Best Nursing Schools in California 2024 | With Acceptance Rate |

nursing schools in California

Why California..

Studies of nursing are pretty hectic due to back-to-back scheduled classes. Sometimes students feel depressed, in such a case location plays vital role. So  it will be a good choice for opting nursing schools in California. As Student will feel advantageous with the sun-kissed climate, world-famous beaches, and exciting cities, which help to swing their mood.

Apart from this, California nursing schools have good recognition in the country. Moreover, if you have plans to settle in California, as per the BLS Report, the demand for nurses in the state is up to 10 % in the decade between 2019-2029,

Filters we choose to list the best nursing programs in California

Each California colleges that offer nursing programs have a specific specialty. With each college, we have mentioned the specialty. We have also used standard metrics such as Accreditation, NCLEX RN Pass Rate, Graduation Rate, Acceptance Rate, Tuition Fees, and GPA. You can easily compare nursing schools with these metrics as well and can make the proper selection.

Types of Nursing Programs

  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)LVN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 
  • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) 
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Best Nursing Schools in California

schools for nursing in California

UCLA School of Nursing

(Best Overall)

UCLA School of Nursing is one of the best nursing schools in Los Angeles. It was established in 1949, school is known for providing advanced training to the students. Moreover, UCLA Nursing Program is among the top-tier programs in the country that get grant funding from NIH.


With a 96 % NCLEX – RN pass rate, UCLA School of Nursing has proved its academic excellence. Moreover, if you see a school’s curriculum, it includes all the relevant trending topics which help you become an excellent professional nurse. 

If you are one of those who like to study with fewer students, then UCLA can be one of your choices. As per reports, the student and faculty ratio in the nursing program of UCLA is 6:1. Additional colleges also provide individual academic counselling.

UCLA offers various programs in nursing, which include –

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (a pre-licensure nursing program for undergraduate study)
  • MSN – Master’s Entry Clinical Nurse (for those with a baccalaureate degree in another discipline who desire a career in nursing)
  • MSN – Master of Science in Nursing – Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (for a nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (For Individuals who wish to pursue a research trajectory)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Implementation Facilities

UCLA is the best UC for nursing. It is based on practical learning with the influence of advanced technology. The school has one of the best simulation centers, and faculty engage students with deep research throttle to avoid mistakes during real-time practice,

The School of Nursing is based in Factory Building which allocates a separate section for students’ help. Including the research grant office, scholarship, and financial aid help desk.

UCLA School of Nursing has collaborated with various hospitals which admire students for clinical rotation.

List of collaborated hospitals

  • UCLA Health Centre
  • Torrance Memorial Medical Centre
  • Cedars – Sinal
  • Dignity Health
  • Good Samaritan
  • Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles
  • VA Health Care
  • John’s
Key Points
  • Accreditation – CCNE
  • GPA – 3.5
  • SAT Score – 1510
  • ACT Score – 34
  • Acceptance Rate -2 %
  • NCLEX – RN Pass Rate – 90.91% (BSN) and 82.35% (MSN)
  • Tuition Fees – $37,448 (Full Detailed)
top nursing schools in California

UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing

Reliable doctorate programs

UCI started offering a nursing program in 1986, while the School of Nursing began in 2017. Among California DNP programs, within a short period, UCI has established a renowned name in one of the best research institutes for nursing. It has raised more than $ 17 million in research funding, 


UCI offers four degrees for nursing, which includes

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing 

Each program modulates its speciality, but we have highlighted some of the key points from its curriculum structure –

  • Develop Leadership Skills and Critical Thinking
  • Hands-on Clinical Practice
  • Inter-Disciplinary Instruction  
  • One-to-one mentorship

Implementation Facilities

UCI’s motive is to serve a non-resemblance community of orange counties, such as under-served schools, the homeless population, and the adult community, which uncovers more than 10,000 hours of clinical rotation of faculty and students.

Being part of UCI, more than 50 percent of BSN graduates get placement in UCI Health

Key Points

  • Accreditation – CCNE
  • GPA – 3.49
  • Acceptance Rate – 8 %
  • NCLEX – RN Pass Rate – 88.4%(BSN) and 100% (MSN)
  • Tuition Fees – $24,437 for masters, $ 11,442 for Ph.D.
best nursing universities in California

UCSF School of Nursing

Go-to school for master’s programs

UCSF School of Nursing was established in 1907, one of California’s oldest nursing schools. In the NIH funding list, UCSF Nursing Program is among the top. Additionally, UCSF School of Nursing is accredited by CCNE and ACME.


With an 89% NCLEX Pass Rate and 93 % National Certification Exam Rate, college plays a vital role in onboarding one of the best nursing professionals in the country’s health system.

UCSF doesn’t offer bachelor’s programs in nursing. It is famous for its master’s program. Below we have listed all the nursing programs offered at UCSF

  • Master’s Entry Program in Nursing
  • Master of Science Program
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership Program
  • Post-Master’s Certificate Program
  • UC Multi-Campus Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners Post-Master’s Certificate Program
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
  • D. in Nursing Program
  • D. in Sociology Program

If you want to pursue accelerated nursing programs in California, then UCSF Master’s Entry Program can be your option.

Implementation Facilities

Being a top research funding nursing school, UCSF has four departments under which an organized research unit structure has been made. Department includes – 

  • Family Health Care Nursing
  • Psychological Nursing
  • Community Health Systems
  • Social & Behavioural Sciences
  • Family Health Care Nursing
  • Institute for Health & Aging

Each Department is under the supervision of one of the best faculty, who have good prior experience in the nursing profession.

UCSF has implanted the system named “In Place,” it helps students check their clinical placement information, and you can also see your task status. It is accessible from phone and desktop both.

Key Points
  • Accreditation – CCNE
  • GPA – 3.0 (in Bachelors)
  • Acceptance Rate – (Full Detailed)
  • NCLEX – RN Pass Rate – 88.31%
  • Tuition Fees – (Full Detailed)
best csu for nursing

CSU Long Beach School of Nursing

Highest licensure exam pass rates

With more than 50 years of experience, CSU Long Beach School of Nursing is among the good colleges for nursing in terms of excellent academics and practical implementation, 


With excellence, academic structure, and faculty guidance, CSULB School of Nursing has broken the records in NCLEX Pass Rate. In 2020/2021, students who are studying for BSN in CSULB have made a record of 99.3 % pass rate (143 students have taken the exam)

As per the students, it is the best schools to become a nurse. They are taught evidence-based studies, which help them to understand concepts more peculiarly. Faculty insist that the students research new health problems arising in society.

List of various nursing programs in CSULB are –

  • Undergraduate Programs – Basic, Trimester BSN, RN TO BSN.
  • Graduate Programs – MSN with Nurse Practitioner Speciality Areas
    1. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care
    2. Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
    3. Family Primary Care
    4. Pediatric Primary Care
    5. Psychiatric-Mental Health (across the lifespan)

Implementation Facilities

CSULB makes very good collation between science, technology, and research in their simulation center, which helps students develop decision-making skills and learn patient advocacy,

The simulation center of CSULB is equipped with the latest technology health care systems and upgraded software. With live work, students develop confidence in the real world.

Key Points
  • Accreditation – CCNE
  • GPA – 3.95 %
  • ATI TEAS Exam – 70 % (minimum composite score)
  • Acceptance Rate – 6.69 %
  • NCLEX – RN Pass Rate – 99.3%
  • Tuition Fees –(Full Detailed)
prestigious nursing schools

CSU Fullerton School of Nursing

Wide selection of BSN programs

With over 4,000 graduates and more than forty years, CSU Fullerton offers one of the best nursing programs in Southern California. 


They are particular in selecting the students for admission. Each year college receives applications between 3000 to 4000 for the BSN nursing program, out of which only 40 students get selected. The reason behind its huge demand is CSU best academic structure.


It’s our recommendation to prepare well before applying for CSU Fullerton Nursing Program.


CSU Fullerton believes in upgrading its curriculum as per community demand. In its new strategic plan, they evolve collation of students, Faculty and Staff to serve diverse populations, as it helps to build a strong foundation in the journey of becoming a good nurse.

In 2019/2020, 66 BSN students of CSU Fullerton were given the NCLEX Exam, and its pass rate is 96.97%, which signifies proof of the excellent academic structure of CSU Fullerton School of Nursing,

Various Nursing Programs offered in CSU Fullerton

Wide Selection of BSN Programs

  • Traditional BSN
  • CSUF Student Pathway BSN
  • Upper Division Transfer BSN
  • Accelerated BSN
  • RN-BSN



  • Leadership
  • Nurse Educator
  • School Nursing
  • Women’s Health Care
  • DNP (Nurse Anaesthesia)
  • DNP (Post-Master’s)


  • Leadership
  • Nurse Educator
  • School Nursing
  • Women’s Health Care


  • DNP (Nurse Anaesthesia)
  • DNP (Post-Master’s)

Implementation Facilities

CSU Fullerton is among the best cal states for nursing studies. University facilitates students with a very advanced simulation centre which includes more than five types of simulated robots, along with a conference room, debriefing room, exam room and library.

For clinical rotation, CSU Fullerton currently collaborated with more than 15 hospitals, for checking the complete list, you can see its official website under the facility section.

Key Points
  • Accreditation – CCNE
  • GPA – 2.49
  • SAT Score – Full Detail
  • NCLEX – RN Pass Rate – 96.97%
  • Tuition Fees – $30,990
nursing programs in san francisco

USF School of Nursing and Health Professions

Great student support resources

USF School of Nursing and Health Professions was started in 1954, it is a private nursing school in California based on catholic values, and CCNE accredits its nursing programs.

USF Nursing School is well known for its commitment to society regarding giving health care, education and housing facilities to the poor community.


USF School of Nursing and Health Profession has an excellent structured curriculum. It influences students to collide their learning with real-world health problems, 

NCLEX Pass Rate for USF BSN students in 2019/2020 is 88% (250 students taken exam) whole MSN Students have NCLEX Pass Rate is 95.19% (104 students taken exam)

USF School of Nursing is very much concern for good nursing practice. They have initiated the program (A Transition to Practice Program), which is available for RN students who are graduated with no work experience.

Nursing Programs Offered in USF Nursing

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master’s Program
    1. Master of Science in Nursing
    2. Digital Health Informatics (MS)
    3. Public Health (MPH)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    1. Family Nurse Practitioner
    2. Population Health Leadership
    3. Psychiatric Mental Health Practitioner
  • Doctor of Psychology

Implementation Facilities

USF School of Nursing and Health Professions has an advanced simulation centre and clinical skill lab. Both are equipped with all required resources, 

Moreover, for the clinical rotation, the nursing school makes students serve San Francisco Bay Area (each year, students serve for 140,00 hours).

Key Points
  • Accreditation – CCNE
  • GPA – 3.8
  • SAT Score – 1375
  • ACT Score – 29
  • Acceptance Rate -21.04 %
  • NCLEX – RN Pass Rate – 88% (for BSN) and 95.19% (for MSN)
  • Tuition Fees – (Full Detailed)
san diego nursing program

San Diego State University, School of Nursing

Best Bridge Programs

It is one of the best nursing schools in San Diego. Established in 1953, a member of California State University, SDSU is among the large universities with a student body of approx. 35,000, when you see SDSU School of Nursing, things will get opposite; it has a batch of approx. 120 students each year.

Taking Admission to SDSU is challenging while seeking the metrics of 2019, approx. Six thousand candidates applied, and only 343 got admitted. As per the expert’s recommendation, students in high school kindly focus on their GPA if they want to get admitted to the SDSU School of Nursing.


SDSU School of Nursing has structured their curriculum in “Track Theme,” under which four years of the nursing program are divided into four cohorts (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior). Its main goal is to equalize the focus of students on their clinical part more feasibly, 

While if you see, the 2019/2020 NCLEX Pass Rate for SDSU BSN students is 90.1%, and for SDSU MSN students is 91.43%.

SDSU offers a bridge program for nursing. We have below listed all programs –

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

Implementation Facilities

In San Diego Nursing Programs, the college provides plenty of resources to the students, including fundamental skills lab and media lab. Assessment lab, sharp healthcare human patient simulation centre,

Moreover, SDSU SON is very much concerned about clinical rotation. They start clinical studies in their sophomore year (2nd year). Various Clinicals SDSU includes in its curriculum –

  • Psychiatric Clinical
  • OB Maternity Clinic
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Community Health
  • Pediatrics

SDSU School of Nursing collaborates with various hospitals for clinical – Sharp Chula Vista Medical Centre, UC San Diego Medical Centre, Scripps Health, Kaiser Oakland Medical Center and many more.

Key Points
  • Accreditation – CCNE
  • GPA – 3.50 Min.
  • SAT Score – 1380 Full Detailed
  • ACT Score – 30
  • Acceptance Rate – 5 %
  • NCLEX – RN Pass Rate – 95.8%
  • Tuition Fees – (Full Detailed)
affordable nursing programs in California

California State University Bakersfield

Very Affordable

CSU Bakersfield is one of the affordable nursing programs in California, Its more than 45 years, the university has been offering various programs. More than 2400 students got BSN Degree.      

The program offered at CSU Bakersfield is approved by CCNE and the Board of Registered Nursing. University offers three nursing programs, which include 

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

Implementation Facilities

At CSU Bakersfield, nursing students get various opportunities to practice. Many hospitals, physicians’ offices, and schools in the Bakersfield locality allow CSUB students to practice. Along with this, students serve in homeless shelters.

To provide smooth learning, the school facilitates students with smart classrooms, a simulation centre and a computer lab with trending software’s use while real-world nursing practice.

Key Points

  • Accreditation – CCNE
  • GPA – 3.20
  • SAT Score – 790 to 1020
  • ACT Score – 16 to 21
  • NCLEX – RN Pass Rate – 98.08%
  • Tuition Fees – $ 15, 270

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