Nursing requires a certain level of scientific expertise, compassion, and hands-on skills. Now is a great time for registered nurses to pursue higher education and obtain a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree. Nurses will be able complete programs both online and in a traditional campus setting. With the healthcare reform, advanced medical interventions, and preventative medicine, the role of registered nurses is expanding. Education beyond an associate’s degree is necessary for nurses to achieve optimal patient care. There have been many stories about how hospitals require nurses to have their BSN and give preference to those who do.

In our Pennsylvania RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Pennsylvania RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of Pennsylvania, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Pennsylvania RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN Programs ADN BSN
Number of Nursing Programs 31 58
Average NCLEX Passing Rate 84.99% 90.05%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range 71.15% to 92.37% 82.33% to 99.01%
Average Net Price $13,391.00 $20,705.63
Average Net Price Range $2,530.00 to $23,801.00 $12,123.00 to $36,049.00
Average Student Loan $15,570.13 $23,550.89
Average Student Loan Range $5,100.00 to $25,000.00 $17,500.00 to $28,000.00
See Additional Detail ADN Rankings for Pennsylvania State BSN Rankings for Pennsylvania State

Best Ranked RN Programs in Pennsylvania

Best Ranked RN Programs in PennsylvaniaTo help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Pennsylvania and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 21 ADN degree programs and 35 BSN degree programs in Pennsylvania. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Pennsylvania to provide our state rankings. View our methodology.


Grade
Degree
University
PA Rank
US Rank
City
Type:
Offered As:
Accreditor(s):
More:
94.40 ADN Pennsylvania College of Technology 1 123 Williamsport Public Campus ACEN See School Details
93.81 ADN Lancaster General College of Nursing & Health Sciences 2 147 Lancaster Private Not-For-Profit Campus See School Details
92.76 ADN Community College of Allegheny County 3 187 Pittsburgh Public Campus ACEN See School Details
91.95 ADN University of Pittsburgh-Bradford 4 219 Bradford

University of Pittsburgh – Bradford is located in Bradford, Pennsylvania.  University of Pittsburgh has received many awards, one of which is one of the “150 Best Value Colleges in the United States” in 2012 by the Princeton Review.  They offer both an ADN degree and a BSN degree.  Their BSN degree is specifically an RN to BSN program.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
91.57 ADN Mount Aloysius College 5 237 Cresson

Mount Aloysius College has multiple campuses in Pennsylvania.  They offer a variety of nursing programs.  Altoona and Johnstown campuses offer an RN to BSN program.  Altoona campus offers the ADN program and a 2+2 program, meaning that students can attend for both their ADN and BSN simultaneously.  The RN to BSN program can also be completed online.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Online ACEN See School Details
91.53 ADN University of Pittsburgh-Titusville 6 240 Titusville Public Campus ACEN See School Details
91.26 ADN Community College of Philadelphia 7 248 Philadelphia Public Campus ACEN See School Details
91.25 ADN Community College of Beaver County 8 249 Monaca Public Campus ACEN See School Details
91.25 ADN Clarion University of Pennsylvania 8 249 Clarion Public Campus, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
91.03 ADN Butler County Community College 9 256 Butler Public Campus ACEN See School Details
90.53 ADN Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg 10 278 Harrisburg Public Campus ACEN See School Details
88.76 ADN Montgomery County Community College 11 335 Blue Bell Public Campus ACEN See School Details
88.04 ADN Lock Haven University 13 363 Lock Haven Public Campus, Online ACEN See School Details
86.71 ADN Westmoreland County Community College 14 421 Youngwood Public Campus ACEN See School Details
86.27 ADN Bucks County Community College 15 438 Newtown Public Campus ACEN See School Details
86.04 ADN Delaware County Community College 16 448 Media Public Campus ACEN See School Details
85.01 ADN Luzerne County Community College 17 480 Nanticoke Public Campus ACEN See School Details
83.36 ADN Lehigh Carbon Community College 19 528 Schnecksville

Lehigh Carbon Community College is located in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania.  They offer a practical nursing program and an ADN program.  Entrance into the ADN program is competitive and is based on a points system; students receive points based on multiple different variables.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
80.47 ADN Reading Area Community College 20 587 Reading

Reading Area Community College is located in Reading, Pennsylvania.  They offer a practical nursing program and an ADN program.  RACC has a transfer center; the transfer center is where students can go if they know they eventually will want to transfer to a 4-year program.  The transfer center will evaluate and help plan the courses that should be taken.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
77.95 ADN Harcum College 21 628 Bryn Mawr Private Not-For-Profit Campus ACEN See School Details
77.62 ADN La Roche College 22 633 Pittsburgh Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Online ACEN See School Details
100.00 BSN Saint Francis University 1 1 Loretto

Saint Francis University is located in Loretto, Pennsylvania.  In terms of undergraduate programs, they offer a BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  They also are extremely proud of the fact that their faculty to student ratio is 8:1 in the clinical setting.  Their faculty and nursing students regularly volunteer in clinics for underserved populations.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus CCNE See School Details
98.72 BSN Waynesburg University 2 9 Waynesburg Private Not-For-Profit Campus CCNE See School Details
98.35 BSN Carlow University 3 14 Pittsburgh Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
97.29 BSN Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania 4 35 Bloomsburg

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is located in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.  They offer a BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  Their RN to BSN program is offered entirely online; at this time, their online program is available only to PA residents but they are seeking to expand to non-PA residents in the very near future.

Public Campus, Hybrid ACEN, CCNE See School Details
95.97 BSN Cedar Crest College 5 68 Allentown

Cedar Crest College is located in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  They offer a BSN program and an BSN Completion Program for RNs.  Unique to Cedar Crest College is the School Nurse Certification that is offered; it can be completed on-campus, online  or a combination of the two.  It can be completed in 18 months to 2 years.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Online See School Details
95.91 BSN Messiah College 6 69 Mechanicsburg Private Not-For-Profit Campus CCNE See School Details
95.71 BSN Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus 7 73 University Park Public Campus, Hybrid ACEN, CCNE See School Details
95.49 BSN Mansfield University of Pennsylvania 8 76 Mansfield Public Campus, Online See School Details
95.29 BSN Drexel University 9 82 Philadelphia

Drexel University is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Their nursing programs are unique; their traditional BSN option is not so traditional.  Students are eligible for 3 paid, 6-month cooperative education experiences.  They also offer an accelerated BSN option, which is available to students with a prior bachelor’s degree.  This can be completed in 11 months for students attending full-time or 24 months for students attending part-time.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
95.17 BSN Robert Morris University 10 84 Moon Township Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
94.95 BSN University of Scranton 11 95 Scranton

University of Scranton is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  BSN students have several options at Scranton University; they offer a traditional BSN degree, an LPN to BSN option, an RN to BSN option, an accelerated BSN (for students with a prior bachelor’s degree) and an RN to MSN option.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid ACEN, CCNE See School Details
94.80 BSN Gannon University 12 100 Erie

Gannon University is located in Erie, Pennsylvania.  The Villa Maria School of Nursing offers a BSN degree, an RN to MSN degree and a School Nurse Certificate.  The RN to MSN program is suggested to RNs with leadership skills and who have advanced experience as a nurse.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
94.55 BSN Pennsylvania College of Technology 13 112 Williamsport Public Campus ACEN See School Details
94.32 BSN Misericordia University 14 121 Dallas Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
94.30 BSN Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus 15 122 Indiana

Indiana University of Pennsylvania is located in Indiana, Pennsylvania.  They offer a traditional BSN program.  They also offer an LPN to BSN program.  Per their website, “The track for licensed practical nurses provides an alternative curriculum accounting for prior work completed in a practical nursing program.”  This program is an ideal option for LPNs seeking a BSN degree.

Public Campus CCNE See School Details
94.17 BSN Villanova University 16 125 Villanova Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
93.96 BSN Alvernia University 17 135 Reading Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Online CCNE See School Details
93.86 BSN Duquesne University 18 140 Pittsburgh Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
93.83 BSN Eastern University 19 142 Saint Davids Private Not-For-Profit Campus CCNE See School Details
93.83 BSN DeSales University 19 142 Center Valley Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
93.31 BSN La Salle University 20 159 Philadelphia Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
93.25 BSN University of Pennsylvania 21 161 Philadelphia

University of Pennsylvania is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The 2017 US News & World Report noted that Penn Nursing was second in the nation, with the university as a whole ranking number nine.  Their undergraduate nursing program offers a BSN degree.  They also offer a second degree program, where students can obtain their BSN degree if they already have a bachelor’s degree.  They also have a unique option – a dual degree, where the student attends for their BSN degree and Healthcare Management degree simultaneously.  The degree in Healthcare Management is obtained through a partnership with The Wharton School.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus ACEN, CCNE See School Details
92.66 BSN Temple University 22 183 Philadelphia

Temple University is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  They currently offer a BSN program with an RN to BSN option.  Freshman students are eligible for entrance into the BSN program if they are highly qualified.  They also have a DNP option.  Their MSN program is not currently taking applications.

Public Campus, Hybrid ACEN, CCNE See School Details
92.57 BSN Wilkes University 23 186 Wilkes-Barre Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
92.53 BSN Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 24 189 Edinboro Public Campus, Online CCNE See School Details
92.33 BSN York College Pennsylvania 25 195 York Private Not-For-Profit Campus ACEN, CCNE See School Details
91.93 BSN West Chester University of Pennsylvania 26 217 West Chester Public Campus, Online CCNE See School Details
91.47 BSN University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus 27 229 Pittsburgh Public Campus, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
91.37 BSN East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania 28 233 East Stroudsburg Public Campus See School Details
91.36 BSN Neumann University 29 234 Aston

Neumann University is located in Aston, Pennsylvania.  They offer a BSN degree.  Neumann University is proud to note that their student to faculty ratio is 14:1, allowing professors to give personal attention to their students.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus See School Details
89.86 BSN Holy Family University 30 273 Philadelphia Private Not-For-Profit Campus CCNE See School Details
89.47 BSN Moravian College 31 285 Bethlehem Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid ACEN, CCNE See School Details
87.71 BSN Widener University-Main Campus 32 330 Chester Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
85.61 BSN Gwynedd Mercy College 33 384 Gwynedd Valley Private Not-For-Profit Campus See School Details
83.68 BSN Marywood University 34 421 Scranton Private Not-For-Profit Campus CCNE See School Details