Nurse Practitioner Schools in California with Certification Info

Jan 28, 2019

Research nurse practitioner programs in California, which currently has 27 colleges and universities offering these programs. Read overviews of the degrees and certificates, and get some quick facts for two California schools to decide which program is right for you.

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California Schools Offering Nurse Practitioner Studies

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses (RNs) with advanced degrees and extra certification. Current RNs in California seeking to become advanced practice nurses can enroll in master's degree or graduate certificate programs at many postsecondary institutions throughout the state.

Learn about two universities in California offering programs that prepare students for nurse practitioner certification. Get curricula details as well as information about clinical experiences. Find helpful facts about both schools in the table appearing in this article.

  • The University of California - San Francisco offers a master's degree program in nursing with several track options for nurse practitioners. The school is located within the downtown San Francisco area.
  • California State University - Long Beach, situated about five miles east of downtown Long Beach, awards a nurse practitioner certificate and a master's degree in nursing.

Comparison of Schools

While it is important to explore all details about nurse practitioner programs, it is equally important to learn all that a school has to offer before choosing a program. Read below to get statistics and facts about each school's tuition, population and campus setting.

University of California - San Francisco California State University - Long Beach
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 3,107* 37,622*
Campus Setting Large city Large city
Graduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $12,842 (in-state)*
$27,944 (out-of-state)*
$8,164 (in-state)*
$17,668 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

University of California - San Francisco

This branch of the University of California is a health-centered school that offers graduate degrees in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and nursing. It is affiliated with the San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and many other healthcare facilities. In 2019, U.S. News and World Report ranked this university's nursing school (master's) and adult nurse practitioner program #11 in the nation. The family nurse practitioner program was ranked #10 while the pediatric program was ranked #9. The psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner program was ranked #6.

Master of Science in Nursing

Registered nurses with experience and a bachelor's degree can apply to this program, which has several concentrations specifically for nurse practitioners, including acute care, adult, family, pediatric and neonatal practitioner programs. Besides emphasizing research, this 2-year program provides hands-on clinical experience and focuses on placing nurses in positions of leadership. This program prepares students for certification with the California Board of Registered Nursing. The certification test focuses on age-specific medical care, disease prevention, community outreach and other topics.

California State University - Long Beach

California State University - Long Beach enrolls over 37,000 students annually. Of those, over 6,000 are graduate students. The institution can be found adjacent to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in central Long Beach. Its nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Master of Science in Nursing

This program requires 30-48 credit hours of coursework that prepares students to become family, pediatric, geriatric-adult, women's health or psychiatric nurse practitioners. Each specialty corresponds with a nurse practitioner certification exam provided by the California Board of Registered Nursing. At least 12-15 credit hours of hands-on clinical practice are required for each concentration. Students may choose to finish their studies by completing a thesis or research project, or a professional literature review.

Nurse Practitioner Certificate

This program includes the classes required for certification and directly mirrors those offered in the master's program. A separate track is provided for each of the master's-level practitioner specialties. Depending on the chosen track, students must take 13-16 courses. All tracks require the same graduate-level courses in pathophysiology, pharmacology, physical assessment, nursing roles and human diversity. These courses are a part of the Master of Science program's core curriculum as well.

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