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California, CA - RN to BSN Nursing School Program

For working RNs in California wishing to further their education without sacrificing their current position, completing an RN to BSN degree is tailored to your needs. Currently, ten schools offer RN to BSN programs in California, nine in state as listed by the California Board of Registered Nursing, and one purely online program via the University of Phoenix.

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RN to BSN programs are unique in that many of them allow RNs to pursue their BSN while still continuing to work through night classes and online degrees. They give previously accredited RNs the ability to expand their knowledge and skills already gained through previous education that led to RN licensure through programs such as an ADN. In addition, it is possible to complete the programs at an accelerated rate—as little as one year once all the general education courses are completed. Accelerated completion is partly made possible through NLN Nursing Acceleration Challenge Exams, which test knowledge in nursing processes and skills, medical and surgical processes and knowledge, pediatrics, mental health and maternal newborn care, and place currently working nurses for accelerated education. Essentially, they test current knowledge and skills to determine the educational development of accepted RNs and allow them to move to higher level courses based on previously acquired knowledge. This allows currently employed Registered Nurses to tailor individual coursework to their needs and to reach career goals. Indeed, it is a targeted program towards nurses wishing to develop their career beyond that of their current practice.

To get into an RN to BSN program in California, a 2.5 GPA is usually required in previous prerequisite and nursing courses, but entry is competitive and the minimum is not always enough to gain acceptance. Usually, these courses have been completed on the way to an RN in an AND program and include both arts and sciences courses like English, statistics, microbiology and so on. And like an ADN, admission to general studies is required before applying to a nursing school. Once accepted to the respective college of nursing, students take courses in research, leadership, family and community health, community assessment and upper level electives that allow for further specialization of knowledge during an RN to BSN. Other specialized courses are also available from throughout the science department; RN to BSN students may take anything from upper level biology to philosophy of health.

A BSN does not require a final test like the NCLEX, but many schools do set a minimum graduating GPA—a 2.5 or C average is typical. And once a student has graduated, many newfound opportunities for career advancement open up. Research and critical thinking skills, a broader scope of knowledge, and further leadership training can lead to both public and private sector research positions and community health programming beyond a hospital or clinical setting. Leadership and management skills offer the opportunity for advancement in current occupational settings as well. With an average Registered Nurse’s salary sitting around $67,000 (according to in California, this can also mean that graduates of an RSN to BSN program have the opportunity to move to the higher end of the nursing salary scale, which in some cases can reach six figures.