I have found that things differ somewhat from place to place...I worked in places as either an aide or an LPN while moving on up...some places would reimburse you tuition at the end of your semester, provided you sent them a transcript and filled out the necessary paperwork, etc...others did the scholarship
loan thing where you either worked for x amount of time, or you paid them back if you decided to not work for them. The place I'm at now, threw me a curve; I was told in interviews, etc that there was a tuition reimbursement program. Once I got inside, and had access to the HR policies, I found out that they reimburse you only for so much money, and if what you study is pertinent to your position (ruled out that PhD in Rocket Science), and THEN, you had to work so many months (I can't remember how many, it was either 3 or 6) for each credit hour reimbursed (so a 48 credit MSN program could put me in for more than 12 years of servitude, give or take, that or I pay back what I was reimbursed). When you go from place to place to interview, ask them specificially what kinds of programs they offer, how they're offered, and the stipulations involved. I know nothing about how things work in California; I can speak only of my experiences in PA and NC. I did interview for jobs in TX and DC, but I can't recall what their policies on educational expenses/reiimbursement was.