Best Nursing Schools in Los Angeles for 2020

When you’re looking into the best nursing school in Los Angeles for your career goals, you want to clarify a few key factors. The best nursing school in Southern California for your situation should have the appropriate accreditation from a third-party to ensure that it fits specific standards for education.

While the best nursing programs in Southern California will have accreditation, you also want to evaluate the cost of the program. What is the best college for nursing in California for your budget? It depends on your situation, scholarships, and related details that may contribute to the final expenses associated with your degree. Pay attention to the cost of the program when evaluating your options.

You also want to consider job placement after graduation or internships during the nursing program. If a program has a high rate of students who pass their exams for a license and get a job shortly after finishing a degree, then it is a good option for your goals. You want to focus on schools with a high percentage of students who obtain a lucrative job placement after graduation.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Nursing Schools in Los Angeles

Whether you’re starting your career or going back to school, a nursing degree is an economic and financial decision you want to see pay off. That’s why the TopRNtoBSN ranking of the best nursing schools in southern California focuses on data that tells students what to expect: Cost, Salary Expectations, and Student Reviews. Our data comes from IPEDS and Niche, and all programs are accredited and trustworthy.

1. UCLA

The UCLA School of Nursing is recognized among the best nursing schools in Southern California and one of the best nursing schools in Los Angeles. The nursing programs at UCLA are offered at the bachelor’s, masters, and doctoral levels. These multi-level degree programs have received the approval of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). UCLA’S Neuropsychiatric Hospital is considered among the elite nursing schools in the country, and one of the first nursing teaching hospitals to receive these honors from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

The University of California, at Los Angeles (UCLA), was established in 1919 and is one of the oldest campuses within the University of California System. UCLA is a public institution of higher education with a 400+urban campus that serves more than 45,000 students. UCLA is recognized as one of the few public ivy schools in the United States.

Degree: BSN, MSN, DNP

2. University of California, Irvine

The University of California Irvine’s School of Nursing is considered one of the best nursing schools in Southern California. As one of the best nursing schools in Los Angeles, UCI’s nursing programs (undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level) have been accredited by the CCNE – the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. UCI’s nursing school offers an impressive student to faculty ratio of 8:1.

The University of California, Irvine, was established in 1965 and is a land grant institution of higher learning. UC Irvine’s 1,500+-acre campus is home to more than 35,000 students. UC Irvine is responsible for the administration of the school’s medical center. UCI is considered one of the few public ivy schools in the United States. President Lyndon B Johnson was an integral part of the school’s dedication in 1964.

Degree: BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD

3. California State University, Long Beach

California State University’s School of Nursing offers both undergraduate and graduate nursing degree programs that have received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). CSULB is recognized internationally ranked among the best nursing schools in Southern California and offers an employment rate after graduation of 100% for graduate degree holders and 95% for undergraduate degree holders. CSULB is recognized among the best nursing schools in Los Angeles and neighboring areas for basic Bachelor of Science (BSN)programs, RN-to-BSN programs, and the Master of Science in Nursing degree programs.

Cal State Long Beach was established in 1949 as a public institution of higher education. The school’s 300+-acre campus is home to more than 38,000 students studying for more than 150 bachelors, masters, and doctoral level degrees. CSULB ‘s campus is the 3rd largest within the California State University System.

Degree: BSN, MSN

4. California State University, Fullerton

California State University Fullerton’s College of Health and Human Development is considered one of the best nursing schools in Southern California. CSUF offers a variety of nursing degree programs that have received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). As one of the best nursing schools in Los Angeles, CSUF offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral nursing degree programs. The school also offers accelerated nursing degree programs and completion programs, like the RN to Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) or Licensed Vocation Nursing to BSN degree program.

Cal State Fullerton was established in 1957. CSUF is one of the 23 member schools that make up the California State University system. The school’s urban campus serves nearly 40,000 students studying for the more than 100-degree program available. CSUF is recognized as a Hispanic-serving institution of higher learning.

Degree: RN-BSN, MSN, DNP

5. California State University, Northridge

California State University’s Northridge’s College of Health and Human Development is recognized among the best nursing schools in Los Angeles, as well as one of the best nursing schools in Southern California. Cal State Northridge offers CCNE accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees for transfer students – those who already hold a Registered Nursing (RN) license or those students already enrolled in the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) at an appropriately accredited community college. CSUN is currently creating masters and doctoral programs to be offered shortly.

Cal State Northridge is a public institution of higher education that was established in 1958. The school’s campus is home to more than 38,000 students studying for more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. CSUN holds the distinction of having the largest undergraduate student enrollment of all the California State University campuses.

Degree: BSN; MSN and DNP in the works

6. California State University, Los Angeles

California State University Los Angeles’ School of Nursing is considered among the best nursing schools in Los Angeles, offering nursing degrees that have received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). As one of the best nursing schools in Southern California, CSULA provides nursing degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, with an accelerated Bachelor of Science of Nursing degree program with a program duration of fifteen months.

Cal State Los Angeles was established in 1947 and is a land-grant, public institution of higher education. CSULA’s 170+-acre hilltop campus serves more than 26,000 students studying from the school’s eight colleges/schools. The school’s campus is home to a space program that is funded by NASA and two unique high school opportunities for younger students. CSULA is recognized as a university that is Hispanic serving.

Degree: BSN, MSN, DNP

7. California State University, Dominguez Hills

California State University Dominguez Hills offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree programs for students who are either enrolled in a community college accredited nursing program or those students who already hold a Registered Nurse (RN) license. The school also offers several master’s level nursing degree programs. As one of the best nursing schools in Southern California, CSUDH provides diverse BSN and MSN options for nursing students. Graduate nursing students enrolled at one of the best nursing schools in Los Angeles can opt for specialties as a Pediatric Nurse, an Adult-Gerontology Nurse, a Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Administrator.

Cal State Dominguez Hills was established in 1960. The school’s urban campus sits on the oldest land grant area in Southern California, known as Rancho San Pedro. CSUDH holds the distinction of being one of the most ethnically (and economically) diverse institutions of higher education in the western half of the country. The school is regularly recognized among the universities in the country that bestows the most degrees to African American students.

Degree: RN-BSN, MSN

8. California State University, San Bernardino

California State University’s San Bernardino is ranked among one of the best nursing schools in Southern California. CSUSB’s nursing degree programs have received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which is one of the reasons the university has been recognized among the best nursing schools in Los Angeles. CSUSB offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program, an RN to BSN degree program, plus a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program.

Cal State San Bernardino is a public space-grant institution of higher education that was established in 1965. The school operates two campuses, rural campus in Palm Desert and a main suburban campus in San Bernardino. Together, these campuses serve more than 20,000 students. CSUSB operates one of the few museums that has received accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.

Degree: BSN, MSN

9. Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University’s School of Nursing offers a full breadth of nursing degree programs, making it one of the best nursing schools in Southern California. As one of the best nursing schools in Los Angeles, APU offers nursing education opportunities on-campus, hybrid degree programs, and even distance learning options. APU offers nursing degrees that include a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits each of the nursing degree programs offered by Azusa Pacific University. Coursework includes internships to achieve hands-on practical experience before graduating.

Azusa Pacific University was established as a private institution of higher education in 1899. APU is affiliated with the Christian (inter-denominational) Church. The school’s 100+-acre suburban campus serves more than 10,000 students studying for degrees offered by ten colleges/schools. APU was first named the Training School for Christian Workers, the west coast’s first biblical school.

Degree: Online, Campus, Hybrid all levels – undergrad to doctoral

10. Stanbridge University

Stanbridge University offers an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing (RN), a diploma in Vocational Nursing, an RN-to-BSN degree program and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program. Each of Stanbridge’s nursing programs has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Stanbridge University offers this state-of-the-art associate nursing degree, which has been rank among the best nursing schools in Los Angeles. Students learn using synthetic cadavers, virtual reality, and even telemedicine. Stanbridge University has been recognized as a school of excellence by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Stanbridge University is a private institution of higher that was established in 1996 with a primary educational focus on nursing and allied health. Coursework is available on-campus and online. The school’s student enrollment exceeds 1,800. Stanbridge University has been recognized within the top 3 best nursing schools in southern California.

Degree: ADN

11. Pacific College

Pacific College is recognized among the best nursing schools in Los Angeles, offering coursework that has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Pacific College offers three specific nursing degree programs – an Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program, and a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP, i.e., advanced practice nurses) degree program, with some coursework available through the school’s distance learning program. Additionally, Pacific College has received approval from the BVNPT – The Board of Vocational Nursing & Psychiatric Technicians.

Pacific College is a private institution of higher education that was founded in 1993 with a primary objective to provide a quality education that leads to professional allied health careers. Pacific College is recognized among the best nursing schools in southern California.

Degree: BSN, FNP

12. Pasadena City College

Pasadena City College’s Health Sciences/Nursing Programs offers an Associate in Science degree in Nursing that includes an Achievement Certificate in Registered Nursing (ASRN), a Vocational Nursing degree program, an LVN to RN degree completion course. As one of the schools recognized to be the best nursing schools in southern California, graduates are eligible to sit for the national council Licensing Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). The vocational nursing program can be completed in 12 months, while the RN degree program can be completed in four semesters.

Pasadena City College was established in 1924. PCC is recognized as a community college that serves San Marino, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, and many more communities. PCC is home to more than 27,000 students. PCC formerly operated as a four-year school where students finished two years of high and the first two years of post-secondary education. Its nursing program is recognized among the best nursing schools in Los Angeles.

Degree: ASRN

13. Biola University

Biola University’s Department of Nursing is recognized among the best nursing schools in southern California, with coursework that has received accreditation from CCNE. BU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program Coursework for BU’s BSN degree program requires program applicants to have completed Human Anatomy, Organic Chemistry, Critical Thinking, Psychology, and Introduction to Professional Nursing. Students attend clinical nursing practicums that offer hand’s on experience.

Biola University was established in 1908. Biola (Bible Institute of Los Angeles) University is affiliated with the nondenominational evangelical Christian Church. Biola University operates with nine colleges/schools that offer more than 140 professional study fields. The school’s nursing program is ranked among the best nursing schools in Los Angeles. BU operates an accredited school of Messianic Jewish Studies in New York City.

Degree: BSN

14. California Baptist University

California Baptist University’s College of Nursing offers various levels of degree programs in the professional field of nursing. CBU is considered among the best nursing schools in Los Angeles as its coursework has received accreditation from CCNE. CBU offers a bachelor’s entry-level degree program, a Master of Science in either Nursing or for non-nursing majors, and a doctoral level nursing degree program – a Doctor of Nursing Practice. CBU offers many scholarships to its eligible nursing students.

California Baptist University was established in 1950 as a private institution of higher education. The school is affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention. CBU’s suburban campus covers more than 150 acres and is home to more than 11,000 students. Its nursing program is ranked among the best nursing schools in southern California.

Degree: BSN, MSN, DNP

15. Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine is recognized among the best nursing schools in Los Angeles. CUI offers an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree programs. Degree graduates from CUI have an NCLEX pass rate of 99%. The accelerated BSN can be completed in about fifteen months. The MSN program offers a specialty of Nurse Educator or Nurse Leadership.

Concordia University Irvine was established as a private institution of higher education in 1976. CUI is affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The school’s suburban campus serves more than 4,000 students. Concordia University Irvine is a member school of the Concordia University System. Its nursing school has been recognized among the best nursing schools in southern California. CUI is situated a few miles from the ocean and about an hour south of LA.

Degree: BSN, MSN

How is the Job Market for Nurses in Los Angeles?

Nurse jobs in Los Angeles are expected to rise as nurses begin to retire from current positions and the population of the city continues to rise. Nursing jobs in Los Angeles focus on ensuring the hospital or facility meets minimum standards for nurses based on population and the number of patients in a facility. In general, the facility must have one nurse for every five patients, which means many nurses have opportunities within the Los Angeles area.

Nurse practitioner jobs in Los Angeles are also on the rise to help meet the demand for specialized medical professionals. By focusing on registered nurse jobs in Los Angeles, it is possible to find a variety of options and opportunities based on your personal interests. Nursing jobs in Los Angeles CA may require specialized skills, so nurses should evaluate the details of the position before determining that it fits their long-term goals.

In the case of nursing jobs in Southern California for new graduates, the details related to specialized skills may be limited. Nursing jobs in Southern California for students who have recently graduated focus on support roles as well as entry-level positions with training. New grad nursing jobs in Southern California may offer the first steps into nurse practitioner jobs in Southern California for professionals who decide to pursue a higher level of education and training.

How Much Does a Nurse Make in Los Angeles?

The nurse salary in Los Angeles may vary based on a nurse’s experience, specialized skills, and level of education. The median registered nurse salary in Los Angeles is around $101,000 per year. Although the median income is relatively high, the average nurse salary in Los Angeles may vary widely based on the facility, level of experience, and related details. Nurse practitioner salary in Los Angeles is higher than the average salary of a registered nurse. As a general rule, the nurse practitioner salary in Southern California is comparable to other highly skilled and specialized nursing professionals.

Nurses should evaluate salary potential based on the type of nursing they intend to engage in during their work as well as their experience and education. Medical facilities may offer packages using an hourly wage rather than a salary, so it will be necessary to clarify the details of a benefits and salary package when looking into career options.

Is the California State University System Good for Nursing?

When looking for the best CSU for nursing, you want to consider the variations and differences between schools. The best CSU schools for nursing depend on your situation and goals. If you are living close to a specific school, then it may be a good choice for your situation. The best Cal States for nursing may also differ based on your level of education. Which CSU has the best nursing program? It varies based on your situation. If you’re planning to obtain a bachelor’s degree, then you can find different programs to fit your goals. A master’s degree may have further limitations due to the greater level of specialized skills. For students who are looking into programs for a doctorate in nursing, some limitations may impact the best school for their goals.

The best school of nursing in the California State University system varies based on the needs of the student. As a rule, you want to clarify your goals, set a budget, and determine the best location based on your situation. In some cases, you will find that the best option is near Los Angeles because it is a convenient location, it fits your budget, or it offers the specialized training that is most appropriate for your goals in a career. By comparing your options, you can feel confident that you find the right program.

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