If you work well in a team, can keep a cool head in stressful situations, and are passionate about healthcare, a career in nursing could be the right choice for you. Across all nursing schools in Pennsylvania, there are many nursing degrees at every level of education.
One of the most popular choices is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which gives students the chance to apply for licensure as a registered nurse. The experience you get at this level may broaden your career options and allow you to work in a variety of specialties.
Ready to learn more?
Keep reading to find out more about colleges for nursing in Pennsylvania or click the links below to explore each degree.
- Traditional BSN Degree
- Accelerated/Second Degree BSN
- RN to BSN Bridge Programs
- LPN to BSN Bridge Programs
Looking to Become an RN in Pennsylvania?
A Bachelor’s Degree May Be the Best Nursing Program for You
If you delve into the nursing industry and learn more about education trends, you’ll find that baccalaureate nursing education is a huge priority. There’s a large body of research backing up the idea that higher staffing levels of baccalaureate nurses lead to improved patient outcomes. As a result, many nursing organizations and associations have recommended that 80% of all nurses have a baccalaureate or higher degree by 2020.
One study found that a 10% increase in baccalaureate nurse staffing led to a decreased risk for failure to rescue and patient mortality (Nurse Education Today, 2017). An Associate’s degree gives students the chance to learn how to work in emergency care and acute settings. Bachelor of Science in Nursing colleges build on this with additional training in chronic care needs and nursing care in various specialized areas.
What Should I Look for in BSN Nursing Schools in Pennsylvania?
You may feel overwhelmed while exploring our list of top nursing schools, since there are so many BSN programs in Pennsylvania. With a few criteria, it’s easy to decide what you need for a great educational experience. You may find the school selection process much easier if you tour local schools and observe nursing classes in session.
Note that accreditation is essential for any nursing school you attend. This isn’t a matter of preference; it’s a matter of getting your license and being able to start working promptly. Accreditation goes through the ACEN or CCNE. The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing maintains a comprehensive list of approved nursing education programs.
Beyond accreditation, you should think about what you want to get from a nursing program and how you learn best. In fact, the best nursing program is one that fits with your learning style and career goals. Look into each school’s clinical hour requirements and clinical settings. If you’re interested in working in a specialized setting, you may benefit from programs that offer a diverse range of clinical experiences.
Applying to Pennsylvania Bachelor of Science in Nursing Colleges
The application process for BSN programs depends on which type of degree you earn. For example, if you attend a bridge RN to BSN program, you must already have a nursing license and a set amount of nursing experience. Those interested in accelerated nurse programs must have a Bachelor’s degree and specific prerequisite courses.
However, for standard BSN programs, the application process is straightforward. After submitting your application, essay, and application fee, you move on to meeting the health and safety requirements. Health requirements include a negative drug screen, a negative TB test, and a passing score on a pre-employment physical. To ensure the safety of patients, schools require that prospective nursing students undergo a criminal background check.
What Are BSN Programs in Pennsylvania Like?
The more time you spend comparing programs on your list of top nursing schools, the more you may be able to choose a school that is well-suited to you. You may divide your time into three separate areas of education.
The first is theory. In theory courses, you learn about the ethics of healthcare, nursing terminology, and step-by-step nursing procedures.
The second is lab work. This helps you gain experience with healthcare equipment and processes while perfecting your technique.
The third is clinical work. During clinical rotations, you practice your skills on patients under the supervision of registered nurses and instructors.
Pennsylvania BSN Degree Basic Requirements
To graduate with a BSN, you must have at least 120 credits. However, each school has the freedom to require more credits, so some programs require 130 credits. You must attend general education classes in addition to your nursing classes. From start to finish, this degree generally requires four years of education.
Courses Required in BSN Nursing Schools in Pennsylvania
- Philosophy of Professional Nursing
- Nursing Special Topics
- Evaluating Professional Nursing Practice
- Leadership and Management for Registered Nurses
RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania
These bridge programs are growing in popularity as more and more RNs choose to take their education to the next level. You may do much of your training online, since you already have clinical experience from your RN degree and from your RN work experience. As a result, you may graduate in as little as 18 months.
Coursework Options in RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania
- Research and Theory in Clinical Practice
- Health Issues and Transitions
- Community Health Nursing
- Pediatric Nursing
Pennsylvania Accelerated BSN Programs
You may decide to attend an accelerated BSN program if you have previously earned a Bachelor’s degree in another field. These programs are extremely fast-paced, typically lasting 12 to 18 months. They are structured more like full-time employment than full-time education, so few students can maintain outside employment during this time.
Classes Required in Accelerated Nurse Programs
- Pharmacology for Healthcare Professionals
- Foundations of Professional Nursing Practice
- Medical Terminology
LPN to RN Programs in Pennsylvania
Licensed practical nurses may earn an Associate’s degree and then move on to a Bachelor’s degree. Many would prefer to save time and move straight through both programs simultaneously. In bridge LPN to BSN programs, get the credits you need for both degrees in about three years.
Classes Offered in LPN to RN Programs
- Population Based Nursing
- Concepts of Evidence-Based Practice
- Adult Health Nursing
The future of healthcare relies on nurses.
Are you ready to become part of this field and provide high-quality care to the people of Pennsylvania? Learn more about your options now by contacting schools on our list of all nursing schools in Pennsylvania.
All Nursing Schools Are Not Created Equal…
How to Make a List of Top Nursing Schools in Pennsylvania
Now it’s your turn to find the best nursing program for you and make an informed choice. With everything you know about nursing schools, you can get more information and ask important questions to narrow down your list of schools. Take your time at this step; your education may determine what type of clinical experience you get and which professional connections you build.
When you start receiving information from nursing schools, start filing it into a nursing school binder. As you follow up with schools, you can take notes on phone calls and keep those notes with the application documents for each school. Ask questions that make it easy for you to figure out which school is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Colleges for Nursing
- What is the NCLEX pass rate?
- What type of support do instructors provide to students?
- How early do students begin clinical rotations?
- Where do students complete clinical rotations?
- Is financial aid available through the nursing school?
This is the time to start preparing for a career in nursing.