United States University
United States University is the best of the many private nursing schools in California. It’s well-known for its affordable, high-quality nursing program. USU offers multiple nursing programs, including an online RN-to-BSN option. An MSN is also available, with specializations in Family Nurse Practitioner, Healthcare Leadership, and Nurse Education.
Pacific College is a small institution with a top-notch nursing program. The school offers nursing degrees at multiple levels, from an LVN program all the way up to an MSN program. Pacific offers an RN-to-BSN program that can be completed online.
Brandman University may not be the best-known institution on this list, but it does have a top-notch nursing program. It offers much of its nursing coursework online, students must visit campus regularly. Brandman offers an online RN-to-BSN program and a DNP program with specializations in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Family Health, Pediatric Acute Care, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, and Psychiatric/Mental Health.
North-West College offers an excellent nursing program at several colleges in Southern California. It is best known for its LVN program. Students in this program get practical experience at medical facilities throughout the region.
Charles R. Drew University
Charles R. Drew University is a historically black institution in the Los Angeles area that focuses on health sciences. It offers an online RN-to-BSN program. Also offered are Family Nurse Practitioner programs and an entry-level MSN program.
American University of the Health Sciences
American University of the Health Sciences is known for having one of the strongest nursing programs in the state. The institution offers a BSN program and an RN-to-BSN program. AUHS is a Christian institution, but students of all faiths can attend.
National University offers a wide variety of respected nursing programs. It offers a second-degree BSN, and LVN-to-BSN, and an online RN-to-BSN. Traditional MSN and Nurse Anesthesia MSN programs are also available.
West Coast University
West Coast University offers several leading nursing programs. Both its LVN-to-BSN and traditional BSN programs are well-respected. Online RN-to-BSN and MSN programs are also available.
Simpson University is a smaller institution with a powerhouse nursing program. It offers traditional BSN and RN-to-BSN programs. The RN-to-BSN program is available on-campus, online, or through a blended learning experience.
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda University is well-known for its excellent medical school, but it also has a strong nursing program. Loma Linda offers a number of undergraduate programs, including accelerated and traditional BSN degrees. An RN-to-BSN and an LVN-to-BSN program are also available.
Stanbridge University offers one of the top nursing programs of any private institution in California. It offers programs at various levels from the LVN level up to the MSN degree. The MSN is an Educator Specialization.
Fresno Pacific University
Fresno Pacific University offers one of the top nursing programs in central California. Standard degree programs like the RN-to-BSN are offered. FPU even has a MSN-to-FNP program.
Pacific Union College
Pacific Union College offers numerous highly-rated undergraduate nursing programs. It offers ADN and RN-to-BSN programs, among others. An LVN-to-RN program is also available.
Point Loma Nazarene University
Point Loma Nazarene University is a Christian university that is known for its health sciences programs. There are three BSN tracks available: traditional, LVN-to-BSN, and RN-to-BSN. Nursing students even have the opportunity to study abroad.
Casa Loma College
Casa Loma College may not be the best-known institution on our list, but it does offer a leading nursing program. The RN-to-BSN program is available online. The accelerated curriculum for this program can be completed in less than a year
California Baptist University
California Baptist University is a Christian institution, though students of all faiths can attend. It has a strong nursing program with a mission to educate competently, responsible, caring, and professional nurses. Degrees are available at both the undergraduate/prelicensure (BSN, ELMSN, RN-BSN) and graduate levels (ADN-MSN, MSN with Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Health Systems Management, and Informatics; and DNP). Students have many opportunities to volunteer in local communities during their studies.
Vanguard University offers several well-respected nursing programs. These programs include a traditional BSN, an RN-to-BSN, and an MSN. A graduate certificate in Gerontology is also available.
Samuel Merritt University
Samuel Merritt University has one of the oldest and most prestigious nursing programs in the state. The BSN is available on both traditional and accelerated tracks. MSN and DNP degrees are also offered.
Azusa Pacific University
Azusa Pacific University is a fairly large and well-known private university with a world-class nursing program. Nursing degrees are offered from the BSN all the way up to the Ph.D. level. Numerous graduate nursing certificates are also available.
Concordia University Irvine
Concordia University has several campuses throughout the country, including one in Irvine, CA. CUI offers leading nursing programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. On offer are an MSN and several different BSN tracks.
Biola University has built a national reputation for being a leader in health sciences, including nursing. The nursing program focuses on a traditional BSN degree. This degree is intended for students who do not have a nursing license.
Holy Names University
Holy Names University is a Catholic institution with a strong nursing program. There are two degree programs available, namely an ADN-to-BSN and a traditional BSN. The traditional BSN program can be completed in less than four years.
Western University of Health Sciences
Western University of Health Sciences is known for being a leader in graduate nursing education. It offers an online Family Nurse Practitioner program. MSN and DNP degrees are also available.
Mount Saint Mary’s University
Mount Saint Mary’s University is another Catholic institution with a top-notch nursing program. In fact, it offered the first BSN in California. ADN and MSN degrees are also available.
Dominican University of California
The Dominican University of California is known for having one of the best nursing programs in the area. It is built around a traditional BSN for students who do not have a nursing license. Dominican offers a simulated healthcare facility so students can get the practical experience they need to succeed.
University of San Diego
The University of San Diego is one of the most prestigious colleges in Southern California, and its nursing program contributes to this reputation. USD is best known for its graduate nursing programs, which include MSN, DNP, and Ph.D. degrees. Students have the opportunity to go on missions to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California offers one of the most reputable nursing programs in the state, though its pricey tuition hurts its ranking. It offers several unique nursing programs, including an online MSN. This program is only open to RNs with at least one year of experience.
University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco is a prestigious private university with a top-notch nursing program. It is known for its graduate programs, such as its DNP degree. A traditional BSN program is also available.
Touro University California
Touro University California is located in Vallejo, CA. Touro offers ADN-to-BSN and BSN-to-MSN programs. A DNP program is also available.
Our Ranking Methodology
We created the rankings on this list by using our proprietary formula to rate each school. Our formula takes two statistics into account for each school (graduation rate and yearly tuition rate). The formula adds a multiplier that is equivalent to the percentage of students who did not graduate to the yearly tuition rate. Here’s an example of how it works: ABC College has a yearly tuition rate of $20,000 and a graduation rate of 60%. Its rating would be $28,000 (20,000 x 140%). Lower ratings are desirable when using our formula, so the schools on this list are ranked from lowest rating to highest rating.
If you’re looking for the best private nursing schools in California, you can learn more on our website.
Representatives of the institutions featured on this list can contact us if they need to ask a question or request a correction.