When it comes to preparing future professional nurses, California State University, Chico sits in rarified air.

In its fourth annual list of the “2020 Best RN Programs in California,” RegisteredNursing.org ranked CSU, Chico’s School of Nursing No. 12—up from last year’s No. 17 placement. From community colleges and public four-year institutions to private institutions, 127 schools were included in the rankings—placing CSU, Chico’s program among the top 10 percent in the state.

“Our dedicated faculty and staff provide a rigorous curriculum to ensure we achieve our mission of preparing professional nurses who are leaders, excellent clinicians and lifelong scholars,” said School of Nursing Director Karin Lightfoot. “Our students are committed to being the best they can be, and they study hard to learn how to think critically and provide quality, patient-centered care that is based on current research.”

The University’s School of Nursing combines exemplary instruction with learning opportunities few other state programs can—from the state-of-the-art Rural SimCenter, which provides immersive learning experiences for students that enhance safety and reduce adverse outcomes, to the Rural California Nurse Preceptorship program’s unique and vital hands-on training.

Lightfoot calls the School of Nursing’s wide-ranging and diverse curriculum the “perfect formula for success.” The University offers a bachelor of science in nursing, an online master of science in nursing, and online RN-BSN program. Each semester, a cohort of 40 students graduate from the program, which is among the most in-demand programs at the University. And according to a study by Grad Reports, graduates from CSU, Chico’s School of Nursing have an average media salary of $93,500 one year after graduation—one of the top figures in the nation.

The CSU was well-represented on the top RN program list, as well. Sonoma State was ranked No. 4; Cal State Long Beach landed at No. 6; and Stanislaus State was listed at No. 7. Other CSUs in the top 20 were CSU, Channel Islands (No. 11); Sacramento State (No. 17); San Diego State (No. 18); and CSU, San Marcos (No. 20).

“Improving its ranking by five spots is a major accomplishment and serves as a symbol of the School of Nursing’s collective dedication and hard work,” said CSU, Chico President Gayle Hutchinson.

Among other ranking methodologies, RegisteredNursing.org assessed the nursing programs on several factors, including how well a program supports students toward licensure and beyond, as well as analyzing past and present first-time pass-rates for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the national exam for licensing of nurses.

In addition to repeat appearances on RegisteredNursing.org’s “Best RN Programs in California,” CSU, Chico’s School of Nursing was also ranked on its “Best Online RN to BSN Programs in California” in summer 2019 at No. 3.