prepare you for a professional career.Some nursing schools are extremely difficult to get into, while others are much easier. Students may be tempted to pursue an ADN because the associate’s degree nursing programs are often easier to get into than baccalaureate programs. Most programs have high school-level requirements for math, English, and science classes to start the program. ADN to BSN programs will often have certain requirements for transferring credits that allow an ADN registered nurse to start a bridge program to earn their BSN.
- AccreditationRegistered nursing schools should be accredited on national and state levels to prove the value of their programs. Accreditation is one way to ensure a university or collegiate program is likely to prepare students for the healthcare field. However, accreditation can be done by any third party, so only certain accreditation lists should be considered authoritative.Two of the most well-known national accredited bodies are the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The CCNE only accredits programs offering bachelor’s or master’s level nursing degrees.
- LocationIf you are looking into traditional schools, then the location will be a consideration. However, if you choose a top online nursing program, you will have the option to study conveniently from home. Most online programs have connections with local hospitals or organizations to do your clinical hours and gain healthcare experience. In-state tuition is often cheaper than going to a school that is not in California. Out-of-state schools will likely cost more with room and board and typically offer fewer financial aid opportunities.Online RN programs aren’t like traditional in-state schools that are based on location. If you prefer to work on your BSN from home, you can check out the best online nursing programs to see which one might be right for you.
- Program Costs and Financial AidYou can get financial assistance for most schools, especially for a bachelor’s degree in a registered nursing program. If you are looking into nursing schools, value and cost should be large parts of your decision. When looking at schools, research their tuition rates and financial aid packages. Students can start looking for nursing scholarships before they graduate high school and can continue to apply for financial aid throughout college.Many schools offer scholarships for sports or academics, but outside scholarships are also given for a wide range of reasons. Applying for scholarships will increase the chance that part or all of a student’s tuition will be covered. Many scholarships can be “stacked” or used together to cover tuition fees, campus stay, book expenses, and more.
- Faculty CredentialsIt’s also essential to take a close look at the professors in your RN program because they will choose the materials you will be taught, and they will be the ones to determine your grades. Great programs have highly qualified nurses with their master’s or doctorate degrees. While only a BSN is needed to teach in the college setting, most schools expect higher degrees to ensure that their nursing professors are prepared to instruct in various courses and topics.The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) recommends that faculty have a master’s degree or a doctorate in nursing when teaching at an academic level. All teachers must hold a higher mastery of the class than their students. Even with online RN classes, the professor must be able to masterfully teach the material and help students achieve a deep level of understanding. If professors are not well prepared or highly educated, they will train nurses that fall short of the high expectations of collegiate nursing education.
- NCLEX Pass RatesAfter finishing an associate’s or baccalaureate program from a college or university, a nursing student must then take the NCLEX; this is the only way to become a registered nurse. High pass rates will tell you some important things about a prospective program. For example, a high NCLEX pass rate is likely due to hands-on training, high-quality curriculum, top-caliber faculty, ample preparation for testing, and supportive faculty. A top nursing college or university will typically promote its own NCLEX pass rate. However, if you are looking into a nursing school that does not clearly show their NCLEX pass rate, you can find it on the website for the state’s board of nursing. These websites list the pass rates by school. Check the scores of schools you are interested in and look into how they did over the last five years. The national average was 84.5% in 2015. It would be best if you aimed to choose a school that consistently ranks higher than the national average.
- Quality of Clinical PartnershipsLook into where the university does its nursing training for clinical hours and other on-site opportunities. Make sure your chosen school has a connection with reputable hospitals and organizations where you can get these professional experiences. You do not want to put a lot of effort into classes, only to have substandard clinical experience.You can usually find out where a school does its clinical hours. The relationships with community healthcare facilities will tell you a lot about the caliber of the school. Look into the facilities where they send students and determine if it looks like a good fit and a valuable experience.
Best accelerated Nursing Programs in California
The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (A-BSN) is a fast-paced program that prepares students for a career in nursing. Designed for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree (in any field), graduates of this 15-month program can take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) required for licensure as a registered nurse (RN).
It typically takes just four (4) consecutive semesters to complete the courses required for licensure. In this time, students learn to assess, restore, maintain, promote, and evaluate the health of individuals, families, groups, communities and populations. Nursing courses include classroom instruction and clinical laboratories in patient care settings.
Students receive regular one-on-one and group advisement by the program director on a regular basis.
The practice to save lives
The A-BSN provides specific clinical education to prepare students for practice in a variety of health-related settings with an emphasis on hands-on experience. To accomplish this, the program arranges placements for students at hospitals and clinical facilities in the greater Los Angeles area. Each student receives their clinical placements at varying locations.
The university works with hundreds of partners in the health care industry – from major hospitals to smaller, community-based clinics – to find the right fit for each individual. This allows students to focus on learning the methods, principles and practices of nursing, without worrying about the logistics.
Upon graduating, many students go on to work at one of the hospitals at which they completed their clinical training.
Why pursue an A-BSN?
The 21st century health care industry is growing – and changing – at a staggering rate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment for RNs will grow significantly faster than the occupational average.
With more community-based options, as well as the increasing complexity of acute care, the industry needs educated nursing professionals to get the job done. According to recent surveys, U.S. hospital executives cite a high demand for more staff nurses with bachelor’s-level preparation.
At its accelerated pace, the A-BSN program meets the objective for those interested in a career in nursing and health care. It gives students the knowledge needed to jump into the field equipped with the confidence, training and experience to make a real difference.
CSUN A-BSN graduates are working as direct care providers, school nurses, public health nurses, managers, staff educators and clinical instructors in schools. Many have pursued graduate degrees and are now nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, faculty, administrators and clinical specialists
FOLLOWING ARE 2021’S 10 BEST BSN PROGRAMS IN CALIFORNIA
1) Simpson University, Redding
Simpson University is located in Redding, California and offers a very traditional pre-licensure BSN program. The program lasts a total of four years and is designed to prepare you for careers in emergency, public health, mental health, and neonatal nursing, among others. Simpson University’s BSN program is also a great choice if you plan to further your education by attending graduate school in the future. It is a Christian faith-based program, so if you are interested in learning how to incorporate your faith into your professional practice, Simpson University is a phenomenal choice.
The BSN program at Simpson University focuses heavily on nursing leadership, so if you are interested in a career in management or even nursing education, this program is a fantastic choice. Leadership clinicals are optional, but if you choose to participate, you will be paired with leaders in the healthcare industry within the local community in order to gain real-life experience in nursing.
Over the course of the four-year program, you will work with faculty advisors who will help you research your post-graduation opportunities. You will also take humanities and bible courses throughout the program, complete a professional portfolio that can provide better employment opportunities, and participate in senior capstone courses.
2) California State University – Stanislaus, Turlock
The BSN program at CSU-Stanislaus in Turlock, California is another traditional pre-licensure program designed to help you prepare for the NCLEX-RN and a career as a registered nurse. CSU-Stanislaus requires students to complete at least four prerequisite courses before applying to the pre-licensure bachelor of science in nursing program; two of these must be science-based courses, and two must be non-science-based. Science-based prerequisites include Chemistry & Biochemistry for Nurses, Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology for Nursing. Non-science courses include First Year Composition, Public Speaking or Group Discussion, Critical Inquiry or Philosophical Inquiry, and Statistics.
Unlike many of the other nursing schools in California offering BSN programs, CSU-Stanislaus’s program takes only three years to complete. However, the three-year timeframe does not include completion of the prerequisite courses. The timeframe including prerequisites is four years. Clinicals in this program start at the end of the first semester. The first round of clinicals is considered “general” and gives you basic experience on how to keep yourself safe as you work with patients.
CSU-Stanislaus is a perfect option if you want to pursue a career in public health. Everyone who graduates from this BSN program also receives Public Health Nurse Certification, which can help you secure gainful employment immediately after you graduate. Stanislaus focuses heavily on small class sizes and developing close relationships with other students, and the caring faculty provides outstanding support throughout your journey.
3) Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park
Sonoma State University is located in Rohnert Park, California. It offers a basic BSN with a pre-licensure option for nurses who have no previous experience in nursing. It is a four-year program track. For the first two years, you will focus on pre-nursing science courses along with your general education requirements. After these have been completed, you may then apply for admission to the Nursing major.
The nursing curriculum for the last two years of the program will give you both classroom and clinical experience designed to prepare you for your career as an RN and give you the knowledge you need to successfully pass the NCLEX-RN examination. You will receive training in various medical fields ranging from obstetrics and gynecology to leadership and more.
Aside from its outstanding nursing programs, Sonoma State University offers some 160 different clubs and organizations for students to provide them with real-world experience, support, and friendship. Per US News and World Report, it is number 10 in the list of best public regional universities in the western US, and it is also ranked as the 34th most beautiful campus in the country.
4) California State University – Long Beach, Long Beach
CSU at Long Beach prepares you for a career as a professional nurse in a variety of healthcare settings. Aside from simply preparing you to pass your licensure exam, the BSN program here will help you build a solid foundation for continuing development, whether you plan to pursue a graduate degree, or you want to work in nursing management.
The BSN here takes four years to complete, and it combines general education courses with nursing courses in the classroom. Clinicals take place during all eight semesters, which gives you the opportunity to put your classroom learning to the test in a real-world environment. This program is one of the most comprehensive in the state, and it can prepare you for an entry-level career in one of many exciting healthcare settings.
When you graduate with your BSN, you will be eligible to obtain the California Public Health Nursing certificate, as well, which prepares you to work in community health settings. CSU-Long Beach is known not only for its outstanding NCLEX-RN pass rates, but also for its ability to help you develop outstanding critical thinking skills via the stimulation of your own intellectual curiosity.
5) California State University – San Marcos, San Marcos
The BSN program at California State University – San Marcos is a traditional pre-licensure program that is set up a bit differently from other programs in the state. Whereas other schools spread the eight-semester program over the course of four years, the BSN program at CSU-San Marcos is a three-year program thanks to the incorporation of summer semesters.
The first two years of study introduce you to the nursing career, and each is three semesters long. You will be required to participate in a Fall, Spring, and Summer semester. During the third year of study, you will take more specialized courses which include Community Health Nursing, Nursing Case Management, Nursing Leadership, and more. Clinical hours are required, as well, but CSU-San Marcos provides optional Senior Externship opportunities which can better prepare you for your career.
CSU-San Marcos also provides you with the opportunity to take non-nursing courses that, while elective in some cases, are still required for graduation. Required non-nursing courses include Cultural Anthropology, Culture and Medicine Healers & Healing Practices, Bioethics and Medical Ethics, American Institutions, and elective language, humanities, and arts courses that you can choose on your own.
6) California State University – Sacramento, Sacramento
At CSU-Sacramento, the BSN program is one of the most intense in the country. In fact, CSU faculty highly recommends that you complete corequisite courses before application because many students struggle with the workload otherwise. There are five corequisite courses, and these include Basic Biological Concepts, Introduction to General Chemistry (or Chemistry for Nurses), Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II, and Microbiology for Allied Health Students.
Students will take introductory nursing courses and general education courses during the first two years of the program, and there is time built in to complete corequisites if you wish to apply prior to completing them. Following the second year of study, you will need to apply to be enrolled in the remaining courses that will ultimately lead to your BSN. Because the workload can be tremendous, especially for students who enroll before completing corequisites, CSU-Sacramento offers optional winter and summer intersessions.
Your clinicals will take place alongside your classroom courses and you are limited to 16 weeks of clinical practice or less per week. You must schedule your clinicals, and you must schedule them in such a way that they do not interfere with your classroom studies. Clinicals start at the beginning of the second semester and continue through the rest of the program.
7) California State University Channel-Islands, Camarillo
The BSN program at CSU-Channel Islands is designed for the pre-licensure nursing student. The program here is unique in that students follow a “cohort model”, which means they will attend classes and clinicals with the same small group of peers throughout the entire program. It will take you four years of full-time study to complete the program.
During your first year of study at CSU-Channel Islands, you will take various pre-nursing courses designed to prepare you for entry into the nursing program. Once you have completed your first year, you will need to apply for acceptance into the nursing program. Only after you are accepted can you complete the final three years of nursing courses and graduate the program with your BSN. Summer sessions are available for the first two years to help students who may need additional units.
Clinicals begin in the second year, and they take place at the same time as your classroom courses. For example, during the second year of study (the first year in the nursing program), you will take Introduction to Professional Nursing classroom courses and follow these with Introduction to Professional Nursing Labs (clinicals). This will help you put classroom information to the test, which can better prepare you for your career.
8) California State University – Chico, Chico
California State University at Chico offers a BSN program that is set up very similarly to other CSU locations. Here, you will need to take the first semester of pre-nursing courses and then reapply for the rest of the nursing program afterward, which takes place over four more semesters. CSU-Chico offers a unique group advising session that can help you make better decisions about the courses you take and the path you choose to become a nurse. These sessions will also prepare you for the rigorous studies combined with clinical hours. If you live more than 50 miles from Chico, you can attend a virtual advising session.
CSU-Chico only admits 40 students each spring and fall into its five-semester bachelor of science in nursing program not including students enrolled in their online RN-BSN program. Classroom and clinical studies are grouped in such a way that you can immediately practice what you learn during lectures in the real world. Clinicals (practicums) take place in acute care, maternity and childcare, and other specialized settings, which means students who are interested in a specific career choice can truly benefit.
CSU also partners with the Rural SimCenter which gives students the opportunity to utilize groundbreaking technology to provide simulated healthcare. Simulations include emergencies, such as transporting patients from helicopters and ambulances, to more routine healthcare services such as labor and delivery, acute illness, and acute injury.
9) San Diego State University, San Diego
The BSN program at San Diego State University in sunny San Diego, California teaches you to focus on the care of both the individual patient as well as his or her family. SDSU believes in practicing nursing as both a science and an art, and the courses and clinical experiences provided here reflect this mission. The BSN program here gives you a chance to learn in both natural and social sciences, which helps you not only memorize information vital to providing quality healthcare, but also helps you hone your ability to think critically and make split-second decisions that could very well save lives.
Unlike programs at many of the other schools, students who are accepted into SDSU’s nursing program need not reapply after completing the first one or two years of study. Here, as an incoming Freshman, you are assigned to one of two different courses of study, and you will follow that course throughout the entire program. The four-year program has built-in time to complete general education requirements, as well.
Though you need not reapply to the nursing program in order to be considered a nursing major, you will need to complete eight general education and pre-nursing courses over the first three semesters to earn that designation. You will also need to complete clinical hours each semester, starting in your second year, in order to earn your BSN from SDSU.
10) California State University – Los Angeles, Los Angeles
California State University – Los Angeles offers a traditional BSN program for pre-licensure nursing students. It provides opportunities to complete general education, pre-nursing courses, nursing courses, and nursing clinicals over the course of four years.
CSU-LA has several prerequisite courses that you must complete in order to be accepted into the bachelor of science in nursing program, but you may complete some of these during your first year of study. These include Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II, Fundamentals of Chemistry, Accelerated College Writing, Microbiology for Health-Related Sciences (and Labs), and Oral Communication. You must also complete one three-unit course in statistics and quantitative reasoning, and another in critical thinking and composition.
In total, the entire program requires 120 units to graduate, and 39 of these are general education units. Clinical labs take place after the completion of the first year and after entry into CSU-LA’s nursing major. Clinicals are general in nature and take place alongside Fundamentals in Nursing, Medical Surgical Nursing, Nursing Leadership and Care Management, and Nursing Care of Adults and Older Adults classroom courses.
How to Get My California RN License
To work as a RN in the state of California, you must be licensed through the California Board of Registered Nursing. The process for obtaining your licensure requires the following steps.
• Complete an RN education program approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.
• Apply for licensure with the California Board of Registered Nursing.
• Register and pay for the NCLEX-RN examination through Pearson Vue.
• Wait until you receive your Authorization to Test (ATT) from the Board.
• Schedule your examination.
• Take the examination, pass, and receive your license to practice as an RN in the state of California.