RN to BSN Programs in California
September 2023

10 Cheapest RN to BSN Online California Schools

Affordable RN to BSN Programs in California

The most affordable RN to BSN online California schools offer a flexible path for RNs to earn a bachelor’s degree and facilitate career advancement. Education is one of the best ways for Registered Nurses to qualify for employment roles with more responsibility. One of the cheapest ways to do so is by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through an affordable program. Because of the hectic work schedule of nurses, online programs are some of the most convenient options for higher education available to them.

The state of California currently has many colleges and universities that offer online RN to BSN programs, such as CSU Fullerton and CSU Riverside. All of these schools have accreditation, meaning they have met the standards established by the relevant state and national standards of quality. Furthermore, many of these colleges offer online coursework in Nursing and Health Sciences and also general education courses. Affordable tuition rates and low costs for applicants also important and make them attractive options for those who are interested in online learning.

RN to BSN Programs in California

Finding the Cheapest RN to BSN Nursing Programs in California

RNs in California are fortunate to have many colleges and universities within the state. And they offer some of the best RN to BSN programs in the country. Among these are California State University Dominguez Hills and Azusa Pacific University.

There are many top ranked online options in California for a baccalaureate degree. However, students must find the right degree to fit their individual needs. With so many online options, choosing the right program may take some time. But, we have a list to help narrow your degree program search and plan for advancing your career.

1. CSU Dominguez Hills

  • By the: School of Nursing
  • Carson, California
  • Program: Online RN to BSN program
  • Credits: 30-33
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Length: 2 to 3 Semesters (Full Time schedule); 4 Semesters (Part Time)
  • Cost: $517 per credit, Tuition & Fees
  • More: Visit the website

CSUDH or California State University Dominguez Hills is part of the California State University system. The school has a strong academic reputation. And it is a more popular option for many nurses in California, mostly due to its standard pricing format for classes. Additionally, graduates need a minimum of twenty courses to earn a BSN. Qualified students can use financial aid and also save by taking classes that are four semester hours rather than three hours per semester.

2. Azusa Pacific University

  • By the: School of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Azusa, California
  • Program: online RN to BSN
  • Credits: 40
  • Total Credits: 120
  • Length: 15 months to graduation on a full time schedule, part time in 3 semesters to 6 semesters
  • Cost: $460 per credit, Tuition & Fees
  • More: Visit the website.

APU is another California school offering a high-quality RN to BSN program. In addition, students love the affordable per-credit tuition rate. They can finish the 40 credit BSN in a 3 semesters or a little over a year. Also, a variety of courses are in the program, including Health Assessment, Leadership in Acute Care Setting, Human Diversity, Nursing Theoretical Frameworks, and also Christianity and the Nursing Profession.

Azusa Pacific University is an inter-denominational and also evangelical Christian university. Thus, it focuses nursing and also the relationship between religion and medicine. The Azusa BSN is respected in the medical field and helps many nurses qualify for job promotions.

3. UMass Global University (formerly Brandman)

  • By the: School of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Irvine, California
  • Program: RN to BSN
  • Credits: 36
  • Total Credits: 120
  • Program Length: 1 year for Full-time students
  • Cost: tuition costs $500 per credit, Tuition & Fees
  • More: Visit the website

The University of Massachusetts Global (UMass Global), formerly Brandman University, is a private university with 25 campuses throughout California and Washington and a virtual campus. RNs can enroll in this program and earn a BSN in one to two years. The school of nursing bachelor’s requires requires general education, foundation courses, and also nursing core courses.

Course attendance is 100 online and classes are in eight week session. The full-time program requires two 3 credit courses each session for one year, and part-time requires one 3 credit course each session for two years. Nurses also take clinicals and practicums, but can work in their home community or local area.

4. California Baptist University

  • By the: College of Nursing
  • Riverside, California
  • Program: RN to BSN online
  • Credits: 31 – 37
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Length: 12 to 16 mos
  • Cost: $450 per credit, Tuition & Fees
  • More: Visit the website

This California online RN to BSN takes many 12 to 16 months to complete. And BSN graduates from CBU college of nursing qualify to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and can also apply for a California Public Health Nurse (PHN) Certificate.

5. California State University San Marcos

  • By the: School of Nursing
  • San Marcos, California
  • Program: Online ADN/RN to BSN programs, Accelerated
  • Credits: 35
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Length: 14 mos
  • Cost: $340 per credit, Tuition & Fees
  • More: Visit the website

The California State University San Marcos offers a fully online RN to BSN degree. The program consists of 35 units of coursework, and takes a little over one year for working nurses with an associate degree or diploma in nursing program. College students at USC San Marcos take required courses such as health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, informatics, nursing leadership, and also health promotion across the lifespan.

6. California State University Fullerton

  • By the: School of Nursing
  • Fullerton, California
  • Program: RN to BSN programs
  • Credits: 30 / Total units: 120
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $295 per credit, Tuition & Fees
  • More Info: Visit the website

The California State University Fullerton offers an online accelerated program for RNs to earn a bachelor’s. This program is for working RNs who already completed an Associate Degree in Nursing program (ADN) and want to expand and enhance their professional development.

Most courses are offered completely 100 online, but there may be occasional in-person labs or visits to clinical sites. Additionally, they take a clinical component at a local healthcare facility during their last semester. Course curriculum focuses on developing the foundational knowledge of nursing theory and research, use of evidence-based practice, and leadership skills. Students also develop an understanding of health promotion and illness prevention, informatics, care for diverse populations, and healthcare policy. And, applicants must have current licensure as a Registered Nurse, an ADN, a minimum of 2.5 GPA.

7. Fresno State

  • Offered by the: School of Nursing
  • Fresno, California
  • Program: RN BSN program
  • Credits: 21 / total units: 120
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: in state $411 per credit, Tuition & Fees
  • More: Visit the website

California State University Fresno, or Fresno State, offers an Associate Degree Registered Nurse to BSN. The fully 100 online program is for working RNs who want to pursue an advanced nursing degree. It provide nurses with the knowledge to be a vital component of the care team, and to be able to apply the skills they have learned to provide excellent patient care and improve patient outcomes.

Students must complete 21 credits of nursing courses, which cover topics such as health assessment, leadership, population-focused care, informatics, and also quality & safety. All of the coursework is 100% online, with the exception of a 90-hour clinical in Community Health. Additionally, this California state university school of nursing has clinical connections at Valley Children’s Hospital and Saint Agnes Medical Center to connect nurses with placements for the Community Health clinical.

8. Pacific College

  • Offered by the: School of Nursing
  • Location: Costa Mesa, California
  • Program: online/hybrid RN to BSN
  • Credits: 49 and 120 total units
  • Length: 1.5 years
  • Cost: $295 per credit
  • More: Visit the website

This California online RN to BSN hybrid program is a great choice for working nurses with a RN license. It focuses on evidence-based practice, using the latest technology and resources to provide comprehensive, quality education.

Pacific College’s online program has the same curriculum as the resident program, but with the flexibility to study from anywhere with an internet connection. Core courses include Diagnostic Analysis & Clinical Reasoning, Enterprise Nursing Leadership, and also Professional Role Development. Additionally, students can tailor their curriculum by selecting three nursing and two general electives of their choice.

9. Loma Linda University

  • Offered by the: School of Nursing
  • Loma Linda, California
  • Program: Hybrid RN to BSN programs
  • Credits: 50 quarter units
  • Length: 4 Quarters (Full Time); 6-9 Quarters (Part Time)
  • Cost: $400.00 per unit, Tuition and Fees
  • More: Visit the website

The Loma Linda University School of Nursing’s RN to BSN program consists of 45 oto50 credits, depending on your GCC entry point, and takes around two years to complete. To finish in the shortest amount of time, students must be continuously enrolled over the summer. The School of Nursing is across the street from the Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC). So nursing students complete clinical experiences, internships, and other educational opportunities at this teaching hospital.

10. Simpson University

  • Offered by the: Betty M. Dean School of Nursing
  • Redding, California
  • Program: online Hybrid RN BSN, accelerated RN to BSN programs
  • Credits: 36
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $1,231 per credit, Tuition & Fees
  • More: Visit the website

The online RN to BSN program at Simpson University is a 30 credit program. Sequential classes are offered one at a time and are short, only five weeks in length. So, this program can take as little as 12 months to complete. The program includes courses in Nursing Leadership, Community Health Nursing, and also Nursing Research. Additionally, nursing students can complete in-person and online classes.

What is a RN to BSN Program?

An RN to BSN program allows registered nurses (RNs) to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. These degree programs are offered by colleges and universities and usually require transfer credits the completion of coursework and also clinical experiences. Universities across the country now offer online RN to BSN programs with a flexible format and most coursework online.

Classes in BSN programs include topics such as nursing theory, pathophysiology, health assessment, nursing leadership, and also practical nursing clinical hours. Most students can complete a program in less than 2 years and RN grads gain the credentials to provide quality patient care in a variety of health settings.

What is the Career Outlook for RNs with a Bachelor’s?

The career outlook for RNs with a BSN continues to be very strong. In fact, the BLS projects the job growth of RNs with a bachelor’s degrees to grow by 9% over the next decade, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. RNs with a BSN are in high demand and are valued professionals in the healthcare field.

Working as a nurse can provide excellent job security, a meaningful career path, and lucrative salaries. Overall, career advancement for RNs with a four year degree is very positive.

What is the Average Wage for an RN with a Bachelor’s Degree?

The average wage for a nurse with a BSN degree typically ranges from $65,000 to $80,000 per year, depending on the region and type of job. RNs with a Bachelor of Science degree usually work as advanced practice nurses and earn higher salaries. Furthermore, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage is $81,220.

What are the Admissions Requirements for California RN to BSN Programs?

The admissions requirements may vary depending on the program and school. Some schools may also ask for letters of reference. All applicants should contact their school’s admissions office for more information. Although, the admission requirements vary among online schools, most California RN to BSN online programs share several of the below common requirements.

  • Complete of an RN to BSN program application and pay the application fee.
  • Hold a valid, unencumbered California RN License
  • Hold an associate degree in nursing.
  • Provide an official transcript from an accredited nursing school in California showing a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 2.5 or better.
  • Provide a current confidential or official background check.
  • Some schools may request Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) or National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) exam results.
  • After acceptance some schools require a physical examination and health record.
  • Families and students applying for financial aid must complete the FAFSA. It is a requirement to determine eligibility and no one is awarded aid without it. It is the first step in order to receive aid, so it is best to complete the electronic form found online as soon as possible. Additionally, make sure you list each college with a nursing program you may want to attend.

Directory List of Other Online RN to BSN Programs in California

College or SchoolCity LocationCollege Website
California State University San BernardinoSan Bernardinoonline
California State University Bakersfieldonline
California State University ChicoChicoonline
Cal State East Bay Haywardonline
California Southern University Irvine Irvineonline
California State University Long BeachLong Beachonline
California State University Sacramento Sacramentoonline
California State University Stanislaus Turlockonline
Mount St. Mary’s Los Angelesonline
Point Loma Nazarene University San Diegoonline
Stanbridge UniversityIrvineonline
United States UniversityChula Vistaonline
Unitek College Bakersfieldonline
University of Arizona Global CampusSan Diegoonline
University of California Los AngelesLos Angelesonline
Vanguard University Costa Mesaonline
West Coast UniversityLos Angelesonline

What Accreditations Do California RN to BSN Programs Need?

Regional is considered the highest level of educational quality assurance, and is generally recognized across the US. It focuses on institutional quality and evaluation of the entire school and its programs as a whole. Program accreditation is a specialized type validates the quality of a specific academic program and its educational standards.

For the School

The exact accreditations requirements for colleges in California vary and depend on the type of institution. Generally, regionally accredited institutions are required to meet the quality standards set by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) accredits degree-granting institutions in six western and Pacific Ocean territories, including California. Other requirements for colleges in California may include an endorsement from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) or the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).

For the Nursing Program

California RN to BSN programs must have it from either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). These agencies evaluate nurse training programs in California to ensure they meet educational and safety standards set by the state.

The California Board of Registered Nursing also approves RN to BSN programs, which requires the programs to meet specific criteria set by the board, such as demonstrating quality curriculum, faculty, and facilities.

What Do You Learn in RN to BSN Programs?

In a RN to BSN program, most students have already completed the general education requirements. Courses focus on advanced practice nursing, nursing leadership, project management, evidence-based practice, and population health.

Students in a baccalaureate program also explore more complex medical topics, such as community health, health policy, healthcare informatics, and risk management. These nursing courses prepare you to take on employment roles as nurse practitioners, nurse administrators in pediatrics, clinical nurse managers, and other related positions in the health care field. Below are some of the required courses students take.

  • Socialization to Professional Nursing
  • Health Sciences and Public Health
  • Health Assessment Individuals Across the Lifespan
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Advanced Leadership, Management, & Healthcare Systems

Why Attend Online RN to BSN Programs in California?

As online learning becomes more accepted by employers, RNs who want to advance their careers find opportunities to do so through these programs. Nurses working and living in California, and also those in other parts of the United States can enroll in degrees online. These online programs offer lots of flexibility with asynchronous classes and multiple start dates throughout the year.

Students can obtain a high-quality and well-respected education by completing degrees at these schools. With affordable tuition and excellent classes, nurses can look forward to earning a degree of which they can be proud. Earning a BSN opens the door to more career options and a higher salary. And with a four year degree, RNs qualify for career paths such as a public health nurse or nurse educator. Additionally, nurses with a BSN are also prepared for earning a master’s degree. With an MSN these nurses qualify for more advanced nursing roles in hospitals like a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse leader.

Statewide Scholarships for California RN to BSN Students

Some students interested in nursing and health sciences need help paying for higher education. In addition to financial aid, there are also many scholarships available.

University Scholarships for California RN to BSN Students

  • UCLA Tuffs Regents Nursing Scholarship
  • San Diego State University (SDSU) Ageless Graduate Nursing Scholarships
  • California State University (CSU) Nursing Scholarships
  • UCLA Health Financial Aid Program
  • California Endowment Academic Nursing
  • USC Tides Program
  • CSU Monterey Bay RN to BSN Nursing
  • University of California San Francisco (UCSF) RN to BSN Scholarship Program

California Healthcare Institution BSN Scholarships

  • Kaiser Permanente A Nurse I Am Scholarship Program
  • California Hospital Association RN to BSN Nursing
  • Humboldt Health Foundation (HHF): Homer P. Balabanis Memorial Nursing Scholarship
  • Nemzoff American Association of Colleges of Nursing HCA Scholarship
  • Health Resources and Services Administration Loan Repayment Program (LRP)

California Nursing Organization BSN Scholarships

  • California Nursing Student Association (CNSA) Technical Scholarship
  • California Nurses Foundation (CNF) CNA/NNOC
  • Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL): Scholarship Opportunities
  • California Emergency Nurses Association (California ENA): Daniel Kelleher Scholarship

Growth of Nursing and Health Sciences Online in California

The increasing demand for qualified healthcare professionals has presented many RNs with the option of pursuing their BSN. Both full-time and part-time students are able to do so online in California. These schools have been highly ranked for providing the highest quality education. Online programs offered by campus-based colleges of nursing allow nurses to expand their knowledge of the field and advance their careers without having to travel to a physical campus, or leaving home.

Additionally, classes are typically structured around the individual’s particular schedule and are often completed within three semesters. Many institutions offer veterans and military service members special benefits, such as discounted tuition, internal scholarships, and support with regards to the application process. So if you are interested in expanding your career opportunities, consider the many options available in the RN to BSN online California schools.


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