Menu

California RN to MSN / Masters in Nursing Programs
(found programs from 31 schools)

State Nursing Board: California State Board of Nursing

State Nurses Association: California Nurses Association


show all schools

At BestNursingDegree.com, we want to help you prepare for advanced roles in nursing by earning your master’s degree. That’s why we have taken the time to identify all of the nursing programs in California that offer Master’s in Nursing routes. From traditional programs to Direct Entry and RN to MSN programs, California nursing schools have many offerings to choose from. You can request information from multiple programs to make sure you choose the right one. Also, many students consider online MSN nursing programs in CA because it provides them with more flexibility, but a similar learning experience.

In 2005, Arnold Schwarzenegger, then governor of California, established the California Nurse Education Initiative to address the state's nursing shortage. The program provides funding for BSN and MSN programs, encourages California residents to consider careers in nursing, and awards scholarships to nurses who wish to advance their education. The effort seems to be working. MSN enrollment is up at both the University of California – Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the number of nurse practitioners in the state more than doubled between 2004 and 2008.

The state continues to need more nurse educators and advanced practice nurses, though. Nurse educators are essential to keep up the supply of new nurses; advanced practice nurses are an important part of the primary care system in California, the nation's most populous state.

The California Student Aid Commission provides loan assistance for nurses who go back to school to become nursing instructors. Also, the state will forgive a large portion of student loans for MSN students who agree to serve as full-time faculty members at an eligible state school of nursing for a set time period after graduation.

Advanced practice nurses, including nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists, are required to have a master's degree in the state of California. According to the Center for Health Professions, the use of advanced practice nurses – especially nurse practitioners – as primary care nurses is on the rise. Demand continues to be strong making now a great time to see what graduate nursing programs in California might interest you. Earning your MSN can prepare you for several different areas of practice and sets you apart as a leader within the nursing profession.

Curriculum of Masters Degrees in Nursing Programs

The world of healthcare is changing rapidly and a California Master's degree in nursing provides the education that allows you to advance in numerous fields, practicing a new and expanded type of patient care. Advanced nursing practice can allow you to work as a nurse practitioner, mid-wife, clinical specialist or many other specialties.

Most nursing programs in California have approximately five or six core curriculum nursing courses that typically comprise the first two years of courses for the BSN to MSN program. You can also find RN to MSN programs in California that incorporate both BSN and MSN materials into a seamless program. There are also accredited online courses to receive your MSN. California has numerous colleges and universities that offer excellent programs, and we encourage you to request information from as many as you like.

Typical core courses in MSN programs may vary from one college to another, but generally they include: pharmacology, statistics, physiology and pathophysiology, healthcare policy, and nursing theory.

There are numerous specialized MSN programs that you may want to investigate as you look into earning your Master’s of Science in Nursing degree. They include:

  • Certified Family Nurse Practitioners
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioners for cardiology, oncology, adult, orthopedic and primary care
  • Certified Nurse Midwives
  • Acute Care Pediatric and Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for primary care
  • Certified Nurse Anesthetist
  • Health Care Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists

After completing the core classes the course work will change to fit into all of these specialty areas. For instance, a Neonatal nurse practitioner's course work will focus on advanced neonatal care. Diagnostic reasoning, advanced assessment of a high-risk premature baby and developing evidence based guidelines for neonates is the typical type of courses for this MSN degree.

Careers for Masters in Nursing Graduates in California

Nursing is one of the fastest growing careers as greater than 2.7 million nurses have expanded into a wide range of specialized nursing positions from elder care to oncology. These highly trained nurses are not just in the hospitals or nursing homes, but they are in schools, in specialized medical care doctor's offices, home care and rehab centers.

A certified nurse anesthetist is one of the highest paying nursing specialties, according to Nursing Link. They require more education and training than other positions. They must have several years of experience in an acute care setting; then, in addition to their MSN, there is a two year training program. Additionally, they must pass the certification test.

Nursing management is another area of nursing that requires an advanced degree, has a great deal of responsibility, along with a good salary.

Certified midwives not only deliver babies, but also provide a variety of services for female patients, which includes GYN exams, prenatal and postnatal care, and they provide education on family planning. The mean salary for a nurse midwife in California is over $113,000 says the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Clinical Nurse Specialists must typically have their MSN and five years of experience. These nurse specialists may become certified in a huge variety of nursing roles. They may receive their training in acute care, geriatric care, critical care, home health, infectious disease, occupational nursing or many other specialties. They have the option of practicing independently, or in hospital and nursing homes.

Whichever route you choose to take, you can use BestNursingDegree.com to find a Master’s degree that fits your schedule and career goals. Be sure to request information from our featured programs to find the nursing programs in California that offer the flexibility you need to successfully expand your nursing education.

MSN programs in California include:

  • Western University of Health Sciences. Western University has grant money available to help nurses obtain MSN education as nurse educators and advanced practice nurses. MSN courses are designed to accommodate busy nurses: most classwork is completed online, with some required weekend on-campus time. An RN-to-MSN program is available for nurses who lack a BSN, while an entry-level MSN program is designed for students who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing.
  • University of California – Los Angeles. UCLA offers a wide range of MSN programs, including a Masters Entry Clinical Nurse (MECN) program for students who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing. MECN students graduate with a MSN degree and are eligible to take both the Clinical Nurse Leader and public health nursing certification exams. Advanced practice MSN programs include a dual MSN/MBA option for nurse administrators and a unique underserved populations sub-specialty for nurse practitioners.

Programs from California Schools

Listed below are all of the nationally accredited MSN programs with campus locations in California.

American University of Health Sciences (Signal Hill, CA)
Online Program Name: Master's in Clinical Research for CCRN (Clinical Research RN)
Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, CA)
Online Program Name: Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist and Adult Nurse Practitioner, Parent-Child Clinical Nurse Specialist and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Parish Nursing, School Nurse Services, School Nurse Services Credential and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
California State University-Dominguez Hills (Carson, CA)
Online Program Name: Clinical Nurse Leader, Family Nurse Practitioner (online), Nurse Administrator (online), Nurse Educator (online), Parent-Child Clinical Nurse Specialist (online)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
California State University-Fresno (Fresno, CA)
Online Program Name: Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Educator, Primary Care/Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care/Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
California State University-Fullerton (Fullerton, CA)
Online Program Name: CRNA, Nursing Leadership, School Nursing, Women’s Health Care - Nurse Midwifery, Women’s Health Care - Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
California State University-Long Beach (Long Beach, CA)
Online Program Name: Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult-Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN/MHA, MSN/MPH, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
California State University-Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
Online Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner - Primary & Acute Adult, Nurse Practitioner - Primary & Acute Pediatric, Nurse Practitioner - Psychiatric & Mental Health, Nursing Administration, Nursing Case Management, Nursing Education, Psychiatric/Mental Health CNS, School Health
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
California State University-Sacramento (Sacramento, CA)
Online Program Name: Advanced Clinical Role, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, School Nursing
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
California State University-San Marcos (San Marcos, CA)
Online Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing
California State University-Stanislaus (Turlock, CA)
Online Program Name: Gerontological Nursing, Nursing Education
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Dominican University of California (San Rafael, CA)
Online Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing - CNS, MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Holy Names University (Oakland, CA)
Online Program Name: Administration/Management, Clinical Faculty, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), MSN/MBA
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, CA)
Online Program Name: Adult and Aging Family CNS, Adult and Aging Family Nurse Educator, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Growing Family CNS, Growing Family Nurse Educator, MS/MA in Nursing and Clinical Ethics, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
MiraCosta College (Oceanside, CA)
Online Program Name: Certified Nursing Assistant
Mount Saint Mary's College (Los Angeles, CA)
Online Program Name: Clinical Nurse Specialist Track, Community/Public Health Track, Educator Track, Leadership & Administration Track
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA)
Online Program Name: Clinical Nurse Specialist
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Samuel Merritt College (Oakland, CA)
Online Program Name: Case Management (CM) (online), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
San Diego State University (San Diego, CA)
Online Program Name: Advanced Practice Nursing of Adults and Elderly (Acute Critical Care Nursing NP/CNS CNS or Nurse Educator), Community Health Nursing - School Nursing, Community Health Nursing (Nurse Midwifery), Community Health Nursing (Nurse Midwifery/Women’s Health Care NP), Community Health Nursing (Women’s Health Care NP), Nursing Education (Adult Health Maternal-Newborn or Nursing Leadership), Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
San Francisco State University (San Francisco, CA)
Online Program Name: Clinical Nurse Specialist, Community Public Health Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administrator
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
San Jose State University (San Jose, CA)
Online Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Administrator, Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator, Master of Science in Nursing - School Nurse CNS
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
United States University (National City, CA)
Online Program Name: MSN-Administrator, MSN-Educator, MSN-FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner)
University of California Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
Online Program Name: Acute Care (CNS and/or NP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Gerontology (CNS and/or NP), Master's Entry Clinical Nurse (MECN), MBA/MSN, Nursing Administration, Nursing Administration/Occupational & Environmental Health, Occupational & Environmental Health Nurse Practitioner, Oncology (CNS and/or NP), Pediatric (CNS and/or NP)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of California San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)
Online Program Name: Acute Care NP, Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Adult NP, Advanced Community Health & International Nursing (ACHIN), Cardiovascular Nursing (CNS), Critical Care/Trauma Nursing CNS, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Gerontological Nursing (CNS or NP), Health Policy Nursing, Leadership Nursing & Health Systems (Administration), Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Occupational & Environmental Health Nursing (NP or CNS), Oncology Nursing (CNS or NP), Pediatric NP (PNP), Perinatal Nursing Advanced Practice (CNS), Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Advanced Practice (CNS or NP)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of California-Davis Health System (Sacramento, CA)
Online Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant (FNP/PA) Program, Master of Science in Nursing - Health Care Leadership
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of California-Irvine (Irvine, CA)
Online Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing - FNP or Adult/Geriatric NP
University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
Online Program Name: Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nursing (CNL), Executive Nursing Leader, Family Nurse Practitioner, Masters in Nursing - Psychiatric/Mental Health NP/CNS, MSN/MBA, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of San Francisco (Cupertino, CA / San Francisco, CA / San Ramon, CA / Santa Rosa, CA)
Online Program Name: Clinical Nurse Leader (online)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
Online Program Name: MS in Nurse Anesthesia
Accreditation: AANA/CANAEP accredited
Western University of Health Sciences (Pomona, CA)
Online Program Name: Ambulatory Care, Clinical Nurse Leader (online), Family Nurse Practitioner (online), Leadership & Management (online)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited

Are we missing any schools or programs? If so, please let us know! We appreciate your help in making this the best directory of Nursing Degree Programs on the web. You can send us an email at schools@bestnursingdegree.com.