Top MSN Nursing Programs In San Diego + Requirements

September 29, 2021 · 6 Min Read

The state of California continues to experience a surge in demand for advanced practice nurses. Studying towards an MSN helps find employment in San Diego.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger implemented the California Nurse Education Initiative in 2005, when he was governor of California. His goal was to address the shortage of nursing in the state. Thanks to this program, BSN and MSN programs are able to receive funding so that residents of the state will find the nursing career more attractive. Additionally, the program has various scholarships available for those nurses who want to improve their skills and knowledge. It seems that the initiative has been highly successful, with a doubling in MSN enrollment between 2004 and 2008.

However, the biggest nursing shortage is found in nurse educators. So long as this is not addressed, students will continue to be turned away from schools because there simply isn’t sufficient faculty members to teach them. Additionally, there continues to be a significant lack of advanced practice nurses, who are responsible for a great deal of primary health care delivery across the state.

Advanced practice nurses must hold a master’s degree (MSN) in order to work in California. The Center for Health Professions has stated that more and more nurse practitioners, as well as other advanced practice nurses, are becoming increasingly involved in the delivery of primary care, often taking over the role of a physician. At the same time, the state continues to experience a surge in demand for these types of nurses. As a result, choosing to study towards an MSN is a great idea, as it almost guarantees you are able to find employment in San Diego or the rest of the state. As someone with an MSN, you will be a true specialist in a specific field and you will be seen as a leader in the health care and nursing profession.

It is very important that you are properly prepared if you want to complete your MSN. This means that you should take a look at the different programs that are on offer in order to identify the one that best suits your personal needs and requirements. However, there are also many alternative routes that you can take, such as RN to MSN programs, which are often delivered online. Hence, you may want to consider looking slightly further afield in order to find such a program. Below are schools in San Diego that offer MSN nursing programs to help you get started in your search.

Top San Diego MSN Programs

Rank School Location
1 Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA
2 San Diego State University San Diego, CA
3 University of San Diego San Diego, CA
Read about our ranking methodology

Featured Online Programs

Explore the Best San Diego MSN Programs and School Info

Point Loma Nazarene University View School Profile San Diego, CA

At Point Loma Nazarene University, there is a wide range of MSN tracks to choose from. The goal of the school is to deliver world-class nurses. The emphasis is on academic knowledge and experience, combined with emotions and spirituality.

  • Campus: San Diego, CA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies, please inquire
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree Requirements: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Programs: MSN with CNS in family/individual health, adult gerontology, mental health or pediatrics; MSN general track; RN to MSN; BSN to MSN
  • School website: Tuition and Financial Aid
San Diego State University View School Profile San Diego, CA

San Diego State University offers a 36-unit MSN track with various specializations. The degree can be completed either full-time or part-time. The school previously offered an MSN in Nurse Educator program, but admissions to this pathway had to be suspended indefinitely.

  • Campus: San Diego, CA
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies depending on chosen pathway
  • Minimum time commitment: 36 to 60 units
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of 3.0, GRE, RN license, statistics course
  • Programs: MSN – Community Health Nursing: School Nursing; Advanced Practice Nursing of Adults and the Elderly; Nursing Leadership; Women’s Health and Midwifery
  • School website: Tuition and Financial Aid
University of San Diego View School Profile San Diego, CA

The University of San Diego offers some of the most comprehensive selections of MSN degree program options available. It offers both RN to MSN and direct entry MSN for Non-RN programs. It is also the only school in San Diego that currently offers the nurse educator track.

  • Campus: San Diego, CA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $1345 per unit
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Online availability:
  • Degree requirements: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Programs: MSN – Health Care Informatics; Executive Nurse Leader; Clinical Nurse Leader; Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist; Dual Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; Dual Pediatric Nurse Practitioner/ Family Nurse Practitioner. MSN for Non-RNs. MSN options (nursing education, Latino health care, mind-body-spirit health care.
  • School website: Tuition and Financial Aid

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