Which Schools Have RN Programs in Northern CA?

Find out which northern California schools offer registered nursing programs. See requirements, prerequisites and school information, and learn about the job prospects for RNs in northern California. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Students interested in registered nursing (RN) programs in northern California may elect to earn an associate's or a bachelor's degree in the field. Regardless of the degree earned, in order to become licensed, all nursing graduates must pass the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-RN) in order to qualify for employment. Those holding a bachelor's degree in nursing may have additional job opportunities available to them; some positions require a baccalaureate degree. Nursing programs in northern California are offered by 4-year, private and public schools.


Associate of Science in Nursing Degree Programs in Northern California

Pacific Union College

  • Program Name: Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Program Length: About 2 years, depending on course load
  • Tuition: About $25,700 per year for 2012-2013
  • Prerequisites: 'C' or higher in Algebra II, chemistry or physics, English, anatomy or physiology and introduction to nursing
  • Requirements: CPR certification, physical examination, immunizations, background check and drug screening
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; approximately 1,500 undergraduate students
  • Address: 1 Angwin Avenue, Angwin, CA 94508
  • Phone: (707) 965-7262

Pacific Union College offers an associate's degree program in nursing for traditional students at the Angwin main campus. At Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, it also offers a program for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) who want to become RNs. Courses include pharmacology, mother-child nursing, mental health nursing and nutrition. You'll reinforce what you've learned in the classroom with clinical experience at local health care facilities.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Programs in Northern California

California State University-Chico

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Program Length: 5 semesters, full-time
  • Tuition: About $7,400 per year for California residents for 2012-2013; non-residents pay an additional $372 per credit hour
  • Prerequisites: Courses in anatomy, microbiology, physiology and chemistry with labs, oral communications, English, statistics and critical thinking
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 15,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 grad students
  • Address: Holt Hall, Room 369, Chico, CA 95929
  • Phone: (530) 898-5891

California State University at Chico offers 2 programs that lead to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Working RNs with diplomas or associate's degrees can take online courses to earn their BSN degrees. There is also a program for students with no prior nursing education, and LVNs can also apply for advanced placement into this program. Admission to this program is very competitive - only 40 students are accepted each spring and fall, and California non-residents are only accepted if slots cannot be filled by eligible state residents. Applicants must have completed at least 4 of the 8 program prerequisite courses when they apply, and the remaining courses must be in progress. Students learn the fundamentals of nursing through classroom lessons, clinical experience and practice at the Rural Northern California Clinical Simulation Center.

Pacific Union College

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Program Length: About 1-2 years, depending on prior coursework and course load
  • Tuition: About $25,700 per year or just over $8,500 per quarter (2012-2013)
  • Admission Requirements: Associate's degree in nursing and junior class standing
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; about 1,500 undergraduate students
  • Address: 1 Angwin Avenue, Angwin, CA 94508
  • Phone: (707) 965-7262

Pacific Union College offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program designed for RNs who have already completed an associate's degree program in nursing. You'll explore community health care and complete a practicum in a community health facility. The program will also introduce you to research methods, and you'll examine health care management practices. An independent project is required for graduation.

Samuel Merritt University

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Program Length: 4 semesters for the traditional program and 1 year for the accelerated program
  • Tuition: About $39,500 per year for full-time traditional students or almost $60,500 total for the accelerated 1-year program (2012-2013)
  • Prerequisites: Several science courses with lab, as well as general education courses in areas like social science and history
  • Requirements: At least 66 credit hours of transferable coursework, a GPA of 3.0 overall and 2.5 or higher in science classes, CPR certification and a writing sample
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; approximately 600 undergraduates and 800 grad students
  • Address: 3100 Summit Street, Oakland, CA 94609
  • Phone: (510) 869-6511, Ext. 3765

Samuel Merritt University offers 2 BSN program options. The traditional program is for students who have completed the program's general education and science prerequisites at a partner university, and the accelerated program is for applicants who already hold a bachelor's degree in another subject. The traditional program is only offered at Samuel Merritt University's Oakland campus, while the accelerated program is available in Sacramento, San Mateo and San Francisco, as well.

Simpson University

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Program Length: At least 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition: $22,400 per year, full-time (2012-2013)
  • Prerequisites: Grade of 'C' or better in science, math and communication courses
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; approximately 1,000 undergraduates and 200 grad students
  • Address: 2211 College View Drive, Redding, CA 96003
  • Phone: (530) 224-5600

At Simpson University, pre-nursing students typically take 3 semesters of nursing prerequisites and general education courses before applying for admission to the nursing program. The school reports that 27 students are accepted into the program every January, and after you're accepted, it usually takes about 5 semesters to graduate. The program includes classes in pharmacology, obstetrics, nursing for adults, nutrition and mental health nursing. You'll study research methods and you must complete a senior project to graduate.


California RN Requirements

According to California's Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), there are several possible pathways to becoming an RN in the state. You can meet the education requirements by earning a diploma or an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited nursing program. The next step is to pass the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-RN) and complete a background check. After meeting these requirements, you can apply to obtain your nursing license from the BRN. However, you don't have to wait until you receive your exam results and official license to start working - California issues an interim permit to those who've graduated from an accredited nursing program and are awaiting their NCLEX-RN test results.

Job Outlook and Salary Info for RNs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of registered nurses nationwide is expected to grow by 26% from 2010-2020, which is faster than average for all occupations. California has the nation's largest number of registered nurses - over 250,000 RNs were practicing in the state as of May 2011. The BLS also noted that, at nearly $91,000, California RNs earned a higher mean annual salary than nurses in any other state as of May 2011. The national average salary was just over $69,000.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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