Cost Of Private Nursing Schools In California: In-Depth Analysis

12 minutes read
Oct 3, 2023

If you want to know the cost of private nursing schools in California, You are at the right place. In this latest post, we will explore:

  • Cost Of 10 Private Registered Nursing Schools In California
  • Top 11 Cheapest Nursing Schools In California
  • 10 Private Schools That Offer 2-year Nursing Programs In California
  • Best ADN Programs In California
  • Why Does Nursing School Cost So Much?

And many more that can be helpful for you. So, without any delay, let’s get started.

Key Takeaway

  • Private nursing schools in California have varying tuition costs and admission requirements.
  • Some of the cheapest nursing schools offer cost-effective options with different graduation rates and post-graduation earnings.
  • California offers 2-year nursing programs with different admission criteria and durations.
  • LVN to RN bridge programs provide pathways for career advancement for licensed vocational nurses.
  • Nursing school costs are influenced by high demand, experienced instructors, hands-on learning, strict standards, essential supplies, licensing fees, support services, insurance, technology, and safety measures.

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Cost Of Private Nursing Schools In California

Beginning a nursing career is a noble and fulfilling journey. California offers numerous chances for people who want to become nurses in its vast healthcare field. Considering enrolling in a private registered nursing school in California, consider the financial commitment. 

This blog will look at Tuition and Fees at various private registered nursing schools in California. We’re providing you with the knowledge to help you make smarter choices.

Here are the Costs and other information about 10 private Registered Nursing Schools in California;

School NameLocationProgram OfferedAverage Tuition Cost (Annually)
GraduationUnder Graduation
Fresno Pacific UniversityFresno, CABSN$14,940$34,960
Concordia University-IrvineIrvine, CABSN$14,940$37,250
Azusa Pacific UniversityAzusa, CABSN, MSN, DNP$16,571$40,830
Biola UniversityLa Mirada, CABSN$11,772$43,512
Vanguard University of Southern CaliforniaCosta Mesa, CABSN, MSN$16,080$35,850
Loma Linda UniversityLoma Linda, CABSN, MSN, DNP$27,040$32,400
Samuel Merritt UniversityOakland, CABSN, MSN, DNP$52,896$49,125
National UniversityLa Jolla, CABSN, MSN, DNP, Postgraduate Certificates$15,480$13,320
Simpson UniversityRedding, CABSN$10,543$32,700
Western University of Health SciencesPomona, CAMSN, DNP$23,556$29,958

Admission Requirements And NCLEX-RN Pass Rate

School NameAdmission RequirementsNCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2021/2022)
Fresno Pacific UniversityMinimum 3.0 GPA, TEAS scores, written statement, interviews, references, and more92.62%
Concordia University-IrvineBachelor’s degree with 75 transferable credits, prerequisites, and patient care experience96.18%
Azusa Pacific UniversityVaries by program, minimum 2.75 GPA, transcripts80.16%
Biola UniversityVaries by program, minimum 3.2 GPA, TEAS score, prerequisites77.50%
Vanguard University of Southern CaliforniaVaries by program, current RN license or ADN/BSN, minimum GPA66.67%
Loma Linda UniversityTEAS scores, recommendations, transcripts, prerequisites, and more79.45%
Samuel Merritt University60 transferable credits, minimum 3.0 GPA, HESI A2 or TEAS scores, and more85.45%
National UniversityVaries by program, minimum 3.0 GPA, transcripts, recommendations, and more79.92%
Simpson UniversityVaries by program, minimum 3.0 GPA, ATI-TEAS score, prerequisites, and more91.30%
Western University of Health SciencesVaries by program, minimum 3.0 GPA, letters of recommendation, prerequisites, and more89.71%

Top 11 Cheapest Nursing Schools In California

School NameDegree OfferedTuition Cost (Approx.)
California State University – StanislausBachelor of Science in Nursing$7,418
California State University – FresnoBachelor of Science in Nursing$6,906 (in-state)
Santa Monica CollegeAssociate in Science Nursing$3,872
Long Beach City CollegeAssociate Degree in Nursing$6,583 (per semester)
Cerritos CollegeAssociate Degree in Nursing$4,514 (per semester)
California State University – Dominguez HillsAssociate Degree in Nursing$4,683 (tuition & fees)
California State University-Los AngelesVarious Bachelor’s Degrees$2,037 (average net price)
California State University-San BernardinoBachelor of Science in Nursing$2,232 (average net price)
California State University-FullertonBachelor of Science in Nursing$4,211 (average net price)
California State University-Monterey BayBachelor of Science in Nursing$5,553 (average net price)
San Francisco State UniversityBachelor of Science in Nursing$12,590 (average net price)
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Cheapest Nursing Schools Graduation Rate, Retention Rate, And Median Earnings (Post-Grad)

School NameGraduation RateRetention RateMedian Earnings (Post-Grad)
California State University – Stanislaus58.30%79%$58,300
California State University – Fresno56.30%77%$46,500
Santa Monica College28%73.07%$39,000
Long Beach City College22.27%68%$34,772
Cerritos College26.30%62%$35,000
California State University – Dominguez Hills79.40%78%$46,800
California State University-Los Angeles67.66%77.41%$54,219
California State University-San Bernardino70.21%81.82%$55,258
California State University-Fullerton77.64%87.83%$58,585
California State University-Monterey Bay71.33%81.28%$54,470
San Francisco State University67.60%83.24%$64,797

10 Private Schools That Offer 2-Year Nursing Programs In California

School NameLocationProgramDuration
Gurnick Academy of Medical ArtsMultiple campuses in CAAssociate of Science in NursingApproximately 2 years
West Coast University – Orange CountyAnaheim, CABachelor of Science in NursingTypically 2-3 years
Azusa Pacific UniversityAzusa, CABachelor of Science in Nursing2 years
National UniversityMultiple campuses in CABachelor of Science in Nursing16-18 Months
Concordia University IrvineIrvine, CABachelor of Science in NursingTypically 2-3 years
University of San FranciscoSan Francisco, CABachelor of Science in Nursing2 years
Samuel Merritt UniversityOakland, CAAccelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing15 months
Mount Saint Mary’s UniversityLos Angeles, CABachelor of Science in Nursing2 years
Biola UniversityLa Mirada, CABachelor of Science in NursingTypically 2-3 years
Loma Linda UniversityLoma Linda, CABachelor of Science in Nursing2 years

These California private schools provide fantastic opportunities for those interested in pursuing a nursing career or advancing an existing one. They offer various courses with different lengths, allowing you to pick the class that best fits your schedule and professional goals. 

It’s essential to carefully research the requirements for admission standards, tuition costs, and course offerings of each nursing school before deciding whether to enroll in one to become a registered nurse.

Best LVN To Rn Program Online In California

The Best LVN to RN programs online in California are

College NameProgram DetailsAdmission Requirements
Pasadena City College– 36-credit LVN to RN career ladder option. – Focus on specific patient populations. – Prerequisites and general education requirements. – 16-18 students accepted each semester. – Valid California LVN license and TEAS 7 score of 62 or higher.– Completed prerequisites. – Strongly recommend meeting general education requirements.
Pacific Union College– 31 quarter credits awarded after LVN-RN bridge course. – 115 quarter credits for ADN. – 18-month program. – Unrestricted LVN license and ATI TEAS score above 58%. – Classes on the Angwin campus. – Clinical rotations in various counties.– Unrestricted LVN license. – One year of professional experience. – ATI TEAS score above 58%.
Santa Barbara City College– 60 credits, three semesters. – LVN to ADN track. – LVN license required. – Admission is based on a points system. – Classes and labs scheduled on weekdays. – Clinicals on weekends and evenings.– Completed prerequisites. – High grades, TEAS scores, and work experience preferred.
Evergreen Valley College– 37-credit curriculum. – Nursing care for specific patient populations. – Current California LVN license required. – Minimum requirements and Nursing Challenge Exam. – Clinical rotations in various healthcare settings.– Current, unrestricted California LVN license. – Completion of prerequisite coursework. – TEAS test score of 62% or higher.
California State University-Sacrameinto– 30-Unit LVN to RN Option program. – Strict admission criteria (GPA, LVN license). – Courses with CSUS BSN cohort. – Classes begin in the fall semester. – Admission depends on space availability.– 3.0 GPA in prerequisites and recent post-secondary education. – Active, unrestricted California LVN license.
Butte College– LVN to ADN program replaces the first year of ADN degree. – Prerequisite and TEAS exam requirements. – Clinical rotations at healthcare facilities. – Online accelerated LVN to ADN track available.– Completed prerequisites. – TEAS score of 62% or higher. – Current California vocational nursing license.
Palomar College– LVN-RN Pathway with traditional RN program. – LVN license and TEAS 7 exam required. – Admission is based on a points system. – Clinical rotations in San Diego. – ASN degree program.– Graduated from an accredited LVN program. – Active California LVN license. – Six months of LVN experience. – TEAS 7 score required.
San Joaquin Valley College– LVN to RN Bridge program with advanced standing. – Verification of LVN license for six credits. – Clinical rotations throughout San Joaquin Valley. – Prerequisite coursework and TEAS scores are required.– Current, unencumbered California LVN license. – Completion of prerequisite coursework. – TEAS ATI exam score required.
San Bernardino Valley College– LVN to RN Bridge program with LVN experience requirement. – LVN license and TEAS exam required. – Vocational to Professional Nurse Transition course. – Clinical rotations in healthcare facilities.– One year or more of professional LVN experience. – GPA of 2.8 or higher in prerequisites. – Valid California LVN license.
American River College– LVN to RN Career Mobility track with advanced placement. – Focus on critical thinking skills. – Admission based on TEAS score, GPA, and prerequisites. – Clinical experience in Sacramento.– Current, unencumbered California LVN license. – Six months of professional LVN experience. – TEAS score of at least 62%.
Southwestern College– Step-Up LVN to ADN Program with advanced placement. – Prerequisite coursework and TEAS exam required. – Clinical rotations in the San Diego area. – 60 credits for an associate degree.– Current California LVN licensure. – One year of professional LVN experience preferred. – TEAS score of 62% or higher.
Santa Monica College– LVN to RN option with specific patient population courses. – No TEAS scores are required. – Clinical rotations and lecture courses. – Focus on organ systems. – 3 semesters to complete.– Current, unrestricted California LVN license. – One year of recent professional experience. – GPA of 2.5 or higher in LVN-related coursework.
Gurnick Academy– LVN to RN Advanced Placement Program. – LVN to RN transition course and NCLEX-RN prep class. – Clinical rotations in Fresno. – Admission based on TEAS score, GPA, and professional experience.– TEAS score of 64% or higher. – GPA of 2.5 or higher in LVN-related coursework. – One year of professional LVN experience.

Why Does Nursing School Cost So Much?

Why Does Nursing School Cost So Much?

Nursing School costs so much because of these reasons:

1) High Demand For Nursing Careers.

One big reason is that nursing is a trendy career choice. Many want to become nurses because it’s a respected job with good pay and security. This high demand for nursing programs allows schools to charge more for tuition because many students want to enroll.

2) Experienced And Qualified Instructors:

To become a good nurse, you need excellent teachers. These teachers have lots of experience and knowledge and deserve good pay for their wisdom. Good instructors are essential for students to care for patients properly.

3) Hands-On Learning

Nursing is a hands-on profession. Students must practice caring for patients in real hospitals and healthcare settings. These hospitals and healthcare facilities charge money for letting students learn there, and these costs get passed on to the students.

4) Meeting Strict Educational Standards

Nursing schools must meet rigorous standards set by accrediting bodies and government agencies to ensure they provide top-notch education. Meeting these standards can be expensive, as schools have to invest in facilities, equipment, and staff to meet all the requirements.

5) Essential Supplies And Resources

Nursing students need many supplies, like textbooks, unique uniforms, and equipment used in healthcare. These things are pricey and are necessary for their education.

6) Licensing And Certification Fees

After nursing school, graduates must pass exams and obtain licenses to practice as nurses. These exams and licenses come with fees that students have to pay.

7) Student Support Services

Nursing schools want their students to succeed. They offer support services like tutoring, counseling, and career guidance. These services require funding, which contributes to the overall cost.

8) Insurance Costs

Sometimes, students need insurance to cover accidents or issues while learning in real healthcare settings. This insurance adds to the cost of attending nursing school.

9) Modern Technology And Equipment

 Nursing students must learn to use modern technology and advanced medical equipment, which can be expensive to purchase and maintain.

10) Safety Regulations And Compliance

Nursing schools must follow strict safety regulations to ensure students’ well-being and effective learning. This might mean investing in safety equipment, staff training, and other measures, all of which require financial resources.

In summary, nursing school is costly because it necessitates a sizeable financial outlay to give students the top lessons and hands-on experience required to become exceptional nurses. Even though the expense may seem high, think of it as an investment in a fulfilling and vital career that has the potential to change the lives of others as well.


1) How Much Does Nursing School Cost At Community College?

Community college nursing programs in the USA can be pretty expensive. Without additional costs like textbooks and supplies, an associate’s degree in nursing at a community college may cost anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 annually in tuition and fees.

2) How Much Is Nursing School Per Semester?

Nursing school costs per semester can vary. Public schools may range from $3,000 to $6,000, while private ones can be over $10,000. Additional expenses like books aren’t included. Check with schools for exact rates and financial aid.

3) How Much Is A 4-Year Nursing Degree?

A 4-year nursing degree in the US typically costs between $40,000 to $200,000, factoring in tuition, fees, and living expenses.

4) What Is The Salary Of A BSC (RN) Nurse In The USA?

The salary of a BSC (RN) nurse in the USA varies by location and experience but generally ranges from $60,000 to $110,000 per year.


Pursuing a nursing career in California, whether through private schools or LVN to RN programs, comes with varying costs and unique admission criteria. 

The demand for nursing, experienced instructors, hands-on learning, strict standards, essential supplies, licensing fees, support services, insurance, technology, and safety measures all contribute to the high cost of nursing education. 

However, this investment opens doors to a rewarding profession in healthcare, where dedicated professionals significantly impact the well-being of individuals and communities. Understanding these factors can help aspiring nurses make informed decisions on their educational journey.

Martin Washington

Healthcare and Medical Advisor

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