The Best Nursing Schools in California

Debra Riley


Finding the best nursing school to attend in California can be a daunting task. We have compiled a list of our top 10 in the state based on their NCLEX-RN pass rate. Other information to consider is that many schools offer in-state tuition for residents of California, making the cost of the course much lower.

So whether you want to become an LVN or a Registered Nurse these are some of the nursing schools to consider. Don’t forget we have detailed information for several nursing specialties in Cali – Find out all about RN Salary in Caifornia.

California’s Top 10 Nursing Schools

California has some great nursing schools – as you’d expect! And who doesn’t like the idea of studying in sunny Cali?

Don’t forget to have a good look at all our resources. We have some great guides on help with nursing school and provide some great ideas to help everyone. From career advancement tips to using a quality nursing essay writing service – find information that really helps.

1. Stanbridge University

2041 Business Center Dr #107, Irvine, CA 92612

The different programs give you the opportunity to work your way up the ranks of the profession while offering excellent learning experiences. They offer both on campus and online courses which allow for a flexible approach to learning.

  • Diploma-Vocational Nurse
  • Associate of Science-Nursing RN
  • Bachelor of Science-Nursing RN-BSN
  • Master of Science-Nursing MSN

2. Cuesta College

Highway 1, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

Cuesta College is located San Luis Obispo County, and is regarded throughout the state for its excellent education programs, including 74 degree and 62 certificate programs. Cuesta College has classes at the main campus in San Luis Obispo, the North County Campus in Paso Robles, and the South County Center in Arroyo Grande.

  • Certified Nursing Assistant CNA
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse LVN
  • Associate Degree Registered Nursing (RN)

3. Chabot College

25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94545

This college offers educational places on degree, transfer and certificate programs to over 14,000 students.

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse – Registered Nursing LVN-RN
  • Registered Nursing RN

4. Victor Valley College

18422 Bear Valley Rd, Victorville, CA 92395

This college a leader in educating generations of individuals while it’s much-admired nursing program produces graduates that are ready to work as a valued member of the health care team.

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse – Registered Nursing LVN-RN
  • Registered Nursing RN

5. Sonoma State University

1801 E Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

The Sonoma State University Department of Nursing provides a leading foundation for nurses to carry out lifelong learning and to contribute to their community.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree RN
  • Master of Science Nursing MSN
  • Family Nurse Practitioner FNP Post Masters Degree

6. Los Angeles Harbor College

1111 Figueroa Pl, Wilmington, CA 90744

Nursing students from here graduate and move onto rewarding careers in the nursing field. They are much sought after as a team member within many hospital and healthcare facilities.

  • Associate of Science-Nursing RN
  • Certified Nursing Assistant/ Certified Home Health Assistant CNA/CHHA
  • Emergency Department Assistant EDA

7. Sierra College

5000 Rocklin Rd, Rocklin, CA 95677

The college serves over 18,000 students each year at campuses and offers 126 degrees and certificate programs.

  • Associate Degree Registered Nursing (RN)
  • LVN to RN Upward Mobility Program
  • ADN to BSN Collaborative: BSN Merger Track

8. California State University, Channel Islands

1 University Dr, Camarillo, CA 93012

This university opened in 2002 and offers a wide range of programs and degree courses. It has over 7,000 students enrolled this year.

  • ADN/RN to BSN Programs
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

9. California State University, Long Beach

1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840

This University hopes to become a leader in the field of educating future nurses. It offers a wide and varied range of degree programs and courses.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing BSN
  • Master of Science in Nursing MSN
  • Post-Masters Nurse Practitioner Certificate NP

10. Monterey Peninsula College

980 Fremont St, Monterey, CA 93940

This college has excellent academic programs with over 100 degree and certificate courses on offer.

  • Associate of Science Degree Nursing ADN

As you can see there are many schools to choose from and I hope this serves as a great starting point in your search for the best nursing schools in California. Of course I recommend you do a lot more research before making any decision. You want to chose well … the first time around.

Looking to train as a nurse anesthetist? Have a look at our CRNA Schools in California page for all the details. For a bit of light reading you might like our post on places to study near me – some great ideas to find somewhere suitable for studying!

See some other articles for California nursing resources :

Top 10 Hospitals in California

Universities in California Offering CRNA and DNP Programs

Best Psychiatric Facilities in California

Have a good look around Nurse Salary Guide – we have lots of information to help your nursing career!