Associate Degree

Program transition announced

A.S. program in Nursing transitioning to B.S. program in Nursing

The national picture of nursing education is changing. As a leader in the field, Penn State is transitioning the associate of science (A.S.) degree to a baccalaureate of science (B.S.) degree in Nursing at the Altoona, Erie, Fayette, Mont Alto, and Worthington Scranton campuses. This transition aligns with the future of nursing practice and projected employment patterns.

The fall 2014 semester was the final opportunity for admission to the two-year associate of science (A.S.) program in Nursing.

The bachelor of science (B.S.) program in Nursing is now available at Penn State Altoona, Erie, Fayette, Mont Alto, and Worthington Scranton. Students begin and remain at their campus of admission for the duration of the program. Visit the Bachelor of Science Degree page for more information.

The B.S. program in Nursing at University Park will continue to admit only high school students or adults with fewer than 18 college credits. All students accepted to this program will begin at University Park campus. Current or previous Penn State students as well as those transferring from another college or university are not eligible for this program.

Associate Degree Program

(For students currently enrolled in the two-year Nursing program)

The associate degree program is offered at five campuses. It has a role in providing nurses to medically underserved regions of the state. This is a concentrated two-year program that includes a combination of science, liberal arts, and focused nursing courses. After earning an associate degree, students are eligible to take the national examination for licensure as registered nurses (NCLEX). The College of Nursing supports the national movement toward the baccalaureate degrees for entry-level nurses and encourages associate degree graduates to pursue a baccalaureate degree or higher.

Program Goals

Upon completion of the Associate of Science Program in Nursing the students
will be able to:

  • Evaluate the wellness–illness status of the individual, family, and
    groups within the community in relationship to life span, development,
    communications, relationships, multiple health needs, adaptation and
  • Appraise environmental factors, which influence the health and
    health care of clients in a variety of settings.
  • Support optimal levels of wellness of individuals, families, and
    groups within the community.
  • Integrate concepts related to the role of the associate degree nurse
    as provider of care, manager of care, and member within the discipline
    of nursing.
  • Relate interpreted research findings to nursing practice situations.
  • Value the nursing process as means of providing a comprehensive plan
    of care for select clients, families, and groups within the community.

Career Opportunities

The associate degree program in nursing prepares graduates for the registered nurse licensure examination and employment in a variety of acute and long-term care settings.

As nursing professionals, graduates collaborate with colleagues in nursing and other disciplines to:

  • Provide direct care to patients
  • Develop a comprehensive plan of care
  • Facilitate the development of an optimum level of health for clients and families


For more information, contact your campus:

Student in a clinical setting