Top BSN to MSN Programs in California – Online & Campus

Study BSN to MSN Programs in California

If you are ready to expand your responsibilities at work while making more money, a BSN to MSN program can help you achieve your goals.

Many MSN programs are offered in California, and a large percentage of them are online. This enables you to get your master’s degree in nursing while having minimal impact on your daily life. You can likely continue to work as an RN while simultaneously getting your master’s degree.

Better still, the knowledge and skills you acquire in your MSN program enable you to provide improved patient care. You can also specialize, which typically means more money in your pocket and broader job prospects.

Let’s look at few best BSN to MSN programs California offers:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science (MSN) Programs in California

The University of Southern California (USC)

The University of Southern California is one of the best-known universities in the state. It’s also one of the most respected universities in the nation. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranks it 25th among national universities.

USC is also a very large school with approximately 50,000 students taking classes on campus and online. The University hasn’t always been that large, though. When it was founded in 1880, Los Angeles was just being developed. USC’s first incoming class had just over 53 students. Needless to say, the school has come a long way in the last 140+ years.

In addition to a robust online nursing program, USC offers other health-related degrees. For example, you can major in public health, pain medicine, gerontology, and pharmacy, to name just a few.

MSN Program Information

The MSN program at the University of Southern California focuses on developing you as a family nurse practitioner. With specialized instruction in working with families, you will have the skills needed to work in a variety of settings, from private practice to community medical clinics.

This is a part-time or full-time program, depending on your needs. You will need about 33 months to complete the degree requirements if you study part-time. If you study full-time, you can shorten the time to graduate to just 21 months. In either case, you will learn skills related to the following:

  • Prescribing medications
  • Diagnosing medical problems
  • Interpreting X-rays and other tests
  • Educating patients about their health
  • Referring patients to other health professionals

Moreover, this program requires a clinical placement that’s designed to get you real-world experience working as a family nurse practitioner.

In addition to coursework and clinical placement, you must also attend two intensive campus courses in Los Angeles. These intensive courses revolve around skills exercises and assessments to gauge your understanding of nursing practice.

The University of San Francisco (USF)

The University of San Francisco is a private Jesuit school near the Golden Gate Bridge. Its location offers easy access to cultural and recreational amenities throughout the Bay Area.

USF has five academic schools where you can focus your studies on nursing or a wealth of other areas. This includes:

  • Law
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Education
  • Management

The University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate programs to help you make a positive difference in our nation’s healthcare system.

Likewise, USF’s Nursing and Health Sciences programs are well-regarded, with US News & World Report ranking the undergraduate nursing program in the top six percent in the nation. The Master of Public Health option ranks 41st in the country.

What’s common to all of USF’s programs is that courses are taught by highly trained, caring professors that strive to make your educational experience as best as possible. Add in small class sizes, and you have a great combination for your academic future.

MSN Program Information

At the University of San Francisco, you can pursue a 100 percent online MSN that gives you the flexibility you need to attend school while still working. Classes are asynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled class meetings you must attend. Instead, this is more of a work-at-your-own-pace program.

This isn’t just a BSN to MSN program. Instead, you can enroll if you have an associate’s degree and an RN license that’s in good standing.

This degree requires that you complete 33 credits of coursework for the BSN to MSN (if you have an associate’s degree, you must complete 38 credits). You can complete these credits in two years if you attend school full-time.

To help you succeed in these studies, your professors will have office hours, during which you can consult with them about your academic progress. These one-on-one meetings will prove invaluable as you progress through the program.

This program also requires a 400-hour practicum. The University of San Francisco allows you to complete your practicum hours at your place of work. Alternatively, the University will help you find a location near where you live to complete your practicum hours.

California Southern University

California Southern University is an institutionally-accredited school that focuses on online learning. It’s one of just a handful of universities with this type of online learning accreditation.

While CalSouthern’s programs are online, you still get individualized attention from your professors. One of the hallmark features of this school is that you get one-on-one mentorship to help guide you through your program of study. And since this University’s programs focus on evidence-based education, you will graduate with relevant skills to help you achieve your career goals.

CalSouthern began offering distance education in the late 1970s. Since then, it’s perfected the delivery of courses to students around the world. You can also pursue all kinds of degrees with options in education, business, criminal justice, behavioral health, and nursing.

MSN Program Information

The Master of Science in Nursing program at California Southern University focuses on two areas of nursing: building stronger theoretical understanding and promoting the growth of evidence-based practice.

You will gain these skills as you progress through the 36-credit program. You will take classes that include:

  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Ethics, Policy, and Finance in the Healthcare System
  • Advanced Pathopharmacology
  • Research and Analytic Approaches to Advanced Evidence-Based Practice

Additionally, you must complete an MSN capstone project that focuses on a critical nursing issue of your choice. A capstone project aims to help you integrate what you’ve learned in your classes into real-world applications in nursing.

This program from California Southern University also offers several specialties. You can choose from nurse educator, healthcare administration, or executive leader tracks.

You can complete this program in two years as a full-time student. CalSouthern allows you to transfer six credits, which can help you reduce the overall expense of your degree and might reduce the timeline to graduation by as much as a semester.

This program is affordable, too. The tuition rate of $545 is far lower than graduate tuition rates for many other schools in California. If you are a first responder, you can save even more with the 15 percent discount offered by CalSouthern.

The University of California at Davis

The University of California at Davis is a large, co-ed, public university that grants bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a wide range of academic fields. There are more than 100 undergraduate majors and more than 100 graduate programs that give you the choice you need to find the right program for you.

One of the reasons why UC Davis is an excellent school for nursing and other medical-related studies is that the school’s health system serves 30,000 patients each year. The teaching hospital gives you a place to put your learning into practice with access to experienced medical professionals who can help you elevate your knowledge and skills.

UC Davis isn’t just about academics, though. It’s home to “Picnic Day,” which is the largest student-run event in the nation, and has special programs like “Fluffy Therapy,” which brings dogs on campus during finals week to help students cope with stress.

MSN Program Information

You can earn your Master of Science in Nursing at the University of California at Davis in about 18 months. In addition to typical nursing coursework, you will also explore the roles of education, research, technology, and leadership in providing quality nursing services to patients of all kinds.

Coursework covers topics related to:

  • Foundations of Pharmacology
  • Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Determinants of Health
  • Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
  • Psychosocial Wellness and Illness
  • Family Focused Nursing

This full-time program requires you to attend courses Monday-Friday at the UC Davis campus in Sacramento. You must also complete the required clinical experiences, which often occur at night and on weekends.

Throughout your tenure in this program, you will have opportunities for collaborative practice with your classmates. For example, you will take part in experiential learning activities that help you integrate classroom learning with skill-building for real-world application. You will do this through group work in case studies, role-playing, and practice simulations.

Upon graduation from this program, you will be prepared to take the NCLEX for RNs. Nearly ninety percent of UC Davis’ graduates pass the NCLEX. Likewise, you will be eligible to pursue certification in Public Health Nursing.

Work Opportunities in California

As the most populous state in the nation, it stands to reason that California has many work opportunities for nurses. Whether you want to work in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or a school, you will find job prospects aplenty throughout the Golden State. You can also pursue employment in home health, emergency services, or psychiatric hospitals, to name a few.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), California has the highest number of employed nurses, at nearly 325,000. Moreover, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area is second in the nation regarding the highest employment of nurses in cities, with almost 114,000 nurses in the LA area alone.

Working as a nurse in California has financial benefits as well. The BLS reports that the top 10 paying cities for nurses are all in California. What’s more, with steady job growth predicted for the next decade, you can graduate with your MSN with theexpectation that you will be able to find employment and find it quickly.

Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved. Program outcomes vary according to each institution's curriculum and job opportunities are not guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional help.