What school (in Southern CA) has better direct entry nursing program?

I am a High School senior in San Marcos, CA. I am about to submit my college application for Fall 2022 Admission. I am wondering if you know which college has a better direct entry nursing program (BSN - Bachelor of Science in Nursing) for freshman applicant? Which college should I pursue for my nursing major (among these 6 choices: CSU San Marcos, SDSU, CSU Long Beach, CSU Fullerton, UC Irvine, or UCLA)?
My capped weighted GPA (for 10th & 11th grade) is 4.37
Beside, I got almost 60 college credits (earned from community college) during my High School years, includes Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, and complete IGETC (General Education).
In addition, I work part time at a Pharmacy as Pharmacy Technician Trainee.
I have done about 1,000 volunteer hours. I have a few academic awards & a member of PTK Honors.
I heard that CSUSM has a better nursing program than UCLA (when comparing NCLEX passing rate), is that true? Should I choose CSUSM over UCLA? My career path is getting a PhD degree and become nurse anesthetist after getting a BSN. Please advise.

Since all CA Nursing programs are highly competitive, I would apply to all and see where you are admitted since there are no guarantees. CSUSM will give you priority since you are local and CSULB is not direct admit but a 2+2 program.

Once you have your acceptances, you can make the decision of which program would be “best” for you.

Here is a link to the NCLEX pass rate for all CA Nursing schools and you can see for yourself which schools have the better pass rate vs. going by hearsay.


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I agree that the best one is the one that accepts you. I remember seeing that UCLA’s acceptance rate was 2%.

Also check each school to see if there is a high weed-out college GPA that you need to earn to stay in the nursing major.


For 2020,

UCLA had a 1% admit rate for Nursing.
UCI had a 1.6% admit rate for Nursing.
SDSU had a 6% admit rate for Nursing.
CSUSM had a 34.8% admit rate for Nursing. (Local applicants given priority).
CSUF does not show Nursing admit rate but they only admit 40 students into the Direct BSN program.
CSULB had an admit rate of 15.5% for Pre-Nursing.

Just to give you an idea of how competitive these programs can be. I would also look into Azusa Pacific University which has a direct admit BSN and also University of San Francisco for more options. The rest of the Cal states have the 2+2 programs which would be great backups.

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Problem with such programs is that weeded-out students end up with nothing. Would a better 2+2 path be to start in an ADN/RN program at a community college, then do an RN->BSN program at a four year school? Getting into the ADN/RN program may not be easy, but does result in a useful credential after the first two years, and RN->BSN programs may not be as competitive to get into as other BSN programs.