Msn Programs in California

Nursing is one of the fastest growing careers in California. After getting their initial qualifications to become a registered nurse, more and more nurses are aiming to specialize by pursuing a graduate degree. Enrollment in one of the Masters of Science in Nursing programs in California can be the first step towards higher pay, greater responsibility, and new opportunities as a nurse.

New Opportunities

In 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger launched the Nurse Education Initiative as a response to the critical shortage of nurses faced by the state of California. This need for more nurses is due to many factors including:

  • An aging population
  • A retiring registered nurse workforce
  • A lack of capacity in educational programs
  • A lack of qualified nursing instructors

A key component of this initiative is the expansion of nursing educational opportunities at the master's degree level. This is being done by increasing the capacity of existing graduate level programs, and the opening of new University of California (UC) graduate nursing programs. UC schools were allocated $1.72 million to support the creation and expansion of graduate nursing programs for those students who do not have any prior nursing experience or qualifications. As a result, many California universities and colleges have launched new MSN programs.  These new programs have resulted in a dramatic rise in the number of nursing students enrolled in MSN programs in California.

Job Options and Outlook

A master's degree allows a nursing student to choose a specialized nursing career. Specialized nurses are highly sought after not only in hospitals but also in rehab centers, senior citizens centers, home care, and specialized doctor care centers. There is great variety in the type of specialties and choosing one can be difficult. This decision should be made after assessing the relative difficulty of the program and the prospective pay after completion of the degree.

A certified nurse anesthetist is a specialty which requires more training and involves more exams than most other specializations. It is also the highest paying with an average annual pay of $135,000.  Other specializations and their pay scales include:

  • Nurse Researcher - $95,000
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - $95,000
  • Certified Nurse Midwife - $84,000
  • Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse - $81,000
  • Orthopedic Nurse - $81,000
  • Nurse Practitioner - $78,000
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist - $76,000
  • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner - $75,000
  • Neonatal Nurse - $74,000

There are many paths to obtaining a graduate degree. Most programs require the student to have a bachelor's degree, but many California colleges and universities are now offering graduate degrees designed for those people who do not have sufficient qualifications. In such a scenario, the degree will cover bachelor level material as well. Since the launch of the initiative, financial aid funding for a graduate degree in nursing have also increased. The diversity of the programs allows you to choose a path which is suitable and compatible to your schedule. You can choose from full time, part time, or online programs; this may depend on your situation and experience. By enrolling in one of the MSN programs in California, you can start your path towards a career which is as rewarding as it is fulfilling.


Q:What is the procedure to enroll in rn to msn programs in California?

A:The admission requirements will vary from school to school. The general admission requirements include: high school diploma, at least 1 year work experience as a registered nurse, copy of RN license, and completion of nursing prerequisites. Some schools may also require applicants to pass an admission test. You can learn about the admission requirements by contacting the prospective nursing schools.

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