Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Pennsylvania According to an NP

In Pennsylvania, there are currently 7,610 Nurse Practitioners, a figure that is expected to grow significantly in the coming years with the predicted need for an additional 8,240 NPs by 2030. The state’s implementation of a Reduced Practice model and limited prescriptive authority introduces a well-balanced environment for effective collaboration and comprehensive healthcare delivery.

  1. Educational Requirements: Prospective Nurse Practitioners in Pennsylvania must obtain an RN license and then complete a Master’s or Doctoral degree from an accredited nursing program. This elevated educational background prepares NPs for more advanced aspects of patient healthcare.
  2. Licensure and Certification: Beyond education, Pennsylvania NPs must secure state licensure from the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and a national certification in their chosen specialty. These credentials ensure their competence and readiness to deliver high-quality care.
  3. Scope of Practice: Pennsylvania adopts a Reduced Practice model. While Nurse Practitioners can independently deliver a variety of healthcare services, they require a collaborative practice agreement with a physician for certain additional patient care services.
  4. Prescriptive Authority: In Pennsylvania, Nurse Practitioners can prescribe medications, including controlled substances, under certain conditions. This limited prescriptive authority allows for more comprehensive patient care, all while maintaining appropriate clinical oversight.
  5. Employment and Salary Statistics: Pennsylvania employs 3% of all U.S. Nurse Practitioners, who earn an average annual wage of $117,260. These numbers show the state’s acknowledgment of the critical role NPs play in healthcare delivery.
  6. Job Outlook: With a predicted need for an additional 580 NPs per year until 2030, Pennsylvania promises a bright job landscape. This steady demand signals the state’s commitment to robust healthcare service development.
  7. Regulatory Body: The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing oversees the practices of NPs in the state, maintaining professional standards, issuing licenses, and upholding the integrity of the profession.

Pennsylvania’s anticipated demand for Nurse Practitioners, together with its supportive practice model and competitive salaries, paints a promising picture for this profession. For individuals seeking to make a substantial impact in healthcare, Pennsylvania provides ample opportunity and potential for a rewarding career.

The 10 Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Pennsylvania for 2023?

#1 in Pennsylvania

Carlow University

School of Nursing

  • Pin1
    3333 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA - 15213-3165
  • Tel1
    (412) 578-6000
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to BSN
Person
Nurse Admin: Lynn George, PhD, RN, CNE
Title: Dean

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 109
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,400
  • Book Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 100%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $16,561
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 94%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 34%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 58%

About Carlow University's Nursing School

Carlow University, situated in various locations including Oakland, Greensburg, and Cranberry, offers an outstanding nursing education that is both comprehensive and specialized. The school provides advanced programs, including Master of Science in Nursing and Post-Master's Certificates, that are aligned with the needs of aspiring Nurse Practitioners (NPs). All programs have the stamp of approval from the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing, assuring their quality and reliability.

 The school incorporates web-based coursework, evening classes, and clinical hours in both urban and rural healthcare agencies. Such a well-rounded approach, along with partnerships with local healthcare providers, ensures that NP students are not just academically proficient but also highly skilled in clinical settings. Carlow University prepares its students for board certification through the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), emphasizing its commitment to produce competent NPs.

About Carlow University's NP Programs

Master of Science in Nursing

Concentrations:

Carlow University's Master of Science in Nursing program offers specializations in Family and Women’s Health, both designed to be completed in as few as 28 months. Each specialization requires 49 credits at a cost of $918 per credit. The programs are delivered both on-campus and online, offering flexibility for working professionals. Upon graduation, students can obtain board certification and APRN licensure that is valid in all U.S. states and territories. Teamwork and collaboration lie at the heart of the curriculum, preparing students for leadership roles in healthcare settings.

 

Post-Master’s Certificate

Concentrations:

For those who already possess a Master’s in Nursing, the Post-Master's Certificate provides an accelerated path to NP certification. Requiring 36 credits and as few as 27 months to complete, these programs allow students to specialize in either Family or Women’s Health. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings, including home health agencies and specialized clinics.

Key Student Takeaways

  • Flexible Learning Options: Programs are offered at three locations and online, making it convenient for students.
  • Certification Ready: All programs prepare students for board certification and licensure.
  • Multiple Concentrations: Students can specialize in Family or Women’s Health, both critical fields in healthcare.
  • Affordable Education: Though not the cheapest, the per-credit cost is reasonable considering the quality of the program.
  • Community Involvement: Clinical hours offer experience in both urban and rural settings, equipping students to serve diverse communities.
  • Peer Networking: Emphasis on teamwork and collaboration provides a rich peer network, valuable for career progression.

#2 in Pennsylvania

Villanova University

M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

  • Pin1
    800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA - 19085-1699
  • Tel1
    (610) 519-4500
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, BSN to PhD, Doctor of Nursing, MSN, MSN to DNP, Ph.D., Post Master's NP Certificate
Person
Nurse Admin: Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN
Title: Connelly Endowed Dean

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 732
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,100
  • Book Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 64%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $32,435
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 31%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 25%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 92%

About Villanova University's Nursing School

Villanova University is a private educational institution  and is the nation's only Augustinian Catholic. Its M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing is not just any educational establishment; it's a powerhouse of innovation and ethical learning. The institution is deeply rooted in values of truth, unity, and love, offering students a personalized experience that shapes them into world-changers.

The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing offers a holistic approach to nursing, preparing students for a range of roles. With an impressive 97.5% successful undergraduate placement rate and simulation centers among the first to earn global endorsements, Villanova is clearly ahead of the curve. The School is particularly strong in incorporating simulation-based learning. Its 12,000 square-foot Simulation and Learning Resource Center is designed with advanced facilities, including a fully-equipped operating room and 10 clinical simulation labs. This focus on practical, hands-on experience implies a high standard for their Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs, which benefits from these state-of-the-art resources.

About Villanova University's NP Programs

Master of Science in Nursing

Concentrations:

Villanova University offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with diverse concentrations that suit varying career goals. Each track provides intensive clinical training, facilitated by experienced nurse preceptors in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Graduates are notably well-regarded, finding employment in primary care settings nationwide. The Adult-Gerontology and Family Nurse Practitioner tracks, for instance, provide comprehensive role preparation for advanced practice. Similarly, the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner track focuses on primary care for younger patients, while the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track offers specialized mental health training. You're not only trained but also mentored to excel in various practice settings—emergency rooms, outpatient clinics, telemedicine, and beyond.

Each program is carefully designed to mold independent thinkers and problem solvers, and it's evident in their graduates. Students have the added benefit of continuing into the Post-master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, offering a seamless transition for those interested in advanced studies.

Key Student Takeaways

  • Flexible Learning Options: Core courses can be completed either online or on campus, providing the flexibility to tailor your educational experience.
  • Comprehensive Clinical Experience: Villanova secures clinical placements in three states, offering a diverse and comprehensive training environment.
  • Pathway to DNP: The program offers an easy transition to a Post-master's Doctor of Nursing Practice program, allowing for advanced studies and specialization.
  • Global Network: Join an influential network of alumni who serve the vulnerable, think globally, and lead in their respective fields.

#3 in Pennsylvania

Drexel University

College of Nursing and Health Professions

  • Pin1
    3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA - 19104
  • Tel1
    (215) 895-2000
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, Doctor of Nursing, MSN, MSN to DNP, Ph.D., Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to BSN, RN to MSN
Person
Nurse Admin: Kymberlee Montgomery, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, FAAN
Title: Chair

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 1294
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,700
  • Book Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 100%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $25,373
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 77%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 10%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 71%

About Drexel University's Nursing School

Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel University is a private R-1 level research university. Its College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) stands out as a key player in healthcare education. What sets it apart is its cooperative education program, widely known as co-op. This program lets students alternate between full-time studies and full-time employment at Drexel-approved healthcare institutions after their first year. The state-of-the-art technology at CNHP, along with innovative health and wellness centers like the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services, allows students to put theory into practice. For Nurse Practitioner (NP) students, this hands-on experience is invaluable, providing an optimal environment to develop competence and expertise.

About Drexel University's NP Programs

Master of Science in Nursing

Concentrations:

Drexel's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is designed for maximum efficiency. The program uses a four 10-week quarter system, allowing students to take more courses in less time. Classes are delivered through synchronous online lectures, led by experienced and board-certified faculty. In addition, students have access to both clinical practice environments and simulated health care scenarios. A distinguishing feature is the flexibility it offers in finding and coordinating one's own clinical site and preceptor, supported by a wealth of resources from the Division of Graduate Nursing. Given the range of concentrations available, this MSN program is both comprehensive and adaptable, making it ideal for future nurse practitioners.

 

Post-Master’s Certificate

Concentrations:

The Post-Master’s Certificate Program at Drexel's College of Nursing and Health Professions is tailor-made for working professionals. Delivered both online and on campus, the program can be completed in a maximum time frame of 2 years. Like the MSN program, students have the flexibility to find and coordinate their own clinical site and preceptor. A key highlight is that graduates will be eligible to apply for certification in their respective concentrations.

Key Student Takeaways

  • Real-world Experience: The co-op program offers unparalleled real-world healthcare experience.
  • Flexibility: Tailored for working professionals, especially in the Post-Master’s Certificate Program.
  • Comprehensive Learning: State-of-the-art facilities offer students the chance to engage in experiential learning.
  • Multiple Concentrations: The wide array of specializations makes this an ideal choice for aspiring nurse practitioners.
  • Resource Support: Assistance in finding clinical sites and preceptors gives students an edge.

#4 in Pennsylvania

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Department of Nursing

  • Pin1
    400 E Second St, Bloomsburg, PA - 17815
  • Tel1
    (570) 389-4000
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, Doctor of Nursing, LPN to BSN, MSN, RN to BSN, RN to MSN
Person
Nurse Admin: Lori M. Metzger, PhD, CRNP, RN-BC
Title: Chairperson

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 352
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $10,982
  • Book Book and Supplies: $1,200
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 93%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $5,647
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 89%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 25%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 58%

About Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's Nursing School

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is a key campus of the Commonwealth University, situated in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1839, the university has always championed the idea of making higher education accessible. Its School of Nursing is recognized for its accredited undergraduate and graduate level programs. Students aspiring for careers in various nursing specialties such as critical care, trauma, and home care find a nurturing environment here.

A standout feature is the Simulated Learning Lab (SLL), equipped with everything from hospital beds to computerized medication systems. The SLL prepares students for real-world challenges, which is particularly important for those aiming to become Nurse Practitioners (NPs). The hands-on learning and diverse clinical simulations affirm the program’s commitment to excellence, making it a magnet for NP nursing students.

About Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's NP Programs

Master of Science in Nursing

Concentrations:

Bloomsburg's Master of Science in Nursing is renowned for its accredited program tailored for adult learners. This flexible curriculum can be completed online and is designed with the working nurse in mind. There are two concentrations—Adult-Gerontology and Family/Individual Across the Life Span. Both are focused on preparing primary care clinicians.

Full-time students can complete the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner track in two years or five semesters. Graduates are eligible to take the ANCC national certification exam. The Family Nurse Practitioner concentration also offers full-time, part-time, and RN-BSN-MSN options. It takes about two and a half years to complete the full-time program. This concentration is especially strong in serving multi-cultural and high-risk populations. Both programs benefit from faculty who are all practicing Nurse Practitioners, adding a layer of practical expertise to the academic rigor.

Key Student Takeaways

  • Practical Expertise: Faculty members are practicing Nurse Practitioners, bringing real-world insights to the classroom.
  • Flexible Learning: The online format accommodates the schedules of working nurses, enabling them to balance work, life, and study.
  • Accredited Program: The Master of Science in Nursing is accredited, emphasizing the program’s high standards and quality.
  • Focused Curriculum: Both concentrations are geared toward preparing students for primary care roles, which are increasingly important in today’s healthcare landscape.
  • Certification Preparedness: Graduates are prepared to take national certification exams, increasing their marketability and scope of practice.
  • Inclusive Approach: The programs are designed to meet the healthcare needs of a diverse patient population, making graduates well-rounded healthcare providers.

#5 in Pennsylvania

DeSales University

Division of Nursing

  • Pin1
    2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA - 18034-9568
  • Tel1
    (610) 282-1100
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, Doctor of Nursing, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
Person
Nurse Admin: Mary Elizabeth Tadduni, PhD, MBA, RN
Title: Division Head And Associate Professor

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 133
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,468
  • Book Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 100%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $20,592
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 82%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 19%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 65%

About DeSales University's Nursing School

DeSales University is a private Catholic institution situated in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. Established in 1974, the university's Department of Nursing and Health focuses on preparing compassionate, skilled nursing graduates in the spirit of Christian humanism. Importantly, the nursing programs at DeSales, including the Nurse Practitioner (NP) tracks, are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The school stands out for its cutting-edge simulation technology. The DeSales family of Human Patient Simulators (HPS) and Clinical Skills Lab offer students valuable hands-on experience. The Standardized Patient Program further enriches the training by mimicking real-world clinical situations. This comprehensive, tech-savvy approach indicates that NP students are exposed to a variety of experiences that prepare them for various healthcare settings.

Educational Management Solutions (EMS) facilitate faculty and peer review, ensuring that NP students get actionable feedback on their clinical performances. Students also have the advantage of scholarships from multiple organizations, like the National Health Service Corps and the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation. This shows that DeSales not only aims to provide quality education but also supports students financially.

About DeSales University's NP Programs

MSN & Nurse Practitioner Degree Programs

Concentrations:

DeSales University’s MSN & Nurse Practitioner Degree Programs offer three major concentrations that cover the spectrum of healthcare needs. Whether it’s the psychiatric-mental focus or care for adults and older individuals, these programs are designed to shape well-rounded practitioners. All programs can be pursued either full- or part-time and offer online formats, making it flexible for working professionals. Students get to complete their clinical requirements in top-notch healthcare facilities in and around Lehigh Valley. Clinical placements are well-coordinated, and students receive robust training that far exceeds the minimum requirements for prescriptive authority in Pennsylvania.

 

BSN to DNP

Concentrations:

The DeSales BSN to DNP programs offer a fast and flexible track for BSN graduates to earn their Doctorate in Nursing Practice. The curriculum is extensive, covering 23-26 courses over 15 semesters based on your selected track. The programs equip you with both the theory and the hands-on clinical experience required for advanced nursing practice. DeSales prides itself on being the first to offer four-year BSN-DNP tracks in the Lehigh Valley area. The flexibility in course formats, from online to face-to-face, makes this a viable option for those looking to balance work and studies.

 

Certification Programs

Concentrations:

For nurses with a graduate degree, DeSales offers Post-Master’s Certificate programs in multiple specialties. A unique feature is the Gap Analysis conducted by the program director to tailor the curriculum to each student’s prior education and experience. Depending on the credits transferred, certification may be completed in one year. These programs meet the educational requirements for national certification exams, further emphasizing the quality and breadth of the nursing education at DeSales University.

Key Student Takeaways

  • Accredited Programs: All nursing programs at DeSales University are CCNE accredited, ensuring that the curriculum meets the highest national standards.
  • State-of-the-Art Simulation Technology: A cutting-edge simulation lab allows students to practice clinical skills in a safe environment, preparing them for real-world scenarios.
  • Flexible Learning: Both full-time and part-time program options are available, in addition to online platforms, accommodating different student needs and schedules.
  • Nationally-Ranked Clinical Facilities: Clinical requirements can be fulfilled at top-ranking healthcare facilities across the Lehigh Valley and the tri-state area, offering a diverse learning experience.
  • Comprehensive Certification Preparation: The NP programs prepare students for multiple national certification exams, boosting employability and career growth.
  • Holistic and Ethical Foundation: Rooted in Christian humanism, the program ensures an ethical and holistic approach to healthcare.

#6 in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State University

  • Pin1
    201 Old Main, University Park, PA - 16802-1503
  • Tel1
    8148654700
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Nursing Administration, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, BSN to PhD, Doctor of Nursing, MSN, MSN to DNP, Ph.D., Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to BSN

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty:
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: N/A
  • Book Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: N/A
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: N/A
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: N/A
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: N/A
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: N/A

About Pennsylvania State University's Nursing School

Pennsylvania State University is a top-tier public research institution with multiple campuses spread across Pennsylvania. A pioneer in research and education, Penn State's Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing distinguishes itself as one of the largest nursing educators in the state. With over 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students across 13 campuses, the college is poised to shape the future of nursing and healthcare. The College's nursing programs have received multiple accolades, including the NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education Award in 2022. It also offers nationally-ranked online programs through Penn State World Campus, making it a leader in nursing education both online and offline. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the school has programs that cater to various nursing pathways, including specialized tracks for Nurse Practitioners (NPs).

For NP students, this implies  multi-faceted educational experience. The programs are complemented by a unique focus on Geriatric Nursing, supported by the Tressa Nese and Helen Diskevich Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. With funding for community-based nursing research and programs aimed at improving mental health among clinicians, the College is without a doubt dedicated to quality and innovation in nursing practice.

About Pennsylvania State University's NP Programs

Graduate Certificates

Concentrations:

Penn State's Graduate Certificate programs offer nurses a convenient yet thorough pathway to becoming a Nurse Practitioner. The programs are entirely online, allowing working professionals the flexibility to balance studies with career commitments. Students benefit from the support of dedicated faculty, academic advisors, and a comprehensive curriculum that covers both didactic and clinical courses essential for the NP role.

The certificate programs offer a variety of specializations, including Family/Individual Across the Lifespan, Adult Gerontology in both Primary and Acute Care settings. These programs are geared toward filling the gaps in a nurse's existing educational background, making them well-suited for the burgeoning demand for NPs. The online format does not compromise quality, as it's backed by the same highly-regarded faculty that teach at the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing.

 

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Concentrations:

  • Acute Care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Primary Care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner
  • Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Penn State offers a higher level of clinical practice for nurses, setting the industry standard for NPs. The program is offered online through Penn State's World Campus, allowing for either full-time or part-time study. Courses are grounded in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s DNP Essentials and national Nurse Practitioner competencies. The DNP-NP program has several concentration options. Depending on the concentration, students must complete between 65 to 75 credits and 1,200 practice hours. Graduates are well-prepared for national NP certification examinations and are equipped for leadership roles in diverse healthcare settings.

Key Student Takeaways

  • Flexible Learning Options: The NP program offers a blend of in-person and online classes, making it convenient for working professionals to further their education.
  • Extensive Clinical Rotations: Real-world clinical experience is integrated into the curriculum, thanks to Penn State's strong affiliations with healthcare providers.
  • Accredited Programs: Both the nursing school and the NP program are CCNE accredited, ensuring that your education meets the highest standards.
  • Various Support Services: From career counseling to academic support, Penn State provides a plethora of resources to aid students in their educational journey.
  • Alumni Network: Being a part of the Penn State community offers students access to an expansive network of professionals in the healthcare field, providing opportunities for mentorship and career growth.

#7 in Pennsylvania

Duquesne University

School of Nursing

  • Pin1
    Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA - 15282
  • Tel1
    (412) 396-6000
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, Doctor of Nursing, MSN, MSN to DNP, Ph.D., Post Master's NP Certificate
Person
Nurse Admin: Mary Ellen Glasgow, PhD, ACNS-BC, FAAN, ANEF
Title: Dean

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 478
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,400
  • Book Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 100%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $22,575
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 77%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 19%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 79%

About Duquesne University's Nursing School

Duquesne University is a renowned private Catholic research university situated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It has garnered national acclaim for its top-tier faculty and comprehensive education. Founded in 1937, its nursing school stands as one of the pioneering institutions in nursing education.

The nursing school offers a wide range of programs to cater to various career paths in nursing. What's most notable for those interested in becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP) are the high pass rates on the FNP Certification Exam and the NCLEX—99-100% and 95.58%, respectively. These exceptional rates are indicative of the quality and rigor of the NP programs. Located in Pittsburgh, a city that boasts some of the country's top hospitals, Duquesne nursing students have prime access to extraordinary clinical sites.

About Duquesne University's NP Programs

Master of Science in Nursing

Concentrations:

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at Duquesne University offers three distinct concentrations to specialize in as a Nurse Practitioner. With a well-tailored curriculum, the program provides 42 to 44 total credits depending on your chosen specialization. The MSN program aims to refine your nursing skills and prepare you for advanced certification in your specific field.Financial aid is available in various forms, from Stafford loans to nursing organization scholarships, to make the educational journey financially accessible.

 

Post-Master's Nursing Certificates

Concentrations:

This Post-Master's program is an online course with three start dates a year, offering maximum flexibility for working professionals. Whether you're looking to expand your current role or switch career paths, this program allows you to further specialize your nursing skills. The course also prepares you for certification examinations, supported by a range of resources and a dedicated support team.

Key Student Takeaways

  • Financial Accessibility: Multiple financial aid options, including scholarships and loans, are available.
  • Career Advancement: High pass rates on certification exams point to strong career prospects.
  • Flexible Learning: Online courses, varied start dates, and evening classes fit around your life.
  • Strong Support Network: A dedicated team helps you from enrollment through graduation.
  • Clinical Experience: Pittsburgh offers top-ranked hospitals for unparalleled clinical training.
  • Holistic Care: The program's focus on holistic nursing enhances your care-giving capabilities.

#8 in Pennsylvania

University of Scranton

Department of Nursing

  • Pin1
    800 Linden Street, Scranton, PA - 18510-4699
  • Tel1
    (570) 941-7400
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, LPN to BSN, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to BSN, RN to MSN
Person
Nurse Admin: Teresa M. Conte, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC
Title: Chair

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 281
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,300
  • Book Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 99%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $24,463
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 79%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 12%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 82%

About University of Scranton's Nursing School

The University of Scranton is a nationally acknowledged private Jesuit institution. It was founded in 1888 by William O'Hara,. The university is deeply rooted in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition, aiming to transform students not just academically, but personally as well. With a focus on quality education, the university has received accolades for its exceptional programs and commitment to service.

Its nursing mission is clear: to mold nurses at all academic levels who excel in practice for the modern world. Students at this institution are provided with a holistic, evidence-based education. In the classroom, hands-on learning thrives, using state-of-the-art labs and simulations. Students are encouraged to pursue research, with many presenting findings on national levels. The university's distinct Jesuit principles underline the importance of service and individual attention, with every nursing student receiving personal mentoring from experienced faculty members. Recognized by US News & World Report, the University of Scranton stands as a pillar of excellence in nursing education.

About University of Scranton's NP Programs

MSN Program

Concentration:

The MSN Program at the University of Scranton offers a 36-credit master's degree tailored for baccalaureate-prepared nurses and a 27-credit post-master’s certificate for those already possessing a master’s degree in nursing. This curriculum equips registered nurses to tackle a range of health challenges, from common ailments to chronic disorders. Entry to the FNP program demands a baccalaureate degree from a recognized institution, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00, and nursing licensure in Pennsylvania. All applicants must provide professional references, a personal statement, and undergo an interview. For practical experience, students undertake a clinical practicum spread over four semesters. Faculty takes the initiative to secure clinical sites and preceptors. For the FNP program, the total clinical practice duration amounts to 875 hours, ensuring comprehensive field training.

Key Student Takeaways

Individual Attention: All students, whether at the graduate or doctoral level, receive personal guidance from faculty, ensuring a tailored educational journey.
Rich Clinical Experience: With 875 hours of clinical practice, students are ensured hands-on experience in real-world settings.
Research Opportunities: Students have the chance to work side by side with faculty on groundbreaking research projects, enhancing their academic profile.
Jesuit Principles: The core values of service, compassion, and concern for students as unique individuals are embedded in all programs, ensuring a holistic education.
Flexible Program Structure: Whether a student holds a baccalaureate or a master's, the FNP specialization has a pathway tailored to their background, offering both credit and post-master’s certificate options.

#9 in Pennsylvania

La Salle University

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • Pin1
    1900 W Olney Ave, Philadelphia, PA - 19141-1199
  • Tel1
    (215) 951-1000
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, Doctor of Nursing, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to BSN
Person
Nurse Admin: Kathleen Czekanski, PhD, RN, CNE
Title: Dean

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 196
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,000
  • Book Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 98%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $18,492
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 76%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 12%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 65%

About La Salle University's Nursing School

The University of Scranton is a Jesuit private university. It was founded in 1888 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Scranton's nursing school is dedicated to producing outstanding Nurse Practitioners (NPs). Scranton prepares nursing students for the demands of 21st-century healthcare. The NP programs are rigorous. They combine classroom instruction with hands-on clinical experience. Beginning in their first year, students are immersed in a supportive environment. Students benefit from personalized attention in small class sizes. Modern learning labs also provide them with the necessary tools. This assists them in navigating complicated healthcare scenarios. 
Scranton's nursing school places an emphasis on research. In fact, students work on research projects with faculty members. Scranton NPs have an advantage because they are well-versed in the most recent evidence-based practices. 

About La Salle University's NP Programs

Nursing (MSN) and Certificate Programs

Concentrations:

The Master of Science in Nursing Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Online program immerses students in the expertise of adult gerontology, focusing on at-risk and vulnerable demographics. This online venture ensures graduates are prepared for varied settings from private to specialty practices, with a program duration spanning 20-36 months and a total of 41 credit hours. The Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner Online program integrates evidence-based practice, bridging advanced nursing research, theory, and clinical application. With a duration of 24-36 months, students are prepared for diverse care settings, accumulating 45 credit hours.
In response to the increasing demand for mental health care, the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Track introduces students to a spectrum of mental health services. Upon completing 704 clinical hours, graduates are eligible for the Psychiatric National Certification Exam.

 

Post Master’s Certificate Programs

Concentrations:

For those possessing a Master of Science in Nursing degree, the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner Tracks prepare students for leadership roles in various care settings, requiring 512 and 692 clinical hours respectively. The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track, emphasizing prevention and management of mental illnesses, demands a total of 704 clinical hours.

Key Student Takeaways

  • Interprofessional Education: Unique opportunities to learn alongside professionals from different medical fields.
  • Strategic Location: Located in Philadelphia, one of the nation's major health care hubs.
  • Prestigious Faculty: Learn from nationally and internationally recognized leaders in nursing.
  • Comprehensive Clinical Exposure: Ample opportunities in varied settings, from community clinics to major health systems.
  • Commitment to Continued Learning: Emphasis on adapting to the ever-evolving health care landscape, ensuring graduates remain at the forefront of their profession.

#10 in Pennsylvania

Gannon University

Villa Maria School of Nursing

  • Pin1
    109 W Sixth St, Erie, PA - 16541-0001
  • Tel1
    (814) 871-7000
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, Doctor of Nursing, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to BSN, RN to MSN
Person
Nurse Admin: Dawn Joy, PhD, RN, CNE
Title: Director

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 240
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,158
  • Book Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 97%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $23,524
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 79%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 18%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 68%

About Gannon University's Nursing School

Gannon University, located in Erie, Pennsylvania, is a private Catholic institution dedicated to fostering excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. Grounded in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Gannon prepares students to be global citizens, placing emphasis on faith, leadership, inclusiveness, and social responsibility. At the heart of Gannon is its Villa Maria School of Nursing, which offers an environment tailored to support each student's unique needs and goals. Gannon’s nursing program boasts impressive credentials. In fact, it has maintained full approval from the PA State Board of Nursing since 1952 and has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education since 1965. Students also benefit from a close-knit student-to-faculty ratio, especially in clinical settings, allowing them to receive specialized instruction. When it comes to facilities, the program integrates a Patient Simulation Center, providing almost 1,000 hours of clinical education in over 50 healthcare facilities. As a testament to its quality, Gannon nursing graduates enjoy a 100% employment rate and a remarkable 95% NCLEX-RN pass rate over the past five years.

About Gannon University’s NP Program

Master of Science in Nursing

Concentration:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner

The Family Nurse Practitioner program at Gannon University equips students for the pivotal role of nurse practitioners, focusing on comprehensive care for patients throughout their lives. This program's curriculum seamlessly blends theoretical knowledge delivered via online courses with hands-on training in diverse clinical settings, ensuring students are well-prepared to serve as primary care providers and community leaders. Ethics, legalities, and advanced practice care form the backbone of this education. For those who've already earned an MSN, a Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate is achievable through a specific 33-credit course. The program is proud of its accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Notably, all courses are online and asynchronous, yet students are always welcome on campus and have the luxury of an Online Engagement Coordinator, ensuring they thrive in their online environment. Upon graduation, students are primed to take a national certification examination, with the choice of pursuing certification from either The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Key Student Takeaways

Online Flexibility: All didactic courses for the FNP are asynchronous online, offering flexibility for diverse schedules.
Dedicated Support: Every FNP candidate is provided an Online Engagement Coordinator, ensuring a seamless online experience and prompt assistance.
Campus Access: FNP candidates can utilize Gannon’s campus labs and facilities anytime, integrating online and on-campus experiences.
Post-Graduation Opportunities: Graduates are set up for success with two national certification exam choices, from either ANCC or AANP.ess with two national certification exam
Comprehensive Student Services: Online students can remotely access Gannon's wide range of student services, ensuring they never feel isolated from the university community.

See our Ranking Methodology

Eight Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Pennsylvania

  1. Earn an RN Degree – All Nurse Practitioners (NPs) must first become RNs. Getting your RN through an ADN or BSN program is your first step. Be sure to earn your RN or BSN from a university that is accredited by the ACEN or CCNE. Your course credits are more likely to be accepted by Nurse Practitioner Programs in Pennsylvania if you earned your RN from an accredited school.
  2. Pass The NCLEX-RN Exam – See the NCLEX-RN exam study guide for tips and tricks along with tools you can use to help you prepare for test day.
  3. Earn Your MSN or DNP – To become an NP you can either get your masters or doctorate. Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs take about 2 years while Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs take about 4 years. You will choose a population foci such as gerontology, family, neonatal when you start your program:
  4. Complete Supervised Clinical Hours – If you earn your MSN you will need to between 500-600 clinical hours depending on your population focus. To earn your DNP you need 1000 hours.
  5. Become Board Certified – Your certifying body to become an NP depends on your population foci:
  6. Obtain Licensure – Licensure is done on a state-by-state basis. Contact the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing for more information.
  7. Obtain a DEA Number – DEA registration is required in order to prescribe medication in Pennsylvania. Once you are licensed, apply for your NPI number which is free. Then you use this to apply for your State Controlled Substances Authority for Pennsylvania and then your DEA registration so that you can prescribe medications.
  8. Maintain Active Certification and Licensure – Your certifying body and BON in Pennsylvania will tell you what is required to maintain certification and licensure. Usually this requires a certain amount of continuing education (CE) credits as well as clinical practice. You may also have to fill out an application and pay a fee every 2-3 years.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Pennsylvania

How much time it takes to become an NP in Pennsylvania really depends on your background. Depending on the path you take it will be 2 to 4 years of education before you can become a Certified Nurse Practitioner. If you’re already an RN it can take as little as 2 years by earning your MSN. If you are not an RN some direct entry programs are as short as 2 years as well. If you already have your MSN but are not an NP you can do a DNP program in 2-3 years and become and NP while also earning your doctorate.

Here are examples of how long it will take you to become an NP depending on what degree you are starting with:

Starting Degree

How Many Years to Become an NP

Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)

2 – 3 years
Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) 2 years

Bachelor’s in a non-nursing field 2 – 3 years

Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN)

1 – 2 years

Nurse Practitioner Requirements and Types in Pennsylvania

BSN to MSN

If you are getting your MSN after having your BSN in the state of Pennsylvania, you can expect to spend 2 years earning your degree to become NP. If you have your RN, but not your BSN, you can complete a program that is similar in length and will give you an MSN. General requirements to enter and complete your BSN to MSN program in Pennsylvania include:

  • A 3.0 GPA or the equivalent of a B average
  • Must be licensed as an RN in Pennsylvania
  • Complete about 50 credits of classroom work
  • Complete 500 to 800 hours of supervised clinical experience depending upon the University

Direct Entry MSN Programs

Direct Entry MSN programs or accelerated MSN programs give people who are not nurses but have a bachelors degree in something else the opportunity pursue nursing. These programs prepare you to be an NP without having you repeat non-nursing college courses that you have already taken. There are a handful of these programs in Pennsylvania. Direct entry programs take between 2 and 3 years to complete. After the program you will be an RN and an NP. General requirements to enter and to complete your accelerated MSN program in Pennsylvania include:

  • A 3.0 GPA or the equivalent of a B average
  • Completion of pre-requisites such as anatomy and physiology, developmental psychology, microbiology, organic and inorganic chemistry, and more
  • Complete about 50 credits of classroom work
  • Complete 500 to 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience depending upon the University

MSN to NP Certificate

If you already have your MSN but are not an NP you can complete a certificate program to train you to be an NP. This may be the right path for you if you have your MSN in something like nursing education, nursing administration, or if you are a clinical nurse specialist. In general MSN to NP certificate programs take about one year and to enter and to complete your NP to Certificate program requires the following:

  • You must be an RN in Pennsylvania to be eligible to apply for these programs
  • Typically you are not required to take the GRE again for these programs
  • You will have to submit an application with your resume, references, past transcripts and more
  • Complete 500 to 700 clinical hours depending on the school and your population focus

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

DNP programs are the doctorate level programs that prepare nurses to be NPs. In these programs you will be trained to provide nursing care at the expert level and will also be able to teach in most universities. DNP programs are becoming more popular as the entry pathway into becoming an NP.  Program length varies from 3 to 5 years depending on whether or not you already have your masters. The eligibility requirements vary a little between the BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP programs.

BSN to DNP: These programs are for bachelor’s level trained nurses.

  • You must be a licensed Pennsylvania nurse and have had a GPA of at least 3.0 (B average) or better.
  • The BSN to DNP programs will take about 5 years depending on the university.
  • Your application will need to include GRE scores, letters of recommendation, previous transcripts, and more.
  • You will need to complete 1000 hours of supervised clinical experiences.
  • Some programs will require you to have nursing experience.

MSN to DNP: These programs take into account that you are already a nurse trained at the master’s level. Depending on the program you may be required to already be an NP in Pennsylvania.

  • All programs will require you to have your Pennsylvania RN license.
  • These programs will take between 2 and 3 years to complete.
  • Like the BSN to DNP programs you need to submit an application with letters of recommendations, past transcripts, and more.
  • You do not have to take the GRE however, as it is assumed that you already had to take it for your MSN.
  • At the end of your DNP education you will not only be an NP but you will also have completed the highest level of clinical nursing education available.

Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Online NP programs do exist, and with many already busy professionals pursuing higher education these online options can be a lifesaver. These offer an online platform to attend classes, complete coursework, do quizzes and even partake in class discussions. Of course any clinical experiences will have to be done in person, but your school can help you arrange these in a convenient location.

Where Do Nurse Practitioner Typically Work?

As an NP the world is at your fingertips. You can work in a variety of settings and will have the flexibility throughout your career to change it up. Here are some examples of where you may work.

  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP: Cardiology,  neurology, emergency departments, intensive care units, medical surgical units, military settings, and more.
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care NP: primary care clinics, nursing homes, correctional facilities, college health, occupational health, military settings, and more.
  • Family NP: Primary care clinics, community health, urgent care, college health, occupational health,  military settings, dermatology, shelters, and more.
  • Neonatal NP: neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), emergency departments, labor and delivery units, and more.
  • Pediatric Acute Care NP: Emergency departments, specialty units in children’s hospitals, urgent care.
  • Pediatric Primary Care NP: community health centers, schools, children’s hospitals, private practices.
  • Psychiatric Mental Health NP: outpatient therapy, inpatient psychiatric units, partial hospitalization units, nursing homes, and more.
  • Women’s Health NP: Community health centers, women’s prisons, private practices, urogynecology practices, adolescent health, and more.

Potential Employers for Nurse Practitioners in Pennsylvania

From the bustling cities to the tranquil countryside, Pennsylvania offers a rich tapestry and an plenty of current and future employment opportunities for nurse practitioners. NPs thrive in diverse settings, from high-stakes emergency rooms to community-focused clinics. Here, we navigate through seven distinct sectors that frequently employ NPs, offering insights into the unique dynamics and challenges each one presents.

Hospitals and Medical Centers

NPs play a vital role in these high-energy environments, coordinating patient care, and collaborating with multi-disciplinary teams. Pennsylvania is home to numerous esteemed hospitals that provide ample employment opportunities for NPs.

Outpatient Clinics and Urgent Care Centers

These facilities allow NPs to offer immediate care for non-life-threatening conditions. The pace is fast, the cases varied, and the rewards, immense.

Private Practices and Specialty Clinics

From family medicine to specific specialties, private practices offer a more personal approach to patient care, often allowing NPs to establish long-term patient relationships.

Community Health Centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)

These centers cater to underserved populations, providing essential healthcare services. NPs often find a deep sense of purpose working in these facilities.

Long-Term Care Facilities and Nursing Homes

These settings enable NPs to provide continuity of care to elderly or disabled patients, often fostering strong patient-NP relationships.

Academic Institutions and Universities

Educational settings offer NPs opportunities to combine patient care with teaching and research, shaping the future of healthcare.

Government and Military Facilities

Serving in public sector facilities offers NPs a chance to contribute to the health and wellbeing of servicemen and women, veterans, and their families.

Home Health Care Agencies

These agencies provide in-home patient care, enabling NPs to deliver personalized care in a comfortable setting for patients.

Nurse Practitioner Types by Primary Certification

CertificationPercent of NPs
Family Nurse Practitioner69.7
Adult Care10.8
Adult–Gerontology Primary Care7.0
Psychiatric/Mental Health4.7
Acute Care4.1
Pediatrics–Primary Care3.2
Adult–Gerontology Acute Care2.9
Women’s Health2.9
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care1.8
Neonatal1.0
Pediatrics–Acute Care0.7
Source: AANP

Campus and Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Pennsylvania

University Offered asCity/State
DeSales University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCenter Valley, PA
Widener University-Main Campus Campus, Hybrid, OnlineChester, PA
Gwynedd Mercy College Campus, Hybrid, Online, PA
Moravian College Campus, HybridBethlehem, PA
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Campus, HybridBloomsburg, PA
Carlow University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePittsburgh, PA
Drexel University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePhiladelphia, PA
Gannon University Campus, OnlineErie, PA
Duquesne University Campus, OnlinePittsburgh, PA
Misericordia University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDallas, PA
La Salle University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePhiladelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania CampusPhiladelphia, PA
Pennsylvania State University Campus, HybridUniversity Park, PA
University of Pittsburgh Campus, OnlinePittsburgh, PA
Robert Morris University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMoon Township, PA
University of Scranton Campus, HybridScranton, PA
Temple University Campus, HybridPhiladelphia, PA
Villanova University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineVillanova, PA
Wilkes University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWilkes-Barre, PA
York College Pennsylvania CampusYork, PA

Nurse Practitioner Program Costs in Pennsylvania

Nurse Practitioner (NP) career paths vary depending on the candidate’s starting point and desired level of education. Here’s a snapshot of the various paths and associated costs in Pennsylvania:

RN to MSN Nurse Practitioner Program

This path is for Registered Nurses (RNs) who hold a diploma or an Associate Degree in Nursing. The program usually takes 2-3 years to complete. Estimated costs typically range from $500 to $1,000 per credit hour, which totals around $30,000 to $90,000, depending on the specific program and school.

BSN to MSN Nurse Practitioner Program

For RNs who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), this route takes about 2 years. The cost usually ranges from $600 to $1,000 per credit hour, equating to approximately $36,000 to $90,000 overall.

Direct Entry MSN Nurse Practitioner Program

This program is designed for individuals with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and takes 2-3 years to complete. Costs typically range from $700 to $1,200 per credit hour, amounting to roughly $42,000 to $108,000 in total.

BSN to DNP Nurse Practitioner Program

A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program offers the highest level of nursing education and takes 3-4 years to complete for BSN-prepared nurses. Costs usually range from $800 to $1,500 per credit hour, adding up to approximately $72,000 to $180,000.

MSN to DNP Nurse Practitioner Program

This option is for nurses with a Master’s degree in Nursing (MSN). It usually takes 1-2 years to complete. Costs typically range from $800 to $1,500 per credit hour, or about $24,000 to $90,000 overall.

Post-Master’s Certification Nurse Practitioner Program

For NPs seeking additional specialization, this program takes about a year to complete and costs generally range from $500 to $1,000 per credit hour, totaling around $12,000 to $30,000.

Here are two examples of NP programs in Pennsylvania:

University of Pennsylvania – Family Nurse Practitioner Program

The University of Pennsylvania offers a Family Nurse Practitioner program that prepares graduates to provide comprehensive care for individuals and families across the lifespan. The cost of tuition for the MSN degree at Penn Nursing is about $1,837 per credit hour, and the Family Nurse Practitioner program is 16-course units, which equals approximately $29,392 per term.

Drexel University – Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program

Drexel University provides a Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program that readies graduates to offer quality healthcare services to children from infancy through young adulthood. Drexel University charges approximately $1,026 per credit for graduate nursing programs, and their MSN programs typically require 45 to 65 credits, leading to a total cost of about $46,170 to $66,690.

Note: Costs can vary based on factors such as residency status, additional fees, and the availability of financial aid. Please check the official university websites for the most accurate information.

To help offset the cost of becoming an NP you can apply for scholarships and/or loan forgiveness programs. Here are a few examples.

Scholarships outside of the school you are applying to are not as common for NP programs as they are for BSN programs, but our Nursing School  and Scholarship guide  can help you figure out additional ways to offset costs.

10 Pennsylvania Nurse Practitioner Scholarships

Charting a course to a nurse practitioner career in Pennsylvania is an exciting journey, one filled with potential and opportunity. One important aspect of this path is financing your education. Here, we introduce ten scholarships specifically designed to lighten the financial load for Pennsylvania’s dedicated nursing students.

Nurse Practitioner Programs In Pennsylvania

Nurse Practitioner Programs in Pennsylvania

Nurse Practitioner Salaries in Pennsylvania

  • The number of Nurse Practitioners currently employed in Pennsylvania is 7,610.
  • Nurse Practitioners in Pennsylvania earn an average of $117,260 per year or $56.38 per hour.
  • The percentage of U.S. Nurse Practitioners who work in Pennsylvania is 3%.
  • Pennsylvania will need 8,240 new Nurse Practitioners by 2030 or 580 new nurses per year.

Pennsylvania’s nurse practitioners, with their varied areas of specialization, command competitive salaries that reflect their essential role in healthcare delivery. From adult-gerontology to women’s health, NPs contribute expertise that is both diverse and in demand. Below, we delve into average annual salaries across several population foci for NPs in Pennsylvania.

Population FociAverage Annual Salary
Adult Gerontology Acute Care$95,000 – $115,000
Adult Gerontology Primary Care$93,000 – $113,000
Family Nurse Practitioner$92,000 – $112,000
Neonatal$100,000 – $120,000
Psychiatric Mental Health$97,000 – $117,000
Pediatric Acute Care$94,000 – $114,000
Pediatric Primary Care$93,000 – $113,000
Women’s Health$92,000 – $112,000
US Bureau of Labor StatisticsDepartment of LaborUS Department of Education

In the Keystone State, nurse practitioners thrive, enjoying promising careers and competitive compensation. As with any profession, earnings vary based on geographical location, and for Pennsylvania’s NPs, some cities stand out as particularly lucrative.

Pittsburgh leads the pack, with average salaries soaring beyond the state’s average, even when adjusted for cost of living. Close on its heels, Philadelphia, Reading, Harrisburg-Carlisle, and the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area also offer attractive compensation packages, reflecting the high demand for skilled NPs across the state.

This snapshot of salary ranges paints a vibrant picture, but it’s just a fragment of the full panorama. For a more comprehensive exploration of salary and employment trends for Nurse Practitioners in Pennsylvania, visit the detailed report here.

AreaAverage SalaryCOL AdjustedDifference
Pittsburgh$125,270$130,926$5,656
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington$121,370$118,699$-2,671
Reading$119,650$122,054$2,404
Harrisburg-Carlisle$117,200$121,476$4,276
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton$115,550$116,576$1,026
US Bureau of Labor StatisticsDepartment of LaborUS Department of Education

Pennsylvania Employment and Salary Report

This 2023 report can be an essential tool for professionals, job seekers, employers, and policymakers, providing insights into the labor market’s trends and dynamics.

What Do Nurse Practitioners Study in Pennsylvania?


A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) concentration typically involves a mix of theoretical and clinical courses to provide the necessary knowledge and skills for effective primary care across the lifespan. The exact curriculum may vary between schools, but the typical program usually includes:

  1. Advanced Health Assessment
  2. Advanced Pharmacology
  3. Advanced Pathophysiology
  4. Primary Care of the Adult
  5. Primary Care of Women
  6. Primary Care of the Child
  7. Primary Care of the Family
  8. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  9. Clinical Decision-Making

Typically, a student needs around 45-50 credits to graduate from an FNP program. Additionally, students must complete around 500-700 supervised clinical hours to meet graduation requirements, although specific numbers can vary between programs.

For instance, the University of Pennsylvania offers an FNP program that includes courses such as ‘Clinical Reasoning in Advanced Practice Nursing’ and ‘Nursing Care of the Older Adult’. This program requires 45 course units and a minimum of 600 clinical hours to graduate.

Pennsylvania Organizations for Nurse Practitioners

These organizations work tirelessly to serve and advance the Nurse Practitioner profession within Pennsylvania, each with their own unique focus areas, providing NPs with a wealth of resources and opportunities.

  • Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (PCNP): PCNP is the statewide organization that advances, advocates for, and empowers Nurse Practitioners in Pennsylvania. Through professional development opportunities, legislative advocacy, and resources, it strives to ensure that every NP in Pennsylvania has the ability to practice to the full extent of their education and abilities.
  • Society of Nurses in Advanced Practice (SNAP): As a regional organization, SNAP dedicates its efforts to bolster the professional development of advanced practice nurses within Pennsylvania. It actively cultivates the spheres of clinical practice, education, research, and policy advocacy, offering NPs a platform for growth and networking.
  • Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA): PSNA is the respected voice for a tradition of care that serves nearly every Pennsylvania family. PSNA leads, advocates, educates and connects with registered nurses across the Commonwealth, including NPs, to promote nursing excellence in the ever-evolving healthcare environment.
  • Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC): PACHC is a statewide membership services organization that strives to promote affordable and accessible community-based primary health care services. Nurse Practitioners working in Pennsylvania’s community health centers can look to PACHC for advocacy, training, and resources.

National Organizations for Nurse Practitioners

Since it is such a popular career path there are multiple resources and organizations available for you to utilize as you gather more information when looking for support as a Pennsylvania Nurse Practitioner:

Best Ranked Nurse Practitioner Programs in Your State

Embark on an enriching pathway in healthcare with our handpicked list of top Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs in each state. Whether initiating your voyage or elevating your proficiency, the right program is paramount. Our guide illuminates esteemed programs in close proximity, establishing a robust foundation for your progressive nursing career ambitions.