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Vocational, career, and community colleges offer a fast-track pathway to becoming a nurse. Prospective students can choose to enroll in a certificate program to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or licensed practical nurse (LPN), or an associate’s degree program to become a registered nurse (RN). Unlike lengthier degrees at four-year colleges, these programs can be completed in a relatively brief time period with lower tuition costs. For example, LPN certificate programs can be completed in 12-15 months of fulltime study, while an associate’s degree in registered nursing requires just two years. Upon graduation, students can choose whether to pursue a bachelor’s degree at university or directly enter the workforce.

Pennsylvania has about 90 vocational, career, and community colleges with nursing programs. Every major metropolitan area is served by the state’s community college system, and this network is supplemented by dozens of private colleges and institutes. Graduates of these nursing programs can seek immediate employment with the state’s major nursing employers, including Genesis Healthcare and Holy Redeemer Health System.

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With demand increasing at medical institutions throughout Pennsylvania, nurses can anticipate stable employment and competitive salaries. A total of 125,000 RNs are employed across the state, with a median annual salary of $65,000. An additional 36,000 LPNs currently work in Pennsylvania, earning about $42,500 per year on average.

To help the state’s aspiring nurses quickly launch their careers, we have compiled below a detailed list of the top vocational, career, and community colleges for nursing in Pennsylvania.

Featured Schools

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Allentown / Bethlehem area

Lehigh Carbon Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lincoln Technical Institute - Allentown
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Northampton Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
St. Luke's School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
School City Programs offered
Lehigh Carbon Community College Schnecksville
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lincoln Technical Institute - Allentown Allentown
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Northampton Community College Bethlehem
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
St. Luke's School of Nursing Bethlehem
  • Diploma in Nursing

Erie

Erie Business Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Fortis Institute - Erie
  • Associate of Specialized Technology in Practical Nursing
Great Lakes Institute of Technology
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
School City Programs offered
Erie Business Center Erie
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Fortis Institute - Erie Erie
  • Associate of Specialized Technology in Practical Nursing
Great Lakes Institute of Technology Erie
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate

Harrisburg

Harrisburg Area Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
School City Programs offered
Harrisburg Area Community College Harrisburg
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing

Lancaster

Lancaster County Career & Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
School City Programs offered
Lancaster County Career & Technology Center Willow Street
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing

Philadelphia metro area

Antonelli Medical and Professional Institute
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Aria Health School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
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
District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Eastern Center for Arts and Technology
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Harcum College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Lincoln Technical Institute
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lincoln Technical Institute - Northeast Philadelphia
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Montgomery County Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology
  • Associate of Science in Allied Health - Practical Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Princeton Information Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Prism Career Institute - Philadelphia
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Roxborough Memorial Hospital School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
School City Programs offered
Antonelli Medical and Professional Institute Pottstown
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Aria Health School of Nursing Trevose
  • Diploma in Nursing
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
District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund Philadelphia
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Eastern Center for Arts and Technology Willow Grove
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Harcum College Bryn Mawr
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Lincoln Technical Institute Philadelphia
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lincoln Technical Institute - Northeast Philadelphia Philadelphia
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology Media
  • Associate of Science in Allied Health - Practical Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Princeton Information Technology Center Glenside
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Prism Career Institute - Philadelphia Philadelphia
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Roxborough Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Philadelphia
  • Diploma in Nursing

Pittsburgh

Butler County Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Citizens School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
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
Mercy Hospital School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
Penn Commercial Business / Technical School
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Pittsburgh Technical College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
St. Margaret School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
Washington Health System School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
West Penn Hospital School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
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
Citizens School of Nursing New Kensington
  • Diploma in Nursing
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
Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Pittsburgh
  • Diploma in Nursing
Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing McKees Rocks
  • Diploma in Nursing
Penn Commercial Business / Technical School Washington
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology Mount Braddock
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Pittsburgh Technical College Oakdale
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
St. Margaret School of Nursing Pittsburgh
  • Diploma in Nursing
UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing Pittsburgh
  • Diploma in Nursing
Washington Health System School of Nursing Washington
  • Diploma in Nursing
West Penn Hospital School of Nursing Pittsburgh
  • Diploma in Nursing
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

Berks Technical Institute
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Reading Area Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences
  • Diploma in Nursing
School City Programs offered
Berks Technical Institute Wyomissing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Reading Area Community College Reading
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences Reading
  • Diploma in Nursing

Scranton / Wilkes-Barre area

Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Fortis Institute - Scranton
  • Associate of Specialized Technology in Practical Nursing
Hazleton Area Career Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Luzerne County Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Diploma in Perioperative 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
Fortis Institute - Scranton Scranton
  • Associate of Specialized Technology 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
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
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
Clearfield County Career and Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Commonwealth Technical Institute
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Conemaugh School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
Crawford County Career and Technical Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Franklin County Career and Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Geisinger Lewistown Hospital School of Nursing
  • Diploma in 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
Institute for Caregiver Education
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Jameson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
Jefferson County-DuBois Area Vocational Technical School
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Joseph F. McCloskey School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
Lawrence County Career and Technical Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lebanon County Career and Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
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
Schuylkill Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Sharon Regional Medical Center School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
Somerset County Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
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
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
Clearfield County Career and Technology Center Clearfield
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Commonwealth Technical Institute Johnstown
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Conemaugh School of Nursing Johnstown
  • Diploma in Nursing
Crawford County Career and Technical Center Meadville
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Franklin County Career and Technology Center Chambersburg
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Geisinger Lewistown Hospital School of Nursing Lewistown
  • Diploma in 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
Institute for Caregiver Education Chambersburg
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Jameson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing New Castle
  • Diploma in Nursing
Jefferson County-DuBois Area Vocational Technical School Reynoldsville
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Joseph F. McCloskey School of Nursing Pottsville
  • Diploma in Nursing
Lawrence County Career and Technical Center New Castle
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Lebanon County Career and Technology Center Lebanon
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
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
Schuylkill Technology Center Frackville
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Sharon Regional Medical Center School of Nursing Sharon
  • Diploma in Nursing
Somerset County Technology Center Somerset
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center Dimock
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
University of Pittsburgh at Titusville Titusville
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Venango Technology Center Oil City
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing