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2024 Best Nursing Schools in California

124 Colleges in California
19,867 Nursing Degrees Awarded
$90,739 Avg Early-Career Salary
Nursing is of the hottest degree programs in the United States, coming in as the #3 most popular major in the country. This makes choosing the right school a hard decision.

In 2024, College Factual analyzed 124 schools in order to identify the top ones for its Best Nursing Schools in California ranking. Combined, these schools handed out 19,867 degrees in nursing to qualified students.

Jump to one of the following sections: * Degree-Level Rankings

Choosing a Great Nursing School

Best Nursing Schools in California Your choice of nursing school matters, so we have put together these rankings to help you make your decision. For our Best Overall Nursing School rankings, we roll up the results of our degree-level rankings, weighted by the number of degrees awarded at that level.

You may want to choose one of the degree levels below to find the schools of most interest to you.

Pick Your Nursing Degree Level

Associate Degrees in Nursing
Bachelor's Degrees in Nursing
Master's Degrees in Nursing
Doctor's Degrees in Nursing

Since the program you select can have a significant impact on your future, we've developed a number of rankings, including this Best Nursing Schools in California list, to help you choose the best school for you. You can also filter this list by location to find schools closer to you.

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. When you have some time, check it out - you may want to bookmark the link so you don't forget it.

More information on how we come up with our rankings can be found here: College Factual's Data Methodology.


 

Best Schools for Nursing in California

If you aren't interested in a particular degree level and want to know which schools are the overall best at delivering an education for the nursing degrees they offer, see the list below. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

18 Top California Schools in Nursing

1
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
772 Nursing Degrees Awarded
4.3% Growth in Graduates

Any student who is interested in nursing has to check out Samuel Merritt University. Located in the city of Oakland, Samuel Merritt University is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population.

There were approximately 772 nursing students who graduated with this degree at Samuel Merritt University in the most recent data year. Those nursing students who get their degree from Samuel Merritt University receive $21,878 more than the typical nursing student.

More information about a degree in nursing from Samuel Merritt University

2
Loma Linda University crest
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, CA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
229 Nursing Degrees Awarded
2.2% Growth in Graduates

Loma Linda University is a good choice for students interested in a degree in nursing. Located in the suburb of Loma Linda, Loma Linda University is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population.

There were roughly 228.99999999999997 nursing students who graduated with this degree at Loma Linda University in the most recent year we have data available. Nursing degree recipients from Loma Linda University earn a boost of around $30,135 over the average income of nursing graduates.

More information about a degree in nursing from Loma Linda University

3
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
89 Nursing Degrees Awarded
$167,228 Median Starting Salary

University of Southern California is a great decision for students interested in a degree in nursing. USC is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of #11 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means USC is a great university overall.

There were about 89 nursing students who graduated with this degree at USC in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the nursing major at University of Southern California get $76,489 more than the average college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in nursing from University of Southern California

4
Pacific College crest
Pacific College
Costa Mesa, CA
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
72 Nursing Degrees Awarded
94.4% Growth in Graduates

Any student who is interested in nursing needs to take a look at Pacific College. Pacific College is a small private for-profit college located in the city of Costa Mesa.

There were approximately 72 nursing students who graduated with this degree at Pacific College in the most recent year we have data available. Nursing degree recipients from Pacific College earn a boost of about $23,509 above the typical income of nursing graduates.

More information about a degree in nursing from Pacific College

5
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
225 Nursing Degrees Awarded
$91,530 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city of Los Angeles, UCLA is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #26 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means UCLA is a great university overall.

There were roughly 225 nursing students who graduated with this degree at UCLA in the most recent year we have data available. Students who graduate with their degree from the nursing program state that they receive average early career earnings of $91,530.

More information about a degree in nursing from University of California - Los Angeles

6
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
223 Nursing Degrees Awarded
14.3% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large city of San Francisco, UCSF is a public university with a small student population.

There were about 223 nursing students who graduated with this degree at UCSF in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the nursing program at University of California - San Francisco make $24,196 above the standard college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in nursing from University of California - San Francisco

7
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
1,289 Nursing Degrees Awarded
$95,567 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city of Anaheim, West Coast University - Orange County is a private for-profit university with a small student population.

There were about 1289 nursing students who graduated with this degree at West Coast University - Orange County in the most recent data year. Nursing degree recipients from West Coast University - Orange County receive an earnings boost of about $4,827 over the average earnings of nursing majors.

More information about a degree in nursing from West Coast University - Orange County

8
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
682 Nursing Degrees Awarded
33.9% Growth in Graduates

USU is a small private for-profit university located in the large city of San Diego. A Best Colleges rank of #101 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means USU is a great university overall.

There were about 682 nursing students who graduated with this degree at USU in the most recent data year. Nursing degree recipients from United States University receive an earnings boost of approximately $25,864 above the average earnings of nursing graduates.

More information about a degree in nursing from United States University

9
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
185 Nursing Degrees Awarded
36.8% Growth in Graduates

Located in the suburb of Pomona, Western University of Health Sciences is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population.

There were roughly 185 nursing students who graduated with this degree at Western University of Health Sciences in the most recent data year. Nursing degree recipients from Western University of Health Sciences receive an earnings boost of about $13,161 over the typical income of nursing graduates.

More information about a degree in nursing from Western University of Health Sciences

10
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
493 Nursing Degrees Awarded
5.5% Growth in Graduates

USFCA is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit university located in the city of San Francisco. A Best Colleges rank of #164 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means USFCA is a great university overall.

There were approximately 493 nursing students who graduated with this degree at USFCA in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the nursing degree program at University of San Francisco earn $30,534 more than the typical graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in nursing from University of San Francisco

11
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
889 Nursing Degrees Awarded
23.5% Growth in Graduates

Azusa Pacific is a medium-sized private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Azusa. This university ranks 43rd out of 168 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There were approximately 889 nursing students who graduated with this degree at Azusa Pacific in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the nursing major at Azusa Pacific University get $11,930 above the typical college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

More information about a degree in nursing from Azusa Pacific University

12
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
319 Nursing Degrees Awarded
32.3% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large city of Los Angeles, MSMU is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population. This university ranks 52nd out of 168 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There were roughly 319 nursing students who graduated with this degree at MSMU in the most recent data year. Students who graduate with their degree from the nursing program report average early career wages of $76,204.

More information about a degree in nursing from Mount Saint Mary’s University

13
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
88 Nursing Degrees Awarded
22.7% Growth in Graduates

UC Irvine is a fairly large public university located in the city of Irvine. A Best Colleges rank of #61 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means UC Irvine is a great university overall.

There were about 88 nursing students who graduated with this degree at UC Irvine in the most recent data year. After graduating, nursing degree recipients typically earn about $91,018 at the beginning of their careers.

More information about a degree in nursing from University of California - Irvine

14
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
425 Nursing Degrees Awarded
16.2% Growth in Graduates

CSULB is a very large public university located in the large city of Long Beach. This university ranks 28th out of 168 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There were approximately 425 nursing students who graduated with this degree at CSULB in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the nursing program at California State University - Long Beach make $8,324 above the typical college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in nursing from California State University - Long Beach

15
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
229 Nursing Degrees Awarded
$94,792 Median Starting Salary

SDSU is a fairly large public university located in the large city of San Diego. A Best Colleges rank of #141 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means SDSU is a great university overall.

There were roughly 229 nursing students who graduated with this degree at SDSU in the most recent year we have data available. Nursing degree recipients from San Diego State University earn a boost of around $4,053 above the typical earnings of nursing graduates.

More information about a degree in nursing from San Diego State University

16
National University crest
National University
San Diego, CA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
415 Nursing Degrees Awarded
$88,491 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city of San Diego, National University is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 33rd out of 168 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There were approximately 415 nursing students who graduated with this degree at National University in the most recent year we have data available. Students who graduate with their degree from the nursing program state that they receive average early career wages of $88,491.

More information about a degree in nursing from National University

17
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
37 Nursing Degrees Awarded
$127,500 Median Starting Salary

Located in the suburb of Davis, UC Davis is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #52 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means UC Davis is a great university overall.

There were approximately 37 nursing students who graduated with this degree at UC Davis in the most recent year we have data available. Those nursing students who get their degree from University of California - Davis make $36,761 more than the average nursing grad.

More information about a degree in nursing from University of California - Davis

18
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
81 Nursing Degrees Awarded
$105,501 Median Starting Salary

USD is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit university located in the city of San Diego. This university ranks 29th out of 168 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There were approximately 81 nursing students who graduated with this degree at USD in the most recent data year. Those nursing students who get their degree from University of San Diego earn $14,761 more than the typical nursing graduate.

More information about a degree in nursing from University of San Diego


 

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Nursing students in the state of California that almost earned our Best Nursing Schools in California award.

RankCollegeLocation
19West Coast University - Los AngelesNorth Hollywood, CA
20California State University - FullertonFullerton, CA
21Touro University CaliforniaVallejo, CA
22Point Loma Nazarene UniversitySan Diego, CA
23Charles R Drew University of Medicine and ScienceLos Angeles, CA
24University of St. Augustine for Health SciencesSan Marcos, CA
25San Joaquin Delta CollegeStockton, CA

Best Nursing Colleges in the Far Western US Region

Explore all the Best Nursing Colleges in the Far Western US Area or other specific states within that region.

StateCollegesDegrees Awarded
Washington3003,806
Oregon2661,502
Nevada1921,994
Hawaii164534
Alaska119177

View All Rankings >

Nursing is one of 34 different types of Health Professions programs to choose from.

Nursing Focus Areas

MajorAnnual Graduates
Registered Nursing16,962
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing1,136
Nursing Administration435
Nursing Practice337
Other Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing278
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse/Nursing202
Clinical Nurse Specialist138
Nursing Science136
Public Health/Community Nurse/Nursing130
Clinical Nurse Leader59

View All Nursing Concentrations >

Related MajorAnnual Graduates
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services15,089
Allied Health Professions9,301
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants8,434
Health Sciences & Services7,291
Health & Medical Administrative Services6,654
Public Health5,474
Dental Support Services4,497
Mental & Social Health Services3,300
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions3,284
Communication Sciences2,340

View All Nursing Related Majors >

Notes and References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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