Nursing is one of the most in-demand professions in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that over the next decade, job opportunities for registered nurses will grow by 9 percent—faster than average for all occupations.
And with an accelerated nursing program in California, you can learn everything about this exciting field and get on a fast track to employment as a nurse or even advance into management roles.
You’ll learn not just how to work directly with patients but also how to lead them toward wellness through preventive care measures and disease prevention techniques.
So, what are the top accelerated nursing programs in California?
Let us dive in.
Overview of Accelerated Nursing Programs in California
As the demand for nurses continues to rise and the population of California grows, accelerated nursing programs have become a popular choice for students looking for a career in healthcare.
These programs offer the convenience of fast-tracking your education with minimal time spent at school.
The typical cost of accelerated nursing programs in California is $10,000 – $15,000 per year, which includes tuition and books but does not include other fees such as living expenses or transportation costs.
However, elite schools offering some of the highly-rated accelerated nursing programs in California can easily cost you twice that amount in the same period.
At this point, we think it boils down to the options you are searching for. You have to consider your:
- Budget for the program,
- Living expenses,
- Program quality, etc.
The List of Accelerated Nursing Programs in California
The curriculum for accelerated nursing programs in California consists of four semesters spanning two years (totaling 24 months).
During these two years, you’ll complete core courses like anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, community health nursing methods, and pharmacology.
These courses will prepare you for clinical rotations at various hospitals around the state.
Average Salary After Graduation: $81,000/year.
Touro University is a private, non-profit institution located in the beautiful city of Vallejo, California.
With a student body of approximately 5,000 students and an alumni community numbering over 100,000 graduates worldwide (and growing!), Touro offers many online nursing degree programs in California that are well respected in the industry today.
Touro’s Accelerated Nursing Program
Touro University’s Master of Science in Nursing degree is a fully online program that allows busy working professionals to earn their degree at their own pace through innovative coursework and study strategies.
This program was designed with flexibility and convenience as key components for students who wish to pursue careers as advanced practice nurses or nurse educators.
Touro is mainly popular for its associate’s and master’s degree programs in nursing. As a result, they are widely regarded.
- The tuition fee for the ADN to MSN Program is $820 per unit; 46 units cost $37,720. (Price subject to change).
- The tuition fee for the BSN to MSN Program is $820 per unit; 33 units will cost $27,060. (Price is subject to change).
- The current tuition for the Post-Graduate FNP track is $1000 per unit.
UCLA is a public research university in Los Angeles, California, United States. It became the Southern Branch of the University of California in 1919, making it the second-oldest undergraduate campus of the ten-campus University of California system.
UCLA offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines.
UCLA enrolls about 31,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate students and has about 326,000 living alumni worldwide as of 2006.
Like all other University of California campuses except for UC San Francisco (UCSF), UCLA is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
UCLA Accelerated Nursing Program
The UCLA Accelerated Nursing Program is a two-year program that offers both an accelerated nursing program in California (LA campus), and an MSN.
It is designed to give students the background they need to become nurses, with an emphasis on clinical knowledge and leadership skills.
The program is especially appealing to students who have already completed a Bachelor’s degree in another related discipline.
The curriculum combines nursing courses with classes from the School of Public Health, allowing students to gain a broad understanding of health care from both a clinical and public health perspective.
Students also have the opportunity to take electives in areas like critical care or family practice.
Students who complete this program will be prepared to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation, which means they can start earning money while they continue their education towards an advanced degree or specialization.
The tuition fee at UCLA ranges; but you can expect to pay anything between $24,437 to $36,482 per year.
Chamberlain University is a private university located in Irwindale and Sacramento campuses, California. The university offers a variety of accelerated nursing programs in California including:
- RN to BSN,
- BSN to MSN,
- BSN to DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), and
- BSN to Ph.D.
This school is one of the best accelerated nursing schools in California because it has top-notch professors who are experts in their fields and provide exceptional teaching.
The tuition cost to study an ABSN at CU is $20,300.
The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at San Diego State University is a highly-regarded, accelerated, two-year nursing program that allows students to complete their bachelor’s degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field simultaneously.
The program is designed for students who have already completed an associate’s degree in nursing or its equivalent, and it can be completed entirely online. Students take one set of courses per semester, but they may take up to three courses per semester.
The pros of this nursing program include:
- Easy transfer credits for students with an associate’s degree in nursing or its equivalent.
- 100% online coursework.
- Flexible schedule options are available.
The tuition cost is $42,640 per year; which is really expensive without any sort of financial aid.
5. California State University – Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Sacramento campuses
CSULA, CSULB, and CSUSM are all part of the California State University system.
The flagship campus is located in Los Angeles, while students at the Long Beach and Sacramento campuses can enjoy a beautiful ocean view or majestic riverside location.
CSULA is the largest public university in the state as well as one of its most diverse schools–with over 40 percent of its students identifying as Hispanic/Latino or Asian/Pacific Islander.
It also ranks among the top accelerated nursing programs in California due to its programs that allow students to earn both an ADN degree and a BSN degree in just three years (compared with four years at most other universities).
The duration of the accelerated nursing program is 15 months and the entire program costs approximately $32,000.
Located in Loma Linda, California, the Loma Linda University School of Nursing is a private institution. It is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, it offers an accelerated program for students who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing within two years.
The program consists of two semesters per year with two terms each semester (fall, spring) plus a summer session. Tuition fee for this program is $33,480.
San Francisco State University is a public university in San Francisco, California. SFSU has a total enrollment of 30,976.
The university offers over 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Furthermore, it is also a member of the California State University system.
SFSU offers one of the best accelerated nursing programs. The high rate of NCLEX-RN passes made by graduates of this school really shows you how good their education approach is.
The cost of the program, however, is expensive; at $700/credit, only a few students are able to attend this school.
Azusa Pacific University is a private, Christian university located in Azusa, California, United States. APU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 130 majors.
The Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing is an accredited, faith-based nursing school that offers nursing degrees in the traditional and accelerated formats.
The school also offers additional graduate programs such as: the Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Post-Master’s certificate programs.
In addition to their traditional BSN program at the main campus in California, APU also offers an accelerated option for students who wish to pursue a fast-paced format with fewer clinical hours required for graduation – this program can take anywhere from 10 months to 2 years depending on prior experience/time taken off from schooling.
The Accelerated Program requires students to complete all three semesters within two years. The cost of tuition is $59,200.
Samuel Merritt College is accredited by CCNE, nationally recognized, and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It is also accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), and many others.
Samuel Merritt College is recognized worldwide as one of the best nursing schools. So, you should have absolutely no doubt that you are in safe hands when you apply to study in one of the best accelerated nursing programs in California.
SMU teaches everything in its curriculum – ranging from the basic anatomy and physiology courses, to nursing leadership, mental health behavior, as well as clinical practices. But the downside to this program is its expensive tuition cost – $84,884 annually, and that’s not even hype.
Fresno Pacific University is located in Fresno, California, and is a Christian university. It has a nursing program that is accelerated and offers the BSN degree.
This university also offers accelerated programs for other degrees including:
- MSN Nurse Anesthesia,
- MSN Nurse Education,
- MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner,
- MSN Mental Health Nursing Specialist,
- RN to BSN [online],
- RN to BS Nursing [online], and the
- Post-Master’s Certificate in Advanced Practice Nursing.
The cost of tuition to study an accelerated nursing program at FPU is $8,800 per year, which is reasonably priced.
11. Marian College
Marian College is a private institution located in Santa Maria, California. It has an accelerated nursing program and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Marian College offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) which can be completed in 13 months. The curriculum consists of two semesters each year for three years with summer sessions during the first two years.
Students will complete general education requirements over the first three semesters before beginning clinicals for nine consecutive semesters. The tuition fee costs $880 per credit hour.
At UCSF, students can complete their [traditional] bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years, which is not so much great news for students who want to enter the workforce sooner.
However, they also offer the accelerated BSN program which allows students to graduate sooner (than five years), get licensed, and become registered nurses in no time.
This program uses a cohort model that emphasizes collaborative learning, so you’ll get to know your classmates inside and out—and it’s likely that you’ll remain lifelong friends after graduation. Tuition costs $11,442 per year.
West Coast University is a private, non-profit, coeducational university that offers accelerated nursing programs. The university was founded in 1994 and is located in Orange County, California.
Its flagship BSN program is a 16-month accelerated nursing program designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. This program is taught by highly qualified faculty who emphasize clinical skills and student competency.
In addition to its traditional four-year degree programs, West Coast University also offers full-time RN-to-BSN programs at both the traditional campus and online formats through its College of Health Sciences (CHS).
14. Unitek College
Unitek College is a private, non-profit, co-educational university located in multiple cities in California.
At Unitek College, the accelerated nursing program is a private, for-profit, 11 – 18-month program located in Los Angeles, CA. It has a small student body with an enrollment of 613 undergraduate students.
This small student size in the school allows for the classes to get personalized, as more attention and supervision are given to each student during the duration of the program.
The tuition cost for the 2020/21 academic year was $35,284.
Dominican University of California is a private Catholic university in San Rafael, California.
The university was founded by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
It is a private for-profit vocational nursing school and medical assistant school located in Anaheim, California.
The school is accredited by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE), and also has a decent accelerated nursing program that caters to students who want to join the healthcare workforce as quickly as possible.
The tuition for this program is $47,190.
16. Pacific College
Pacific College is a private, for-profit university in California. The school offers accelerated nursing programs in California that can be completed in just 12 months. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree can be earned through the accelerated program at Pacific College.
This program includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience; students spend two weeks on campus during each session and then are off to clinical rotations with local hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Tuition fee costs $36,000.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science is a private, non-profit, coeducational, historically black university located in Los Angeles, California.
Founded in 1961 with only 50 students and now with more than 1,700 students enrolled in its MD program alone.
Drew University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
C. R. Drew University also has one of the cheapest accelerated nursing programs in California.
So, if cost is important to you, while not compromising education quality, then this school is a decent choice.
California Baptist University (CBU) is a private, Christian university located in Riverside County.
With over 7,000 students and faculty from more than 60 countries, CBU provides an international perspective that prepares students to become leaders in their fields.
CBU’s accelerated nursing program is designed for students who want to become practicing nurses in two years.
The program is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in any subject, including non-nursing majors such as business administration or engineering.
The accelerated nursing track at California Baptist University combines general education courses with specialized nursing classes so you can complete the program faster than most other schools.
Students will take courses such as epidemiology; medical terminology; pathophysiology; age-specific health assessment; leadership skills for nurses; clinical skills development (including cadaver labs); human sexuality and ethics; cultural diversity/inclusion within healthcare organizations; principles of professional behavior & ethics for nurses (which includes communication skills training); management principles for nurses (which includes leadership training); community outreach programs & policies related to healthcare services provided by hospitals/health systems; health promotion theory & practice (or an elective course).
Tuition cost is $35,958 per year.
The reason why UCDavis isn’t high up on this list is anyone’s guess. However, if you were looking for veterinary medicine courses, then you’d have better luck with this school. Albeit, this doesn’t take away the brilliance (and cost!) of this school.
The University of California – Davis offers an accelerated nursing program that allows students to earn their BSN in as little as 15 months to 2 years.
The online accelerated nursing program has a tuition cost of $77,908 in the first year and $37,455 in the second year.
The accelerated curriculum includes 8-week terms with one course per term, giving students more time for clinical experience.
The university aims to provide students with a balance between theory and practice, making them well-rounded nurses able to handle both challenging situations and everyday tasks when they graduate from UC Davis’s accelerated program.
Santa Clara University is a private Jesuit university in Santa Clara, California. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University is the oldest operating institution of higher education in California, the oldest operating university in California, and the oldest Jesuit university in the United States.
The school has four colleges: Arts and Sciences; Business; Engineering; and Law. It offers bachelor’s degrees as well as master’s degrees through its schools of Engineering, Business Administration, Teacher Education & Leadership Studies (TEDS), Education; Management Information Systems (MIS); Psychology & Behavioral Sciences; Communication & Performance Studies Program: Journalism & Media Studies Program – including undergraduate majors/minors such as Computer Science with an emphasis on AI/Machine Learning (CSCI-AI); Data Science (DSCI); English Literature with an emphasis on Creative Writing(ENGL-CO); Marketing Communications for all fields of study except for computer information systems (MCM-CM).
However, the focus is on its accelerated nursing program in California, which is widely agreed upon by students to be a good choice due to the school’s teaching approach. Tuition cost is a whopping $56,880.
Georgetown University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789 as Georgetown College, the university has grown to comprise nine undergraduate and graduate schools, among which are the prestigious Law Center and Medical Center.
Georgetown University’s ABSN program is a great option for students who want to receive their nursing degree from one of the best schools in the country.
The school’s reputation for its research and education makes it an attractive place to study, and its location in Washington, DC offers a unique learning experience that can’t be found at other universities.
While Georgetown’s ABSN program has many benefits, it also has some drawbacks.
For example, while students have access to state-of-the-art facilities on campus, they are not able to take advantage of all the resources available at other hospitals near campus because Georgetown does not offer clinical placements offsite.
Tuition fee at this school is between $14,000 to $20,000 per year.
22. CNI College
CNI College is a private, for-profit institution in San Diego, California. It offers accelerated nursing programs at its campus in San Diego and its campus in Irvine.
The college’s accelerated nursing program is offered entirely online. Students can complete the coursework at their own pace, so long as they complete it within two years of beginning the program. Tuition fee costs $36,000.
Concordia University located in Irvine is a private, coeducational university in Irvine, California. It was founded in 1991 and named after its parent institution, Concordia University System of Schools.
The school offers 4 Bachelor’s Degree Programs including the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (ABSN). This program is a 15-month ABSN that allows students to complete their undergraduate degree requirements in half the time it would take at other universities.
The tuition fee costs $912 per credit hour at CUI.
Before you begin your search for the best accelerated nursing programs in California, make sure to research what types of financial aid are available to you. If you find a program that is too expensive, look into scholarships or grants that can help reduce your tuition costs.
Finally, keep in mind that it’s okay if an accelerated program isn’t right for you. Some students are better suited to traditional nursing programs while others may find they learn better through online courses and independent study.
If any of these things apply to you, then don’t worry. You’ll be able to find a program with the right fit—and we think the ones above will definitely provide some solid options for anyone looking at accelerated nursing programs in California (or anywhere else).
Wrapping It Up
We hope that this list has been helpful in your search for the best accelerated nursing programs in California.
If you’re looking for more information about accelerated nursing programs, be sure to check out our other articles on this topic.