RN to MSN Programs in California

California is home to some of the highest paying nursing jobs in the country, mainly because of the high standard of living in this state. You may be doing quite well as a registered nurse, but that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to that job. With a master of science in nursing, you could do just about anything you want and make even more money over the duration of your career. All it takes is a few years in school to make that happen. Here is a look at RN to MSN programs in California so you can decide if you want to get one.

Why Get an MSN?

Getting an MSN can lead to many great job opportunities in the future, from that of a nurse practitioner to a nurse educator and beyond. You cannot get into jobs like this as a registered nurse, even if you have been in the business for years. On top of that, the job opportunities you will find with an MSN will pay much higher than RN job opportunities. A simple staff nurse in California makes roughly $70,000 a year, but a nurse manager makes over $93,000 a year, on average. A nurse midwife in California may earn over $113,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. If you want to make more money and do more with your career in the future, an RN to MSN program is the way to go.

Job Prospects for MSN Degrees in California

With over a 2% population growth in California every year, the need for healthcare providers is high on all levels. Nurse practitioners and nurse educators alike can easily find work in rural and urban parts of the state. There is a particularly high need for educated nurses in suburbs of large cities in California because most professionals seek work in the metropolises. Once you get out of school, you are almost guaranteed a chance to get a job.

RN to MSN Program Overview

RN to MSN programs are unique in that they create a bridge between an associate’s degree in nursing and a master of science in nursing. This bridge allows you to get out of school faster and still have all the education you need. The average student spends two to four years earning an RN to MSN, but some take longer because they do not go to school full time. During your degree, you will likely take classes like Advance Nurse Role, Evidence and Practice, Genetic Concepts, Health Assessment, Nutrition for the Health Professional, and Statistics.

After completing your degree program, you will need to apply for licensure through the California State Board of Nursing. This will permit you to practice within the state. If you want to work as a nurse practitioner, you will also need to obtain a collaborative agreement with a physician to prescribe medications and diagnose patients. If you wish to specialize your learning later on, you may go back to school for a post-master’s certificate or a doctorate of nursing practice. You should be able to attend the same college for either one.

Popular California RN to MSN Programs

With so many RN to MSN programs in California, it may be hard for you to choose just one. The key here is to look for one that will lead to your desired career. Each MSN track is a little different, and each school has different tracks available. Here are some options to keep in mind:

  • Azusa Pacific University: ASU has a wide range of MSN programs available, and it offers great scholarship opportunities for students of Hispanic heritage. It also features doctoral programs for students who want to continue their education.
  • Dominican University of California: Dominican has a degree program in clinical nurse leadership, and it is one of the lesser-known colleges in CA. As a result of that, the academic competition is less intense, making it easier for you to get into the degree you want.
  • San Diego State University: With a large assortment of master’s degrees at this school, you can become just about any kind of nurse you want to be. You may also obtain a doctorate if you wish to go a step further after your MSN.

If you would prefer to work more independently, you may want to get a degree online. Many nursing grad schools are starting to convert their degrees to distance learning setups to attract more students and streamline their educational systems. This can work to your advantage. Find an accredited school that offers an RN to MSN program, and you will be on your way to a rewarding career in no time.