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 ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs3158
Average NCLEX Passing Rate84.99%90.05%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range71.15% 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 DetailADN Rankings for Pennsylvania StateBSN 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 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.

PA Rank
US Rank
Offered As:
94.40 ADNPennsylvania College of Technology1123 WilliamsportPublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.81 ADNLancaster General College of Nursing & Health Sciences2147 LancasterPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
92.76 ADNCommunity College of Allegheny County3187 PittsburghPublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.95 ADNUniversity of Pittsburgh-Bradford4219 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.57 ADNMount Aloysius College5237 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-ProfitCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
91.53 ADNUniversity of Pittsburgh-Titusville6240 TitusvillePublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.26 ADNCommunity College of Philadelphia7248 PhiladelphiaPublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.25 ADNCommunity College of Beaver County8249 MonacaPublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.25 ADNClarion University of Pennsylvania8249 ClarionPublicCampus, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
91.03 ADNButler County Community College9256 ButlerPublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.53 ADNHarrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg10278 HarrisburgPublicCampusACENSee School Details
88.76 ADNMontgomery County Community College11335 Blue BellPublicCampusACENSee School Details
88.04 ADNLock Haven University13363 Lock HavenPublicCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
86.71 ADNWestmoreland County Community College14421 YoungwoodPublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.27 ADNBucks County Community College15438 NewtownPublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.04 ADNDelaware County Community College16448 MediaPublicCampusACENSee School Details
85.01 ADNLuzerne County Community College17480 NanticokePublicCampusACENSee School Details
83.36 ADNLehigh Carbon Community College19528 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
80.47 ADNReading Area Community College20587 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
77.95 ADNHarcum College21628 Bryn MawrPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusACENSee School Details
77.62 ADNLa Roche College22633 PittsburghPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
100.00 BSNSaint Francis University11 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-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
98.72 BSNWaynesburg University29 WaynesburgPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
98.35 BSNCarlow University314 PittsburghPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
97.29 BSNBloomsburg University of Pennsylvania435 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.

PublicCampus, HybridACEN, CCNESee School Details
95.97 BSNCedar Crest College568 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-ProfitCampus, OnlineSee School Details
95.91 BSNMessiah College669 MechanicsburgPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
95.71 BSNPennsylvania State University-Main Campus773 University ParkPublicCampus, HybridACEN, CCNESee School Details
95.49 BSNMansfield University of Pennsylvania876 MansfieldPublicCampus, OnlineSee School Details
95.29 BSNDrexel University982 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-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
95.17 BSNRobert Morris University1084 Moon TownshipPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
94.95 BSNUniversity of Scranton1195 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-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, CCNESee School Details
94.80 BSNGannon University12100 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-ProfitCampus, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
94.55 BSNPennsylvania College of Technology13112 WilliamsportPublicCampusACENSee School Details
94.32 BSNMisericordia University14121 DallasPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
94.30 BSNIndiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus15122 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.

PublicCampusCCNESee School Details
94.17 BSNVillanova University16125 VillanovaPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
93.96 BSNAlvernia University17135 ReadingPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
93.86 BSNDuquesne University18140 PittsburghPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
93.83 BSNEastern University19142 Saint DavidsPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
93.83 BSNDeSales University19142 Center ValleyPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
93.31 BSNLa Salle University20159 PhiladelphiaPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
93.25 BSNUniversity of Pennsylvania21161 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-ProfitCampusACEN, CCNESee School Details
92.66 BSNTemple University22183 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.

PublicCampus, HybridACEN, CCNESee School Details
92.57 BSNWilkes University23186 Wilkes-BarrePrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
92.53 BSNEdinboro University of Pennsylvania24189 EdinboroPublicCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
92.33 BSNYork College Pennsylvania25195 YorkPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusACEN, CCNESee School Details
91.93 BSNWest Chester University of Pennsylvania26217 West ChesterPublicCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
91.47 BSNUniversity of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus27229 PittsburghPublicCampus, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
91.37 BSNEast Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania28233 East StroudsburgPublicCampusSee School Details
91.36 BSNNeumann University29234 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-ProfitCampusSee School Details
89.86 BSNHoly Family University30273 PhiladelphiaPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
89.47 BSNMoravian College31285 BethlehemPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, CCNESee School Details
87.71 BSNWidener University-Main Campus32330 ChesterPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
85.61 BSNGwynedd Mercy College33384 Gwynedd ValleyPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
83.68 BSNMarywood University34421 ScrantonPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details