RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania: Rankings, Costs, Licensure, Salaries, Scholarships

Are you an RN in the Keystone State, armed with an ASN or ADN and ready to take the next step in your nursing career by earning your BSN degree? With the demand for skilled nurses on the rise, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can open doors to advanced opportunities and elevate your professional standing in Pennsylvania’s thriving healthcare industry.

In this comprehensive guide to RN to BSN programs in Pennsylvania, we will equip you with everything you need to know to earn your RN-BSN distinction. Whether you are a recent graduate or a seasoned nurse, this guide will serve as your roadmap, covering essential aspects such as admission requirements, course structure, career benefits, financial aid options, and Pennsylvania’s position on the nationwide 80% BSN initiative.

We will also delve into salary prospects, highlighting the advantages of holding a BSN degree in the Keystone State. You will gain insights into the numerous opportunities and resources available to nurses in Pennsylvania, helping you navigate your educational journey and thrive in your nursing practice.

So, if you are ready to unlock new horizons and take your nursing career to new heights in Pennsylvania, this guide is your go-to resource. Let’s explore the world of RN to BSN programs, empower your professional growth, and make a positive impact on the health and well-being of Pennsylvania’s residents.

Rn To Bsn Programs In Pennsylvania

RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania

RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania offers an impressive selection of 27 RN to BSN programs, providing registered nurses (RNs) with valuable opportunities to further their nursing education. These programs focus on expanding clinical skills, fostering leadership development, and increasing career prospects.

By pursuing an RN to BSN program in Pennsylvania, nurses can gain advanced knowledge in nursing theory, research, and evidence-based practice.

You’ll develop critical thinking abilities, enhance their clinical judgment, and strengthen their ability to provide comprehensive patient care. Moreover, these programs open doors to a wide range of career opportunities, including specialization in different nursing fields and leadership roles within healthcare organizations. Pennsylvania’s RN to BSN programs empower nurses to thrive professionally and make a positive impact on healthcare delivery in the state.

University Offered asCity/State
Pennsylvania College of Technology CampusWilliamsport, PA
Widener University-Main Campus Campus, Hybrid, OnlineChester, PA
Wilkes University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWilkes-Barre, PA
Temple University Campus, HybridPhiladelphia, PA
Waynesburg University CampusWaynesburg, PA
West Chester University of Pennsylvania Campus, OnlineWest Chester, PA
Saint Francis University CampusLoretto, PA
University of Scranton Campus, HybridScranton, PA
Pennsylvania State University Campus, HybridUniversity Park, PA
Moravian College Campus, HybridBethlehem, PA
Misericordia University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDallas, PA
Mount Aloysius College Campus, OnlineCresson, PA
Holy Family University CampusPhiladelphia, PA
Immaculata University Campus, OnlineImmaculata, PA
La Salle University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePhiladelphia, PA
Gwynedd Mercy College Campus, Hybrid, Online, PA
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Campus, OnlineEdinboro, PA
Gannon University Campus, OnlineErie, PA
Chatham University Campus, OnlinePittsburgh, PA
Drexel University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePhiladelphia, PA
Eastern University CampusSaint Davids, PA
California University of Pennsylvania Campus, OnlineCalifornia, PA
Carlow University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePittsburgh, PA
DeSales University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCenter Valley, PA
Alvernia University Campus, OnlineReading, PA
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Campus, HybridBloomsburg, PA
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus Campus, OnlineUniversity Park, PA

Admissions Requirements for Pennsylvania RN to BSN Programs

The pursuit of further education often leads Registered Nurses (RNs) down the path of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). To better understand this path, let’s delve into the specifics of applying for RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania.

1. Active RN License: As the program’s name implies, the initial prerequisite is an active and unencumbered RN license. The license must be registered in Pennsylvania, ensuring the applicant is legally allowed to practice nursing in the state.

2. Associate Degree or Diploma in Nursing: Applicants must have either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Nursing Diploma from an accredited nursing program. These qualifications lay the groundwork for the specialized learning in the BSN course.

3. Official Transcripts: Every application requires official transcripts from all previously attended institutions. These records provide an in-depth look at the student’s academic history and verify the completion of prerequisite courses.

4. Minimum GPA: Many RN to BSN programs demand a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA). The specific number varies by program but generally falls around 2.5 or 3.0, confirming the student’s ability to handle rigorous academic work.

5. Letters of Recommendation: Usually two or three, these letters should come from professional or academic references who can testify to the applicant’s capability, integrity, and commitment to the nursing profession.

6. Personal Statement or Essay: Most programs request a personal statement or essay. This piece of writing illustrates the applicant’s personal and professional goals, and explains why they are seeking further education.

7. Immunizations and Health Records: Because nurses work in close proximity to patients, it’s essential to have up-to-date immunization records and a recent physical exam. Some programs may also require drug screening and background checks.

8. Completion of Prerequisite Courses: To ensure students are prepared for BSN coursework, some programs might require completion of prerequisite courses. These courses, typically in biology, chemistry, and math, provide foundational knowledge.

Optional Requirement – Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): Although not a direct requirement for admission, it’s a prudent step to plan for financial aid options early in the application process. By filling out the FAFSA, students open the door to potential grants, loans, and scholarships that can greatly aid in covering program costs.

Each requirement contributes to building a comprehensive picture of an applicant’s readiness for a BSN program. Armed with this knowledge, potential students can confidently navigate the admission process for RN to BSN programs in Pennsylvania.

RN to BSN Classes & Courses in Pennsylvania

The move from an RN to a BSN represents a significant leap in a nurse’s professional journey. Through RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania, such as those offered at the University of Pennsylvania or Pennsylvania State University, nurses further enhance their skills and knowledge, preparing them for increased responsibilities and opportunities within the healthcare field. Here’s a closer look at some of the typical courses you’ll encounter.

1. Advanced Health Assessment: In this course, offered at institutions like the University of Pennsylvania, students delve deeper into the knowledge and skills required for comprehensive physical, psychosocial, and cultural assessments. Learners also focus on critical thinking and decision-making skills in different healthcare situations.

2. Nursing Leadership and Management: Taught at schools such as Pennsylvania State University, this course enhances understanding of nursing leadership principles. Students explore management theories, decision-making processes, conflict resolution, and strategies for improving patient care outcomes.

3. Community Health Nursing: This course examines the role of nurses within the community setting. Nurses learn how to collaborate with individuals, families, and communities to promote health and prevent diseases. The importance of cultural competency and sensitivity in providing care is also stressed.

4. Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice: A critical aspect of nursing education, this course introduces students to research methods, data analysis, and the application of research findings to nursing practice. The aim is to develop critical thinking skills that lead to evidence-based clinical decision-making.

5. Health Care Policy, Ethics, and Advocacy: In this essential course, students learn about the complexities of healthcare policies, ethical issues in healthcare, and the role of nurses as advocates for patients and the profession. The curriculum addresses legal implications, regulatory issues, and ethical dilemmas that impact patient care and nursing practice.

6. Pathophysiology and Pharmacology: This advanced course, found in programs such as the one at the University of Pennsylvania, deepens understanding of the pathophysiological processes of disease and the appropriate pharmacological interventions. It equips nurses to better anticipate and respond to patients’ medical needs.

7. Nursing Informatics: As technology continues to impact healthcare, this course introduces students to the use of informatics in nursing. The curriculum focuses on the application of technology in managing patient care information, enhancing communication, and improving patient outcomes.

8. Capstone Course: The capstone, often a feature of programs like the one at Pennsylvania State University, provides an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained throughout the program in a practical context. It might involve a research project, a quality improvement initiative, or a leadership challenge within a healthcare setting.

By mastering these courses in RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania, nurses can dramatically improve their clinical abilities, leadership skills, and capacity for research, ultimately benefiting their patients and the broader healthcare community.

Online RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania

Embarking on an educational journey often comes with a plethora of questions. Below, we explore the admission process, timeline, and expected program length for RN to BSN programs in Pennsylvania.

Admission Process and Timeline:

1. Application Submission: Generally, the first step involves completing and submitting an online application to your chosen program. It typically involves providing personal details, academic history, and future aspirations.

2. Documents Gathering: This phase requires gathering crucial documents, including official transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and proof of RN licensure. Precise requirements may vary between programs.

3. Submission of Documents: Once you gather all necessary materials, submit them with your application. Be sure to adhere to the guidelines set by the specific program regarding format and submission methods.

4. Review and Acceptance: Once submitted, your application will undergo a review process. If accepted, you will receive a formal letter of acceptance, usually within 4-6 weeks from the submission deadline.

Program Length and Time to Completion:

1. Full-Time Study: Full-time RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania typically take around 18-24 months to complete. This timeline assumes a full course load each semester and can vary based on the specific program.

2. Part-Time Study: For those juggling other commitments, part-time study is an attractive option. These programs generally take about 2.5-3 years to complete, allowing nurses to progress at a slower pace.

3. Accelerated Programs: For those who want to expedite their study, some schools offer accelerated programs. These intensive courses allow completion in as little as 12-18 months, but they require a significant time commitment.

In sum, advancing from an RN to a BSN in Pennsylvania is an achievable goal, with clear steps and timelines. By understanding the process, nurses can better navigate their journey towards higher education and career enhancement.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

While embarking on an educational journey, it’s crucial to understand the financial implications. Below, we’ll explore the estimated tuition and cost of attendance for several RN to BSN programs in Pennsylvania.

1. University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing: At the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, the tuition rate for the RN to BSN program is approximately $2,600 per credit. Given that the program typically requires 30-32 credits, the total cost might range from $78,000 to $83,200, excluding additional costs such as books, fees, and living expenses.

2. Pennsylvania State University College of Nursing: At Pennsylvania State University College of Nursing, tuition rates are calculated on a per-credit basis. For Pennsylvania residents, the cost is approximately $600 per credit. The total cost of the RN to BSN program, which typically requires 60 credits, is approximately $36,000, exclusive of additional expenses.

3. Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions: The Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions charges around $900 per credit for the RN to BSN program. With the program generally requiring 45 credits, the total tuition cost comes to approximately $40,500, not including fees, books, and other related expenses.

4. Temple University College of Public Health: At the Temple University College of Public Health, the cost per credit is approximately $1,000. Given that the RN to BSN program requires around 30 credits, the total tuition cost would be about $30,000, excluding additional costs.

It’s important to note that the above figures are estimates, and actual costs may vary. Students should also consider other associated expenses such as room and board, transportation, and textbooks. Financial aid and scholarship opportunities are often available to offset these costs, making RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania more accessible to many students.

It’s crucial to bear in mind that tuition isn’t the only cost to consider. Additional expenses can add significantly to the cost of attendance and may include:

  • Books and Supplies: This could range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per year, depending on the courses and the use of digital or second-hand textbooks.
  • Technology Fees: Online programs often charge technology fees to support their virtual learning platforms. These fees could range from $50 to $200 per semester.
  • Health Insurance: Many schools require students to carry health insurance, which could add another substantial amount to your budget.
  • Living Expenses: If you’re planning to relocate for your BSN program, or if you’re currently not working, you’ll need to factor in living expenses such as housing, food, and transportation.

While the costs might seem daunting, remember that financial aid, scholarships, and employer tuition reimbursement programs can help offset these expenses. Researching and applying for such opportunities should be an integral part of your transition from RN to BSN.

Scholarships for RN to BSN Nursing Students

Financial Aid Opportunities for Pennsylvania Nurses Pursuing RN to BSN Programs

The journey from RN to BSN can be financially daunting for many Pennsylvania nurses. Fortunately, a multitude of scholarship opportunities exist to lessen this burden. Here are five notable scholarships designed to support nurses in Pennsylvania on their path to a BSN degree.

1. Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania Scholarship: This scholarship aims to improve Pennsylvania’s nursing care quality by offering financial assistance to nursing students in the state.

2. Pennsylvania State Nurses Association Scholarship: Offered by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, this scholarship is awarded to nursing students in Pennsylvania who demonstrate exceptional academic performance and financial need.

  • Deadline Month: March
  • Award Amount: Varies
  • Website: www.psna.org

3. Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania Future Nurse Leader Scholarship: This scholarship supports future nurse leaders who are enrolled in an accredited BSN program in Pennsylvania.

4. American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Scholarship: While not exclusive to Pennsylvania, the AACN offers scholarships for students seeking a baccalaureate degree in nursing.

  • Deadline Month: January, April, July, and October
  • Award Amount: $2,500
  • Website: www.aacnnursing.org

5. Hurst Review Services and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Scholarship: This scholarship, a partnership between Hurst Review Services and AACN, supports students seeking professional nursing degrees.

When pursuing these scholarships and other financial aid opportunities, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial step. This form, accessible at the FAFSA website, is used by many scholarship committees, universities, and government aid programs to determine financial need. By filling it out as early as possible, you ensure that you are eligible for the broadest range of scholarships, grants, and loans to help finance your BSN degree.

Does an RN to BSN Increase My Salary?

Pursuing an RN to BSN degree is more than just an academic achievement; it’s an investment in your professional future. Beyond potential salary increases, this qualification opens doors to new opportunities, enhances your skill level, and aligns with industry preferences. Here’s how:

1. Salary Increase: Nationally, statistics consistently show that BSN-prepared nurses often earn higher salaries compared to their ADN-prepared counterparts. While exact figures vary depending on location, experience, and specialty, obtaining a BSN can lead to a significant increase in earnings.

2. Expanded Opportunities: A BSN degree often leads to expanded career opportunities. It can open doors to roles such as Nurse Manager or Charge Nurse and provide access to specialties like pediatrics or oncology. Furthermore, a BSN is typically a prerequisite for advanced nursing roles, such as Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

3. Higher Skill Level: A BSN program enhances your nursing skills and broadens your knowledge base. It delves deeper into areas such as health assessment, community health, leadership, and research, equipping you to provide a higher level of patient care.

4. Industry Preference: The healthcare industry is increasingly showing a preference for BSN-prepared nurses. Many hospitals, particularly those seeking Magnet Recognition, are striving to increase their percentage of BSN-prepared nurses, making a BSN a valuable asset in the job market.

In conclusion, while a salary increase is a tangible benefit of earning a BSN, the non-monetary advantages are equally significant. By enrolling in RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania, you are not only potentially boosting your income, but also opening doors to broader opportunities, enhancing your skills, and aligning with industry trends.

2023 Best RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania boasts a rich selection of RN to BSN programs, with options to suit diverse needs and preferences. Whether you prefer online, campus-based, or hybrid learning, you can find a program in Pennsylvania that aligns with your lifestyle and educational goals. Here’s a glimpse at some of the RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania:

Program NameLocationOnline/Campus/HybridAccreditation
University of Pennsylvania School of NursingPhiladelphiaCampusCCNE
Pennsylvania State University College of NursingUniversity ParkHybridCCNE
Drexel University College of Nursing and Health ProfessionsPhiladelphiaOnline and CampusCCNE
Temple University College of Public HealthPhiladelphiaCampusCCNE
University of Pittsburgh School of NursingPittsburghOnline and CampusCCNE
West Chester University Department of NursingWest ChesterHybridCCNE
Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of NursingVillanovaCampusCCNE
Bloomsburg University Department of NursingBloomsburgOnline and CampusCCNE
Widener University School of NursingChesterOnline and CampusCCNE
Eastern University Department of NursingSt. DavidsHybridACEN
Thomas Jefferson University Jefferson College of NursingPhiladelphiaOnline and CampusCCNE

With such a wide range of RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania, aspiring nurses in the state have numerous pathways to elevate their education and advance their careers. Each program offers a unique blend of academic rigor, practical experience, and specialized training, all designed to cultivate the next generation of nursing leaders.

Financial Pathways to an RN to BSN in Pennsylvania

Earning an RN to BSN degree can be a significant investment, but numerous financial assistance opportunities are available for Pennsylvania residents. Here, we outline several funding sources that can help alleviate the cost of RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania:

1. Federal Financial Aid: The U.S. Department of Education offers various financial aid programs, including grants and loans, to students demonstrating financial need. To apply, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

2. State Aid: The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) provides state grants to Pennsylvania residents attending approved institutions in the state.

3. Scholarships: Numerous scholarships are available specifically for nursing students in Pennsylvania, some of which were outlined in a previous section. These can come from professional organizations, foundations, universities, and more.

4. Employer Tuition Reimbursement: Many healthcare employers in Pennsylvania offer tuition reimbursement programs for nurses seeking to advance their education.

5. Work-Study Programs: These federally-funded programs allow students to work part-time, often in their field of study, to help pay for education expenses.

6. Loan Forgiveness Programs: Programs like the Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment Program can forgive a portion of student loans for nurses who agree to work in designated underserved areas.

7. Military Benefits: Benefits and aid are available to service members, veterans, and their families. Programs like the G.I. Bill can cover a substantial portion of education costs.

8. Payment Plans: Many schools offer payment plans that allow students to pay their tuition in installments, rather than one lump sum.

9. Tax Credits: Federal tax credits such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) can offset some education expenses.

10. Private Student Loans: While typically a last resort due to higher interest rates, private student loans from banks or credit unions can help cover remaining education costs.

Ultimately, funding an RN to BSN degree is a multifaceted process. With careful planning and a comprehensive understanding of the financial aid landscape, students pursuing RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania can successfully navigate the funding process, making their educational aspirations a reality.

Pennsylvania’s Pursuit of the 80 Percent BSN Initiative: A Leap Towards Improved Healthcare

In alignment with the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendation that 80% of the nursing workforce hold a BSN degree by 2020, Pennsylvania has shown a committed stance toward this initiative. This commitment is reflected in the increasing number of RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania and the enhanced focus on nursing education at the state level.

Several Pennsylvania nursing organizations and healthcare institutions have echoed the IOM’s recommendation and are actively encouraging and supporting their nursing staff to pursue BSN education. Hospitals seeking Magnet Recognition, a prestigious designation awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, particularly emphasize this as they aim to boost their proportion of BSN-prepared nurses.

Pennsylvania nursing schools have also played a significant role in this movement. They are expanding their RN to BSN programs, introducing innovative curriculum models, and providing flexible learning options, including online and hybrid formats. These efforts have significantly broadened access to BSN education for RNs across the state.

In sum, Pennsylvania has demonstrated a strong commitment to the IOM’s 80% BSN initiative, recognizing the value of advanced education in enhancing patient care outcomes and progressing the nursing profession. This commitment is evident in the array of RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania and the widespread support for nurses pursuing further education.

10 Benefits of Earning an RN to BSN in Pennsylvania

Pursuing an RN to BSN degree in Pennsylvania opens up a myriad of benefits that can be career-changing. Here are ten key advantages:

  1. Higher Salary Potential: Nurses with BSN degrees often earn more than their counterparts with associate degrees. RN to BSN programs in Pennsylvania can open the door to a higher income bracket.
  2. More Job Opportunities: Many healthcare organizations, especially those pursuing Magnet Recognition, prefer hiring BSN-prepared nurses. This can increase job prospects for BSN graduates.
  3. Advanced Nursing Roles: A BSN degree is often a stepping stone to advanced nursing roles, including nurse manager, nurse educator, or nurse practitioner.
  4. Improved Patient Outcomes: Research shows that BSN-prepared nurses contribute to lower patient mortality rates and better patient outcomes, owing to their advanced education and skills.
  5. Fulfillment of 80% BSN Initiative: As Pennsylvania moves towards meeting the 80% BSN workforce goal, earning a BSN can put you in line with the state’s focus on advanced nursing education.
  6. Preparation for Graduate Study: A BSN is usually a prerequisite for graduate-level nursing programs. Earning a BSN prepares you for further education, such as pursuing a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
  7. Expanded Knowledge and Skills: RN to BSN programs delve deeper into health assessment, research, community health, and leadership, broadening your nursing skills and knowledge base.
  8. Greater Autonomy: BSN-prepared nurses often have more autonomy in their roles, leading to higher job satisfaction and more significant contributions to patient care.
  9. Professional Respect: A BSN degree can enhance professional standing and respect among peers and other healthcare professionals.
  10. Personal Achievement: Earning a BSN is a notable personal accomplishment, reflecting dedication, hard work, and commitment to the nursing profession.

In conclusion, pursuing RN to BSN programs in Pennsylvania offers a host of benefits that can significantly enhance your nursing career, both professionally and personally. Whether you’re seeking advanced job opportunities, higher earning potential, or the satisfaction of personal achievement, a BSN degree can be a game-changer.

RN to BSN Resources for Nurses in Pennsylvania

As nurses embark on their journey through RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania, numerous resources can provide valuable support, information, and networking opportunities. Below is a list of key resources tailored to Pennsylvania’s RN to BSN nursing community:

Utilizing these resources can enhance the educational and professional experiences of students in RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania, providing crucial support and guidance as they navigate their nursing career journey.


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