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RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing in California

Dr. Jan Boller, lead researcher in a study conducted by the California Institute for Nursing & Health Care, issued a statement in 2008 that extolled the fact that baccalaureate and masters-prepared RNs provide care that results in more positive patient outcomes. Almost 60% of California’s RNs hold a baccalaureate degree or higher, according to the California Board of Registered Nursing’s 2013 Survey of Nurses’ Educational Experiences. This survey notes that 50% of RNs enrolled in RN to BSN programs were doing so to obtain higher salaries, and 40% were enrolled to obtain positions as nursing educators or faculty members.

Further, 65% of RNs in RN to BSN programs list the following factors as primary reasons for enrolling in these programs:

  • Receiving a Higher Salary
  • Desire for New Skills
  • Personal Fulfillment
  • Updating Nursing Knowledge
  • Interest in Becoming an APRN
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Featured Programs:

Capella University's Online RN-to-BSN is a CCNE-accredited program that provides the flexibility you need to take your career to the next level without taking time away from work. Request Information.


Johns Hopkins School of Nursing's Online MSN in Health Systems Management prepares nurse leaders to redesign and improve the way health care is delivered. Earn your MSN from the most respected name in nursing education. Request Information.


Chamberlain College of Nursing's RN-to-BSN Online Completion Option is a streamlined CCNE-accredited program that builds on your nursing experience, allowing you to earn your BSN in just three semesters. Request Information

RNs who obtain their BSN are eligible for a wide array of career advancement opportunities. Just a few of the positions advertised internally for RNs in California’s hospital systems as of February 2015 include:

  • Ambassador Clinical Excellence (Clinical Educator) – Loma Linda University Medical Center, Murrieta
  • Registered Nurse, Emergency Department Educator – Regional Medical Center of San Jose
  • Clinical Manager – El Camino Hospital, Mountain View

Because BSN degrees prepare RNs to provide patient care that results in better outcomes, the Foundation for California Community Colleges and Kaiser Permanente created a grant to fund California RN to BSN programs. Many hospitals have followed suit, with employers like Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles offering tuition reimbursement for employed RNs looking to attain higher education.

Enrolling in RN to BSN Programs in California

RN to BSN programs are designed to help RNs achieve higher education without missing a beat. By making use of distance, or online, learning, RNs can take courses without being encumbered by ridged class schedules. In fact, the California Board reports that more than 50% of RNs who completed an RN to BSN program were able to complete coursework through distance learning.

Entrance Requirements

To be eligible to enroll in an RN to BSN program, many online and California campus-based programs will have applicants meet the following, basic eligibility requirements:

  • Graduate from an accredited Associate Degree in Nursing program
  • Hold a current, clear, and active California RN license
  • Hold an active American Heart Association CPR card
  • Have a 2.5 GPA or greater in last 60 ADN credits

Many RN to BSN programs will require transcripts from an RN’s ADN program, verifying that the RN has completed the following, basic courses:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Chemistry
  • Statistics
  • English
  • Public Speaking
  • Critical Thinking

Nursing Schools Offering RN to BSN Programs

RN-BSN programs are prevalent throughout California, with programs including, but not limited to, those found in the following cities:

  • Azusa
  • Riverside
  • Bakersfield
  • Camarillo
  • Chico
  • Carson
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Sacramento
  • Anaheim

Many California programs will condense clinical days to ease the burden on working RNs, and others will allow clinical sites to be assigned according to where the RN lives. Employed RNs may also be able to complete clinical days at local hospitals, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center – Los Angeles
  • Keck Medical Center of USC – Los Angeles

These programs build on an RN’s ADN education through an in-deapth exploration of the following topics in nursing:

  • Foundations of Nursing Research
  • Professional Nursing Concepts and Issues
  • Special Topics in Nursing
  • RN to BSN Transition
  • Principles of Nursing Management
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Pathophysiologic Basis of Illness and Disease
  • Advanced Leadership Seminar
  • Directed Study in Career Development

After obtaining a BSN, licensed RNs would be eligible to pursue MSN programs, which can lead to advanced practice licensure.

California Hospitals that Facilitate RN to BSN Programs

To assist California RNs in achieving a higher education and gaining access to advanced nursing opportunities, many California hospitals offer programs to employed RNs to assist in returning to school. The following is a list of just a few of these programs in California.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center – Los Angeles

The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the United States, according to the U.S. News and World Report. The hospital is Magnet-accredited, and offers extensive benefits to employed RNs. With a plethora of advancement opportunities, including job positions in nursing leadership, advanced practice, critical care, and more, the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center also offers nurses the support and education to obtain these advancement positions. Employed nurses have the opportunity of pursuing further education through the UCLA School of Nursing or through the new graduate nurse residency program.

El Camino Hospital – Mountain View, Los Gatos

El Camino Hospital has locations throughout the Silicon Valley and Bay Area, including in Mountain View and Los Gatos. As incredibly cutting-edge facilities, these hospitals are home to state-of-the-art facilities and new, innovative technology, such as the Genomic Medicine Institute, new rehab facilities, da Vinci Robotic Surgery, and more. The employees are smart, motivated people who constantly seek to provide better services and practices, and they are supported in their pursuit by El Camino’s great benefits package, including a comprehensive employee education department and excellent tuition assistance for RNs returning to school.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – Los Angeles

This hospital and academic health science center is on the cutting-edge of nursing, with education being deemed a high priority throughout the center. This hospital is Magnet accredited, and the employed RNs have earned it a “National Research Corporation’s Consumer Choice Award.” To get to this point of high nursing excellence, the hospital offers an array of education opportunities for employed nurses, including internship initiatives (that allow RNs to complete shift career trajectories), workshops, specialized training options, and tuition reimbursement.

UC Irvine Health – Orange

Along with being ranked as one of “American’s Best Hospitals” by the U.S. News & World Report for 14 consecutive years, this medical center has received the prestigious Magnet Recognition. Because of this, it’s clear that this center provides incredible nursing opportunities and benefits, which include reduced tuition for UC nursing courses, so that employed RNs can easily achieve higher education.

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