School of Nursing Degrees

Academic Adviser: Caroline Condon-Lewis at 201 Health and Human Development East Building, University Park, 814-867-3066, .

The School of Nursing offers three baccalaureate degree program options: 1) Bachelor of Science (BS), 2) Second Degree, and 3) Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science (BS).

Bachelor of Science:

The B.S. is a four-year program that prepares nurses to provide nursing care in varied settings: hospitals, private practice, long-term care, clinics, and other health care and community agencies. Students gain hands-on experience in diverse settings: Hershey Medical Center, rural hospitals, community health agencies and other health care setting. Post-graduation students are eligible to take the national examination for licensure as a registered nurse (NCLEX).

Second Degree Program: (Penn State Altoona and Penn State Harrisburg)

The Second Degree program is an intensive sixteen-month program open to individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. Students will complete 120 credits, comprised of 60 credits in general education and prerequisite courses (completed in the first degree program, prior to admission) and 60 credits in nursing in the second degree program.

The required general education prerequisites include the following:

  • Anatomy (4 credits) – BIOL 129
  • Physiology (4 credits) – BIOL 141 & BIOL 142
  • Microbiology (4 credits) – MICRB 106 & 107
  • Chemistry (3 to 4 credits) – CHEM 101 or CHEM 110 & 111
  • Statistics (4 credits) – STAT 200 or 250
  • Nutrition (3 credits) – NUTR 251
  • Intro to Psychology (3 credits) – PSYCH 100
  • Intro to Sociology (3 credits) – SOC 001 or SOC 005
  • Human Development or Developmental Psychology (3 credits) – HD FS 129 or PSYCH 212
  • General Arts (6 credits)
  • General Humanities (6 credits)
  • English Composition (3 credits) – ENGL 015
  • English with a writing emphasis (3 credits)
  • Effective Speech (3 credits) – CAS 100
  • Quantification Elective (3 credits)
  • General Electives (4 to 5 credits)

For students beginning the Second Degree program in the fall, all general education prerequisites must be complete by the end of the preceding spring semester. These can be taken at any Penn State campus or other college or university.

The program prepares nurses to provide nursing care in varied settings, which include hospitals, private practice, long-term care, clinics, and other health care and community agencies. Students gain experience in diverse settings, which include trauma centers, rural hospitals, community health agencies, and other health care settings.

Because the program is intensive, it is recommended that students be able to go without outside employment for the duration of the program. At the completion of their course work, graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and begin new careers in professional nursing.

RN to B.S.:

One of the first of its kind in the nation, the program makes it possible for registered nurses to earn a B.S. degree through full- or part-time study while maintaining personal and employment responsibilities. The program is offered through the following campuses: World Campus, Penn State Abington, Altoona, Erie, Fayette, Harrisburg, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango and Worthington Scranton. A bachelor’s degree prepares nurses to demonstrate strong professional-level skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, professional integration and research/evaluation. Career opportunities include positions in management, clinical specialty and career-ladder promoting organizations e.g., Veterans Administration.

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