Accelerated Nursing Programs in California

8 Best Accelerated Nursing Programs in California in 2024


Last Updated on June 1, 2024 by II Editor

Do you want to transition into the nursing profession in California but need more time or resources to complete a traditional nursing program? Look no further than accelerated nursing programs! These programs offer an accelerated path to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and can be completed in no longer than 12–18 months. California is home to several top institutions that offer accelerated nursing programs, making it an excellent place to jumpstart your nursing career. 

However, with a handful of options in California, finding the best program for you can take time and effort. Factors such as admission requirements, curriculum, clinical experiences, and location all play a role in choosing the best accelerated nursing program for your needs. In this article, we’ve painstakingly researched and compiled a comprehensive list of California’s best accelerated nursing programs. We’ve got you covered, from the bustling city of Los Angeles to the beautiful Bay Area and beyond. So, whether you have just completed college or want to change your career, discover the top institutions to help you achieve your nursing goals in the Golden State. Let us dive in!


Best Accelerated Nursing Programs In California

The accelerated nursing programs in California have an academic curriculum spanning two years and are divided into four semesters (totaling 24 months).

Core courses such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, community health nursing practices, and pharmacology will be completed by students over these first two years of the program. You will be better prepared for clinical rotations at various hospitals nationwide if you take these classes. 

The best schools with accelerated nursing programs in California include:

#1. Touro University 

  • Acceptance rate: 43%
  • Minimum GPA: 3.7

Touro University is a non-profit educational school in Vallejo, California. The School has a student body of approximately 5,000 students worldwide and an alum community with over 100,000 graduates worldwide (and is growing!). Touro University California offers online nursing degree programs that are highly regarded in nursing today.


Touro Accelerated Nursing Programs

The Master of Science in Nursing offered by Touro University is a fully online program that allows busy working people to obtain their degree at their own pace through innovative curriculum and study methodologies.

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For students interested in pursuing careers as advanced practice nurses or nurse educators, this program was developed with flexibility and convenience as two essential components to consider.

The nursing associate’s degree and master’s degree programs at Touro are particularly well-regarded among prospective students. Because of this, many people hold a high opinion of them.

  • The ADN to MSN Program has a tuition fee of $820 for each unit, for a total cost of $37,720 for completing 46 units.
  • The BSN to MSN Program has a tuition charge of $820 for each unit, for a total cost of $27,060 to complete 33 units.
  • The Post-Graduate FNP track currently carries a tuition rate of $1000 per unit.

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#2. University of California, Los Angeles 

  • Acceptance rate: 17.6%
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0

The UCLA Accelerated Nursing Program is a two-year program that allows students to complete both an accelerated nursing program in the state of California (LA campus) and an MSN.

It is intended to provide students with the foundation they require to become registered nurses, with a particular focus on clinical knowledge and the development of leadership abilities.

Students who have previously earned a Bachelor’s degree in another field relevant to the one being studied will find the program particularly intriguing.

Students can acquire a comprehensive grasp of health care from both a clinical and a public health point of view thanks to the curriculum, which mixes nursing courses with those from the School of Public Health.

Students can also attend elective classes in subspecialties such as emergency medicine or family practice.

Students who complete this program will have the skills to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation, which enables them to begin earning money even as they continue their studies toward a more advanced degree or a specialty in their field of interest.

Attending UCLA can range from $24,437 to $36,482 each year, but students should plan on spending at least that much.

It is one of the best schools for accelerated nursing programs in California.

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#3. Concordia University Irvine 

  • Average GPA: 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • The average acceptance rate is between 24% – 26%

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) second-degree program at Concordia University Irvine offers a fast-tract nursing program to applicants with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in any discipline from a regionally accredited institution and are looking to transition to the nursing profession.

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The program will build on your previous coursework with hands-on experience within a pace of 15 months. In addition to classroom time, applicants will complete 765 hours in clinical settings throughout the program.

The program has 59 units with a total cost of $912 per unit.

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#4. Loma Linda University School of Nursing

  • Acceptance rate: N/A
  • Minimum GPA: 3.5

The accelerated nursing program at Loma Linda University is a full-time, intensive program that can be completed in as little as 16 months. Students in the program will receive hands-on training in various clinical settings and the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of nursing.

In addition to classroom lectures, students in the accelerated nursing program at Loma Linda University will be required to complete clinical hours to gain real-world experience in the field. 

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#5. San Diego State University

  • Acceptance rate: 48%
  • Minimum GPA: 3.96

San Diego State University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program is widely considered one of the best accelerated BSN programs in the country. It allows students to earn a BSN and a bachelor’s degree in a different field in two years.

The program is available entirely online and is intended for those who have already earned an associate’s degree in nursing or its equivalent. Each semester consists of a series of courses, with a maximum of three classes per semester.

Annual tuition is $42,640, which is prohibitively expensive for most students.

#6. San Francisco State University

  • Acceptance rate: 64.6%
  • Minimum GPA: 3.54

The accelerated nursing program at SFSU is highly competitive and requires a significant time commitment from students. However, those who complete the program will be well-prepared for a career in nursing and have the opportunity to impact the healthcare industry positively.

The 15-month (four semesters, including the summer session) Accelerated BSN Program at San Francisco State University is held at the College of San Mateo.

After completing the program, students will earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. They will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

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#7. Azusa Pacific University

  • Acceptance rate: 60.1%
  • Minimum GPA: 3.71

Located in Azusa, California, Azusa Pacific University is a private Christian institution of higher education. The School has over 130 undergraduate and graduate programs.

The three-semester (two-year) School of Nursing at Azusa Pacific University is a fully recognized, faith-based, accredited institution that provides traditional and accelerated pathways to a nursing degree.

In addition, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Post-Certificate Master’s programs are available to interested students who might want to advance their careers in the nursing profession.

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#8. Samuel Merritt College

  • Acceptance rate: 67%
  • Minimum GPA: 3.15

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) have acknowledged Samuel Merritt University’s educational excellence.

In addition to the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), it has received accreditation from other organizations. There is no doubt that Samuel Merritt University is among the top nursing schools in the world.

Therefore, while applying for the accelerated nursing programs at Samuel Merritt University, be rest assured that you will be in good hands. Everything from introductory anatomy and physiology to advanced topics in nursing administration, mental health behavior analysis, and clinical practices are all covered at SMU.

However, the annual tuition for this program is astronomical at $84,884 (and that number is not made up). It is also one of California’s best schools with accelerated nursing programs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the prerequisites for an accelerated nursing program?

Prerequisites for an accelerated nursing program may vary depending on the specific program and the student's previous educational background. However, common prerequisites may include a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field and prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry, and other related subjects.

What types of degrees can I earn through an accelerated nursing program?

Accelerated nursing programs may be offered at the undergraduate or graduate level, and they may lead to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, depending on the student's previous educational background.

What are the benefits of an accelerated nursing program?

Some of the benefits of accelerated nursing programs include the ability to enter the nursing profession more quickly, the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of nursing, and the ability to advance one's career through further education.


Overall, accelerated nursing programs offer a convenient and efficient way for individuals to enter nursing and positively impact the healthcare industry. These programs can give students the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed as nurses and make a difference in patients’ lives. We have listed some institutions with accelerated nursing programs in California to aid you in making the right career decision. Please let us know in the comment section if you have any concerns or queries. 


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