We've organized a comprehensive list of Pennsylvania nursing schools. Below you'll find information on specific nursing programs such as LPN certificates and ADN, BSN, and MSN degrees. You'll also find a profile of nursing education and careers in each major Pennsylvania city.

A master of science in nursing (MSN) program enables a registered nurse (RN) with a bachelor’s degree to enter a specialized practice field like nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or nursed practitioner. MSN degrees are offered at roughly 40 colleges and universities throughout the state of Pennsylvania, including prestigious institutions like York College of Pennsylvania, University of Scranton, and University of Pennsylvania.

The nursing profession makes up a significant portion of the Pennsylvania workforce, with over 230,000 nursing personnel employed at the state’s healthcare institutions. This number includes 125,000 registered nurses, 75,000 certified nursing assistants, and 36,000 licensed practical nurses. These nurses command a wide range of salaries depending upon their qualifications. Pennsylvania’s registered nurses earn a median annual salary of $64,830.

The financial cost of attending nursing school in Pennsylvania includes several elements. Aside from annual tuition fees, students must budget the cost of books and supplies for the academic year. Room and board should also be taken into consideration for students living on campus. Finally, nurses will take a state-administered examination upon graduation that requires a nominal fee.

Private colleges and universities are funded primarily by tuition, investments, and private donors. These stand in contrast to public institutions, which are primarily funded by taxpayers. Approximately 20% of American college students attend private colleges, which include both non-profit and for-profit entities. Private universities tend to be more prestigious than their public counterparts, and most private schools have smaller class sizes due to their stricter selection criteria.

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.

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.

Four-year colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs that are designed to be completed in four years of fulltime study. After completing a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), nurses interested in senior and/or specialized roles can also pursue a master of science in nursing (MSN). There is a growing employer preference for nurses holding BSN or MSN degrees, since they have greater expertise and higher potential for career advancement.

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.

An associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) is a highly rigorous and demanding nursing qualification program, ensuring that future nurses provide medical care and treatment of the highest quality. This degree is well-recognized in the healthcare industry, and nurses with this qualification are highly sought after by employers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Pennsylvania’s registered nurses, the most common recipients of an ADN, earn an average annual salary of $64,830.