Aria Health School of Nursing Program Review

The Aria Health School of Nursing (AHSN), formerly called the Frankford Hospital School of Nursing, has been training nurses in the Philadelphia area since 1903. It has always been affiliated with the Frankford Hospital, but as Frankford Hospital expanded and opened up additional campuses in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the name was changed to Aria Health System. The nursing school changed its name along with the original Frankford Hospital.

Aria Health School of Nursing offers only one program, a diploma in nursing, and the school takes pride in its rigorous, highly successful program. (Approximately 95 percent of the school’s graduates pass the national licensing exam on the first try.)

Diploma in Nursing

In addition to cooperating with the hospitals of Aria Health System, the Aria Health School of Nursing works with Pennsylvania State University to provide its students with the academic foundation that they need to enter the nursing profession. Students simultaneously take nursing classes at the school of nursing and general education courses in the sciences and humanities at Pennsylvania State University. In total, students enrolled in the diploma in nursing program must earn sixty-four credits over the course of two years and ten months. Unlike traditional nursing programs, the clinical portion of Aria Health School of Nursing’s diploma program begins immediately. Graduates of the diploma in nursing program are well prepared to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN) and enter the nursing profession as Registered Nurses (RN). The Aria Health School of Nursing’s diploma program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

Further Education Opportunities

While working toward a diploma in nursing, a student at Aria Health School of Nursing may also work toward an Associate Degree in Letters, Arts, and Sciences through Pennsylvania State University. To earn the associate degree, the student must earn seventy-three credits total, instead of the sixty-four required for the diploma. These credits will also transfer toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Those who earn an associate degree may advance into an online RN to BSN program through Penn State World Campus, or through another RN to BSN program.

Diploma Programs – General Information

While diploma programs are not as common as they used to be, prospective nurses should not overlook them in their search for the right program. A diploma program is usually more intense than an associate degree program. Aria Health School of Nursing’s diploma program, for example, is nearly three years long, compared to a typical two-year associate degree program. The clinical portion of a diploma program is typically more intense too, beginning right away rather than later in the program. Lastly, since diploma programs are generally tied to colleges, as is the Aria Health School of Nursing program, students do not have to choose between a strong nursing education and a full associate or bachelor’s degree. By taking advantage of a college affiliation, students can earn both the diploma and the degree that will allow them to advance in their chosen profession.

Aria Health School of Nursing
4918 Penn Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19124