Top California RN to BSN Programs

As the number of healthcare employers who require their nurses to hold Bachelor's degrees grows, more and more nurses are headed back to school to earn their BSN degrees. In addition to making 16 percent more than nurses with ADN degrees, BSN-holding nurses enhance their career prospects and position themselves for future graduate degree education. To respond to the rising demand for nurses with BSN degrees, higher education institutions have made it incredibly easy and straightforward for RNs to earn their BSNs in a timely manner. Today, a whole host of colleges and universities offer online RN to BSN programs that can be completed in just one to two years, while students continue to work. But with so many program options available, finding the top choice can be a perplexing task. To help you along in your journey, we've compiled a list of the top online RN to BSN programs in the state of California.

How to Choose a Top RN to BSN Program in California

Deciding on which RN to BSN program to enroll is a major decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. We suggest you take the following into consideration before deciding on a program:

  • Cost of Attendance
  • Acceptance rate
  • Class sizes
  • Retention rate
  • Internship opportunities, partnerships with local healthcare facilities
  • Accreditation, accolades, and awards
  • Program Pass Rate
  • Percentage of students who found jobs after graduating (gainful employment data)
  • Student satisfaction rates
  • Amount of time the program has been operating

Testing and Certification

Because ADN students are required to pass the NCLEX-RN exam before they're licensed, RN to BSN students do not need to take the exam again after completing their degrees.

List of Top RN to BSN Programs in California

1. California State University, San Marcos

California State University, San Marcos is a public university located in the greater San Diego area that offers students a 38 semester credit-hour online RN to BSN program that can be completed in a mere 14 months. CSUSM gives students the opportunity to enroll in the program five times each year, making it incredibly accessible. Students who enroll in the program will take courses like Nursing Leadership and Professional Issues, Nursing Assessment, Community Health Nursing, and more. The program is limited to 44 students per cohort.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Palomar Medical Center Escondido
  • Children's Medical Group
  • Kaiser Permanente

Tuition:

Students who enroll in CSUSM's RN to BSN program can expect to pay $11,362 in tuition plus additional fees.

2. Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University is a private, evangelical Christian university with its main campus located in Azusa, California. APU offers students a 40 semester-unit RN to BSN program that can be completed online or in-person at its campuses located in the High Desert, Inland Empire, Monrovia, and San Diego. Most students will take roughly 15 months to complete their course credits. During the program, students will encounter topics like health assessment, pathophysiology, ethical and spiritual issues in healthcare, and more.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Huntington Hospital
  • Queen of Angels Hospital
  • Good Samaritan Hospital

Tuition:

Students who enroll in APU's RN to BSN program can expect to pay $18,360 in tuition plus additional fees.

3. California State University, Chico

California State University, Chico is a public university located in northern California that has been offering an RN to BSN program since its School of Nursing was founded in 1954. The program, which consists of 30 semester credit-hours, can be completed in as little as 15 months. Because it's delivered in an online format, working students shouldn't have any problem tackling the coursework. Students who enroll in the program will take courses like Nursing Informatics, Nursing Research, Professional Values & Ethics in Nursing, and more.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Enloe Medical Center
  • Fountain Medical Plaza
  • Chico Heart Medical Center

Tuition:

Students who enroll in CSU Chico's RN to BSN program can expect to pay $12,450 in tuition plus additional fees.

4. Simpson University

Simpson University is a private, faith-based university located in Redding, California that offers a 36 semester credit-hour BSN program for ADN-educated nurses that can be completed in just 12 months. The program, which caters to working RNs, has courses that can be taken online, in-person, or in a hybrid format. Once enrolled in the program, students will take courses like Community & Public Health Nursing, Health Teaching, Nursing Leadership & Management, and more.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Mercy Medical Center Redding
  • Vibra Hospital of Northern California
  • Shasta Regional Medical Center

Tuition:

Students who enroll in Simpson University's RN to BSN program can expect to pay $31,180 in tuition plus additional fees.

5. California State University, Bakersfield

California State University, Bakersfield is a public university located in California's Central Valley that offers students an online, 30 semester credit-hour RN to BSN bridge program that can be completed in as little as 15 months. During the program, students will take courses like Foundations of Nursing Research, Community & Public Health Nursing, Healthcare Ethics, and more. In addition to course lectures, students are expected to complete 135 on-site clinical hours as part of their education. CSU Bakersfield admits new students into the program just one time per academic year.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Memorial Hospital - Bakersfield
  • Mercy Hospital Southwest - Bakersfield
  • Bakersfield Heart Hospital

Tuition:

Students who enroll in CSU Bakersfield's RN to BSN program can expect to pay approximately $13,094 in tuition plus additional fees.