The nursing field is an exciting profession with plenty of job opportunities and room for growth. There are a number of schooling options for aspiring nurses in the Oakland area, including three of the top accredited nursing schools in the state as ranked by Registered Nursing.

To get started in nursing or to advance your nursing career, check out our accredited program listings sections below:

Entry Level ADN, BSN, & MSN Programs in Oakland, CA

The first step toward a career in nursing for those who have just graduated from high school or college is an entry level nursing program. These programs are designed for those without any healthcare training and include Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs, Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs, and direct-entry Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs.

ADN Programs

An ADN program provides students with a baseline knowledge of nursing and an associate’s degree to get them ready for their first professional job. Merritt College offers a two-year ADN program that prepares nurses for entry level nursing jobs as well as to take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

Direct-Entry BSN Programs

Direct-entry BSN programs are designed for students who have graduated from high school or, in some cases, have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. Holy Names University offers a BSN program that can be completed in three academic years and two summers, and will prepare nurses for jobs in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, community clinics, long-term care facilities, home healthcare, and community health agencies.

Find out more about California Accelerated BSN Programs

Direct-Entry MSN Programs

For aspiring nurses who have completed their bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing subject, a direct-entry MSN program allows students to complete their MSN and begin a career in nursing without first earning the ADN or BSN degrees. One example of a direct-entry MSN program is the direct-entry nursing program at San Francisco State University, which offers concentrations in nursing administration, public/community health and the clinical nurse specialist role.

Find out more about California Accelerated MSN Programs

Oakland RN Program NCLEX-RN Pass Rates

NCLEX-RN Students Total1,32810,295
NCLEX-RN Students Passed1,2159,343
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate91.5%90.8%

Top Ranked Accredited Nursing Programs in Oakland

Listed below are the top nursing schools in Oakland based on our RN program rankings for California out of 126 other accredited programs offered in the state:

  • Chabot College - #3
  • Merritt College - #20
  • University of California, San Francisco - #25
SchoolContact Information
California State University, East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd
Hayward, CA 94542
(510) 885-3000
Chabot College
25555 Hesperian Blvd
Hayward, CA 94545
(510) 723-6600
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 239-3000
College of San Mateo
1700 W Hillsdale Blvd
San Mateo, CA 94402
(650) 574-6161
Contra Costa College
2600 Mission Bell Dr
San Pablo, CA 94806
(510) 235-7800
Merritt College
  • ADN Campus
  • Top Ranked California Program: #20 of 126
12500 Campus Dr
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 531-4911
Samuel Merritt University
3100 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 869-6511
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, Burk Hall 371 B
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 338-6850
University of California, San Francisco
505 Parnassus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94143
(415) 476-3105
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-5555

RN to BSN/MSN Programs in Oakland, CA

If you are already a working RN and wish to complete your BSN or Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN), an RN to BSN or RN to MSN program might be the right choice. Also known as “bridge programs” these RN to BSN/MSN programs are specially designed to add onto the RN’s existing ADN education and provide a higher degree in less time than a direct-entry BSN or traditional MSN program.

RN to BSN Programs

RN to BSN programs generally take around two years to complete, but completion time may be shorter or longer depending on the school and whether a student takes courses on a full- or part-time basis. San Francisco State University’s RN to BSN program provides credit for previous nursing coursework and flexible class schedules to accommodate working students.

Learn more about California RN to BSN Programs

RN to MSN Programs

RN to MSN programs offer nurses with an ADN an accelerated pathway to a master’s degree and prepares students for careers in nurse leadership. Touro University offers an RN to MSN program that meets one night per week and one Sunday per month in person, and the rest of the program is delivered online.

Learn more about California RN to MSN Programs

SchoolContact Information
Holy Names University
3500 Mountain Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 436-1305
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue - Burk Hall 357
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 338-1802

APRN & Nurse Practitioner Programs in Oakland, CA

Registered nurses who are interested in pursuing leadership positions in nursing may want to consider an advanced practice nursing degree program. These programs, which include traditional MSN programs, post-master’s certificate programs, and doctoral programs, prepare nurses for exciting, higher paying careers as nurse practitioners, administrators, educators and nurse leaders.

MSN Programs

The Master of Science in Nursing degree prepares nurses for advanced practice nursing careers, and often offer the opportunity for specialization in a particular field of nursing such as pediatric nursing, women’s health, family medicine or mental health nursing. Samuel Merritt University offers a variety of master’s-level nursing programs, including family nurse practitioner, case management, and nurse anesthesia programs.

Learn more about California Nurse Practitioner Programs

Post-Master’s Certificate Programs

Post-master’s certificate programs are an excellent way for master’s-level nurses to change career paths and enter a new specialty within the nursing profession. San Francisco State University offers a family nurse practitioner certificate program that is designed to prepare master’s and doctoral-level nurses for the Family Nurse Practitioner Certification exam and careers as FNPs.

Learn more about Post-Graduate Certificate Programs

DNP & Ph.D. Programs

Doctorate-level study is the highest level of education available to nurses, and schools in the Oakland area offer DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program options. The DNP program at the University of San Francisco, as an example, includes 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice, preparation for the DNP qualifying examination and an evidence-based practice project. The Ph.D. in Nursing program at the University of California San Francisco includes coursework in nursing science, research, and theory development.

Learn more about California DNP Programs

SchoolContact Information
Samuel Merritt University
3100 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
(180) 060-7637 x7
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue - Burk Hall 357
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 338-1802
University of California San Francisco
2 Koret Way
San Francisco, CA 94143
(415) 476-1435
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-5555