The Best Nursing Schools in Pennsylvania

As projected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the entire United States will suffer from the lack of nurses by at least 20% in the coming year and the shortage of nurses will be greatly felt in the state of Pennsylvania.  One of the reasons why there will not be enough nurses in Pennsylvania is because the current trend in that particular state is that they are in the process of phasing out the Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) as its health care settings intend to only have Registered Nurses (RN).

When this plan pushes through, there will be about 41% void in the field of nursing by the year 2020, and then there will be some 54,000 nurses that will be needed to address the demand of the state’s population.  Pennsylvania has about 155 medically underserved areas which affects 64.53% of its total population.  Because of this figure, the state definitely has to make initiatives and great efforts to find solutions to this current concern.

There are 36 schools of nursing in Pennsylvania that are accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, but because the state is also in need of nurse educators that will provide the necessary education and training to the future nurses, around 2,424 students who are qualified to enter the nursing program were simply refused to join the program.  These number of students would have been a solution to Pennsylvania’s concern with regards to the shortage of nurses.

Aside from the need for more nurses as well as nurse educators, Pennsylvania also lacks nurses who are Advanced Practice Nurses (APN), and there are also not much students who try to get a higher degree such as a master’s.  Because of this situation, the state of Pennsylvania is coming up with different kinds of initiatives and various projects to increase the awareness on the future of nursing.  The state is also working on the retention of nurses because a lot of nurses in Pennsylvania are getting discouraged on staying in the field as they are not getting satisfied with their jobs.  The reason for this is because they are not given the proper respect by those in the higher ranking professions in the hierarchy such as doctors and other medical staff who are in higher positions.

The importance of nurses in the society is not much recognized.  Those who do not respect them are not aware that they are the backbone of the health care system, and without them the health care industry will definitely suffer.  A nurse’s average salary in Pennsylvania is worth $62,000 which falls below the national average, but good salaries are experienced by those with higher education such as those with at least a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

In Pennsylvania, there are also a lot of good schools of nursing where students can have quality of education.  If only the concern with regards to the shortage of nurse educators can be addressed soon, then more students will be encouraged and motivated to take up and nursing and take advantage of the quality of education within the state.  Some of these universities are the following:


  1. University of Pennsylvania

418 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States

+1 215- 898- 8281

University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League academic institution where students of nursing can certainly experience high quality of education.  Under its School of Nursing’s undergraduate level program, this university is offering Traditional and Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs.  It is also expected that at the University of Pennsylvania, the pass rate for NCLEX passers who are taking the licensure examination for the first time is high.  This university has 82.97% pass rate.

It is also the only Ivy League university that offers a baccalaureate nursing program.  University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing offers 18 master’s programs which includes Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.  Aside from the undergraduate and the master’s programs, this academic institution also offers PhD.

What makes this university even more unique is that students have other academic options as they also have joint degrees from the School of Nursing as well as with other schools within the university.  More than these, students can also opt to include the Nursing and Health Care Management program with Wharton School which then will lead the students to have a BSN as well as a Bachelor of Science in Economics.  Another option that students can choose is a dual degree and joint degree programs which is open to the students of nursing from different degree levels as well as in the different schools in the university.

One more interesting program that students of nursing can take is the university’s study abroad program which they can take during their spring or fall semester.  Under the study abroad program, countries include Australia, England, Botswana, Hong Kong, Spain and also Thailand.


  1. Drexel University

Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions

245 N 15th Street


PA 19102

  1. 895. 2000

Drexel University is considered as one of the best schools in Pennsylvania.  This university has definitely gone a long way as it now has about 5,000 students, at least 200 faculty who are all teaching full time and around 104 other staff.  Drexel University trains its students of nursing to become clinicians as well as leaders in their professions once they are out in the field.

In 2002, its College of Nursing started to practice the practical ingenuity of the university through the improvement as well as the expansion of over 25 undergraduate and graduate nursing and also health professions programs.  Drexel University’s School of Nursing also has 4 undergraduate “co- op” programs that incorporates 3 and 6 month periods of full employment during the entire program of Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing, Nutrition Sciences, Health Services Administration and Health Science.

Each program at Drexel University involves state- of- the- art technology that makes use of high fidelity manikins and simulation to form knowledge and skills in an environment that is safe and conducive to learning.  All the programs at this university are also web- enhanced that comes with learning tools and information that promotes mastery of knowledge.

Online programs both for the undergraduate as well as the graduate students are also available at this university since 1999 to make education and learning more accessible and convenient.  Drexel University has 4 clinical programs that are qualified for national accreditation and at the same time has maintained full accreditation status for the last 12 years.

It also has high pass rates for NCLEX first time takers as it got a percentage of 97.42%.  More than focusing in having a high quality of education, Drexel University also manages a nationally recognized and nurse managed health center in North Philadelphia with an interdisciplinary practice that comprises of Nurse Practitioners, Nutritionists, Physical Therapists, Dentists and also Mental Health Specialists.


  1. Villanova University

800 E. Lancaster Avenues

Villanova, PA 19085

(610) 519- 4500

Another university that has a School of Nursing that nursing students can consider is the Villanova University.  In this university, the approach to learning is well- rounded in the sense that it sees nursing as both a healing art as well as an applied science and practice discipline.  Villanova University’s academic programs are guided as a healing ministry that brings out love and expressed through service and care of others.

This university also centers on the spiritual health of both the mind and the body.  Villanova University is an active member of different nursing education organizations with the likes of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, National League for Nursing and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Nursing Schools Association.

Villanova University’s College of Nursing was assigned as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing in 2004.


  1. La Salle University

1900 West Olney Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19141

  1. 951. 100

La Salle University is one of the best schools within Pennsylvania that offers nursing programs that are also in line with the Lasallian values.  This university’s mission is to be able to offer scientifically- based education programs that will educate its nursing students to become health professionals who are competent and compassionate and are involved in evidence- based practice, advocacy service and also life- long learning.

La Salle University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences are at the forefront in the implementation of programs that are based on the health care needs of the community as well as the entire population.  Its faculty on the other hand, reinforces programs of research, scholarship, leadership and also practice that encourages the health as well as the education of the people.


  1. University of Pittsburg

School of Nursing

University of Pittsburgh

3500 Victoria Street

Victoria Building

Pittsburgh, PA 15261

412- 624- 4586

Toll free: 1- 888- 747- 0794


University of Pittsburg’s School of Nursing was first established in 1939 and was able to get its first students in 1940.  This university aims to develop students who have critical thinking skills and at the same time has advanced clinical practice knowledge as well as capable of combining the most current research findings that will provide a thorough, safe as well as an effective patient care.

University of Pittsburgh is committed to offer its nursing students a strong educational foundation to handle evidence- based practice and get involved in academic activities and translate health sciences knowledge to enhance the implementation of health care.



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