Which California Schools Offer Nurse Practitioner Programs?

Learn about nurse practitioner schools in California. See degree and specialization options, program requirements, and course information for the state. Schools offering Family Nurse Practitioner degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Curious about becoming a nurse practitioner in California? Preview four graduate-level degree programs at California schools for nurse practitioners in training.

What You Need to Know

Completing a master's or doctoral program in nursing could prepare you to work as a nurse practitioner. These programs include a number of specialties, including pediatric, geriatric or psychiatric concentrations. Master's programs could take as few as five semesters to complete, depending on your prior background in nursing and the concentration you select. Doctoral programs typically take two years to complete.

Master's Degree Programs for Nurse Practitioners in California

California State University - Long Beach

Located in the coastal community of Long Beach, the MSN programs offered at California State University - Long Beach (CSU) offer advanced nursing training in a breadth of specialty areas. Advanced practice nursing (APN) roles and responsibilities, advanced pharmacology, research methods in nursing and healthcare economics are among the topics covered. To graduate from this program, you must complete a comprehensive exam, project or thesis. Additionally, the program at CSU is part of a nursing consortium of schools that includes CSU - Los Angeles and CSU - Fullerton.

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Fields of Study Options: Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, adult-geriatric nurse practitioner, women's health nurse practitioner
  • Program Length: 5 semesters (6 semesters for women's health and pediatric options)
  • Tuition and Fees: $7,718 per year for in-state; $16,646 per year for out-of-state (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: BSN preferred (related degrees will be considered); community health course (non-BSN applicants only); courses in physical assessment, statistics and pathophysiology
  • Admission Requirements: Current California RN license
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 31,643 undergraduate and 5,166 graduate students

Samuel Merritt University

Samuel Merritt University, located in Oakland, offers a nursing program that equips you with the skills to treat a wide range of populations in various clinical settings, but to also offer quality primary care to underserved communities. Through the coursework, you explore subjects such as health policy issues, advanced health assessments, pathophysiology and pharmacology. Clinical experience and a thesis or special project are required to earn the degree. Evening and weekend classes are available especially for adult students. Additionally, you have a chance to be part of a regional honor society for nurses.

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Fields of Study: Family nurse practitioner
  • Program Length: 4 semesters for those with BSNs and current RN licenses; 10 semesters for those with a bachelor's degree, but no nursing background
  • Tuition and Fees: $40,017 per year (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites BSN; clinical experience; courses in human physiology and anatomy, biology, nutrition, developmental psychology, statistics and social sciences (for post-professional students); applicants without nursing backgrounds must have bachelor's degrees
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN license (post-professional students); Current CPR certification and Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) scores (non-BSN students); 2 letters of reference
  • School Type: 4-year, private; 601 undergraduate and 979 graduate students

San Francisco State University

SFSU offers a family nurse practitioner program that includes course topics in leadership, ethics, nursing theory and advanced practice nursing roles. Throughout the program you gain practical clinical experience to further develop your professional skills. Additionally, like most graduate programs, a field project or thesis is included in the degree requirements. You may also choose to join the Nu Psi chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing at SFSU, which also can help you connect with other nurses globally who are dedicated to the profession.

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Field of Study Option: Family nurse practitioner
  • Program Length: 52 units and 600 clinical hours
  • Tuition and Fees: $7,742 per year for in-state; $16,670 per year for out-of-state (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: BSN degree (if you are a RN without a bachelor's degree you may need extra coursework, or if have a bachelor's degree in another field you may enroll in the generic master's degree program); 3.0 GPA for undergraduate coursework (or post-baccalaureate degree)
  • Admission Requirements: Written goal statement, resume or curriculum vitae, score of 4.0 or higher on analytical writing section of GRE exam, 3 letters of reference, 550 minimum TOEFL score (for students whose primary language is not English)
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 25,938 undergraduate and 3,527 graduate students

Doctoral Degree Programs for Nurse Practitioners in California

Azusa Pacific University

Located in the southern California suburban community of Azusa, the DNP program at Azusa Pacific University (APU) is centered on scientific, evidence-based practice meant to equip you to work as a leader in the field. The prevention, assessment and treatment of complex health problems is the ultimate goal of the training. Statistical analysis, advanced evaluation research, organizational leadership and strategic planning, wellness promotion and health maintenance, and health technology and informatics are some of the subjects examined. A rigorous clinical research capstone project is required in order to graduate. APU also hosts the Iota Sigma chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

  • Program Name: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Program Length: 2 years (average completion time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $12,402 per year (2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's and master's degrees (master's degree must be in nursing, and you must have graduated with a 3.0 GPA); nursing research and statistics college-level courses; state and/or national certification as an APN
  • Prerequisites: Scholarly papers and/or creative work, statement of educational and professional goals, curriculum vitae or resume, letter from APN program indicating number of clinical hours completed, 3 letters of recommendation and interview with an APU faculty member
  • School Type: 4-year, private; 5,918 undergraduate and 4,054 graduate students

California State University - Long Beach

The DNP program at CSU is designed for working adults and prepares students to develop advanced competencies for nursing roles in education, leadership and practice. Completing a qualifying doctoral assessment before beginning a 3-semester integrative clinical scholarship course, which involves the doctoral project, is part of the program requirements. Coursework includes epidemiology and prevention, biostatistics for APN and instructional design in nursing education. A nurse educator practicum is also included.

  • Program Name: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Tuition and Fees: $7,718 per year for in-state; $16,646 per year for out-of-state (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Statistics course and graduate-level courses in advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology and health/physical assessment; 3.5 to 4.0 GPA; MSN (or health-related degree) and national APN certification or MSN in nursing administration or leadership, community health nursing or nursing education
  • Admission Requirements: Current California RN license (or eligibility), national APN certification, CPR card, medical clearance, driver's license and car insurance, 3 letters of reference, personal statement, clinical experience, interview with faculty member, eligible for clinical site credentialing (if needed)
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 31,643 undergraduate and 5,166 graduate students

Samuel Merritt University

Samuel Merritt also has a DNP program, which is largely focused on the increasingly important role of non-research, clinically prepared doctoral practitioners. The curriculum is designed to empower you to become part of the revolutionary changes in advanced practice nursing, preparing you to work as a highly skilled professional in primary care environments. The training helps ready you to develop advanced competencies for evolving clinical and leadership roles in the field, such as genetics and global health care. Epidemiology and population health, advanced informatics, biostatistics and educational innovations in healthcare are among the topics you will analyze. You will also complete a capstone project before earning your degree.

  • Program Name: Doctor of Nursing
  • Program Length: 2 years full time
  • Tuition and Fees: $40,017 per year (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: MSN degree with at least a 3.0 on coursework (those who hold a BSN, but have a master's degree in another health-related field will be considered on an individual basis), college-level statistics course with a minimum grade of 'B'
  • Admission Requirements: Current RN license, TOEFL score of 100 (if applicable)
  • School Type: 4-year, private; 601 undergraduate and 979 graduate students

Of the previewed schools, San Francisco State University and Azusa Pacific University offer master's and doctorate degrees, respectively, while Samuel Merritt University and California State University - Long Beach have both levels of education.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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