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Private Nursing Schools in California with Program Information

There are 69 private schools in California that offer nursing programs. Read an overview of ten of these programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is right for you.

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Private Nursing Schools in California

Registered nurses (RNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) must be licensed to work in California. The Board of Registered Nursing is responsible for licensing RNs and LVNs in the state. To earn licensure for either position, an individual must complete an approved education program and pass an exam.

There are 69 private schools in California that offer nursing degree programs. Of these 69, 25 are non-profit schools. This article discusses the ten largest private non-profit schools offering nursing degree programs in California.

The majority of the schools in this article offer a number of nursing degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This article focuses on the most basic of the programs offered. Therefore, some schools may offer specialized nursing degree or certificate programs that are not identified in this article.

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University is located in Azusa and enrolls about 10,000 students. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program that includes 68 credits of study in the major and takes four years to complete. Coursework in the program covers topics such as nursing care of adults and the elderly, mental health nursing and nursing research. Individuals with RN or LVN certification may be admitted to this program in a BSN-completion program format. A 2+2 program is also available for students who have completed 60 credits of college-level study.

The university also offers an entry-level Master of Science in Nursing program for individuals who possess a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing. This program consists of a minimum of 107 credits of study and takes between three and four years to complete. Classes in the program cover topics like pathophysiology, pharmacology and health assessments.

Students may also attend one of the school's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs or its Post-Master's Credential program. MSN students must also select an area of specialization, the options for which include family nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist.

The school also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. This research-based program takes about four years to complete. Students in the program may concentrate their studies on international health or health of the family and community.

A Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program is also available. This program, which is designed to prepare nurses for advanced nursing practice, requires completion of 39 units of study.

Biola University

This university is located in La Mirada and enrolls approximately 6,000 students. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing that requires 141 credits of study. Classes in this program cover topics like nursing assessment, critical care nursing and human anatomy. Individuals with a RN license or a LVN license may transfer into this program.

Brandman University

This university, which enrolls about 7,000 students, is located in Irvine. The school offers a RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that is designed for RNs possessing an associate's degree. The program's lectures are delivered online, but students must attend two, 4-day sessions on campus. The program's curriculum also includes clinical experiences. Classes cover topics like spirituality in nursing, managing health care reform and understanding health issues.

The university also offers several Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. Areas of focus of these programs include neonatal nurse practitioner and adult-geriatric primary care nurse practitioner. Lectures in these programs are delivered online. In general, these programs require 73 credits of study and take three years to complete.

Additionally, Brandman offers a Post-Master's to Doctor of Nursing Practice program with specializations in family psychiatric and mental health or adult-geriatric acute care. These programs may include a residency and require that students write a dissertation. Admission to these programs is available to BSN- or MSN-holding individuals.

California Baptist University

Located in Riverside, this school enrolls about 5,000 students. The university offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing that requires 124 units of study. Classes in this program focus on subjects such as physical assessment, nutrition and nursing services for the childbearing family. The program's curriculum also includes several practicum experiences.

California Baptist University also offers a RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Classes in this program focus on subjects like pathophysiology and transcultural patterns of health. The program also includes several practicums and requires that students complete a capstone project.

The university also offers an entry-level Master of Science in Nursing Program designed for individuals with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. Classes in this 62-credit-hour program include adult health, pharmacology and community and public health nursing. The program's curriculum includes several practicums.

Fresno Pacific University

This university is located in the Fresno. It offers a RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that is designed for students who possess an associate's degree in nursing. This 18-month program includes classes in pharmacology, community health nursing and nursing research. Students in the program also complete practicums.

National University

National University is located in La Jolla and enrolls approximately 17,000 students. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Students may be admitted to this program on an accelerated basis, in the form of a RN completion program or in the form of a LVN to BSN completion program. Regardless of format, all students must complete 180 quarter units of study. Classes in the program cover topics like microbiology, human anatomy and the foundations of nursing.

The university also offers a Master of Science in Nursing program that requires 81 quarter units of study. Admission to this program requires possessing a BSN from an accredited institution. Classes in the program focus on topics like advanced practice nursing and community healthcare delivery. Students in the program may elect to specialize in forensic nursing, nursing administration or nursing informatics.

National University also offers graduate certificate programs in nursing anesthesia and nursing informatics and a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program. The school additionally offers a LVN to RN program.

Point Loma Nazarene University

This university, which enrolls about 3,000 students, is located in San Diego. The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that requires 128 semester units of study and takes about four years to complete. Students in this program may elect to pursue public health nursing certification. Coursework includes human anatomy, nursing individuals and human development. The program's curriculum also includes practicums.

The university also offers a Master of Science in Nursing. Students in this program may earn clinical nurse specialist options in pediatrics, psychiatric mental health, family/individual health or adult gerontology. Versions of this program are available to students entering with an associate's degree in nursing or a bachelor's degree in nursing. Regardless of type of program format, core courses in the program cover topics like advanced pharmacology and healthcare financial management.

Saint Mary's College of California

This college is located in Moraga. It offers a 2 + 2 Pre-Nursing Program in conjunction with Samuel Merritt University. Students in this program complete their first two years of study at Saint Mary's before transferring to Samuel Merritt for their last two years of study and to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Each year, ten students are guaranteed transfer admission to Samuel Merritt. Classes offered by Saint Mary's cover topics like human life span, communication for health care professionals and nutrition.

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego is located in San Diego and enrolls about 8,000 students. The university offers an entry-level Master of Science in Nursing program for non-RNs that requires 21 months of study. Classes in this program focus on topics like the fundamentals of nursing, pharmacology and care of populations. Students in the program also complete an internship.

The university also offers a Master of Science in Nursing program to students who have a BSN. Students in this program may elect to focus their students on one of seven areas of emphasis, the options for which include clinical nurse leader, family nurse practitioner and health care informatics. The MSN program is also available with options in Latino health care, mind-body-spirit health care and nursing education. Offered coursework in the MSN program covers topics like pathophysiology, pharmacology in health management and health care information management.

The school also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, the curriculum of which is designed to prepare nurses for academic or research careers. The program requires 48 units of study and requires that students write a dissertation. Classes in this program include theory development in nursing, perspectives on global health and health and illness among diverse populations.

Additionally, students may elect to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice. This program is designed to prepare students for leadership positions in nursing. Classes in the 34-unit program focus on subjects such as pathogenesis of complex disease and financial management in health care systems. Admission to this program is offered to bachelor's or master's degree-holding students.

University of San Francisco

Located in San Francisco, this school enrolls about 10,000 students. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing that requires 128 credit hours of study. Classes in this program cover topics like the essentials of pharmacology, nursing in the Jesuit tradition and community and mental health nursing. The program's curriculum includes labs and practicum experiences.

The school also offers a Master of Science in Nursing with a clinical nurse leader focus. Admission to this program is available to RNs, non-RNs and individuals with a BSN degrees. The program is available at multiple locations as well as in both online and in-person formats. Both program formats take about two years to complete.

A Doctor of Nursing Practice program is also available. This 4-year program is available on both a part- or full-time basis. Admission to this program is available to BSN and MSN degree-holding students. Specializations are available in areas such as family nurse practitioner and healthcare systems leadership.

School Information Table

School Name School Type & Setting Nursing Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)
Azusa Pacific University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Entry-level Master of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Post-Master's Credential,
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice
$31,076*
Biola University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Nursing $31,004*
Brandman University 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice,
Post-Master's to Doctor of Nursing Practice
$10,243*
California Baptist University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Entry-Level Master of Science in Nursing
$26,900*
Fresno Pacific University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing $25,336*
National University 4-year, private not-for-profit; rural fringe Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Graduate Certificate in Nursing Anesthesia,
Graduate Certificate in Nursing Informatics,
Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia,
LVN to RN program
$11,736*
Point Loma Nazarene University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing
$29,510*
Saint Mary's College of California 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb 2 + 2 Pre-Nursing Program $38,450*
University of San Diego 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Entry-Level Master of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice
$39,970*
University of San Francisco 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice
$38,884*

Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.

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