Demand for skilled nurses across the country is very high and expected to grow at a faster rate than other occupations over the next several years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The San Jose area is an excellent location to embark upon this exciting career path. In fact, the San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara area is among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the country with the highest salaries for registered nurses, with an average annual salary of $140,740 - which is significantly higher than the national average salary. If you are interested in becoming a registered nurse, there are a number of entry-level programs in the San Jose area to choose from, as well as programs designed for working nurses who want to earn a higher degree.

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

Entry-Level ADN & BSN Programs in San Jose, CA

For individuals who are new to the nursing profession, or for licensed practical nurses who wish to become registered nurses, the first step in becoming an RN is an entry-level training program. In the San Jose area, the options for these programs include Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs and LVN to RN programs that help practical nurses become RNs.

LVN to RN Programs

Many practical/vocational nurses decide to pursue licensing as RNs in order to earn a higher salary and take on additional patient care responsibilities. LVN to RN programs are specifically designed with these vocational nurses in mind and build on their previous coursework and professional experience. The College of San Mateo offers an LVN to RN program option in which vocational nurses with a valid license may enter their associate’s degree program in the second year and will be prepared to take the NCLEX licensing exam upon graduation.

ADN Programs

ADN programs are generally two-year programs that prepare students to take the NCLEX licensing exam and for their first jobs as registered nurses. This is considered the most basic registered nursing degree type. Chabot College offers an ADN program that is completed in four consecutive semesters excluding summers.

Direct-Entry BSN Programs

BSN programs are another option for entry-level nursing programs. BSN programs also prepare students for the NCLEX licensing exam, but also provide additional coursework in liberal arts as well as more advanced nursing courses. Cal State East Bay offers a BSN program that can be completed in two and a half years and offers lecture courses in-person or in a hybrid online/in-person format.

Find out more about California Accelerated BSN Programs

San Jose RN Program NCLEX-RN Pass Rates

 San JoseCalifornia
NCLEX-RN Students Total61910,473
NCLEX-RN Students Passed5629,619
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate90.7%91.8%

Top Ranked Accredited Nursing Programs in San Jose

Listed below are the top nursing schools in San Jose based on our RN program rankings for California out of 129 other accredited programs offered in the state:

  • Chabot College - #1
  • De Anza College - #38
  • Evergreen Valley College - #44
  • Ohlone College - #42
SchoolContact Information
Cabrillo College
6500 Soquel Dr
Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 479-6100
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
College of San Mateo
1700 W Hillsdale Blvd
San Mateo, CA 94402
(650) 574-6161
De Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 864-5300
Evergreen Valley College
3095 Yerba Buena Rd
San Jose, CA 95135
(408) 274-7900
Gavilan College
5055 Santa Teresa Blvd
Gilroy, CA 95020
(408) 848-4800
Mission College
3000 Mission College Boulevard
Santa Clara, CA 95054
(408) 855-5083
Ohlone College
  • ADN Campus
  • Top Ranked California Program: #42 of 129
43600 Mission Blvd
Fremont, CA 94539
(510) 659-6000
San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 924-3131
Unitek College
4670 Auto Mall Pkwy
Fremont, CA 94538
(888) 775-1514

RN to BSN Programs in San Jose, CA

Registered nurses with their bachelor’s degree or higher earn higher salaries than their counterparts who have their associate’s degrees, so many ADN-educated nurses decide to return to school to pursue a higher degree. RN to BSN “bridge” programs provide a pathway for these nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree.

RN to BSN Programs

In the San Jose area, Unitek College offers an RN to BSN program that helps nurses with their ADN earn their BSN in 12 months of online study. There are additional schools outside of the San Jose area that offer online RN to BSN programs available to students in San Jose. Many students appreciate the flexibility of these online programs, as they often allow them to continue working while they pursue the bridge program.

Find out more about California RN to BSN Programs

SchoolContact Information
California State University, East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard
Hayward, CA 94542
(510) 885-3000
Unitek College - Fremont
4670 Auto Mall Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 492-3381

APRN & Nurse Practitioner Programs in San Jose, CA

If you are an RN who wants to become a nurse practitioner, secure a leadership position or pursue a career as a nurse educator or clinical nurse leader, an advanced practice nursing degree may be the next step. San Jose State University offers a traditional Master of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

MSN Programs

MSN programs prepare nurses who have earned their bachelor’s degrees for advanced practice nursing careers. Most MSN programs allow students to concentrate their studies along a particular career track, and prepare them for the applicable certification exam. San Jose State University, for example, offers an MSN program that prepares students for careers as nurse practitioners or nurse educators.

Find out more about California Nurse Practitioner Programs

DNP Programs

Nurses may also choose to pursue a doctorate degree in nursing, which is the highest level of education available to nurses. DNP programs, such as the one offered at San Jose State University, prepare nurses to shape the future of nursing, improve patient outcomes and secure top leadership positions following graduation.

Find out more about California DNP Programs

SchoolContact Information
California State University-East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd
Hayward, CA 94542
(510) 885-3000
San Jose State University
MSN ProgramsDNP Programs
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192
(408) 924-1000

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