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Registered nurses (RNs) constitute the largest group of nursing professionals in Pennsylvania. The most highly qualified RNs in the state hold a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. BSN students typically take one of two tracks. One option is to complete a pre-licensure program that leads to qualification as a registered nurse upon passing the NCLEX-RN exam. The other is a registered-nurse-to-bachelor-of-science-in-nursing (RN-to-BSN) program, where nurses can convert their existing associate’s degree or hospital diploma to a bachelor’s degree.

The first option mentioned above is a four-year degree program, offered at over 40 of Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities. These include Alvernia University, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Messiah College, and Pennsylvania State University. Students pursuing the RN-to-BSN route can do so at many of these same institutions, as well as a smattering of additional schools like Chatham University and Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. The latter program is usually completed within a shorter timeframe. Classes are offered as a combination of in-class work and clinical experience, and some modules may be completed as online courses. La Salle University offers a fully online program, which allows for a great deal of flexibility and customization.

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A BSN degree equips registered nurses to administer medical treatment and healthcare as independent professionals. More than that, BSN graduates have a good grasp of current issues (like medical ethics) that surround the provision of healthcare. The strength of BSN programs is driving an increasing employer preference for BSN-educated registered nurses. As a result, the state’s registered nurses command a very competitive wage, averaging anywhere from $54,310 to $75,770 per year. Prospective employers include Pennsylvania’s leading hospitals, such as Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Bryn Mawr Hospital.

To find the right BSN program in Pennsylvania for you, consult our list of the best nursing schools in the state below.

Featured Schools

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Allentown / Bethlehem area

Cedar Crest College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 91.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
DeSales University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Moravian College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 89.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Cedar Crest College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 91.7% 2008-09 to 2016-17
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
DeSales University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.8% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Moravian College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 89.1% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Erie

Gannon University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 92.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Edinboro University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 88.9% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Mercyhurst University
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Gannon University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 92.1% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Edinboro University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 88.9% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Mercyhurst University
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Harrisburg

Messiah College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
Central Penn College
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Harrisburg
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Messiah College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.7% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Central Penn College
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Harrisburg
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Lancaster

Millersville University
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Millersville University
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Philadelphia metro area

Drexel University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 96.9% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Pennsylvania
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 91.6% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Temple University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.6% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
Neumann University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
Villanova University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Jefferson College of Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 89.6% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Eastern University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 89.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
West Chester University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 88.6% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Gwynedd Mercy University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 85.2% NCLEX pass rate (2015-16 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Holy Family University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 85.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Widener University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 83.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
La Salle University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 79.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Immaculata University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 68.4% NCLEX pass rate (2011-12 through 2016-17)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Lincoln University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 50.0% NCLEX pass rate (2014-15 through 2016-17)
Penn State Abington
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Drexel University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 96.9% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 91.6% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Temple University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.6% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Neumann University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.5% 2008-09 to 2016-17
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
Villanova University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.1% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Jefferson College of Nursing
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 89.6% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Eastern University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 89.5% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
West Chester University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 88.6% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Gwynedd Mercy University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 85.2% 2015-16 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Holy Family University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 85.2% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Widener University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 83.2% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
La Salle University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 79.8% 2008-09 to 2016-17
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Immaculata University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 68.4% 2011-12 to 2016-17
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Lincoln University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 50.0% 2014-15 to 2016-17
Penn State Abington
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 89.4% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Duquesne University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.6% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Carlow University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 86.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Robert Morris University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 86.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
California University of Pennsylvania
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Chatham University
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
La Roche College
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State New Kensington
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Slippery Rock University
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
University of Pittsburgh
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 89.4% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Duquesne University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87.6% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Carlow University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 86.5% 2008-09 to 2016-17
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Robert Morris University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 86.1% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
California University of Pennsylvania
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Chatham University
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
La Roche College
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State New Kensington
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Slippery Rock University
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Reading

Alvernia University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 84.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Alvernia University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 84.2% 2008-09 to 2016-17
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Scranton / Wilkes-Barre area

University of Scranton
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 92.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Misericordia University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 89.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Marywood University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 84.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
Wilkes University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 82.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
King's College
  • 1-2-1 Dual Degrees in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
University of Scranton
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 92.7% 2008-09 to 2016-17
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Misericordia University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 89.5% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Marywood University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 84.1% 2008-09 to 2016-17
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
Wilkes University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 82.5% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
King's College
1-2-1 Dual Degrees in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

York

York College of Pennsylvania
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
York College of Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87.5% 2008-09 to 2016-17
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Other Pennsylvania cities

Waynesburg University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 98.9% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Bloomsburg University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 96.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Saint Francis University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 96.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 94.0% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
Pennsylvania State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 93.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Mansfield University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 89.3% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 86.3% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
East Stroudsburg University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 82.0% NCLEX pass rate (2008-09 through 2016-17)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Clarion University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Lock Haven University
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Mount Aloysius College
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Altoona
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Schuylkill
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Shenango
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Westminster College
  • RN-to-BSN Collaborative Nursing Program
Wilson College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Waynesburg University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 98.9% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Bloomsburg University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 96.5% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Saint Francis University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 96.2% 2008-09 to 2016-17
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 94.0% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
Pennsylvania State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 93.7% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Mansfield University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 89.3% 2008-09 to 2016-17
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 86.3% 2008-09 to 2016-17
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
East Stroudsburg University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 82.0% 2008-09 to 2016-17
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Clarion University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Lock Haven University
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Mount Aloysius College
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Altoona
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Schuylkill
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Shenango
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Westminster College
RN-to-BSN Collaborative Nursing Program
Wilson College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion