Entry-Level MSN Programs in California

Direct entry nursing programs, or entry-level programs, make it easier for those with non-nursing degrees to obtain their master's in nursing without having to earn a second bachelor's degree. This article provides information on direct entry programs in California.

Western University of Health Sciences

For those who do not have an educational background in the nursing sciences, Western University of Health Sciences, located in Pomona, California, offers a direct-entry program that can be completed in two-years with a six-semester full-time schedule. Keeping with the educational standards set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Master's Essentials and Quality and Safety in Nursing Education (QSEN), successful program completion means that students will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) for their registered nurse licensure and then acquire their Master of Science in Nursing degree.

California Baptist University

California Baptist University is a private, not-for-profit university located in Riverside, California that offers entry-level Master of Science in Nursing degrees for those who already hold a non-nursing science baccalaureate degree but who desire careers as nurse practitioners or nursing specialists with a holistic educational foundation in nursing science based on nursing theory. For those students who have not already taken the prelicensure classes, this program offers students pre-licensure courses that prepare them for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) as well as preparing them for their nine-semester master's coursework.

Azusa Pacific University

Ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the best schools in the nation in 2017, Azusa Pacific University, located in Azusa, California, is another state school that offers a direct entry program and it is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the California Board of Registered Nursing (CBRN). After successfully completing coursework that includes pathophysiology and nursing for specific population, as well as gaining clinical experience in hospitals and with those commonly underserved segments of the population like the poor and homeless, graduates are qualified for the California Registered Nurse License and Public Health Nursing Certificate and are able to apply for California state's clinical nurse specialist and/or nurse practitioner certifications.

University of California Irvine

The University of California Irvine Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing offers a direct entry accelerated Master of Science in Nursing degree with a concentration in community and population health that prepares students for the national licensing examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses while also readying graduates for certification eligibility as a public health nurse. Students will benefit from clinical rotations that include community immersion opportunities that aim to produce advanced practice, evidence-based nurse practitioners and leaders who are well prepared to work in a multitude of healthcare settings or advance their education by continuing on to doctoral studies.

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego welcomes non-nurse undergraduate and graduate degree holders who desire advanced nurse generalists' careers to apply to their 21-month master's entry program in nursing (MEPN) in pursuit of a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) degree. Along with Nursing Practice with Mothers and Infants, Nursing Practice with Psych-Mental Health Clients, and Evidence-Based Practice: Role of Theory and Research coursework among other rigorous studies, students will have access to major healthcare centers within San Diego County for their clinical in preparation for careers as registered nurses, nurse educators, and other work in the nursing sciences.

University of California Davis

The master's entry program in nursing (MEPN) at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing in Davis, California is another state school preparing students to begin and advance their careers in the nursing sciences as nursing leaders with a focus on addressing the healthcare needs of diverse populations over the lifespan. Without skimping on clinical hours, this accelerated program can be completed in 18 months by those with non-nursing discipline baccalaureate or higher degrees who have already taken the prerequisite nursing science courses.

University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco's school of nursing offers a three-year master's entry-level in nursing program which culminates in a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Although students begin with foundational studies, their education culminates in graduate-level academia and advanced clinical skills readying them to be specified advanced practice experts in the roles of consultants, educators, clinicians, and/or researchers.

University of San Francisco Orange County

Providing clinical sites at St. Joseph Hospital, Orange; St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton; Children's Hospital Los Angeles and others, the University of San Francisco Orange County offers a direct entry program that can be completed in two-years with continuous full-time study. In order to be considered for admission, applicants need to complete 16 semesters or 24 quarter credits in various sciences like psychology, anatomy, physiology, and microbiology.

School Name Programs Offered *Average Graduate Tuition Per Academic Year (2018-2019)
Western University of Health Sciences Direct Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing *$22,489
California Baptist University Direct Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing *$13,420
Azusa Pacific University Direct Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing *$17,112
University of California Irvine Direct Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing Community and Population Health Nursing Degree *in-state $11,442
*non-resident $26,544
University of San Diego Direct Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Nurse Leader *$26,712
University of California Davis Direct Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing *in-state $11,442
*non-resident $26,544
University of San Francisco Direct Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing *$24,930
University of San Francisco Orange County Direct Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing *$24,930

*Source:NCES (tuition)

The state of California has several direct entry nursing programs for applicants with non-nursing undergraduate and graduate degrees. While some schools require prerequisite courses to be completed prior to admission, other schools offer programs that integrate foundational coursework into the curriculum as students work toward master's degrees and professional certification in the nursing sciences.

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:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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