School and Ranking Information
Numerous schools within a 20-mile radius of the downtown Anaheim area offer nursing programs, including both 2-year and 4-year schools, as well as public, non-profit and for-profit institutions. Based on U.S. News & World Report rankings, degrees awarded, and NCLEX exam pass rates, the top choices in the Anaheim area are as follows:
- Winner: California State University - Long Beach (CSULB) had an unranked graduate nursing program in the region in 2019. It also awarded more than 300 nursing degrees in 2018-2019.
- Runner-Up #1: California State University - Fullerton (CSUF) had a 95th ranking graduate nursing program in 2019, putting it in second place. Its nursing anesthesia program and midwifery program received high national rankings, though, and it awarded more than 350 nursing degrees in 2018-2019.
- Runner-Up #2: University of California, Irvine (UCI) is the only school of these three with an overall national ranking - the other two institutions are regionally ranked - though it doesn't have a ranked nursing program. It has one of the highest graduation rates of schools in the region, however.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||California State University - Long Beach||California State University - Fullerton||University of California, Irvine|
|Ranking(s)||61st for National Graduate Healthcare Management (2019),
20th for Regional Universities (West) (2020),
5th Top Public School in the West (2020)*
|95th for National Graduate Nursing (2021),
4th for National Graduate Nursing-Anesthesia (2016),
21st for National Graduate Nursing-Midwifery (2020), 17th for Regional Universities (West) (2020)*
|36th for National Universities (2020)*|
|Location||Long Beach, CA (12 miles from downtown Anaheim)||Fullerton, CA (4 miles from downtown Anaheim)||Irvine, CA (13 miles from downtown Anaheim)|
|School Type||4-year, public||4-year, public||4-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2019-2020)|| $6,834 (in-state, undergraduate), $18,714 (out-of-state, undergraduate)
$8,268 (in-state, graduate), $17,772 (out-of-state, graduate)**
|$6,924 (in-state, undergraduate), $18,804 (out-of-state, undergraduate)
$8,358 (in-state, graduate), $17,862 (out-of-state, graduate)**
| $13,727 (in-state, undergraduate), $43,481 (out-of-state, undergraduate)
$13,349 (in-state, graduate), $28,451 (out-of-state, graduate)**
|Nursing Degree Levels Offered||Bachelor's and master's degrees**||Bachelor's and master's degrees**||Bachelor's and master's degrees**|
|Nursing Degrees (All Levels) Awarded in 2018-2019||309**||355**||60**|
|Most Popular Nursing Program in 2018-2019||Bachelor in Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse (203 awarded)**||Bachelor in Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse (282 awarded)**||Bachelor in Nursing Science (55 awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2013 Entering Class||74% (2 transfer-out rate)**||69% (2% transfer-out rate)**||84% (9% transfer-out rate)**|
|Noteworthy||Has 350 California Merit Finalists among current undergraduate population***||1st in state and 8th in nation in conferring bachelor's degrees to Hispanics***||Pacific Ocean is five-miles from the campus***|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***Schools' websites
Winner: California State University - Long Beach
- Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing accredits CSULB's School of Nursing
- 5th among U.S. News & World Report's 2020 list of 'Top Public Schools' nationwide
- CSULB's School of Nursing annually receives more inquiries than open slots
The School of Nursing at CSULB offers programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels, as well as a post-master's nurse practitioner certificate. The school's baccalaureate offering is for applicants without any nursing coursework, those who have completed nursing study at the first level, or non-nursing degree students interested in becoming a registered nurse. For those interested in the nursing graduate program, the school offers a M.S. degree with classes scheduled to accommodate working nurses. The school emphasizes its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a more 'practice-oriented' program, as opposed to research-oriented degrees. The nursing schools at the CSU campuses of Fullerton, Los Angeles, and Long Beach together offer this Ph.D. program.
Based on California BRN figures, approximately 99.31% of CSULB's 145 bachelor's students that could sit for the NCLEX-RN exam in 2018-2019 passed the exam on their first try. 2018-2019 was last year that CSULB master's students took the exam, where the only one student that took the exam passed.
Runner-Up #1: California State University - Fullerton
- CSUF's School of Nursing was created in 2010
- School of Nursing has 5 administrative faculty, 23 full-time faculty, 7 Kaiser Permanente faculty, and 59 part-time faculty.
- From the nursing program's first year (1998) to 2019, enrollment increased from 69 to 646 nursing students
CSUF's bachelor and master's degree programs in nursing offerings are five in number, and include entry-level bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN), associate's degree in nursing (ADN) to BSN bridge (also known as an ADN-BSN program), ADN to M.S. in nursing (ADN-MSN), entry-level M.S. (EL-MSN), and the MSN. The lecture-style undergraduate program includes laboratory work and clinical experience, covering areas of study including mental health, geriatric, maternal/child and community-based nursing. Graduates may take the licensing exam for RN designation. RNs already with nursing associate's degrees can pursue the traditional or distance-learning ADN-BSN program. Clinical experience and lab work is required. The ADN-MSN program is for students with nursing associate's degrees and who have already completed their RN credentials. This accelerated program, which includes a distance learning option, offers the qualified students to earn a combined bachelor's and master's degree. The school created the EL-MSN program for non-nursing degreed students that are interested in becoming RNs. The MSN program extends the graduate program options for the licensed RN already with a bachelor's degree in nursing.
Runner-Up #2: University of California, Irvine
- School's research institution works in conjunction with the UC Irvine Medical Center
- NCES showed in the 2018-2019 school year, 63% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid, which is the highest of the profiled schools
UCI's nursing science (NS) program was established in 2005. The undergraduate and graduate NS program includes B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degree offerings, as well as a post-graduate certificate program. Students completing the undergraduate program qualify for the NCLEX-RN exam and learn critical thinking skills related clinical practice. Students that complete the graduate programs earn the right for BRN certification and become experienced nurse practitioners with specialization in adult gerontology or family nursing. The NS Ph.D. program further enhances research and theory skills to pursue faculty opportunities. According to the California BRN, of the 46 UCI graduates in 2018-2019 qualified to take the NCLEX-RN exam, about 94% passed on their first try.