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Nursing Programs in Sacramento, CA with Course and Degree Info

The Sacramento area has 6 schools within about 25 miles that offer nursing programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for 3 of these schools to make an informed education decision.

Sacramento Nursing Schools

Students have a few options for nursing programs in the Sacramento area. This article discusses 3 public schools, all within less than 25 minutes from the city center, and features a table that compares some important school characteristics.

  • Registered nurses can gain additional experience and training through the associate's degree program offered by Sacramento City College, just 5 miles from downtown.
  • The only bachelor's degree program in the area is available through California State University - Sacramento, which is the largest school in the state's university system and is located in the downtown area.
  • Located about 17 miles from Sacramento, the University of California - Davis is the only school in the area to offer a nursing doctorate.

Comparison of Schools

The right school can be just as important as the right program. Read below to find out more information about the enrollments, community settings, tuitions and graduation rates for the 3 featured schools.

Sacramento City College California State University - Sacramento University of California - Davis
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; public 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 21,323* 31,255* 37,380*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Small suburb
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $1,104 in-state; $8,208 out-of-state (undergraduate)* $7,204 in-state, $19,084 out-of-state (undergraduate); $8,638 in-state, $18,142 out-of-state (graduate)* $13,607 in-state; $28,709 out-of-state (graduate)*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 76%* 84%* 70%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admissions* 68%* 43%*
Undergraduate Retention Rate (2016-2017) 65% full-time; 25% part-time* 83% full-time; 66% part-time* 93% full-time; 80% part-time*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 24% (students enrolled in 2014)* 48% (students enrolled in 2011)* 85% (students enrolled in 2011)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Sacramento City College

One of four regional schools in the Los Rios Community College District, Sacramento City College is an accessible 2-year institution offering associate's degrees to over 21,000 students. The nursing program offers academic tracks for students looking to become registered and licensed vocational nurses.

Associate in Science in Nursing

Totaling 74-75 units, this 2-year degree program is designed for licensed vocational nurses, registered nurses with a diploma, and beginning students. Because many students in the program already have experience in nursing, courses focus on technical and advanced nursing concepts that students can immediately apply to their occupations. Training includes nursing and health maintenance, complex and multiple patient care, and microbiology. With this degree, nurses will have an updated grasp of nursing and healthcare, and beginning nurses can sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) for RNs.

Associate in Science in Vocational Nursing

Students looking to become licensed vocational nurses can complete a 60-unit program that's not as extensive as the registered nurse program but allows them to seek entry-level careers in hospitals, nursing homes, clinical research centers, and educational institutions. Graduates qualify for the NCLEX for LVNs. Some course topics cover nutrition, human development, adult health needs, and medical language.

California State University - Sacramento

California State University at Sacramento is one of the largest in the state university system. It offers only one graduate program in nursing but many undergraduate programs for beginning students and current nurses.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This 4-year degree program prepares students to take the NCLEX and become registered nurses. Nursing-specific courses include adult nursing care, mental health nursing, leadership in nursing practice, community health nursing, and nursing research.

Licensed Vocational Nurse to Registered Nurse Non-Degree

Current LVNs who meet certain course requirements can enroll in this 30-unit full-time program to become RNs. They'll learn about various advanced nursing topics, including pediatric, obstetrical, medical-surgical, and geriatric nursing. However, they won't earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Working RNs with an associate's degree can earn a BS in Nursing along with a public health nurse certificate in this program. The BSN require a total of 120 units. Some credits can be transferred. Nursing courses in the required curriculum include nursing research, community health nursing, and communication and reasoning.

Master of Science in Nursing

Designed for registered nurses with professional experience, this 2-year degree program gives students an in-depth nursing education that allows them to stay knowledgeable, efficient, and successful in a specific area of nursing. Because medical technology and concepts are constantly changing, this master's degree program may be particularly useful for mid-career nurses and healthcare professionals. Courses include advanced nursing research, advanced practice pharmacology, advanced role development in nursing, and specialized nursing processes. This program requires 33 units of coursework.

University of California - Davis

Located roughly 17 miles outside of Sacramento, UC Davis is one of 10 schools in the state university system. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing offers several graduate degree programs.

Master of Science in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership

The MS program in nursing leadership at UC Davis is designed for students already experienced in this field. Candidates for this full-time program must be licensed as registered nurses, have a bachelor's degree in a related field and a minimum GPA of 3.0 at the time of application. Required courses include the study of healthcare leadership, health informatics, implementation science, and healthcare systems. A master's thesis is also required. Students must complete this program within 5 quarters. Graduates are prepared for leadership positions with health organizations and government agencies.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership

The nursing science and healthcare leadership PhD program must be completed in 4 years. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in nursing or a related field and be willing to participate full-time. Some of the core courses that students must complete include the study of healthcare systems, research design, health informatics, and implementation science. To earn this terminal degree, students must pass an oral qualifying examination and complete a doctoral dissertation.

Other School Options

Sacramento students interested in nursing can also check out the certificate and degree programs at American River College, which is part of the Los Rios Community College District and roughly 10 miles from downtown Sacramento. Options are available for aspiring RNs and LVNs. Sierra College in Rocklin, about 25 miles away, offers RN and LVN to RN programs.


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