Due to the wide range of healthcare needs and demographic groups in California, nurses with advanced degrees play a big role in the state's health care system. Your time as a nurse may have led you to great interest in research, teaching, direct practice, or management. Whether you are looking for RN to MSN programs in California, entry level Master’s in Nursing programs for non-nursing degree holders or a traditional Master’s in Nursing, California has several options to choose from. Choose those schools that interest you and request program materials today.
Like most states, in order to earn your Master's in Nursing, California require you to complete an intensive educational experience that is meant to prepare you for many types of advanced nursing positions. Most Master's degree programs in California can be completed in about three years of part-time study. Degrees that prepare you for patient care—like nurse anesthesia, nurse practitioner, and nurse midwifery—are heavily focused on clinical work. After completing theory courses like Integrative Physiology, Advanced Pharmacology, and Pathophysiology, you move directly into residency. During your clinical residency, you work with the population that you'll be serving in your new career.
Degrees that focus on management or nurse education are more heavily based in theory courses. An internship will still likely be part of your curriculum—however, you may not spend as much time in the field as a prospective nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist. There are also RN to MSN programs in California that take into account the fact that seamless progression to higher nursing degrees can be achieved by incorporating past experience and education into graduate studies. These programs may even offer online options for increased flexibility.
In addition to school-specific and federal financial aid opportunities, there are many graduate nursing scholarship programs in California. The Health Professions Education Foundation, which is dedicated to providing health care to California residents, funds millions of dollars in scholarship for health care professionals every year. If you are willing to work in an underserved area after graduation, you may be eligible for the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program. The California Nursing Students Association awards scholarships of $1,000 to $2,500.
Over the years, California has adopted legislation that affects nursing careers and makes the state a better place for nurses to work. The California Action Coalition has made huge strides in many legislative areas, including advanced nursing practice, access to nursing education, and collaboration with other medical professionals. California was the first and only state to adopt strict nurse-to-patient ratios, ensuring that patients receive quality care and that nurses are able to deliver it. This piece of legislation has increase the need for graduate-level nurses who fill primary care and leadership roles.
In addition to legislation that supports nurses at all levels, there is a greater need for nurses throughout California. The Los Angeles Times notes that Los Angeles County alone needs over 700 new nurses. Nurses that can fill multiple roles—primary care, specialty care, and management, for example—may have the most promising job outlook.
The state of California attracts many nurses with its warm temperatures and alluring beaches. There are many career options for masters prepared nurses in this state, including advanced practiced psychiatric nurses and clinical nurse specialists.
As an advanced practice psychiatric nurse you will monitor psychiatric patients’ medications and results, as well as diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders. The 2014 median annual salary for advanced practice psychiatric nurses in the state of California was $96,500 (O*net 2015), which gives you a rough estimate of what you could make in this career field. In addition, there is an expected growth rate for this career in California of 17 percent (O*net, 2015).
As a clinical nurse specialist you will collaborate with other members of the healthcare team to help improve patient outcomes and experiences. You will also help develop care plans and policies. According to the 2014 median annual salary for clinical nurse specialists in California, you can potentially make around $96,500 per year (O*net, 2015). The demand for clinical nurse specialists in California is expected to grow by 17 percent between 2012 and 2022(O*net, 2015).
To discover more about how obtaining your MSN can help you advance your nursing career, contact one of the schools listed on this page.