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Nursing Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area

Research nursing schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, which currently has more than 25 colleges offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for the 10 largest schools and decide which program is right for you.

San Francisco Area Nursing Schools

The San Francisco Bay Area of California is a metropolitan region that has more than 25 colleges and universities with nursing programs. Of the schools presented below, the majority offer certificate or associate's degree programs in nursing. Several schools offer bachelor's degree programs in the field as well. Some universities have graduate degree programs in nursing available, although not many nurses require graduate degrees, unless they are going into administration or specialty fields. Besides classroom lectures, practically all nursing programs require students to participate in clinical training hours with real patients.

Career Requirements

According to the California Board of Registered Nursing, all aspiring nurses must complete an approved and accredited education program to obtain licensure or certification in the state. Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) only need about one year of schooling to meet requirements, while registered nurses (RNs) typically must earn associate's or bachelor's degrees to be eligible for licensing. Upon graduation, both types of nurses must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to fulfill all licensing and certification requirements. The 10 largest schools in the San Francisco Bay Area that offer nursing programs are presented below.

School Comparison

School Name School Type & Setting Nursing Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
California State University - East Bay 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Science in Nursing$6,564 in-state*
$17,724 out-of-state*
Chabot College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate in Arts in Nursing,
LVN to RN
$1,138 in-state*
$6,970 out-of-state*
City College of San Francisco 2-year, public; large city Certificate in Vocational Nursing,
Associate in Science in Nursing
$1,598 in-state*
$7,554 out-of-state*
De Anza College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Science in Nursing$1,542 in-state*
$8,382 out-of-state*
Evergreen Valley College2-year, public; large city Associate of Science in Nursing$1,338 in-state*
$7,010 out-of-state*
Ohlone College2-year, public; large suburb Associate in Science in Nursing$1,162 in-state*
$6,394 out-of-state*
San Francisco State University 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate
$6,476 in-state*
$17,636 out-of-state*
San Jose State University 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice
$7,378 in-state*
$18,538 out-of-state*
Santa Rosa Junior College 2-year, public; midsize city Certificate in Vocational Nursing,
Associate in Science in Nursing
$1,318 in-state*
$6,637 out-of-state*
Solano Community College 2-year, public; midsize suburb Associate in Science in Nursing$1,416 in-state*
$7,386 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

California State University - East Bay

Located in Hayward, California State University - East's ranking in the 2016 edition of US News & World Report's Best Colleges is Regional Universities (West), Tier 2. The Department of Nursing offers multiple tracks to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The pre-licensure nursing program takes 5 years to complete and includes courses in nursing theory, clinic and skills. Individuals who are already licensed as RNs can earn their BSN in only 1 or 2 years, part-time. There is also a track for those who have previously earned an associate's degree in nursing.

Chabot College

Chabot College is a 2-year school in Hayward. The Associate in Arts in Nursing program prepares students to begin working as RNs. Coursework includes pharmacology for professional nurses, intravenous therapy, adult health and physical assessment. Current LVNs can work toward their RN licensure as well. They can choose to earn an associate's degree or enter the non-degree-granting track.

City College of San Francisco

The City College of San Francisco is one of the largest public colleges in the country. Both aspiring LVNs and RNs can find programs here. The Certificate in Vocational Nursing program prepares students for entry-level work in 3 semesters. There is also an Associate in Science in Nursing available that includes general education courses, as well as nursing classes like psychosocial nursing and the nursing of children. Graduates are trained to work in a variety of health care settings.

De Anza College

De Anza College in Cupertino offers an Associate of Science in Nursing program that's open to both high school graduates and current LVNs. Prior to beginning the program, students must complete all prerequisite courses. The curriculum prepares students to work as RNs. An advanced placement program is available for transfer students.

Evergreen Valley College

Evergreen Valley College sits on 175 acres in the foothills of San Jose. Students can earn an Associate in Science in Nursing while preparing for their RN licensure. In addition to general education courses, students take nursing classes including maternity nursing, fundamentals in nursing and basic medical-surgical nursing.

Ohlone College

Ohlone College in Fremont offers an Associate in Science in Nursing program to students who wish to become RNs. This 2-year program includes clinical experiences in Alameda, Santa Clara and other counties. Advanced standing enrollment is available for current LVNs, psychiatric technicians and transfer students.

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. BSN students can enter the pre- or post-licensure track. In 2014-2015, approximately 87% of BSN graduates passed the NCLEX-RN exam. There is also a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for BSN graduates who wish to pursue advanced practice nursing. Graduate core courses include advanced pathophysiology and diagnostic reasoning, program planning and financial management, and epidemiology and biostatistics in advanced practice nursing.

San Jose State University

San Jose State University is located on the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area. Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees are offered through The Valley Foundation School of Nursing. In the final semester of the BSN program, students must work for 12 hours a week in a clinical setting. Master's students can focus on nurse educator, nurse administrator or nurse informaticist specialties. There is also a joint Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program available through a collaboration between California State University, Fresno and San Jose State University. This program is approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and prepares students to work as advanced practice nurses and nurse leaders.

Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa Junior College is one of the largest single college districts in the nation. A Certificate in Vocational Nursing is available for students who wish to work as LVNs under the supervision of an RN or physician. The Associate in Science in Nursing program prepares students to work in many different settings with ill and injured patients. Core course requirements include fundamentals of professional nursing, nursing care of the adult/older adult/psychiatric client and advanced care of the acutely ill.

Solano Community College

Solano Community College in Vallejo is part of California's community college system. Prospective RNs can enroll in the Associate in Science in Nursing program. LVNs can enter an accelerated track. Prerequisite coursework in English and biology is required. Nursing classes include nursing of adults, medical-surgical nursing and maternal-child nursing.

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