The golden state of California is an excellent place for registered nurses (RNs) to advance their education through an RN to BSN program. With an aging population, hospitals and other care facilities in the state are interested in hiring highly educated nurses who hold a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) or higher. If you are a registered nurse and looking to advance your career, there's no better time to consider an RN to BSN program.

2024 - Best Online RN to BSN Programs in California

With a greater earning potential and increased employment opportunities, many ADN-educated RNs in California are opting for RN to BSN bridge programs to earn their baccalaureate degree in nursing. With so many online options in the state, choosing the right program can seem daunting. That's why we have ranked the top online RN to BSN programs in California. Peruse our rankings below to find the perfect fit for you, and take the first step toward advancing your nursing career.

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California State University - Fullerton

Fullerton, CA

California State University – Fullerton offers an online and on-campus RN to BSN bridge program for students who are serious about advancing their nursing careers. The non-impacted nursing program is accessible to all who meet admissions criteria.

• Direct transfer roadmaps for community college students.
• Labs and clinicals must be completed in person in surrounding counties.
• Students must complete 24 nursing and 6 gen ed units.


Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, CA

As more healthcare employers prefer to hire RNs with bachelor's degrees, Azusa Pacific University in California is offering a fast-paced RN to BSN fully online. The degree completion option is situated for working nurses seeking career advancement or further job security.

• Community college grads may receive a discount
• Class cohorts tend to stay and graduate together
• Designated a military-friendly college


California Baptist University

Riverside, CA

Based in Riverside, California Baptist University offers a 100% online RN to BSN program that allows rapid degree completion. The top-ranked nursing program enables clinicals at area hospitals to optimally prepare students for a range of nursing settings.

  • The online bridge program can be completed in 12-16 months.
  • Admission occurs three times per year.
  • A faith-based nursing program that is locally and nationally recognized.

Simpson University

Redding, CA

Catering to the career and scheduling needs of working RNs, Simpson University in Redding, CA offers an accelerated RN to BSN. The hybrid program enables students to expand their current nursing knowledge and gain skills they can apply right away.

  • Complete in-person and online classes.
  • Sequential classes are offered one at a time.
  • Courses are 5-weeks in length.

Pacific College

Costa Mesa, CA

Launched for the sole purpose of training students for in-demand careers, Pacific College located in California, offers an online RN to BSN degree completion program. The top-rated program prepares graduates for leadership or administrative roles while building upon their existing nursing capabilities.

  • Career-focused for working RNs.
  • Can be completed in one and a half years.
  • ASN transfer credits may be accepted.

Admissions Requirements for California RN to BSN Programs

Once you narrow down the schools you are interested in applying to, you must ensure that you meet (or exceed) all the entrance requirements. These will vary depending on the school, but in general, you can expect to find the following:

  • Must hold an active CA registered nursing license
  • Must have graduated from a board-approved/accredited school of nursing
  • Cumulative GPA from an Associate's Degree in Nursing program of at least 2.5

RN to BSN Classes & Courses

Once students meet the general education requirements for the program, they will begin the nursing-specific courses. Fresno State University's RN to BSN program, for example, offers the following nursing courses:

  • NURS 138: Bridge to Professional Nursing Concepts and Issues
  • NURS 145: Nursing Theories and Research
  • NURS 152: Advanced Leadership, Management, & Healthcare Systems
  • NURS 154: Applying Professional Nursing Principles

Online RN to BSN Programs in California

Online RN to BSN programs have exploded in popularity due to their flexibility, allowing employed RNs to complete their BSN continuation while working simultaneously. Since many in-person programs in the state are impacted, meaning that there are more applications than spots available in the program, online versions have even more appeal.

Admissions and Program Length

While some general education courses are required for the RN to BSN program, most students are able to have some prior courses credited towards the completion program. Approximately 120 total units are required to graduate, with roughly 30 of those units from nursing major coursework. Many students can complete the required courses in as little as 14 months. Admission dates can vary, with online programs typically offering more start dates throughout the academic year.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

Because tuition costs and fees can vary so wildly between programs, it's recommended to thoroughly compare schools before settling on one. As an example, tuition for the RN to BSN program at California State University Fullerton is approximately $11,000-$13,000 for the campus-based program and $14,000-$17,000 for the distance-based version.

Does an RN to BSN Increase My Salary?

Many nurses who complete an RN to BSN program report that the increased earnings make up for the cost of the program. Whether it's achieving a higher-level nursing job, being able to work up the ranks faster, or entering a specialty like pediatrics or surgery, the possibilities are nearly endless for RNs with advanced education.

RN to BSN Salary Comparison in California

Salaries for RNs in California have a very wide range. For example, Payscale reports that nurses in Los Angeles, CA make an hourly wage of anywhere from $31-$59. Nurses wanting to edge up to the top of that scale will need to further their education, and an RN to BSN program is one of the easiest ways to do so.

2024 List of RN to BSN Programs in California

Streamlining the RN to BSN process has become the top focus of the healthcare field in California. To support the forward movement, there are around 35 different RN to BSN programs being offered throughout the state. Nurses in California will be able to make the transition to a degree program and take advantage of the benefits associated with having higher credentials. BSN nurses in the state look to earn on average $18,000 more yearly than an ADN colleague. Opportunities for career advancement at higher wages are awaiting qualified BSN nurses!

Find RN to BSN Programs By City:

Angwin, CA

Nursing and Health Sciences
One Angwin Avenue
Angwin, CA 94508

Azusa, CA

School of Nursing
901 E. Alosta Ave, PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
(626) 815-5384

Bakersfield, CA

Department of Nursing
9001 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, CA 93311-1099
(661) 654-3110

333 Palmer Dr. Suite 200
Bakersfield, CA 93309
(888) 912-8512

Camarillo, CA

One University Drive
Camarillo, CA 93012-8599
(805) 437-3150

Chico, CA

School of Nursing
400 West First Street, Trinity 121
Chico, CA 95929-0200
(530) 898-5891

Online/Campus Hybrid Instruction

Costa Mesa, CA

3160 Red Hill Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 662-4402

Nursing department
55 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626-9601
(714) 668-6101

Fremont, CA

School of Nursing and Allied Health
4670 Auto Mall Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 492-3381

Fresno, CA

School of Nursing
2345 East San Ramon Avenue, M/S MH25
Fresno, CA 93740-8031
(559) 278-6697

Degree completion
1717 South Chestnut Avenue
Fresno, CA 93702
(559) 573-7832

Fullerton, CA

School of Nursing
800 North State College Boulevard
Fullerton, CA 92831
(657) 278-7927

Hayward, CA

Department of Nursing & Heath Sciences
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard
Hayward, CA 94542-3086
(510) 885-3481

Online/Campus Hybrid Instruction

Irvine, CA

Marybelle and S. Paul Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions
16355 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 341-9940

Nursing program
2041 Business Center Drive, Suite 107
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 794-9090

Nursing program
151 Innovation Drive
Irvine, CA 92617-3040
(949) 783-4814

Loma Linda, CA

School of Nursing
11262 Campus Street, West Hall
Loma Linda, CA 92350-0001
(909) 558-4517

Los Angeles, CA

School of Nursing
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032
(323) 343-4719

Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing
1731 E. 120th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90059
(323) 568-3304

Nursing Department
12001 Chalon Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1599

Marina, CA

Department of Nursing
5108 Fourth Avenue
Marina, CA 93933
(831) 582-3000

Northridge, CA

Department of Nursing
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330
(818) 677-2494

Redding, CA

School of Nursing
2211 College View Drive
Redding, CA 96003
(530) 226-4529

Online/Campus Hybrid Instruction

Riverside, CA

School of Nursing
8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504-3297
(951) 343-4700

Sacramento, CA

School of Nursing
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6096
(916) 278-7543

San Bernardino, CA

Department of Nursing
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA 92407-2318
(909) 537-3394

Online/Campus Hybrid Instruction

San Diego, CA

School of Nursing
3900 Lomaland Drive
San Diego, CA 92106-2899
(619) 849-2766

Online/Campus Hybrid Instruction

School of Nursing
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
(619) 594-2540

College of Nursing and Health Sciences
7675 Mission Valley Road
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 876-4250

San Francisco, CA

College of Health & Social Sciences
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 338-6850

San Jose, CA

The Valley Foundation School of Nursing
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0057
(408) 924-3159

San Marcos, CA

School of Nursing
333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road
San Marcos, CA 92096
(760) 750-7553

Turlock, CA

School of Nursing
One University Circle
Turlock, CA 95382
(209) 667-3142

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