Nursing Degree Programs in Harrisburg, PA
When you become a nurse, you are part of the larger healthcare community of Pennsylvania, the East Coast, and the entire United States. As this field progresses in coming years, you can stay on top of current research, learn new techniques, and further your education to ensure you are giving your patients the best care possible. A mix of private and public two-year and four-year institutions provide nursing education to aspiring healthcare professionals like you.
Nursing Schools in Harrisburg, PA
As you weigh your options, think about the different career options in the field of nursing. The type of degree you choose can significantly influence your overall earning ability. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Harrisburg LPNs have an average salary of $45,910 per year (2016). For registered nurses, that number jumps to $67,450 per year (BLS, 2016). Graduate-level nurses with advanced certification may become nurse practitioners who earn an average of $100,430 per year (BLS, 2016).
The top average salary in Harrisburg goes to nurse anesthetists, who claim an average income of $170,790 per year (BLS, 2016).
Curriculum, Costs, and Financial Aid for Harrisburg PA Nursing Students
Degree options differ between nursing programs in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg, PA schools have options from one-year LPN programs to four-year Bachelor’s degree programs and two-year Master’s degree programs. LPN programs in PA typically lead to a diploma or certificate. You may be able to earn an Associate’s degree in nursing with four semesters of study.
Relevant coursework in an Associates in Nursing program includes:
- Nursing Practice Concepts
- Health Assessment Concepts for Nursing Practice
- Concepts of Nursing Informatics
- Fundamental Concepts for Nursing Practice
- Holistic Health Concepts
- Adult Health Concepts
- Family Health Concepts
- Advanced Behavioral Health Concepts
While comparing tuition costs across nursing schools in PA, spend some time studying financial aid packages at each school. Financial aid can vary significantly between institutions, and it can make a huge difference in how much you pay out-of-pocket. On average, a Lancaster school costs $6,500 per semester. The Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania recognize promising nursing students and reward them with valuable scholarships. When you are ready to start working as a nurse, you must get and maintain your license through the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. This process involves taking the appropriate licensing test—the NCLEX-PN is required for aspiring licensed practical nurses and the NCLEX-RN is required for aspiring registered nurses.
Now that you know what it takes to become a nurse in Pennsylvania, you’re ready to learn more. Below, find a list of nursing schools. Lancaster, Harrisburg, and other cities are included. Request information from programs that interest you.
Life and Career Options for Nurses in Harrisburg, PA
Whether you’re a working nurse and you’re ready to upgrade your license or you’re just starting to learn about working in this industry, Harrisburg is often an excellent place to be. National and local healthcare institutions give you many different places to earn experience and build professional connections.
Some employers, like Pinnacle Health and Holy Spirit Health System, help working nurses with tuition reimbursement and tuition assistance. Magnet facilities, including Pinnacle Health System Community General Hospital and Pinnacle Health System Harrisburg Hospital, give nurses an environment in which to conduct research, learn new skills, and participate in training events.
Nurses who are interested in advanced licensure may benefit from Master’s degree nursing programs. Lancaster, PA, and other cities near Harrisburg offer additional school options. The state of Pennsylvania is in the middle of efforts to broaden the scope of practice for nurse practitioners (We Are Central PA, 2016). This would allow nurse practitioners to work independently without extensive physician oversight.
Participating in professional organizations, both as a student and as a nurse, gives you a way to stay on top of local legislation. Prominent groups in this area include the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association and the Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania.