Best Nursing Schools in California for Undergraduate in 2021

Best Nursing Schools in California for Undergraduate in 2021Before we highlight some of the best nursing schools in California for undergraduate programs in 2021, there are a few details you need to know.

First, the State of California has one of the worst nurse-to-population ratios in the United State. The current ratio stands at approximately one nurse for every 150 people.

It also employs 17.32 nurses per thousand jobs, which is low compared to the likes of New York (19.44) and Pennslyvania (25.40).

The positive takeaway, though, is the fact that California State is one of the states with the highest employment levels in the US. In 2018, California employed the most number of registered nurses, 294,510, with Texas coming in second with 210,350 nurses employed.

Another positive is the fact that California is the best-paying state in the US for nurses, having an hourly mean wage of $51.42 and an annual mean wage of $106,950. For detailed data, please check this resource page at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That being said, below we look at some of the best nursing schools in California for undergraduates worth your consideration if you intend to become a registered nurse in the future.

Best Nursing Schools in California for Undergraduates

These are the top nursing schools in California for undergraduate programs in 2021;

1. California State University, Bakersfield

Established in 1965 and opened in 1970, California State University, Bakersfield is one of the leading public universities in California. The institution is located between Los Angeles and San Francisco and offers several nursing programs for undergraduates.

The university has one of the highest NCLEX pass rates of 92%, which is more than the average national pass rate of 91.22% registered in 2019. California State University, Bakersfield has three active nursing programs;

  • Traditional BSN Program
  • RN-BSN Program (Associate Degree in Nursing Required)
  • MSN-FNP Program (BSN Required)

2. California State University, Long Beach

Apart from being home to beautiful beaches, Long Beach is also home to one of the best nursing schools in California for undergraduate programs – California State University, Long Beach. The school’s top nursing programs have seen the university ranked as one of the best universities in the West.

The university offers both undergraduate and postgraduates programs, and you have three options to choose from;

  • Traditional Basic BSN Program
  • RN-to-BSN Program
  • Accelerated Option

3. California State University, Fullerton

California State University, Fullerton is one of the leading public universities in California that accommodates more than 40,400 students from ethnically diverse backgrounds. The university has low in-state tuition rates and offers two entry options to study for a nursing program: a direct-entry option and traditional BSN.

Recognized as one of the top schools for undergraduate nursing programs in California, the university only admits about 5-10 nursing students through the traditional BSN option. This makes the traditional BSN option one of the hardest channels through which one can join the university for a nursing program.

4. The University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine is one of the best public universities in the United States. The school offers more than 85 undergraduate degrees, among them being a few nursing programs. With a very low admission rate of approximately 2.5% to their School of Nursing, getting an opportunity to pursue a nursing program at the university doesn’t come easy.

The School offers a traditional BSN program along with other graduate programs such as MS in Nursing Practice and Doctor of Nursing Practice. You can have a look at their nursing programs here.

5. California State University, Los Angeles

In addition to being part of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, the city of Los Angeles is home to one of the best nursing schools in California, the California State University, Los Angeles. The university offers the accelerated BSN program for non-registered nurses, a program designed for current bachelor’s degree holders that takes about 15 months to complete.

California State University, Los Angeles School of Nursing offers the following nursing programs;

  • RN-to-BSN Program
  • ADN-BSN Collaborative Program
  • BSN – Traditional Program
  • Accelerated BSN – (ABSN Program)

6. University of California, Los Angeles

The renowned University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is among the best nursing schools in California for undergraduate and graduate programs. The university’s School of Nursing offers several programs including:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • MSN – Masters Entry Clinical Nurse
  • MSN – Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Apart from being one of the best nursing schools in California, UCLA is also one of the best engineering schools that continue to set the bar high for other institutions in California.

7. San Diego State University

Established in 1897 in San Diego, California, San Diego State University accommodates more than 36,000 students making it one of the largest public universities in the state. The university’s School of Nursing has four programs;

  • BS in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN
  • MS in Nursing
  • LVN-to-RN

Nursing students at the university also have an option to study abroad through the university’s partnerships with other international institutions across the globe. The school has low in-state tuition costs and high NCLEX pass rates, making it an ideal choice for most students in California.

8. California State University, Sacramento

Established in 1947 as Sacramento State College is the California State University, Sacramento, one of the best nursing schools in California for undergraduate programs. It is one of the most diverse schools in the U.S. with students coming from within and outside California State. The university offers several nursing programs including:

  • Traditional BSN Program
  • RN-to-BSN Program
  • LVN-to-RN (Non-Degree)
  • Graduate Program

The university’s School of Nursing boasts one of the highest NCLEX pass rates and its low in-state tuition makes it an attractive option for anyone aspiring to become a registered nurse.

9. University of California, San Francisco

The University of California, San Francisco is one of the top nursing schools in the country that has considerably higher tuition compared to other schools. The university’s School of Nursing offers undergraduate and graduate programs, including:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Ph.D., Nursing
  • Ph.D., Sociology

10. Azusa Pacific University

Located in Azusa is one of the best nursing schools in California; Azusa Pacific University. It is a private, evangelical Christian university founded in 1899 that offers several undergraduate nursing programs including:

  • BSN (Traditional Program)
  • BSN (2+2 Upper-Division Transfer Program)
  • Bridge to BSN
  • International Health Nursing Minor
  • LVN to BSN Program
  • Nutrition Minor
  • RN to BSN (Accelerated Program)

The university offers many opportunities for international studies, including short-term missions to places like Cambodia, Africa, Haiti, Indian, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Laos to entire semesters abroad.

Top Nursing Schools in California

These are just a few of the best nursing schools in California for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The list is in no particular order as these universities offer some of the finest and most competitive nursing programs in the United States.