AcademiaAgriculture & FarmingHumanitiesSocial SciencesSTEM

Top 5 Nursing Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area

Updated on June 08, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish offers 25+ years successful work history in Medicine; Health- and I/O Psychology; STEM courses, and Aerospace Education.

Oakland Bay Bridge
Oakland Bay Bridge | Source

Nurses in High Demand

Nurses at all levels of education and training are in high demand in America, and have been in higher demand than previously since 2005. Nurse Practitioners are accepting jobs as Physician Assistants as well, and they are performing major research in health and medicine.

Travel Nursing positions take nurses all over the world with higher wages, travel expenses, and even payment of rent and mortgage. Nursing is a rewarding profession and the San Francisco Bay Area is a perfect place to receive related training.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

(public domain)
(public domain)

Work Upwards In Your Career

In the graph below, the ASN Nurse, educated with an associate's degree (ASN) is in highest demand of all nurses. Now is the time to begin nurse's training and work one's way up to more responsible positions.

Increase In ASN Nursing Jobs Is Significant

ASN Nurse demand is the black line shooting up to the right.
ASN Nurse demand is the black line shooting up to the right. | Source

Travel Nursing positions take nurses all over the world with higher wages, travel expenses, and even payment of rent and mortgage.

UC San Francisco

University of California - San Francsco

In the latest evaluation of top nursing schools in America, the school at the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF) ranks high on several Top 10 Lists in nursing specialty education. Only one other SF nursing specialty school made it into the Top 10 of any of these lists and that school is San Francisco General Hospital, itself a division of UCSF College of Medicine. These, then, are the top two highest recognized nursing schools in the area. While not in the Top 10, other SF schools are highly qualified as well and are presented below.

The following nursing schools have been recommended by education evaporators and organizations for their 1) specialty program effectiveness (best practices, etc.), 2) percentage of nurses successfully Certified and officially Licensed, and other factors.

Professional nurse educators and postsecondary (beyond high school) and graduate academic officers evaluated and ranked the nursing schools on these lists after examining the data from an in-depth and extensive survey administered in 2008.

Further, the National Research Council has evaluated and ranked the programs in Biomedical Sciences, including Nursing, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the Top Programs in the US coast-to-coast.

  • Best Adult Nursing schools - UCSF is Number Two.
  • Best Nurse Midwifing schools - UCSF is tied with San Francisco General Hospital (also UCSF) for Number Three.
  • Best Pediatric Nursing schools - UCSF is Number Five.
  • Best Family Nursing schools - UCSF is Number Two.
  • Best Geriatric Nursing schools - UCSF is Number Seven.
  • Best Psychaitric Nursing schools - UCSF is Number Two, again.

San Francisco Bay Area

Bay Area Nursing Programs

Students enrolled into Bay Are nursing schools can choose from a new and increasing variety of specialties in which to prepare for a rewarding and high demand career.

End points in the related training programs include Registered Nurse (RN), Nurse Practitioner (NP), Legal Nurse (LN); BSN (4-year degree), and MSN (master's level).

Nursing students may study Critical Care Nursing, Forensic Nursing, Hospice Care, Nursing Data Informatics (a hot and growing career field), Midwifery, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Adult or Family Nursing and several others. Interested students may also pursue the paths of Medical Researcher or Health Care Administrator.

Degrees Offered

End points in SF nurse training programs include Registered Nurse (RN), Nurse Practitioner (NP), Legal Nurse (LN); BSN (4-year), and MSN (master's level).

Bay Area Nursing Schools


The Top 5 schools demonstrate the highest evaluative ratings from the National Research Council, US News and World Reports and other organizations, the broadest range of degrees and certifications, and notable funded research projects.

  1. University of California – San Francisco - UCSF.
  2. San Francisco General Hospital - a division of UCSF Medical School.
  3. University of San Francisco School of Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), MSN Clinical Nurse Leader, BSN, RN (Associate’s of Nursing). This school offers wide curricula of study designed for the nurse and the non-nurse point of entry.
  4. San Francisco State University: School of Nursing -
  5. San Jose University School of Nursing – Undergraduate and graduate programs and certifications.


  1. Bay Area College of Nursing- - Vocational Nrusing, Certified Nursing Assistant training, CPR training, examination review courses,
  2. California Nurses Institute -
  3. City College of San Francisco – Registered Nursing, Vocational Nursing,
  4. VIP Nursing School -


  • RN Review For Nurses - – A review course for licensing examination study.

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Medical Facilities Connected With the University

  • Long Hospital
  • Moffitt Hospital
  • Mount Zion Medical Center
  • San Francisco General Hospital

UCSF has been progressive in recruitment of additional nursing school enrollees in an effort to not only provide a skilled workforce to improve San Francisco and American healthcare, but also to provide high paying jobs to a greater number of people and to reduce the overwhelming deficit of nursing professionals that is crippling the city and the nation overall. This is a major reason that the Travel Nursing Industry has become such a lucrative field fo work, with higher pay and additional benefits and perks than many other fields.

The UCSF administration and governing board have expanded their leading system of nursing programs to include new specialties as well in order to keep pace with the changing landscape of healthcare needs in the nation and the world.

Nurses at UCSF is rooted in the philosophy and practical demonstration that instruction, research, and best practices provide the highest quality skilled nursing workers. UCSF Nursing delivers advanced programs to professional nurses that hold associate’s degrees to speed them toward a bachelor's and master's degree efficiently. The school also offers a doctoral degree in nursing.


  • Aging Processes/Illnesses and Aging Health Policy - Geriatrics.
  • Chronic Illness
  • Clinical Best Practices
  • Emergency and Critical Care
  • Family Health/Illness
  • Health and Environment
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • The Human Recovery Process
  • Pediatric Development/Health/Illness
  • Symptom Management - includes tobacco-related issues, substance abuse, pregnancy and postpartum, sleep cycles, incarceration and health, and others.
  • Women's Health - includes Lesbian Health & Research and many others.

With a full lineup of degree programs from the associate to the doctoral in nursing and opportunity for stimulating research that addresses humanity's most pressing health issues, UCSF is the finest Nursing School in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Golden Gate Bridge

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fort Point
Fort Point
Fort Point | Source

Additional Bay Area Medical Centers

This list of 10 additional Bay Area Hospitals and Medical Centers have received good consumer ratings posted in Internet health related directories of services.

SF Public Library

(public domain)
(public domain)

Health and Bioscience Careers

Largest Employers Posting SF Job Openings: Health and Biosciences

This example comes from May 6, 2009 [39,000 job openigns in SF]. The top employers that are posting the largest numbers of job vacancies on the major job search engine Indeed.Com are:

  1. Kaiser Permanente - Hospitals, laboratories, and other health and bio-related facilities.
  2. Sutter Health - Hospitals.
  3. University of California - San Francisco (UCSF) - including the medical complex and nursing school. Health Research staff and Nurses are most high in demand.
  4. Amedsys - Nurses at all levels, Physical and Occupational Therapists.
  5. Genentech - Researchers, Scientists, Managers and Directors in genetic medicine.

The other major category was "Recruiters", equal to Kaiser Permanente in job vacancies, but mostly in Information Technology and support and some of these are in health related companies as well. Healthcare position as Nurses were also included for Recruiters.  

Historical Trends in Nurse Positions Listed

MSN and ASN Nurses were in high demand. Notice the difference in this chart and the earlier one below.
MSN and ASN Nurses were in high demand. Notice the difference in this chart and the earlier one below. | Source
San Francisco needed many MSN Nurses.
San Francisco needed many MSN Nurses. | Source

© 2009 Patty Inglish

Comments and Additions

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure Patty!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 23 months ago from North America

      Great! Students sometimes come to HubPages for information, so I hope a few will see this. Thanks for posting a comment!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great list of the top five nursing schools in California. This would be useful for any high school student who wants to be a nurse. Voted up!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from North America

      The school ranks very high on several lists of top schools and I doubt if the information in phony or that all the medical, educational, and business entities that research and write the lists decided to skew the findings purposely.

    • profile image

      Rachel 3 years ago

      I'm about to move to San Francisco from my birth state of sc and I'm not used to big cities. I've been looking at colleges and I really can't decide which is best for me. I think this helped a little but it sounds kind of like there is bias on ucsf

    • profile image

      Thea 6 years ago

      Thanks, this is very useful info for LA nurses.

    • profile image

      Lyssa Bachler RN 6 years ago

      Very interesting. A lot of good data here. I lived in this area in 1968!

    • profile image

      Twin XL 7 years ago

      Interesting stats. Thanks for sharing.

    Click to Rate This Article