Penn State College of Nursing


College of Nursing pledges to educate nurse practitioners on opioid abuse

The College of Nursing has joined with 190 other schools of nursing in educating nurse practitioner students on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

Programs of Study

The College of Nursing features a complete range of undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing.

Baccalaureate Degree

The baccalaureate degree program has three options for study:

  • the B.S., for those students who are entering the four-year program of study for an initial professional degree
  • the Second Degree program for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field
  • the RN to B.S. for RNs who wish to complete the B.S. degree

Revised B.S. Nursing Admission Process Effective Fall 2012

The four-year General B.S. program in Nursing at University Park is through first-year admission only. Non–University Park campuses offer two points of entry to the General B.S. program: (1) first-year admission, and (2) a sophomore gateway review process. Students may not change majors into the four-year program. See the B.S. Program page for more information.

Master’s Degree

Our master's degree programs include an M.S.N. program with options for advanced nursing roles. Two options—Nurse Administrator and Nurse Educator—are offered fully online through Penn State World Campus. Nurse Practitioner options offered are Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).

A B.S.–Ph.D. program incorporates an M.S. degree as preparation for the Ph.D.

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program and Dual-Title Ph.D. in Nursing and Bioethics

The interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Nursing develops clinical scholars, faculty, and researchers who can teach and provide leadership through scientific inquiry and innovative practice. Individualized plans of study allow each student to develop depth of expertise and research capability within a specialized area that promotes career goals.

The purpose of the dual-title Ph.D. in Nursing and Bioethics is to provide nursing Ph.D. students with the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct research and the perspective necessary to fully engage ethical issues within the discipline of nursing, conduct original bioethics research, and produce bioethics-related scholarship.

The first two years of the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program are fully funded.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Program (D.N.P.)

The D.N.P. program prepares nurse leaders for the highest level of clinical nursing practice. The core D.N.P. essentials include translation of research into practice, transformational leadership, and advanced expert nursing practice. Depending on educational background, the D.N.P. program has two entry options: directly from the B.S. (nursing) for nurse administrators, or post-M.S.N. for nurse administrators and advanced practice nurses.

Front of Nursing Sciences Building featuring new name

College of Nursing building receives new name

The Nursing Sciences Building (formerly Health and Human Development East) was renamed in July 2015 to reflect the College of Nursing's growing presence at Penn State.

Image: Penn State

College of Nursing Highlights

– Offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs to more than 2,500 students annually at 13 Penn State campuses
– Prepares more students each year for nursing careers than any other program in Pennsylvania
– 1 of 9 schools nationwide selected to host a John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence

Research and Graduate Program

– Ranked in top 10% of nursing graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report (2015)
– 25% of Ph.D. students have predoctoral fellowships
– All full-time Ph.D. students eligible for funding
– 65% of primary care nurse practitioner students receive full or partial funding for their education
– Totally online M.S.N. and certificate options for Nurse Administrator and Nurse Educator
– Penn State's first online doctoral program (D.N.P.)

Undergraduate Programs

– Online RN to B.S. program offered through Penn State World Campus, ranked No. 1 for best online bachelor's degree programs by U.S. News & World Report (2016)
– Overall 94% NCLEX pass rate for 2014–15 (General B.S. and Second Degree programs)
– Highest incoming-class GPA among all Penn State colleges
Most popular undergraduate major at Penn State as of fall 2012
– 33% of students in top 10 percent of high school class; 14% in top 5 percent
– 14% of undergraduate students are members of an underrepresented ethnic group
– Nursing students consistently represented in all 3 Penn State branches of Reserve Officer Training Corps (Air Force, Army, Navy)

Outreach and Continuing Education Courses Available

The College of Nursing has a portal for online continuing education courses for nurses. These courses are offered continuously for Online CE. In addition, RNs can earn up to seventy contact hours in the college's state-of-the-art simulation lab.

Diversity Statement

The faculty and staff of the College of Nursing value and are committed to fostering diversity in the classroom, the University, and the profession. By respecting differences in culture, age, gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, differing abilities, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation, we enrich the learning environment; improve the practice and profession of Nursing; and enhance personal creativity and professional growth.

The College of Nursing also maintains a collaborative relationship with the College of Health and Human Development.