The state of California is a leader in nursing and healthcare news, often setting precedent for the rest of the nation in areas such as safe staffing and patient safety. By becoming a nurse in California, you too, may be able to act as a healthcare leader in California. A direct entry master’s in nursing program may be a viable way to enter the profession of nursing in California, positioning yourself solidly in the profession.
Contact the California nursing schools on this page to learn more about your options for earning a master’s in nursing.
There are millions of people living in this state and many do not have access to the primary care and specialty care they need to be healthy. Master's-level nurses can lead other nurses, provide advanced care services to patients, and teach the next generation of nurses.
If you have a Bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field, you may still have the opportunity to earn a Master's degree in this field. California has many schools that have direct entry MSN programs. In the course of 18 to 24 months of full-time schooling, you cover undergraduate-level nursing courses and Master's-level nursing courses in your specialty of choice.
Addressing your school's learning goals is an important part of succeeding in a direct entry MSN program. You must be able to apply theoretical knowledge to a number of health care situations and settings. It's also crucial to be able to analyze health problems in individuals and populations. During your education, you should develop your critical thinking skills and establish a leadership personality.
The first one or two semesters of your education may be spent on Bachelor's degree nursing courses. These courses quickly help you establish basic nursing skills and practice them in a variety of clinical settings. Core courses in your curriculum may include Foundations of Professional Nursing, Health Assessment, Pathophysiology, and Health Care of the Adult Patient. This part of your education often requires 30 to 40 hours per week of class and clinical work, so your school may restrict your outside work activities.
Your Master's-level courses are dependent on the specialty you decide to pursue. However, there are some base courses that all students take. You may take courses like Advanced Nursing Care of Adults, Leadership and Management in Professional Practice, and Research & Theory in Advanced Practice Nursing.
Like most students, financial aid is probably a big part of your education planning. The good news is that there are quite a few resources for graduate-level nursing students in California. The other side of that, however, is that you should begin applying as early as possible to have access to a number of scholarships. The California Nursing Students' Association awards scholarships at their Awards Convention each year. If you want to go into nursing leadership or nursing administration, consider applying for academic scholarships offered by the Association of California Nurse Leaders. Students interested in becoming nurse educators may qualify for scholarships through California Vocational Nurse Educators.
One of the benefits of going into advanced nursing care is the promising job outlook in California. Jobs are expected to increase at a substantial rate for several years to come. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net reports job growth rates ranging from 20 percent for nurse anesthetists to 36% for nursing instructors. Salaries in this state tend to be significantly higher than nationally-reported averages, so your income potential may be considerably higher. In California, some average graduate prepared nursing salaries range from $85,100 per year for nurse instructors to $167,200 per year for nurse anesthetists (O*Net, 2013).
The California Board of Registered Nursing will be your source for licensure information as you work towards your MSN. California has advanced licensure requirements for nurse specialists, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, public health nurses, and mental health nurses.
If you enjoy helping people and making a positive impact on your community through your work, an MSN degree could be the next best step for you. You can also serve registered nurses in California with your advanced education. Through your deep understanding of evidence-based practice and community care, you may improve health care standards across the state.
Take some time to request information on direct entry MSN programs in California from the schools listed on our site. You can maximize your impact on the nursing profession by starting with an advanced degree.