Best Nursing Schools in Pennsylvania in 2023 (Online & On-Campus)

Best Nursing Schools in Pennsylvania in 2023 (Online & On-Campus)

Nursing Schools in Pennsylvania

Looking for a BSN school in PA? You’re in luck. Searching for great nursing schools in PA isn’t easy — you want to stand out and advance in your career, but you also want something nearby or online that works with your schedule. In Pennsylvania, the top 10 2018 RN (Registered Nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) programs are located at Moravian College, Chatham University, Pennsylvania State Fayette, Duquesne University, University of Scranton, Drexel University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (coming in at the top of the list).

BSNs in Pennsylvania reported salaries in 2013 ranged from $75,770 to $89,870, an hourly wage of $36.43 to $43.21.

  • Philadelphia: $86,190
  • Harrisburg $78,460
  • Pittsburgh $70,730
  • Altoona $72,480
  • Erie $64,000
  • Johnstown $68,620

According to Glassdoor, average base pay for BSNs in Pennsylvania is 7% above the national average at $82,250. Although students want to attend a school in the top 10, varying factors affect which school they choose. We’ve drilled down the top schools with info about each specific program for you here. Nurses are in demand in Pennsylvania. RN to BSN graduates will have many positions to choose from, and emerge better educated than RN nurses. According to The Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information, Pennsylvania is experiencing a nursing shortage and expects 4,800 new job openings each year. BSN holders may receive position advancement and higher salaries than RNs; in addition, 92.2% of medical institutions in Pennsylvania offer tuition reimbursement. Whether you’re looking for an RN to BSN program in PA or another type of nursing program, you’ll be sure to find an option below.

Take a look at our a list of nursing schools in Pennsylvania below.

1. Clarion University

Clarion integrates nursing with liberal arts education and promotes scientific inquiry, critical thinking, and personal development. Students research, have clinical experiences, and complete collaborative assignments with a capstone project. Online applications are free.

  • Credits or length: 120 credits
  • Admission requirements: 2.5 GPA with 6 or more college credits
  • Tuition: $428.20 per credit hour
  • Total Cost: $16,530
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 100%

2. Saint Francis University

Saint Francis University focuses its RN to BSN program on ensuring graduates have a broad range of skills, including decision-making and critical thinking. Health policy and informatics as well as managed and primary care are also major points of the program. The curriculum and clinicals subjects include public health and hospice care combined with real-world experiences and scenarios.

  • Credit or length: 34 credits (60-64 transfer credits)
  • Admission requirements: RN license; professional liability insurance; 2 employer references; CPR certification; and current HIPAA and OSHA documentation
  • Tuition: $32,320 full-time, on-campus, $599 BSN fast track
  • Total Cost: Dependent on transferred credits and BSN track chosen
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 100%

3. Waynesburg University

Waynesburg’s RN to BSN program is one of the best values in the state, rooted in liberal arts and experiential opportunities. The program is standard, but offers a lower price tag than many other Pennsylvania state programs. If you’re pinching pennies until you get your BSN, this is a good program for you.

  • Credit or length: Minimum 27 nursing credits with second bachelor’s degree in another discipline, or 33 nursing credits
  • Admission requirements: Current U.S. RN License without restrictions, cumulative 2.5 GPA, professional nursing resume, two letters of recommendation
  • Tuition: $23,970 (varies, students may be full-time or part-time)
  • Total Cost: Dependent on transferred credits
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Current NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 100%

4. University of Pittsburgh – Bradford

University of Pittsburgh, Bradford students work in a nursing lab and focus on leadership and management role requirements and outcomes.

  • Credit or length: 6 credits in-school
  • Admission requirements: PA RN license, 2.5 GPA,
  • Tuition: $12,940 per year for residents, $690 per credit hour
  • Total Cost: Dependent on transferred credits
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 100%

5. Drexel University

Drexel offers an evidence-based and experiential learning program with a diverse curriculum that can be completed in 1 year.

  • Credits or length: 1 year, 180 credits
  • Admission requirements: RN with currentU.S. license, 60 hours of prerequisites with C grade
  • Tuition: $465 per credit, 40% tuition savings discount now for winter and spring 2019
  • Total Cost: $20,925 minimum (depends on transferred credits and otherdiscounts)
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 97.54%

6. Alvernia University

Alvernia’s program offers coursework in 8-week blocks. One day per week of on-site instruction is required. The program is focused on the future of nursing, including technology and informatics.

  • Credits or length:  4 years (can expedite)
  • Admission requirements: Cs or higher in courses and entrance exam
  • Tuition: $460 per credit hour
  • Total Cost: $24,184
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 97.44%

7. DeSales University

DeSales University offers an accelerated program you can complete in 15 months. Class cohorts start during the third week of May, and clinical hours are sometimes on weekends with two summer sessions. Admission is rigorous.

  • Credits or length: 60 laboratory, 630 clinical, and 180 clinical internship
  • Admission requirements: 2.75 GPA, prerequisites, two recommendation letters, personal essay
  • Tuition: $12,000 per semester
  • Total Cost: $36,000 (no in-state tuition rates)
  • Accreditation: ACEN/CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 96.36%

8. Pennsylvania College of Technology

The Pennsylvania College of Technology currently offers an RN to BSN option with a 38% discount entirely online. Graduates may work in acute care, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, state and federal health facilities, and private duty nursing agencies. Nurses may also work with physicians, surgeons, and dentists in private practices. Most graduates are employed at hospitals. In this accelerated program, all courses and clinical will be on the weekends

  • Credit or length: 3 semesters minimum
  • Admission requirements: RN, TEAS exam, 2.0 GPA with Cs in all transfer courses
  • Tuition: $558 per credit hour in-state
  • Total Cost: Dependent upon transfer credits
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 95.24%

9. East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

This program is offered at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem. Admission is once per year in the fall, and the program is affiliated with 8 local healthcare organizations.

  • Credits or length: 22 required (30 transfer) and 31 corequisite courses
  • Admission requirements: 2.75 GPA, RN degree and license with 3.0 GPA, SAT, and two letters of recommendation from professors
  • Tuition: $1,153 to $49 per credit hour
  • Total Cost: $16,138
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 95%

10. Cedar Crest College

Cedar Crest has rolling admissions and students can avoid extra testing if they meet specific requirements. Clinical hours may be completed at 50 different locations and workplace leadership skills are emphasized.

  • Credits or length: 120 credit hours
  • Admission requirements: admission into nursing school and C average in prerequisites
  • Tuition: $15,598/$990 per credit hour
  • Total Cost: $18,500
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 94.44%

11. Robert Morris University

The completely online RN to BSN program at Robert Morris helps RNs advance to more professional and leadership-based roles in clinical and community settings. Courses offered cover safety, quality, informatics, cultural sensitivity, and health promotion. Offered specialties include surgery, pediatrics, geriatrics, emergency care, forensics, legal consulting, clinical research, and school nursing.

  • Credit or length: 120 credits
  • Admission requirements: RN degree or license
  • Tuition: $15,520 per semester or $580 per credit hour
  • Total Cost: $24,289
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 94.32%

12. University of Scranton

Scranton’s program provides academic excellence, clinical competency, and a Jesuit-based community responsibility with holistic, compassionate nursing care ideologies.

  • Credit or length: 4-7 years, 125 credits (57 credits in-school and 38.5 transferred)
  • Admission requirements: RN license and recommendation from current employer
  • Tuition: $44,532 per year
  • Total Cost: $44,532 per year
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 94.03%

13. Duquesne University

Duquesne University has a nationally ranked nursing program that offers rigorous work alongside hands-on training, all while emphasizing the importance of ethical values. They are one of 14 schools in the nation endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation. In other words, Duquesne nursing students learn to consider the patients’ physical, mental, cultural, emotional, and spiritual aspects needs during treatment.

Undergraduate degrees include a BSN, Second Degree BSN and a BME/BSN Dual Degree. They also offer various graduate and online programs such as an MSN in Forensic Nursing, a post-master’s certificate in Nursing Education and Faculty Role, a DNP in Clinical Leadership, and a PhD in Nursing among others.

  • Credits or length: 120 credits (60 transfer, 30 in-school)
  • Admission requirements: RN degree and license, GPA of 2.0
  • Tuition: $55,976 (12-month) or $56, 090 (16-month)
  • Total Cost: $27,948
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 94.38%

14. Carlow University

Carlow will give you 30 credits toward your degree with an RN license, and you can complete its program in 11 months. Applications are free online.

  • Credits or length: 120 credit hours
  • Admission requirements: Completed prerequisites
  • Tuition: $13,302 or $608 per credit hour
  • Total Cost: $18,817
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 92.31%

15. La Roche University

La Roche’s online program is a foundation for graduate nursing education. The BSN requires 6 credits of graduate level courses and is rigorous.

  • Credit or length: 18-month online program with 120 credits (30 in-school)
  • Admission requirements: Current RN license, 2.5 GPA, two letters of reference, and an essay
  • Tuition: $26,200 per year
  • Total Cost: $26,200 plus nursing fees
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 92.31%

16. Lock Haven University

Lock Haven University offers an online RN to BSN program. The program is based on theory and evidence-based practices with critical thinking emphasis and research in health promotion, maintenance, disease prevention, and rehabilitation. Some nursing courses require external clinical experience and all build on background knowledge.

  • Credit or length: 120 credit hours (30 LHU credits required for the degree) within 5 years
  • Admission requirements: RN license, 40 hours of nursing prerequisites, 2.7 GPA, active employment as an RN or receipt of degree or diploma in past 2 years
  • Tuition:  $ 10,878 (dependent on residence state and GPA), $322 per credit hour
  • Total Cost: $14,394
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 92.31%

17. Neumann University

Neumann University focuses on enhancing professional nursing practices for diverse populations. Students will be trained for lifelong development of knowledge, skills, attitudes associates with liberal arts and nursing, as well as ethical, social, and professional practice competencies. Courses are available on a full-time or part-time bases with classes during the day or in the evenings.

  • Credit or length: 30 credits, depending upon the amount of transferred credits from RN programs
  • Admission requirements: 2.5 GPA, and unencumbered, unrestricted RN license, Cs or better in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, chemistry, statistics and nutrition
  • Tuition: $15,580 per semester
  • Total Cost: $31,160 per year
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 91.8%

18. Gannon University

Gannon offers an online program and portfolio option that grants course credit for professional experience. Faculty use a student-centered, community-based training approach and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing report.

  • Credit or length: 3.5 years with minimal clinical hours required
  • Admission requirements: RN degree and license from hospital-based NLN accredited program, 2.7 GPA, letters of reference
  • Tuition: $299 per credit hour
  • Total Cost: $21,314
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 91.07%

19. Eastern University

The accelerated RN to BSN is delivered 100% online and asynchronous and enrolls every 7 weeks. It’s endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation (AHNCC).

  • Credit or length: 2 years on-campus or 14 months online, 42 credits (89 transfer credits)
  • Admission requirements: RN license, 2.0 GPA, personal essay
  • Tuition: $569 accelerated or $712  per credit hour part-time
  • Total Cost: $24,538 or $16,246 on-campus
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 90.63%

20. Edinboro University

Edinboro offers an RN to BSN 15-month program called the Innovative Nursing Program, completed in three semesters. Undergraduate and graduate programs are taught be experienced nurses and emphasize the application of scientific knowledge, personal development, critical thinking, ethics, and value and culture appreciation.

  • Credit or length: 16 months
  • Admission requirements: RN degree, 3.00 GPA, nursing faculty interview, minimum grade of C in Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Tuition: $10,534 resident and $15,062.20 non-resident
  • Total Cost: $14,089
  • Accreditation: ACEN/CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 90.63%

21. Wilkes University

Wilkes University hybrid courses offer life support, nutrition, psychiatric mental health, and pharmacotherapeutics courses along with common core knowledge that is necessary to succeed in nursing.

  • Credit or length: 120 credits
  • Admission requirements: RN degree or diploma, good moral character
  • Tuition: $17,227 per semester
  • Total Cost: $34,454 per year
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 90.41%

22. Moravian College

Moravian’s RN to BSN offers an interdisciplinary curriculum to prepare students for careers in public health or graduate studies. Moravian prides itself on an education based in the liberal arts. Moravian’s program is designed in a flexible format with rolling admissions, flexible scheduling and global health care courses for electives.

  • Credit or length: 32 (16 transferred), no clinical clock hours but possible precepted project hours
  • Admission requirements: 2.0 GPA, accredited diploma or RN; Pennsylvania Nursing Articulation Model for licensure; practice requirements fulfillment; no grades lower than C
  • Tuition: $43,636 annually for full-time or $21,818 per term plus fees
  • Total Cost: $ 43,636
  • Accreditation: CCNE, Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 90%

23. West Chester University

The West Chester RN to BSN accepts applications from June 1 to August 31st, and is based on contemporary nursing science principles. The program is entitled Advance-2-BSN.

  • Credit or length: 1.5 years or 18 months
  • Admission requirements: RN degree, TEAS exam
  • Tuition: $24,000 plus fees
  • Total Cost: $28,000
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 89.53%

24. York College of Pennsylvania

York College challenges its students to improve nursing practice methods with state-of-the-art labs and hands-on experience. Simulation exercises, the latest technology, and clinical experience help students succeed beyond their degree programs.

  • Credit or length: 122 credits (unlimited baccalaureate program transfer credits, last 30 credits must be taken at the school)
  • Admission requirements: RN degree from CCNE or NLN accredited programs
  • Tuition: $18,180 per year
  • Total Cost: $20,100
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 89.52%

25. La Salle University

La Salle’s RN to BSN program allows students to move on to many different nursing professions and includes interaction with skilled, caring nurses who focus on helping patients lead better quality lives. Courses are 7 weeks long.

  • Credit or length: 13-month minimum, 122 (27 credits in-school)
  • Admission requirements: RN license, 2.0 GPA
  • Tuition: $10,975
  • Total Cost: $10,975
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 87.66%

26. Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

The PA College of Health Sciences emphasizes hands-on training in a state-of-the-art simulation lab with guaranteed clinical experience in different settings. Students complete a service learning project for at-risk populations and an internship in interdisciplinary health care as part of a team.

  • Credit or length: 3 years, 120 credits
  • Admission requirements: 3.4 GPA, 1100 SAT, 22 ACT, personal interview
  • Tuition: $593 per credit hour and $3,750 per semester
  • Total Cost: $15,000
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 87.03%

27. Mount Aloysius College

Mount Aloysius’ program students are prepared to be nursing professionals, apply for graduate studies, or enter leadership positions. The curriculum focuses on critical thinking, communication, and interdisciplinary practices, and includes a leadership practicum and capstone courses to encourage positive patient- and family-centered outcomes.

  • Credit or length: 8-week sessions (up to 90 transfer credits accepted and 40 transfer nursing credits)
  • Admission requirements: RN or diploma graduation, 2.7 GPA or recommendations from nursing faculty, RN license
  • Tuition: $12,345 per semester and $24,690 per year
  • Total Cost: $24,690
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 86.81%

28. Pennsylvania State University

The Pennsylvania State College of Nursing offers a BSN at 10 campuses, including the World Campus online. The BSN degree allows students to be leaders in a changing healthcare world and affect outcomes positively, or continue studies in graduate school. An accelerate format is also offered. Blending on-campus and off-campus is also possible if you live close to a campus where this program is offered.

  • Credit or length: 120 credits, 7.5 week online sessions
  • Admission requirements: RN degree or license,
  • Tuition: $555 to $596 per credit hour or $6,742 to $7,297 per semester
  • Total Cost: Dependent on how many credits are transferred in
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 86.37%

29. Widener University

Previous work experience may apply to your coursework for this program, and you can complete it in as little as one year if that’s the case. There are no clinicals or on-site residencies.

  • Credit or length: 8 months (accelerated) or 12 months (traditional) minimum, 30 credit hours
  • Admission requirements: RN license
  • Tuition: $14,460
  • Total Cost: Tuition: $14,460
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 85.82%

30. Holy Family University

Holy Family’s accelerated curriculum is focused on management, leadership, culturally-sensitive care, and research. Courses are held once a week in a blended 8-week format.

  • Credit or length: 15 months (may transfer 75 credits from 2-year and 90 credits from 4-year institutions)
  • Admission requirements: Writing sample, RN license
  • Tuition: $34,000
  • Total Cost: $34,578
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 82.44%

31. Gwynedd-Mercy University

Gwynedd-Mercy focuses on superior patient care and nursing leadership. The university offers an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) and a traditional four-year BSN on campus only.

  • Credit or length: 69 credits
  • Admission requirements: Bachelor’s from a regionally-accredited college/university
  • Tuition: $810 per credit hour
  • Total Cost: $24,808
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 81.82%

32. Misericordia University

Misericordia’s programs support academic excellence, professional preparation, and service leadership. The university’s education is based on mercy, service, justice, and hospitality. The full-time BSN prepares students to be professionals in a multidisciplinary health care team with skills in planning and provision of ethical, safe, and humanistic care.

  • Credit or length: 3 years, up to 32 credits
  • Admission requirements: 3.0 GPA, prerequisites (anatomy, physiology, bacteriology, developmental psychology, nutrition, and statistics)
  • Tuition: $31,530. $610 per credit, part-time
  • Total Cost: $31,530
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 78.90%

33. Marywood University

Marywood University offers academic and clinical coursework for hospitals, schools, nursing homes, pharmaceuticals, research, consulting, management, and administration. BSN graduates choose from LPN, Nurse Anesthetist, or Education specialty continuations. The university offers advanced standing credit for 8 courses.

  • Credit or length: 3 years
  • Admission requirements: 1040 total SAT score, minimum 530 in math; one recommendation letter from an academic source; GPA of 3.0; and  Bs in cognates and Cs in nursing courses
  • Tuition: $33,160 per year plus fees
  • Total Cost: $33,535
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 75%

34. Immaculata University

Immaculata’s program has won awards and is an accredited holistic nursing program centered on patients and evidence-based practices; it builds on work experience and explores psychology, ethics, legality, and management in hospitals and communities.

  • Credit or length: 126 credits (50 in-school)
  • Admission requirements: Current RN license
  • Tuition: $26,500 per year full-time, plus clinical and exam fees
  • Total Cost: $33,717
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: 74.36%

35. Millersville University

Millersville’s program is offered online and in an on-campus format. Faculty advisors assist students, who may engage in a blended on-campus and off-campus formats and local food bank event teaching and screenings. Students can attend nursing advocacy events such as PSNA’s Day on Capitol Hill.

  • Credits or length: 120 semester hours (9 courses or 31 credits, with 30-90 credits transferable)
  • Admission requirements: RN degree
  • Tuition: $10,312 per year plus applicable fees
  • Total Cost: $17,950
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: Unknown

36. California University of Pennsylvania

California University’s online degree offers an arts and sciences program to help you excel in graduate studies and career advancement. This program offers rolling admissions and an accelerated format with new cohorts in spring and fall.

  • Credits or length:  4 years (accelerated format in one 16-week course or two 8-week courses)
  • Admission requirements: SAT or ACT scores; transfer credits with C grades, military credits, PLA, or CLEP/DANTES/AP
  • Tuition: $3,858 per semester/$322 credit hours
  • Total Cost: $17,233
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: Unknown

37. Chatham University

Chatham has rolling admissions and uses an online, accelerated, distance-learning format focused on leadership, management, ethics, creativity, knowledge, and skills. A 2.0 GPA is required at graduation.

  • Credits or length: 120 credits total (94 transfer and 26-60 credits in-school) and 140 practice experience hours
  • Admission requirements: RN degree, 2.0 GPA, and current license
  • Tuition: $530 per credit
  • Total Cost: $21,066
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: Unknown

38. Slippery Rock University

Slippery Rock offers an online RN to BSN focused on clinical decision-making and multidisciplinary work in a community health and professional capacity. The courses are 100% online and accessible 24 hours per day in 7.5-week sessions. The program is reasonably priced and helps build professional student foundations, team skills, and technical knowledge.

  • Credits or length: Dependent on transferred credits
  • Admission requirements: RN degree and license, 63 transferred credits, 2.5 RN GPA
  • Tuition: $374.20 per credit
  • Total Cost: Dependent on credits transferred in
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate: Unknown

How We Ranked the Schools

All schools were researched and ranked according to NCLEX-RN pass rate. This is a list of all the schools in PA that have a current, enrolling RN to BSN degree program. If the information on your school is incorrect, please contact us and we can edit the article according to the new information.



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