California is a large state with a vast array of healthcare needs. Registered nurses in the state are following the trend of higher education to meet these needs by way of a Master's of Science in Nursing degree. This graduate level degree allows RNs the chance to advance to more prestigious nursing careers with more responsibility and higher pay. With options for nurses who are starting out with an ADN or a BSN already under their belt, RN to MSN programs in California are paving the way for nurses to find gainful employment in high-level healthcare positions.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in California

Each school in the state will have its own varying admissions requirements, but most students find that they must meet or exceed the following in order to be eligible for consideration:

  • Valid RN license in the state of California
  • ADN or BSN from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • GRE Analytical Writing score of 4 or higher
  • Written goal statement/essay
  • Three professional references or recommendations

RN to MSN Courses

Most RN to MSN programs consist of core nursing courses along with specialized nursing courses that often correspond to a specific nursing concentration, such as family nurse practitioner or adult-geriatric nurse practitioner. In addition to this, there is often a clinical component that must be completed in order to graduate.

For example, core nursing courses offered as part of California State University Long Beach's MSN program include:

  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Health Care Economics
  • Human Diversity
  • Research Methods in Nursing

Online RN to MSN Programs in California

With time at a premium these days, it's no wonder that many busy RNs are turning to online nursing programs to complete their graduate degrees. Online learning typically allows the student to work at a pace convenient to them, and some opt for part-time study so that they can keep working. Most of these programs are run through the same schools that offer in-person MSN degrees, giving students access to the same professors and resources.

Featured Online School

The University of Southern California offers a completely online MSN program for those who have previously completed a BSN degree. The program is designed to give RNs comprehensive skills in advanced nursing practice with a solid foundation in social factors related to health. The USC MSN program offers the specialization of Family Nurse Practitioner, giving students advanced practice experience treating adults, children, and more.

Admissions and Program Length

MSN program lengths can vary due to how many credits a student requires to complete the degree. Students starting with an ADN will usually take longer to complete an MSN than those who carry a BSN degree. Full-time and part-time study will also make a significant difference. San Francisco State University's entry-level MSN program can be completed in roughly 6 semesters of full-time study, while their BSN to MSN program is designed to be completed in 4 semesters.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

MSN program costs can run the gamut between affordable and expensive, depending on the school. Aside from tuition, students must cover course materials, equipment, and any necessary travel. Luckily, financial aid options abound for qualified students. As an example on cost, the MSN program at the University of Southern California costs roughly $84,917 under current tuition rates, which are $1,733 per credit.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in California

Completion of a graduate degree in nursing can lead to exciting, rewarding careers in a variety of nursing specialties. Some of the nursing careers that require an MSN include:

  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Consultant

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

While costs are incurred to obtain an MSN degree, many nurses are happy to find that the higher salaries they end up with more than makes up for it. For example, an RN with a graduate degree in California earns approximately $110,365 annually. A general registered nurse in Los Angeles, CA, earns an average annual salary of $68,058. With a difference like this, it's easy to see the value in a graduate degree in nursing.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

Becoming a specialized nurse such as in oncology, private practice sector, patient education, etc. can all be career aspirations if you were to obtain your MSN degree. Within the state of California there are more than 10 different colleges offering RN to MSN programs that can be taken traditionally, online or a blend of both options. Becoming an MSN nurse does not have to mean giving up your current employment, with all kinds of schooling options you can have the best of both worlds.

ProgramWebsite
California State University-Dominguez Hills
Campus
Department of Nursing
1000 E Victoria St
Carson, 90747
California State University-Fullerton
School of Nursing
800 N State College Blvd
Fullerton, 92831
California State University-Stanislaus
Campus
School of Nursing
1 University Cir
Turlock, 95832
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing
1748 East 118th Street
Los Angeles, 90059
(323) 568-3304
Holy Names University
Department of Nursing
3500 Mountain Boulevard
Oakland, 94619-9989
(510) 436-1305
Point Loma Nazarene University
School of Nursing
3900 Lomaland Drive
San Diego, 92106-2899
(619) 849-2766
San Diego State University
School of Nursing
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, 92182-4158
(619) 594-2540
Touro University California
School of Nursing
1310 Club Dr
Vallejo, 94592
University of San Francisco
School of Nursing & Health Professions
2130 Fulton Street, Cowell 102
San Francisco, 94117-1080
(415) 422-2959
Vanguard University of Southern California
55 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, 92626-9601
(714) 668-6101
West Coast University
College of Nursing
151 Innovation Drive
Irvine, 92617-3040
(949) 783-4814
Western University of Health Sciences
College of Graduate Nursing
309 East Second Street, College Plaza
Pomona, 91766-1854
(909) 469-5523