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RN Programs in PA with School Overviews and Options

Pennsylvania has almost 90 colleges that offer registered nursing programs. Learn about the programs, tuition info and program options for ten of these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

RN programs in Pennsylvania are offered at both 2-year colleges and 4-year universities through associate and bachelor's degree programs. Some schools may offer transition programs designed for licensed practical nurses (LPN) who want to become RNs and registered nurses who want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Accelerated bachelor's degree programs may also be available for students who already possess a bachelor's degree in another field.

Career Requirements

After earning an associate's degree or bachelor's degree, graduates will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN) to earn licensure. Read on for details about several of the postsecondary institutions offering training for existing or aspiring RNs.


Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Located in Pittsburgh, the Community College of Allegheny College offers a traditional associate's degree in nursing and LPN-RN program. Students in the traditional program are required to complete a minimum of 68 credits. The curriculum covers topics in nursing leadership and management, family and adult health concepts, human growth and development and drug therapy. Students in the LPN-RN program must complete at least 30 credits at CCAC. This program also features the same coursework as the associate's degree program.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Nursing,
    Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) - Registered Nursing (RN) Program
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,312 in-district,
    $6,332 in-state,
    $9,198 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Community College of Philadelphia

The Community College of Philadelphia sits in Philadelphia and has an associate degree in nursing. Students in the program are required to earn 64 credits and complete general education requirements, nursing courses and clinical experiences.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $4,800 in-district,
    $9,120 in-state,
    $13,440 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Delaware County Community College

Delaware County Community College is located in Media and offers an associate's degree in nursing. The program is 70 credits and can be completed during the day or in an evening and weekend format. Courses include nursing concepts and practice, pharmacology, clinical enhancement skills and lifespan human development.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $4,660 in-district,
    $7,870 in-state,
    $11,080 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large suburb

Drexel University

Located in Philadelphia, Drexel University offers traditional BSN, accelerated BSN and RN-BSN programs. The traditional program is 184 credits, and in addition to general education requirements and nursing courses, students are required to complete case studies and co-op experiences. Students have the option of choosing among co-op experiences in contemporary health networks, chronic health and illness and specialty nursing.

Students who have earned a bachelor's degree in another area can enroll in the accelerated BSN program. This program is 85 credits and features upper division nursing coursework. In addition to general education requirements and prerequisites, the RN-BSN program requires that students complete nursing courses in aging and longevity health assessment, genetics and nursing research.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Registered Nursing (RN) - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $36,090*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

Harrisburg Area Community College

Situated in Harrisburg, prospective registered nurses enrolled at Harrisburg Area Community College can pursue a traditional associate's degree in nursing or LPN-RN program. The traditional nursing program is 74 credits and available full-time and part-time. Courses include health assessment, holistic health, family and adult health, behavioral health and nursing leadership and management.

Licensed practical nurses receive advanced standing when they enter the LPN-RN program. The program has the same requirements as the traditional program; however, students can transfer credits earned from LPN program.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Nursing,
    Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) - Registered Nursing (RN) Program
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $5,055 in-district,
    $6,870 in-state,
    $9,945 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; small city

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Indiana University of Pennsylvania is located in Indiana and offers a bachelor's degree in nursing. Students in the program take courses in health assessment, mental health, community health, nursing foundations, adult health and maternal-child health. Clinical requirements take place at medical facilities and clinics within a 60-mile radius.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $8,672 in-state,
    $19,480 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; distant town

Penn State University - Main Campus

Penn State University - Main Campus sits in University Park and offers an associate's and bachelor's degree in nursing. The school offers traditional BSN, accelerated BSN and RN-BSN programs. The traditional program is 120 credits and includes academic coursework and clinical experiences at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. The accelerated program is designed for students who have earned already earned a bachelor's degree in another area.

The associate's degree is 68 credits, and graduates can pursue employment or continue their education at the bachelor's degree level. The RN-BSN program offers students the opportunity to transfer in their associate's degree credits and consists of academic coursework and clinical requirements.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Nursing,
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Registered Nursing (RN) - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $16,444 in-state,
    $28,746 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; small city

Temple University

Temple University is located in Philadelphia and has both a traditional BSN program and RN-BSN program. The traditional BSN is 122 credits and includes coursework in primary and secondary care, genetics, nursing research and health policy and economics. Students are also required to participate in an internship. The RN-BSN program can be completed in five semesters and features upper division nursing coursework. Students are required to complete 30 credits at the university.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Registered Nursing (RN) - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $13,596 in-state,
    $23,422 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh sits in Pittsburgh and offers three types of bachelor's degrees in nursing. The traditional BSN program is 124 credits and features coursework in community health, molecular therapeutics, nursing management, psychiatric mental health problems, acute/chronic illness and pharmacology.

Students enrolled in the accelerated BSN degree can complete the program in three terms. The curriculum consists entirely of nursing coursework. The RN-BSN program provides students with advanced nursing training and prepares them for advanced employment in the field or enrollment in a Master of Science in Nursing program.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Registered Nursing (RN) - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $16,590 in-state,
    $26,280 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

West Chester University

Located in West Chester, the Department of Nursing at West Chester University has a traditional BSN program, accelerated BSN program and RN-BSN program. Students pursuing the traditional BSN program are required to complete 120 credits, including general education requirements, nursing coursework and labs.

The accelerated BSN program can be completed in 18 months and accepts 40 students each year. Students in the RN-BSN program receive credit for prior education and experience in the field and must complete the necessary general education requirements and nursing coursework.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Registered Nursing (RN) - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $8,620 in-state,
    $18,446 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Registered Nursing Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)
Community College of Allegheny County 2-year, public; large city Associate of Science in Nursing,
Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) - Registered Nursing (RN) Program
$3,312 in-district,
$6,332 in-state,
$9,198 out-of-state*
Community College of Philadelphia 2-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Nursing $4,800 in-district,
$9,120 in-state,
$13,440 out-of-state*
Delaware County Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Nursing $4,660 in-district,
$7,870 in-state,
$11,080 out-of-state*
Drexel University 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Registered Nursing (RN) - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
$36,090*
Harrisburg Area Community College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Science in Nursing,
Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) - Registered Nursing (RN) Program
$5,055 in-district,
$6,870 in-state,
$9,945 out-of-state*
Indiana University of Pennsylvania 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Science in Nursing $8,672 in-state,
$19,480 out-of-state*
Penn State University 4-year, public; small city Associate of Science in Nursing,
Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Registered Nursing (RN) - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
$16,444 in-state,
$28,746 out-of-state*
Temple University 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Registered Nursing (RN) - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
$13,596 in-state,
$23,422 out-of-state*
University of Pittsburgh 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Registered Nursing (RN) - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
$16,590 in-state,
$26,280 out-of-state*
West Chester University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Registered Nursing (RN) - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
$8,620 in-state,
$18,446 out-of-state*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator.

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