Nursing Schools In PA (Pennsylvania)

Attending one of the best nursing schools in PA is the gateway to a stable and financially rewarding career. It should be no surprise that one of the fastest growing job markets in the US is the health profession and qualified nurses are in high demand. This demand is predicted to grow for at least another decade, especially in large states such as Pennsylvania.

Those who are interested in attending one of the top nursing schools in PA will have the advantage of choosing from several great programs. In fact, there are just over 100 accredited nursing schools in Pennsylvania for you to choose from.

The incentives to become a nurse in Pennsylvania include; high job satisfaction, a good starting salary, job benefits and career growth opportunities.

Qualifications For Nursing Schools In PA

The path to becoming a qualified nurse in the state of Pennsylvania will vary depending on what type of nurse you want to become. No matter what path you choose, you will need to have a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. Some nursing schools in PA will also require college entrance exams like the ACT or SAT and possibly even nursing entrance exams.

Nursing Schools In Pennsylvania For CNA Certification

The fastest way to start working in the nursing field is to get your CNA (Certified Nurses Assistant) certificate. There are several hospitals, nursing homes, technical schools and community colleges that offer CNA nursing programs in PA. CNA programs typically take 4 to 6 weeks to complete.

Nursing Schools In PA For LPN Certification

If you want to become an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) you will need to take a 9 to 12 month certification course. There are several great LPN programs in PA located all throughout the state. The best place to look is your local community college or technical school.

Pennsylvania Nursing Schools For RN Ceftification

There are two paths you can take if you are looking to become an RN (Registered Nurse). The fastest path to an RN certification is to get your Associates of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree which is a two year program. Although it's possible to become an RN after only two years of schooling, a four year Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree can provide more job opportunities and increase your salary.

What Are The Best Nursing Schools In PA?

With over 100 accredited nursing schools in Pennsylvania to choose from, finding one to attend is fairly easy. Nine PA nursing schools are even considered to be within the top 200 in the nation according to US News & World Reports. Below we will break down several high ranking Pennsylvania nursing schools.

Best Nursing Schools In PAThe University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

The University of Pennsylvania is not only one of the best nursing school in PA but also the entire nation. Their nursing program is in a 3-way tie for the #1 spot along with Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and the University of Washington in Seattle. The school provides a variety of Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral nursing programs. The University itself has in-state tuition costs of around $37,000 a year and boasts a 4-year graduation rate of around 88%.

Pennsylvania Nursing SchoolsThe University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA

The University of Pittsburgh enjoys a top 10 national ranking from US News & World Reports. The school offers several Bachelors, Masters & Doctoral nursing programs and boasts a 95% NCLEX-RN first time pass rate. In-state tuition runs around $15,200 while out-of-state tuition is $24,500.

Nursing Schools in PennsylvaniaPennsylvania State University - University Park
University Park, PA

Penn State's school of nursing is ranked within the top 50 nursing schools in the nation. Penn State is also one of the top nursing schools in PA that offers Associates, Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral programs. The in-state tuition costs are around $15,100 while out of state students can expect to pay $27,200 a year. 71% of Penn State students also receive some type of scholarship or grant funding.

Best Nursing Schools in PAVillanova University
Villanova, PA

Villanvoa is currently ranked the 64th best nursing school in the nation according to US News & World Reports. Their nursing school also offers several Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral programs as well as a variety of certificate programs for existing nurses. Villanova is a private school with yearly tuition costs around $40,000. 47% of the student body recieves some type of scholarship or grant funding and the school has a four year graduation rate of 82%.

Besides the four Pennsylvania nursing schools mentioned above, US News & World Reports has also recognized the following nursing programs in PA to be within the top 200 nursing schools in the nation.

  • Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA (Tied for #127)
  • Thomas Jefferson University - Philadelphia, PA (tied for #127)
  • La Salle University - Philadelphia, PA (Tied for #193)
  • Temple University - Philadelphia, PA (Tied for #193)
  • University of Scranton - Scranton, PA (Tied for #193)

Given their rankings and limited space, only the best students will be accepted into those Pennsylvania nursing colleges. For those that may not be able to attend one of these programs, there are plenty of other accredited PA nursing schools for you to choose from. Each of these nursing programs has their own advantages and specialties.

Other Accredited Nursing Schools In PA Include:

  • York College of Pennsylvania
  • Wilkes University
  • Widener University
  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania
  • Waynesburg University
  • Washington Hospital
  • Venango County Area Vocational Technical School
  • UPMC St. Margaret
  • UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside
  • UPMC Mercy
  • University of Pittsburgh-Titusville
  • University of Pittsburgh-Bradford
  • St. Luke’s Hospital of Bethlehem PA, Inc.
  • Slippery Rock University
  • Sharon Regional Health System
  • Schuylkill Medical Center
  • Saint Francis University
  • Roxborough Memorial Hospital
  • Robert Morris University
  • Reading Hospital and Medical Center
  • Reading Area Community College
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Ohio Valley General Hospital
  • Northern Tier Career Center
  • Northampton Community College
  • Neumann College
  • Mount Aloysius College
  • Moravian College
  • Montgomery County Community College
  • Misericordia University
  • Millersville University
  • Mifflin Juniata Career and Technology Center
  • Messiah College
  • Mercyhurst College
  • Marywood University
  • Mansfield University
  • Luzerne County Community College
  • Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania
  • Lenape Area Vocational Technical School
  • Lehigh Carbon Community College
  • Lawrence County Career and Technical Center
  • Lancaster General College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • La Salle University
  • La Roche College
  • Kutztown University
  • Jefferson County-Dubois AVTS
  • Jameson Health System
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Immaculata University
  • Huntingdon County Career and Technology Center
  • Holy Family University
  • Heritage Valley Health System
  • Hazelton Area Career Center
  • Harrisburg Area Community College
  • Harcum College
  • Gwynedd-Mercy College
  • Greene County Career and Technology Center
  • Greater Johnstown Area Vocational Technical School
  • Gannon University
  • Franklin County Career and Technology Center
  • Frankford Hospital
  • Fayette County Area Vocational-Technical School
  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
  • Eastern University
  • Eastern Center for Arts and Technology
  • East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
  • Duquesne University
  • Desales University
  • Delaware County Intermediate Unit #25
  • Delaware County Community College
  • Crawford County Area Vocational-Technical School
  • Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital
  • Community Health Systems, Inc.
  • Community College of Philadelphia
  • Community College of Beaver County
  • Community College of Allegheny County
  • Clearfield County Career and Technology Center
  • Clarion University of Pennsylvania
  • Clarion County Career Center
  • Chester County Intermediate Unit
  • Chatham University
  • Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit
  • Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology
  • Cedar Crest College
  • Carlow University
  • Career Technology Center
  • California University of Pennsylvania
  • Butler County Community College
  • Bucks County Community College
  • Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
  • Alvernia College
  • Alle-Kiski Medical Center
  • Abington Memorial Hospital

How Much Do Nursing Schools In Pennsylvania Cost?

The rising cost of tuition is of great concern to potential nursing students. Depending on the nursing school, the costs do vary considerably within the state. For example, the in-state tuition cost of one year at the University of Pittsburgh is around $15,000 while the in-state tuition cost of one year at the Community College of Philadelphia is around $6,000. (Source:  CNNMoney)

How To Pay For A Pennsylvania Nursing Education

To address the concerns of the high tuition cost, students can choose between three traditional methods to fund their schooling. These include work, student loans or scholarships and grants.

Working your way through school carries the heavy burden of balancing the demands of both college and work. The advantage is that you can minimize the need for student loans that will need to be paid back after leaving the school.

Student loans are very popular and can pay for most, if not all school tuition and expenses. Unfortunately, you will have to pay them back with interest and this can take a good chunk of your salary for years to come.

The next way to help fund an education is from scholarships and grants. While nursing scholarships in PA aren't always easy to land, there are plenty of opportunities available for students who actively pursue scholarship and grant money. The key is to get to know your schools financial aid office extremely well, and apply for every scholarship opportunity that fits your qualifications.

Online Alternatives To Traditional Nursing Schools In PA

With the Internet age upon us, most good nursing schools in PA will offer several online courses for their programs. In addition, there are nationwide online accredited schools that offer complete programs online. An example of this is the University of Phoenix which can be a good alternative for those who may not be able to leave home. The benefits of taking online courses from national nursing schools are balanced off by not being able to take advantage of job placement services many of the top nursing schools in Pennsylvania offer.

In the end, Pennsylvania is one of the best job fields for the nursing profession. Providing excellent health facilities, strong base pay, and good working environments, Pennsylvania is one of the most attractive states for nurses in the US. Attending one of the best nursing schools in PA can help you launch a successful nursing career.

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Nursing Schools In PA
Nursing Schools in Philadelphia
LPN Programs In PA
Nursing Jobs In PA: Tips For Landing A Pennsylvania Nursing Job
Nursing Salary In PA: Pennsylvania Nurses Salaries Revealed
Nursing Scholarships In PA: Tips For Finding & Landing Scholarships
How To Become A Nurse In PA: The Step By Step Process