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Public colleges and universities are educational institutions primarily funded by the federal, state, and local governments. These stand in contrast to private universities, which rely more heavily upon student tuition and endowments. The quality of education provided by public universities has steadily increased over the years; many are now just as prestigious as their private counterparts. Public universities are often widely accessible to students who live in-state (or in-county), and these students enjoy lower tuition fees than private university enrollees.

More than 80 public nursing schools are available in Pennsylvania, offering prospective students a diverse pool from which to choose. Several prominent examples are Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, and Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. The state’s public universities offer a wide array of nursing programs, from certificates in licensed practical nursing to doctoral degrees. Upon graduation, nurses can seek employment at Pennsylvania’s major healthcare providers like Genesis Healthcare and Temple University Health System.

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Public nursing schools are a great option for students seeking affordable, high-quality education and stable employment after graduation. Pennsylvania alone employs over 230,000 nurses, including 124,000 registered nurses, 74,000 nursing assistants, and 36,000 licensed practical nurses. The state’s registered nurses receive a median annual salary of $64,830, and compensation increases substantially for nurses who pursue graduate-level education in specialized fields.

To help Pennsylvania’s aspiring nurses find affordable education, we’ve compiled a detailed list of the state’s best public nursing schools. You’ll find them organized below by major metropolitan area.

Featured Schools

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Allentown / Bethlehem area

Lehigh Carbon Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Northampton Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn State Lehigh Valley
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
School City Programs offered
Lehigh Carbon Community College Schnecksville
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Northampton Community College Bethlehem
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn State Lehigh Valley Center Valley
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing

Erie

Edinboro University
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
School City Programs offered
Edinboro University Edinboro
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College Erie
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Harrisburg

Harrisburg Area Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn State Harrisburg
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School City Programs offered
Harrisburg Area Community College Harrisburg
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn State Harrisburg Middletown
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Lancaster

Lancaster County Career & Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Millersville University
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificates
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School City Programs offered
Lancaster County Career & Technology Center Willow Street
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Millersville University Millersville
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificates
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Philadelphia metro area

Bucks County Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Chester County Intermediate Unit
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Community College of Philadelphia
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Delaware County Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Perioperative Nursing
Delaware County Technical School
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Eastern Center for Arts and Technology
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lincoln University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Montgomery County Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Penn State Abington
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Temple University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
West Chester University
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School City Programs offered
Bucks County Community College Newtown
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Chester County Intermediate Unit Downingtown
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Community College of Philadelphia Philadelphia
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Delaware County Community College Media
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Perioperative Nursing
Delaware County Technical School Broomall
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Eastern Center for Arts and Technology Willow Grove
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lincoln University Lincoln University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Penn State Abington Abington
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Temple University Philadelphia
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
West Chester University West Chester
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Pittsburgh

Butler County Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
California University of Pennsylvania
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Community College of Allegheny County
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Community College of Beaver County
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Fayette County Career & Technical Institute
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Forbes Road Career and Technology Center
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Lenape Technical School
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Penn State New Kensington
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Slippery Rock University
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Pittsburgh
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • DNP: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Western Area Career & Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Westmoreland County Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
School City Programs offered
Butler County Community College Butler
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
California University of Pennsylvania California
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Community College of Allegheny County Pittsburgh
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Community College of Beaver County Monaca
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Fayette County Career & Technical Institute Uniontown
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Forbes Road Career and Technology Center Monroeville
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Lenape Technical School Kittanning
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus Uniontown
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Penn State New Kensington Upper Burrell
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Slippery Rock University Slippery Rock
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • DNP: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Western Area Career & Technology Center Canonsburg
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Westmoreland County Community College Youngwood
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing

Reading

Penn State Berks
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Reading Area Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
School City Programs offered
Penn State Berks Reading
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Reading Area Community College Reading
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing

Scranton / Wilkes-Barre area

Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Hazleton Area Career Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Luzerne County Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Diploma in Perioperative Nursing
Penn State Hazleton
  • Certificate in Nurse Management
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn State Worthington Scranton
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Wilkes-Barre Area Career & Technical Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
School City Programs offered
Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County Scranton
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Hazleton Area Career Center Hazleton
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Luzerne County Community College Nanticoke
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Diploma in Perioperative Nursing
Penn State Hazleton Hazleton
  • Certificate in Nurse Management
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn State Worthington Scranton Dunmore
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Wilkes-Barre Area Career & Technical Center Wilkes-Barre
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing

York

Hanover Public School District
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
York County School of Technology
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
School City Programs offered
Hanover Public School District Hanover
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
York County School of Technology York
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing

Other Pennsylvania cities

Allegany College of Maryland
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Bloomsburg University
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Central Susquehanna LPN Career Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Clarion County Career Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Clarion University
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Clearfield County Career and Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Crawford County Career and Technical Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
East Stroudsburg University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Franklin County Career and Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Greene County Career and Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Huntingdon County Career and Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Indiana County Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Jefferson County-DuBois Area Vocational Technical School
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lawrence County Career and Technical Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lebanon County Career and Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lock Haven University
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Mansfield University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificates
Mercer County Career Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Mifflin Juniata Career & Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Northern Tier Career Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn College at Wellsboro
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn State Altoona
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Mont Alto
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Penn State Schuylkill
  • Certificate in Nurse Management
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Shenango
  • Certificate in Nursing Informatics
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing (Credit)
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing (Non-Credit)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Pennsylvania State University
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Certificate in Nursing Management
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Administration
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Schuylkill Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Somerset County Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Pittsburgh at Titusville
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Venango Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
School City Programs offered
Allegany College of Maryland Somerset
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Bloomsburg University Bloomsburg
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology Pleasant Gap
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Central Susquehanna LPN Career Center Lewisburg
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Clarion County Career Center Shippenville
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Clarion University Oil City
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Clearfield County Career and Technology Center Clearfield
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Crawford County Career and Technical Center Meadville
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
East Stroudsburg University East Stroudsburg
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Franklin County Career and Technology Center Chambersburg
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center Altoona
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center Johnstown
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Greene County Career and Technology Center Waynesburg
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Huntingdon County Career and Technology Center Mill Creek
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Indiana County Technology Center Indiana
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Indiana University of Pennsylvania Indiana
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Jefferson County-DuBois Area Vocational Technical School Reynoldsville
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lawrence County Career and Technical Center New Castle
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lebanon County Career and Technology Center Lebanon
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lock Haven University Clearfield
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Mansfield University Mansfield
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificates
Mercer County Career Center Mercer
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Mifflin Juniata Career & Technology Center Lewistown
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Northern Tier Career Center Towanda
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn College at Wellsboro Wellsboro
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Penn State Altoona Altoona
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Mont Alto Mont Alto
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Penn State Schuylkill Schuylkill Haven
  • Certificate in Nurse Management
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Penn State Shenango Sharon
  • Certificate in Nursing Informatics
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing (Credit)
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing (Non-Credit)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Pennsylvania State University University Park
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Certificate in Nursing Management
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Administration
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Schuylkill Technology Center Frackville
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Somerset County Technology Center Somerset
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center Dimock
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Bradford
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Pittsburgh at Titusville Titusville
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Venango Technology Center Oil City
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing