Nursing Schools in Orange County, CA with Degree Info

Research nursing degrees in Orange County, which currently has nine colleges and universities offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for these schools and decide which program is right for you.

Essential Information

Students in Orange County, California, may choose from a range of schools when searching for a nursing program. Certificate and degree programs train individuals to work as a licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) or registered nurses (RNs). RNs typically complete two to four years of college, while LVNs need about one year of schooling; LVNs generally work under the supervision of RNs. All nursing programs include practicum requirements, such as clinical rotations or internships. Bridge and transition programs are available to currently licensed nurses desiring to advance their careers or specialize.


Brandman University

Located in Irvine, Brandman University's School of Nursing and Health Professions offers an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and graduate degree programs. Because BSN students are expected to already have RN licensure, the program does not prepare students for the NCLEX examination. Students who have not yet earned licensure, but who are scheduled to take the examination, may also apply for the program. Those students who already have a BSN may choose to complete a BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). DNP applicants may choose between specialties such as adult-geriatric acute care nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner and pediatric nurse practitioner-acute care.

California State University-Fullerton

California State University (Cal State)'s Fullerton branch offers a comprehensive nursing program through its College of Health and Human Development. The entry-level BSN program prepares students for the RN licensure exam, while the RN to BSN program is designed for current nurses. The Master of Science in Nursing allows participants to choose a specialty within the field of nursing. Classes may be completed online to accommodate the schedules of working nurses.

Concordia University-Irvine

Concordia University in Irvine offers undergraduate degrees in nursing. The BSN program is accelerated, and it is meant for those students who already hold a bachelor's degree from another college or university. The program may be completed in as little as three semesters. Graduates are prepared for the California Public Health Certificate examination. There is also an RN to BSN program for current nurses to earn a degree.

Cypress College

Cypress College in Cypress, California, is a 2-year school and offers an Associate Degree in Nursing through the Health Science department. Students will be prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination. They will also earn the education necessary to transfer to an RN to BSN program at a 4-year college.

Golden West College

In Huntington Beach, Golden West College's School of Nursing offers an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. This 4-semester program covers nursing processes and issues. Students are prepared to take the NCLEX-RN examination upon graduation.

Saddleback College

Santa Ana College

Located in Santa Ana, Santa Ana College offers prospective nurses a 2-year program that prepares them for the practice of being a registered nurse (RN). The Associate Degree in Nursing is a four-semester program and requires courses such as general human anatomy, human physiology and health microbiology. Students are prepared for the NCLEX-RN examination.

University of California-Irvine

The Irvine campus of the University of California offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees through the School of Nursing Science. The BSN program prepares students for entry-level nursing work, as well as for the NCLEX-RN examination. Master's students may choose to concentrate in family nurse practitioner or adult gerontological nurse practitioner. Additionally, the PhD program allows nurses to pursue careers in academia or research.

Vanguard University of Southern California

Vanguard University in Costa Mesa offers an undergraduate and graduate program for individuals who already have RN licensure. The RN to BSN program includes courses such as multi-dimensional assessment, principles of pathophysiology and community health nursing. The Master of Science in Nursing degree program focuses on both education and leadership techniques and helps nurses advance in their careers.

Career Requirements

To become a nurse in Orange County California, individuals must have graduated from an approved nursing education program and pass the appropriate licensure examination. Both RNs and LVNs must attain licensure through the state by passing an examination. Many degree programs train aspiring nurses for this exam.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Nursing Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Brandman University 4-year, private not-for-profit; Midsized city RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
$12,240*
California State University-Fullerton 4-year, public; Large suburb Bachelor of Science in Nursing
RN to BSN
Master of Science in Nursing
Doctor of Nursing Practice
$6,437 (in-state)*
$17,597 (out-of-state)*
Concordia University-Irvine 4-year, private not-for-profit; Midsized city Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
RN to BSN
$31,690*
Cypress College 2-year, public; Large suburb Associate Degree in Nursing $1,138 (in-state)*
$6,154 (out-of-state)*
Golden West College 2-year, public; Large suburb Associate Degree in Nursing $1,176 (in-state)*
$5,616 (out-of-state)*
Saddleback College 2-year, public; Large suburb Associate Degree Nursing $1,326 (in-state)*
$5,750 (out-of-state)*
Santa Ana College 2-year, public; Large city Associate Degree in Nursing $1,142 (in-state)*
$6,902 (out-of-state)*
University of California-Irvine 4-year, public; Midsized city Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Master of Science in Nursing
PhD in Nursing
$13,252 (in-state)*
$37,960 (out-of-state)*
Vanguard University of Southern California 4-year, private not-for-profit; Midsized city RN to BSN
Master of Science in Nursing
$30,050*

Source: *NCES College Navigator


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