Top Pennsylvania RN to BSN Programs

Drastic changes are currently taking place in today's healthcare system, and as a result, more is being expected of registered nurses. According to a survey carried out by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, nearly one in two healthcare employers require new RN hires to, at a minimum, possess bachelor's degrees, with nearly 90 percent of employers expressing a strong preference towards nurses with BSN degrees. This has resulted in a wave of nurses looking to enter RN to BSN programs to stay competitive in the field. These days, however, with so many RN to BSN programs out there, finding the one that suits your needs best can be tough. To solve this problem for you we've done the leg work and have put together a list of the top RN to BSN programs in the state of Pennsylvania.

How to Choose a Top RN to BSN Program in Pennsylvania

There are a few things to consider while searching for an RN to BSN program in the state of Pennsylvania. Keep the following in mind:

  • Acceptance and graduation rates
  • Graduate satisfaction
  • Costs and fees
  • Level of instructor/faculty experience
  • Proper program accreditation
  • How long the school/program has been around
  • Scholarship and financial aid availability
  • How long it takes program grads to find employment
  • Class/cohort size
  • Internship opportunities and/or local hospital partnerships
  • Cost of living near the school

Testing and Certification

RNs with ADN degrees have to pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam before they can acquire their nursing licenses. This means that RN to BSN students don't have to retake the licensing exam after they've successfully completed the bridge program.

List of Top RN to BSN Programs in Pennsylvania

1. Slippery Rock University

Founded in 1889, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania (SRU) is a public university located in the township of Slippery Rock and has one the largest campuses in western Pennsylvania. SRU's RN to BSN program emphasizes developing the RNs critical thinking skills for clinical decision-making, preparing RNs to collaborate in multidisciplinary settings, refine professional communication skills, and develop leadership skills. The program is delivered online and is accessible to students 24/7, with classes being offered in 8-week sessions. Courses students will encounter while enrolled in SRU's RN to BSN program include Social Media and Healthcare, Healthcare Informatics, and Medical/Health Care Ethics, among others. In addition to the online coursework, students will be expected to carry out in-person practicums at local healthcare facilities.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Grove City Medical Center
  • Abie Abraham Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Butler Memorial Hospital


To find out about SRU's program tuition, reach out to them at (800) 778-91111.

2. Waynesburg University

Founded in 1850, Waynesburg University is a private, non-profit university situated in the city of Waynesburg. WU's RN to BSN program, which is designed specifically to meet the needs of working RNs, can be completed entirely online in as little as 12 to 16 months, depending on how fast the student completes his or her coursework. Students, if they chose to, can also complete the program on-site. The 33-39 semester credit hour program is comprised of 8-week courses such as Population Health, Clinical Prevention, Professional Issues in Nursing, and more.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Washington Health System Greene
  • The Washington Hospital


To attend Waynesburg University's RN to BSN program, students can expect to pay somewhere between $19,965 and $23,595 for tuition.

3. Immaculata University

First established in 1920, Immaculata University is a private, non-profit Roman Catholic university located in the town of Malvern. Having educated nurses for over 30 years now, IU's RN to BSN program has accelerated seven or eight-week courses which allow RNs to complete their degrees in two years or less, even while they continue working full-time. IU's award-winning, accredited nursing program emphasizes patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, and leadership. The program's interdisciplinary curriculum covers the cultural, psychological, ethical, and managerial aspects of nursing. Students who enroll in IU's RN to BSN program can expect to take courses like Professional & Holistic Nursing, Nursing Research, and Holistic Care of the Chronically Ill, just to name a few.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Paoli Hospital
  • Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital
  • Phoenixville Hospital - Tower Health


Immaculata University's program tuition can be found by calling them at (610) 647-4400.

4. Bloomsburg University

Over 180 years old, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is a public university that's located in the township of Bloomsburg. BUP offers an online, 52 quarter credit hour RN to BSN program that seeks to provide the crucial knowledge and skills required for the development of competence in multifaceted roles of the RN. The program's curriculum can be completed entirely online in a matter of two or three years depending on the course load a student decides to take. Some courses students can expect to take while enrolled at BUP's RN to BSN program include Conflict Management, Drug Use and Abuse in Society, and Leadership and Management, just to name a few. In addition to BUP's online coursework, students are expected to complete an in-person practicum.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Hazleton General Hospital
  • Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital
  • Geisinger Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital


For current info on Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's tuition and fees, contact them at (570) 389-4000.

5. Carlow University

Originally established in 1929 by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow University is a private, co-educational Catholic university that's located in the middle of Pittsburgh's "Tech, Ed, and Med" district. Carlow University offers a 32 semester credit hour RN to BSN program that students can finish in as little as 11 months. The vast majority of the program's coursework be completed online and places a special emphasis on leadership and community health. Aside from the online coursework, students are required to carry out an on-site clinical practicum. Some courses students will take during the program include Writing Skills for RNs, Nursing Leadership, and Research/Informatics/Decision-Making, among others. Nurses who are currently working for Allegheny Health Network, Excela Health, Heritage Valley Healthcare System, or UPMC can receive a 10 percent tuition reduction for the RN to BSN program.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • UPMC Mercy
  • UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburg
  • UPMC Presbyterian
  • Allegheny General Hospital


For info regarding Carlow University's RN to BSN program, contact them at (412) 578-6000.