Pennsylvania State University Nursing School Review

Pennsylvania State University (PSU), lovingly known as Penn State, had humble beginnings as a college devoted to teaching agricultural technology. Now, over 150 years later, Penn State boasts over 40,000 students enrolled annually in its expansive, advanced campus.

Penn State Nursing Program Review

The Nursing Department at Penn State offers students interested in employment in the fast-paced world of healthcare a comprehensive program that allows for those wishing to pursue a career as quickly as possible, as well as those hoping to achieve higher levels of education and training. The program provides for entry-level education and progresses all the way through doctoral level study in an environment that nurtures the individual talents and aspirations of each student.

Associate of Science (A.S.) Program in Nursing

This rigorous two-year course of study prepares students for entry-level occupation in a wide variety of medical settings. Successful completion of this program entitles graduates to sit for the NCLEX licensure examinations in order to earn the title of Registered Nurse (RN). These nurses provide basic care to a range of patients from the most simple of illness complaints to traumatic injury and through end-of-life care. The care provided by Registered Nurses is under the supervision of medical professionals such as physicians and dentists and involves such responsibilities as monitoring, basic procedures and implementation of treatment plans. With experience these nurses are able to supervise the role of Licensed Practical Nurses. A unique aspect of Penn State’s Associate Degree Program is its mission to produce nurses prepared to serve in areas in need of such attention.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Traditional Program

Penn State appreciates the importance of knowledgeable and technically trained nurses. Because of this they offer a four-year program designed to provide a higher level of education and training and produce Registered Nurses prepared for increased responsibility and complexity of roles. The traditional BSN Program is created for students just entering Penn State who already know they are interested in a further education than is offered by the Associate Degree Program. Students graduating this program will be eligible for more employment opportunities and be prepared for graduate level education.

Second Degree Program

Those that have completed a baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than Nursing but are interested in pursuing employment in the field are eligible for the 2nd Degree Program. This program allows these students to use applicable previous credits to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree faster. With all necessary prerequisites completed, this program can be fulfilled in sixteen months. Students will engage in general education as well as Nursing credits to provide the same rounded, balanced education offered by the Traditional Program.

RN to BS Degree Program

Penn State proudly introduced one of the first programs in the nation that allowed already-licensed Registered Nurses to pursue baccalaureate-level degrees at an accelerated pace. This program, offered at either a full- or part-time basis to fit into the personal schedules of each individual student, allows RNs that have successfully completed Associate Degree courses of study and are eager to achieve higher training and knowledge to apply previous learning to the required studies. Using the highly accelerated, intensive program designed by Penn State’s passionate faculty, students are able to earn their BSN degrees in approximately one year of full-time study.  Each student has an individual plan created for him, as well as access to extensive support and assistance resources to ensure success and personal fulfillment.

There is also the Accelerated R.N. to B.S. Degree Program (A.B.S) which makes possible for  associate degree–prepared registered nurses to obtain a baccalaureate degree within one year.

Master of Science Program

Offering more than the fundamental Nursing education and clinical training of undergraduate studies, the Master of Science Program is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of these concepts in addition to leadership and implementation study. The Master of Science Program at Penn State provides a general overview of these advanced studies and structured investigation into four emphasis areas. Students will engage in research and study into Nurse Administration, Nurse Education, Clinical Trials Research, and Community Health Policy and Management. The entire program culminates in the final experience, referred to as the Capstone Course, which allows students to focus on one particular area of interest and produce a Scholarly Paper or Thesis under guidance of a high-level faculty member.

Advanced Practice Options

Master of Science students also have the option of following a curriculum designed to offer training in Advanced Practice areas. These areas allow for specialization and increased career potential. Students are able to choose among Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. In this program students will follow a similar course of study as those in the general program but with the addition of specialization-focused courses and training. Graduates from this program are given the option of pursuing post-master’s certificates that provide formal Certification in their particular area of interest.

Interdisciplinary PhD Program

Exceptionally motivated students wishing to reach the pinnacle of Nursing education and training are able to engage in Penn State’s Interdisciplinary PhD Program. This highly advanced course of study prepares students for upper-level positions in management, research occupations and education. This program is self-paced to allow Master Degree-holding nurses to pursue their Doctorate as fits into their schedule. The culmination of this course is a dissertation prepared in a focused area related to a problem facing the field of nursing. Successful completion of this program is dependent on defending this dissertation before the doctoral committee.

There is also the BSN to PhD Degree program for those who wish to gain a nursing doctorate degree after acquiring their Bachelors in Nursing degree.

Pennsylvania State University
201 Old Main,
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-4700