Top RN TO BSN Programs in Pennsylvania

Nursing is one of the most important careers/courses of study in the world. There has never been a time when this profession has gone out of demand as it involves working hand-in-hand with doctors to save lives. There is a constant need for nurses so choosing to pursue a career in nursing is not a bad choice at all.


In order to be clear, there are several types of nursing programs namely RN, BSN, and ADN programs. BSN means bachelor of science in nursing, ADN means an associate degree in nursing, and RN means registered nurse. A BSN program is a bachelor of science in nursing which typically takes four years to complete, the nursing program is usually studied at a college, university, or nursing school.

The RN is a certification a person who holds the RN designation has passed a national licensing exam after graduating from a nursing program with a BSN or an ADN. The licensing exam is called NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination), and it’s a nationwide test required for licensed nurses.  ADN is a diploma, it is gotten after a person has enrolled in a two-year nursing program.

In recent years, the demand for BSN-trained nurses has surged and many ADN holders have put the taught of going back to school into consideration. Apart from the traditional brick-and-mortar mode of education, several colleges also offer remote learning patterns through their online learning platforms.


Online RN to BSN programs allows nurses to continue working while they complete their studies. Choosing the perfect program has been made simpler, you just need to browse the top  RN TO BSN Programs in Pennsylvania

Top RN TO BSN Programs in Pennsylvania

1. Drexel University

Drexel University was established in the early 1890s by Anthony Drexel, a financier. This University is a private research institution of higher education that serves a student body of over 24,150 undergraduate and graduate students from its Philadelphia campus and online.


Drexel University offers an array of nursing programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels. Drexel University offers three BSN options a traditional, an RN to BSN completion program, and an accelerated 2nd career entry point, these nursing programs have so far been ranked as the best in the nation.

Drexel also offers graduate nursing programs organized as MSN advanced role programs or MSN nurse practitioner programs, both programs also offer various concentrations to students.

In addition to the master’s program, Drexel University also offers three doctoral levels for nursing: DNP, DNP Nurse Anesthesia, or Ph.D. in Nursing. The Nursing & Health Professions College’s nursing programs are accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

2. Saint Francis University

Saint Francis University was established in the mid-1840s, it is a private university that is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. The land for Saint Francis University was donated by Pittsburg’s first bishop, Michael ‘O’Connor.

Saint Francis University’s College of Health Sciences & Education offers two Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs; the traditional, an online RN to BSN, and MSN.

SFU The university’s campus in Loretto hosts more than 1,550 graduate & undergraduate students and offers more than 30 academic degree programs.

Saint Francis University is ranked as one of the best nursing programs in Pennsylvania. The college offers a remote-learning-based Master of Science in Nursing program (MSN) with three concentration tracks in Leadership Education, Post-master’s Family Nurse Practitioner, or Family Nurse Practitioner.

3. Messiah University

 This list would not have been complete if this university did not make an appearance. Messiah University was established in 1909 originally as a bible school & missionary training college.

Messiah University was established by the Brethren in Christ Church but today, it currently operates as a non-denominational school with a student enrollment that exceeds 3,250 graduate or undergraduate students.

Messiah University is among the best nursing programs in Pennsylvania, it offers a traditional BSN and an RN to BSN degree.

In addition to the above-mentioned degree programs, Messiah University provides students with MSN degrees with concentrations in nursing administration and nurse education,  a dual MSN with an MBA degree, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Leadership and Family Nurse Practitioner.

MU also offers two post-BSN certificates in nursing management or nursing education, alongside a variety of international study abroad programs during both the May and January terms.

These programs are accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

4. Carlow University

Carlow University was established in 1939 by the Sisters of Mercy  Roman Catholic Church it maintains three local campuses in Greensburg, Cranberry, and Oakland.

The university has over 1,300 students enrolled, it is organized into three colleges that offer students degrees in health & wellness, learning, and innovation, or leadership & social change.

Carlow University is recognized as one of the top nursing programs in Pennsylvania, it offers an array of nursing programs including a four-year BSN, a 2nd career BSN, or an online RN to BSN degree program, plus a variety of graduate-level degrees that are available on-campus and online.

Carlow University’s Master of Science Nursing in Education & Leadership, Women’s Health, and Family Nurse Practitioner are available entirely online or on the school’s Pittsburgh campus.

In addition to the BSN and MSN programs, Carlow University offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) which is available online, and the MSN Master of Business Administration dual degree program is also available online.

5. Waynesburg University

Waynesburg University was established by the Presbyterian Church in 1850 as a private institution of higher education. The university’s main campus in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania hosts about 1,750 undergraduate and graduate students.

Waynesburg University offers students about 75 academic concentrations from which to choose including one of the best nursing programs in Pennsylvania; a Bachelor of Science in a Nursing degree program, an RN to BSN degree, a BSN for 2nd-degree students, and a Master of Science in a Nursing degree program. The above programs are accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

6. Villanova University’s 

Villanova University was founded in 1842, it is an Augustinian Catholic institution of higher education. The date of establishment makes it the oldest Pennsylvania Catholic higher learning institution. This university is home to about  11,000 students, the school is named to honor Saint Thomas of Villanova.

Villanova University’s  Fitzpatrick College of Nursing offers a variety of nursing degree programs from the baccalaureate to the doctoral level, these programs are ranked among the best nursing programs in Pennsylvania.

Villanova offers several academic tracks to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing including a transfer, accelerated (2nd degree), and a traditional academic path over four years.

Villanova offers graduate-level nursing degree options including nursing education, pediatric practitioner tracks, gerontology, or family nursing. Lastly, Villanova University offers a Ph.D. in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing, or a Nurse Anesthesia doctoral path.

7. Duquesne University

Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit (DU) was established as the Pittsburgh Catholic College in the late 1870s, the university maintains a campus in Pittsburgh and an international location in Rome.

The university enrolls over 9,250 students,  The college’s Nursing School at Duquesne University is one of the best nursing programs in Pennsylvania, offering nursing degrees from the bachelor’s to doctorate level.

Duquesne’s nursing school is one of only fourteen schools in the nation that is endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credential Corporation and accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

There are three paths offered to a BSN degree student; a traditional path, a 2nd-degree path, and a dual degree path that offers a BSN and Biomedical Engineering baccalaureate degree in only five years.

The university also offers three online programs a Ph.D. in Nursing Ethics, an MSN in Forensic Nursing, and Ph.D. in Nursing.

8. La Salle University

La Salle University was established in the mid-1860s, and it was named in honor of St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle. The school is affiliated with the Christian Brothers Roman Catholic Church.

The university is divided into three primary colleges/schools in the areas of nursing & health sciences, and arts/sciences, and business with programs available online, on-campus, and in hybrid formats.

La Salle University’s School of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences offers some of the best nursing programs in Pennsylvania. These nursing programs from La Salle University are accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

La Salle offers several baccalaureate nursing pathways, and two DNP programs; one with a specialty in Nurse Anesthesia. The Master of Science in Nursing programs offer ten concentrations which include gerontology, administration, or psychiatric mental health practitioner, public health, and family nurse.

La Salle’s BSN program boasts a first-time pass rate of the NCLEX-RN exam of 94.64%.9.

10. University of Scranton

The University of Scranton was established in 1888, it was administered by the Lasallian Brothers until the early 1940s when the Society of Jesus began to manage the school.

The institution enrolls over 5,350 students on the school’s urban campus or online. The University of Scranton offers about 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs on its distance learning platform and on campus.

The University of Scranton’s Nursing Department is recognized as one of the best nursing programs in Pennsylvania, they offer nursing degree programs from the undergraduate level to the doctoral level.

The University of Scranton’s BSN and MSN degree programs are accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The doctoral-level programs from the University of Scranton include a DNP and a DNP program with a concentration in Nurse Anesthesia.


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