BSN Programs Pennsylvania

Mary Breckinridge is a historical figure who made a notable contribution to the field of nursing. She became a midwife and founded the Frontier Nursing Service in 1925. Breckinridge introduced a model rural health care system that made nursing delivery effective. Her lifelong commitment to nursing, and dedication is considered to have played an instrumental role in the success of nursing as a profession in the United States. 

Frontier Nursing Service

Nursing in Pennsylvania

Did you know that Pennsylvania is ranked 26th in state health status? Approximately 10% of adults in this state have diabetes, whereas 64.5% are obese or overweight. These figures by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) reflect just a few of the growing health issues which directly impact the need for health care professionals in the state of Pennsylvania.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 128,750 registered nurses currently employed in Pennsylvania. Forbes Magazine has also listed the state of Pennsylvania among the top states with the most health care jobs (15.7%).

Why become a registered nurse in PA?

  • According to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses, the demand for nursing professionals is expected to increase over the next few years
  • The health care industry of Pennsylvania is growing steadily
  • By helping the sick and injured, professionals can make a positive contribution to society
  • Nursing professionals are respected for their services all over the world

BSN programs in Pennsylvania

There are many top rated schools in Pennsylvania that offer BSN programs. Before you enroll in college, make sure you check the accreditation of the school as well as that of the program.

What you will learn in a BSN program

The main objective of a BSN program is to prepare students for advanced clinical roles as nurses. The program will cover all aspects of nursing practice and health care delivery. Students will acquire theoretical understanding of nursing concepts that will help them perform in a health care setting. Alongside basic theory-based learning, a BSN degree will include clinical experience as a major part of the learning process.

The program will provide students with an overview of latest trends in nursing, evolving roles of professionals in this field, and various social factors that are changing the dynamics of health care organizations.

Here are some of the courses students may cover in the program:

  • Case analysis for nursing practice

This course will enable students to develop strong critical-thinking skills and analytical skills. Students will study a range of topics such as basic sciences, health disparities, vulnerable populations, mental and behavioral health.

  • Introduction to nursing research

This course will focus on the practice of research in nursing. Students will learn how to develop research proposals, conduct research, and apply the principles of evidence-based practice.

  • Foundations for practice

In this course, students will develop a solid foundation of nursing knowledge and skills. The course will highlight the history of nursing practice, and how it has evolved to become an integral part of the health care system.

  • Ethics, quality, and decision-making in nursing

In this course, students will cover concepts related to decision-making and professional judgment. Topics such as the following may be covered in this course: social justice, evidence-based practice, work ethics, and problem-solving skills.

  • Chemistry and physiology of biological processes

This course is geared towards providing students with an understanding of basic concepts of molecular biology and biochemistry. Students will undergo a study of topics such as signal transduction, protein synthesis, energetics, and metabolism.

What you will learn in a BSN program


How long does it take to complete a BSN program?

BSN nursing programs in PA typically takes 4 years to complete. The exact duration will depend on the school you have enrolled in. Students can also opt for the accelerated BSN programs in PA. Accelerated BSN degrees can be completed in 1-2 years.

How do I enroll in a BSN program?

The enrollment criteria may vary with different institutes. Generally, applicants are required to submit:

  • High school or college transcripts with a minimum CGPA of 2.5
  • Satisfactory ACT or SAT scores
  • Personal statement
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (if any)

Study online

If you don’t have the time or the resources to study at a campus, you can go for an online BSN degree instead. This mode of learning has become popular among working professionals. You can study from any location without having to physically go to college every day. The coursework is covered online with the help of tutorials, online lectures, videos, and classroom conferencing.

online BSN degree Pennsylvania


Get Licensed!

Once you have completed a BSN degree, you can take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing is responsible for licensing nursing  in this state. You must submit an application for licensure to the board of nursing after meeting all the requirements.

Career Prospects

After you have received your nursing license, you can apply for nursing jobs in different health care institutions such as hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, etc. Your ob description will depend upon your designation and skill set. Typically your job description may include:

  • Attending to patients
  • Checking patient history
  • Helping patients prepare for medical exams or surgery
  • Assisting physicians
  • Administering medication

The income may vary from place to place. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses in Pennsylvania made a mean annual income of $66,570 in 2014. Factors such as specialization employer and organization will determine your exact income potential. You can always move up in your career with further education. There are a number of bridge programs being offered that can help you prepare for advanced nursing roles.


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