Calling all nurses! Your country needs you. The pandemic made it very clear there is an incredible shortage of nurses. Now is the perfect time to get your degree in nursing and certification by attending an accelerated BSN (ABSN) program in PA. The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (ABSN) is a second degree nursing program for students who have completed an undergraduate degree and the required prerequisites.
To become an LPN, you study for a one or two-year program to get an Associate degree and then take the national test for a nursing license. An RN takes either a two-year program for an Associate’s degree or a four-year program equivalent to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The differences between an LPN and an RN are the job duties, and the license exam is more difficult for an RN license. In addition, an FNP requires getting a Masters in Nursing, which is a graduate degree, after achieving the qualifications for an RN.
It is possible first to become an LPN and then, after more studying, become an RN and, after more studying, become an FNP. There are accelerated programs that reduce the standard times to complete each level. You will have to complete the same amount of credits/program hours in accelerated programs but at a faster pace.
Nurse salaries vary based on the level of education, experience, and specific role within the nursing profession. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) typically earn a lower salary compared to registered nurses (RNs) due to the difference in training and responsibilities. The median salary for LPNs is approximately $48,000 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). RNs earned a median annual salary of around $77,600. Advanced roles, such as nurse practitioner (NP), who have a more comprehensive education often paired with a master’s or doctoral degree, can expect even higher earnings with a median exceeding $120,000 annually.
In Pennsylvania, the figures align relatively closely with the national averages. For example, RNs in Pennsylvania earn an average annual salary of approximately $80,000. However, there are variations based on cities, healthcare institutions, and specific specializations within the state.
The nursing profession in the U.S. is expected to see significant growth in the coming years, reflecting the increasing healthcare needs of the nation’s aging population and advances in healthcare practices. For licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs), job opportunities are anticipated to grow by about 6% from 2021 to 2031, a rate on pace with the average for all occupations. Advanced practice roles, such as Nurse Practitioners (NPs), are set to see an even sharper rise in demand, with the BLS projecting a growth rate of 40% from 2021 to 2031. This substantial growth for NPs is due, in part, to their ability to provide primary care services, especially in underserved areas, and the push for greater preventative care services across the nation.
Get Started Quickly with Accelerated Nursing Program in Pennsylvania
Do you want to get started quickly? We did all the research for accelerated nursing programs in PA, so you don’t have to. Our goal is to focus on the three “A’s” of affordability, accreditation, and availability. Please contact us if you need help finding the best school based on your selected program. Find your college program.
|1||Franklin County Career & Technology Center Practical Nursing Program||Chambersburg, Pennsylvania|
|2||Venango Technology Center||Oil City, Pennsylvania|
|3||Lincoln Technical Institute||West Orange, New Jersey|
|4||Northampton Community College||Bethlehem, Pennsylvania|
|5||Fayette County Career & Technical Institute||Fayette Country, Pennsylvania|
The Best 38 Accelerated Nursing Programs in PA
Franklin County Career & Technology Center Practical Nursing Program
Franklin County Career & Technology Center Practical Nursing Program is in Chambersburg. It offers program for LPNs. The curriculum combines coursework with clinical experience to prepare students for a career in nursing.
This is a year-long full-time program with students attending class and clinical M-T 0645-1515. They start a cohort twice a year, one in March and one in August.
The Accreditation Commission accredits this program for Education in Nursing, Inc.
Venango Technology Center
Venango Technology Center has an LPN program that is accredited by ACEN. Admission requirements are having a high school diploma, passing a background check, having a physical checkup exam, and passing a pre-entrance qualifying exam.
Lincoln Technical Institute
Lincoln Technical Institute has a practical nursing program designed for the adult student. About 628 hours of the program are practical clinical experience with patients.
Northampton Community College
Northampton Community College offers both a one-year LPN program (43 credits) and a two-year RN program (71 credits). For the LPN program, students are admitted once per year before the fall semester starts. The RN program accepts students in the fall and spring. The RN program is very fast.
Fayette County Career & Technical Institute
Fayette County Career & Technical Institute offers a practical nursing program that leads to taking the national license exam. The program is designed for a full-time student to take courses for seven hours per day, five days each week.
Hazleton Area Career Center
Hazleton Area Career Center offers a practical nursing program that starts each year in September and can be completed by a student within one year. The program is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools and approved by the State Board of Nursing.
Lehigh Carbon Community College
Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) is a community college located in Schnecksville with additional locations in Jim Thorpe, Allentown, and Tamaqua. It offers a practical nursing certificate (NURC). This program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission For Education In Nursing Inc. (ACEN) and is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
Applications are accepted from September to February 1 for the following year’s fall admission. Admissions are limited. Applicants must take the ATI-TEAS test. Students who meet the admission requirements are ranked for selection by their test results and previous academic record.
Clarion County Career Center
Clarion County Career Center offers a full-time program that starts each September and takes 12 months to complete. There is also a part-time program that starts in November of the odd calendar year and takes 24 months to complete. The program of nursing has three levels and plenty of clinical experience.
Huntingdon County Career & Technology Center
Huntingdon County Career & Technology Center has a practical nursing training program that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. and approved by the State Board of Nursing. Students who complete the program must take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to become an LPN. Classes start in the fall of each year.
Northern Tier Career Center
Northern Tier Career Center (NTCC) offers a practical nursing program that the Accreditation Commission accredits for Education in Nursing (ACEN). This program is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. 94% of the graduates from this school pass the licensee exam and find employment as an LPN.
JCDAVTS Jeff Tech Practical Nursing Program
JCDAVTS Jeff Tech Practical Nursing Program started its practical nursing program in 1968. The class sizes are small, and the teacher-to-student ratio is outstanding, which means every student gets personal instruction as needed. Student support is always available from highly qualified instructors/faculty. This school is accredited by the ACEN. The board pass rate is 87.5%.
Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center
Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center (GACTC) is accredited by the Middle States Association of Secondary Schools. Applicants must pass a pre-entrance exam and can take a free LPN preparatory course. Students who graduate from this program take the national license exam to work as an LPN and have a 94% pass rate.
Bucks County Community College
Bucks County Community College has a one-year degree certificate program that meets the requirements to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).
You must take the PSB Aptitude for Practical Nursing Examination to be considered for admission to this college. This exam was created by the Psychological Service Bureau (PSB) to help colleges determine who has the aptitude and emotional intelligence to be successful as a nurse.
This college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The professional nursing program is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center
Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center offers a program for practical nursing that has a job placement rate of 80% for its graduates who also pass the national license exam. The tuition includes all costs for the entire program.
Lebanon County Career & Technology Center
Lebanon County Career & Technology Center offers a full-time LPN course that can be completed in 12 months and a part-time course that takes 18 months to finish. For the full-time program, classes begin in February and July. The part-time program starts in September and has classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Central Pennsylvania Institute Science & Technology
Central Pennsylvania Institute Science & Technology offers a full-time LPN program that can be completed within one year and a part-time program that takes two years to complete.
Western Area Career & Technology Center
Western Area Career & Technology Center offers a practical nursing training program to prepare students for taking the national Practical Nurse Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to become a qualified LPN. This school also offers a program for LPNs who wish to continue studying to become an RN in partnership with the Community College of Beaver County.
Eastern Center for Arts & Technology
Eastern Center for Arts & Technology offers a full-time LPN program that can be completed in one year and a part-time program that takes two years. The program is approved by the State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools.
Lenape Technical School
Lenape Technical School has a first-time pass rate for the NCLEX license exam of 90% for students who graduate from its practical nursing program. It has been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) since 1984 and is approved by the State Board of Nursing. Students must pass the TEAS test to gain admission. Applicants can take a free online TEAS test preparation course by registering through the Armstrong Center for Community Learning.
Mercer County Career Center
Mercer County Career Center has an LPN program that provides students with nursing theory lessons, clinical experience, and laboratory work. This 12-month program requires 1,500 hours of instruction. It prepares students for employment as LPN after they pass the nursing license exam. One full-time class is offered annually. It starts each year in January.
Clearfield County Career & Technology Center
Clearfield County Career & Technology Center accepts applications yearly for its practical nursing program until the program is full. The full-time program starts in August each year. It also offers a part-time program that starts in March during every odd-numbered year. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Indiana County Technology Center
Indiana County Technology Center (ICTC) specializes in vocational training and offers a practical nursing program for those wanting to become an LPN. This school is accredited, and has three campuses. One campus is in Indiana, Pennsylvania. The others are in Connellsville and Steel Center. This school boasts an impressive 100% success rate for students passing the nursing exam to become licensed.
Penn Commercial Business/Technical School
Penn Commercial Business/Technical School is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). For graduates of the practical nursing program, who pass the national NCLEX-PN exam, job placement services are available with a 90%+ success rate in placement.
Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit
Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit has an LPN career center with a practical nursing program for LPNs that has a 90% exam pass rate and 90% employment placement after graduation. The program is three levels taken over three or four semesters.
The Rapha School
The Rapha School offers a full-time practical nursing program that can be completed in 12 months and a part-time program that takes 18 months to complete. Included in the tuition costs is a personal laptop computer. To start the program requires a $5,000 payment, and the balance of the tuition is due before graduation.
Schuylkill Technology Center
Schuylkill Technology Center has a practical nursing program that 95% of the graduates pass the license test the first time they take it. The graduation class sizes are small, with usually only 20 students taking the LPN course at one time. Books and clinical uniforms are included in the tuition.
Chester County Intermediate Unit
Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) is in Downtown with additional locations in Coatesville, Phoenixville, and West Grove. The CCIU practical nursing program is a post-secondary program that prepares a student to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN).
To be admitted to this school, the applicant must pass the ATI TEAS test. For more info about the TEAS test, log in as a guest at the CCIU TEAS Preparation Library.
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology offers a practical nursing program to train students in nursing skills and to take the NCLEX to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). This is a full-time program that students complete in one year.
Delaware County Technical Schools
Delaware County Technical Schools admits approximately 100 students each year into its LPN program. The program is approved by the State Board of Nursing and accredited by ACEN. Students must pass the TEAS test to gain admission to the program.
Greene County Career & Technology Center
Greene County Career & Technology Center offers a practical nurse program to prepare students to take the NCLEX-PN license exam to be able to work as an LPN. The program runs from the beginning of July each year to the following year’s June. Half the coursework is classroom instruction and the other half is practical training.
Falcon Institute of Health & Science
Falcon Institute of Health & Science has a practical nursing program that can be completed in three semesters within one year. Students who graduate can take the national license exam and then find employment in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, nursing schools, and nursing homes.
Pittsburgh Technical College
The Pittsburgh Technical College Practical Nursing program is approved by the State Board of Nursing and accredited by ACEN. The graduates have a 91.3% success rate in passing the NCLEX-PN license exam and a 99% job placement rate as an LPN after completing this program.
Fortis Institute offers an Associate degree in specialized technology that leads to a career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). This is a hybrid program with about half the course taken online and the other half on the campus. After completing the course, students need to pass the NCLEX-PN license exam to become certified as an LPN. This school has accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Crawford County Career & Technical Center
Crawford County Career & Technology Center (CCCTC) offers in-person and online courses for those studying and working at the same time with a flexible schedule. The practical nursing program begins every year in August and concludes 13 months later.
Students in this program take classes at the CCCTC and gain practical experience at the Crawford County Care Center, the Meadville Medical Center, and community-based nursing-care facilities.
Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County
Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County (CTCLC) offers a practical nursing certification program. Half of the coursework is in the classroom at CTCLC and the other half is at the Wayne Memorial Hospital and healthcare facilities that include Allied Services, Avenanna Daycare for Medically Fragile Children, Geisinger Community Medical Center, Headstart Centers, and Mountain View Care Center.
Students are admitted in August of odd calendar years and in March, November/December of even calendar years. Students who apply must pass an entrance exam to gain admission.
Harrisburg Area Community College
Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) requires an applicant seeking a practical nursing certificate to become an LPN to score at least 60 points on the TEAS test. This school selects the most-qualified applicants based on their test scores and previous education. HACC also offers an RN program that guarantees admission with a TEAS score of 85 or higher, a GPA of 2.5 or higher, and previous completion of one biology course plus one other science course.
Their Practical Nursing program was completely reconstructed, and the new curriculum rolled out in the Fall of 2019. The new curriculum is now totally stackable. For students who want to start their career as an LPN and then advance their education to a Registered nurse, HACC offers a fantastic option. Students who complete the Program can request admission to the RN program. They must meet the admission requirements. Once admitted to the Associate Degree RN program, they can complete it in two semesters.
The school’s Associate Degree RN program also offers an intense 4-semester weekend option that permits students to complete programming in 15 months. The program is only offered on the Harrisburg Campus and is a quick way to earn an Associate’s Degree.
Penn State Lehigh Valley
Penn State Lehigh Valley offers a part-time (evenings and weekends) non-credit course for practical nursing training that the State Board of Nursing authorizes. Graduates can take the exam to get an LPN license. Penn State Lehigh Valley is a commuter campus.
Bloomsburg University (BU) is one of 14 public schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). It is accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the NCLEX license exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to become a licensed, registered nurse (RN).
BU also offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). The MSN program has a nurse anesthesia option that is accredited by the Council of Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. This program qualifies the student to take the test for a family nurse practitioner (FNP).
Benefits of Earning an Online Nursing Degree from a Program in Pennsylvania
Nursing programs in Pennsylvania offer many benefits to students. One of the most important is the flexibility and convenience that online programs provide. By taking classes online, you can study at your own pace and schedule, which can be especially helpful if you’re juggling work and family responsibilities.
Pennsylvania offers a variety of online nursing programs to cater to different educational backgrounds and career goals. Whether you are seeking a BSN, MSN, or DNP, Pennsylvania provides reputable institutions with comprehensive online nursing programs to suit your needs. Here are some esteemed accelerated online nursing programs in Pennsylvania:
- Franklin County Career & Technology Center Practical Nursing Program
- Venango Technology Center
- Lincoln Technical Institute
- Northampton Community College
- Fayette County Career & Technical Institute
By earning your degree from an institution in Pennsylvania, you can benefit from experienced faculty, effective teaching methods, and a comprehensive curriculum.
Additionally, online programs in Pennsylvania often allow students to complete clinical requirements in their communities, making it easier to find convenient and affordable practicum sites. Many online nursing programs in Pennsylvania collaborate with local healthcare facilities, offering hands-on experience while studying in your local area.
Nursing programs in Pennsylvania also offer the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of interest, such as pediatrics or geriatrics. Students who complete an online nursing degree will be prepared to enter the workforce as registered nurses.
Courses in a Nursing Program
The nursing school covers a wide range of subjects, from math and chemistry to psychology and physiology. Nursing degrees have two categories: pre-nursing courses (prerequisites) and nursing core courses.
Nursing fundamentals cover medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and pharmacology. These classes lay the groundwork for more advanced coursework in the nursing core.
Nursing Core Courses
Advanced Anatomy and Physiology builds on the principles learned in Nursing Fundamentals, covering topics such as organ systems and diseases. Microbiology delves into the world of viruses and bacteria, focusing on how they impact human health. Pathophysiology brings it all together by studying how diseases develop and progress in the body.
Nursing school involves a lot of work, but it’s also an exciting time to learn about all the different aspects of healthcare. With a wide variety of professional nursing courses to choose from, you’re sure to find classes that fit your interests and help you prepare for a rewarding career in nursing.
What can I do with a Nursing degree?
A nursing degree provides graduates with a wide range of career opportunities. The major ones include:
Nursing jobs in a hospital
The majority of jobs for nurses with something like a BSN involve working in a hospital setting. If you’re thinking about a nursing career in a hospital, you’ll find a wide range of clinical departments. Each has a different set of hours and responsibilities that are best suited to various lifestyles and personality types.
If you’ve ever been enrolled in or gone to visit someone in a hospital, you’ve probably met this type of nurse. Medical-surgical nurses develop treatment plans, prescribe medication, provide care, and record everything for critically ill and/or surgical patients. Because you’ll be caring for patients with a wide range of ailments, this type of nursing necessitates a thorough understanding of body systems and illnesses, as well as advanced critical thinking and management abilities.
ICU/Critical Care Nurse
Nurses who are employed in the intensive care unit (or neonatal or pediatric intensive care units for patients younger than the age of 17) provide high-acuity care to patients. Because they frequently work with patients who need intubation or perhaps the use of a breathing machine or medication drip, their shifts are very structured. As a result, if you’re detail-oriented, organized, and enjoy making connections with patients and their families, this is the specialty for you.
Nurse in an Emergency Room
Although not every day is like a scene from the iconic medical drama “ER,” working as an emergency room nurse provides an excellent opportunity for adrenaline junkies and those who enjoy organized chaos. Your patients will range from those with fractured bones to those with strokes and severe injuries. Your primary responsibility will be to prioritize them in order of life-threatening importance.
Nurse during Labor and Delivery
Working directly as a nurse in the labor and delivery unit allows you to witness the divine intervention of childbirth almost every shift. Your job will entail guiding moms through pregnancy and birth while they are in active labor and gearing up new parents to bring their children home.
While most of the time this type of nursing is enjoyable, you must be prepared for any birthing problems, so excellent patience, empathy, and communication skills, as well as the capacity to remain calm under pressure, are required.
Scrub Nurse/Operating Room Nurse/Perioperative Nurse
If you’ve ever had an inpatient or outpatient medical procedure, you’ve probably met this type of nurse. Surgical nurses work directly with patients to guide them through the entire surgical process, from prepping to recovery. If you like instant satisfaction, this type of nursing is for you. You’ll often work with health personnel from a wide range of disciplines to solve a particular problem and experience the instant results of your efforts.
What Is the Average Salary for Nursing Graduates in Pennsylvania?
According to salary.com, as of June 2023, the average Graduate Nurse salary in Pennsylvania is $67,403, but the range typically falls between $61,465 and $77,053 a year.
Also, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for registered nurses was $81,220 in May 2022. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $61,250, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $129,400. The median annual wage for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses was $48,070 in May 2021. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,770, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $62,490.
Nurse practitioners, with their advanced degrees and specialized roles, tend to earn higher salaries. In Pennsylvania, NPs earned an average salary of $100,000 to $110,000 per year. Salary varies based on experience, location, and type of employer.
When choosing a career path, it’s important to consider salary. Nursing is a well-paying profession in Pennsylvania, offering opportunities for career growth and advancement.
Nursing Licensure in Pennsylvania
Nursing licensure in Pennsylvania is a significant process that ensures nurses are qualified to offer safe and effective care to patients. To become licensed, you must complete an approved nursing education program, pass the NCLEX, and meet state requirements. Stay updated on the latest licensing regulations and continuing education needs to maintain an active nursing license and make a positive impact on patients and communities.
To be eligible for nursing licensure in Pennsylvania, you must complete an approved nursing education program. The following fulfill the requirement:
- Diploma program
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
The program must be recognized by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
After successfully graduating from an approved nursing program, you must take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), the NCLEX assesses your readiness for entry-level nursing practice. You must register for the NCLEX through the NCSBN and pass the exam to qualify for licensure.
Following your NCLEX success, you can apply for licensure with the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. The application process involves submitting your nursing education transcripts, proof of NCLEX passing, and other necessary documents. The board will review your application, and upon approval, you will receive your nursing license.
Criminal Background Check
As part of the application, nursing candidates in Pennsylvania must undergo a criminal background check. While a criminal history does not automatically disqualify you, the board will carefully review your case before making a decision.
Upon obtaining your nursing license, it’s vital to maintain it through continuing education requirements. Pennsylvania mandates nurses to complete a specified number of continuing education hours during each renewal cycle. These courses keep you updated on industry developments and ensure your competence in providing quality patient care.
Nursing licenses in Pennsylvania must be renewed regularly, usually every two years, to remain active. Renewal involves submitting the required application and fulfilling continuing education requirements.
Accredited Accelerated Nursing Programs in Pennsylvania
If you’re looking to get started quickly, we have researched accredited accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania. Our goal is to focus on the three “A’s” of affordability, accreditation, and availability. If you need help finding the best school based on your selected program, please contact us. Find your college program.
How Long Does it Take to Earn an Accelerated Nursing Degree?
Earning a nursing degree can be lengthy, depending on your educational goals and the type of program you choose.
Many nurses looking to earn their degree as fast as possible will attend a 12 month accelerated nursing program. Typically, accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania can be complete in 16 to 24 months.
If you are interested in becoming a registered nurse, you must complete an accredited program of nursing, which can be completed in one to four years depending on previous nursing education.
If you want to pursue a higher level of education, such as a master’s or doctoral degree, you can expect to add two to eight years of study. However, the time it takes to earn a degree in nursing is ultimately up to you. You can tailor your education to fit your needs and schedule with many different nursing programs available. Whether you want to become a registered nurse or earn a higher degree, plenty of options are available.
How Much Does a Nursing Degree Cost?
When considering an accelerated nursing program, prospective students may wonder how much it will cost. Of course, the answer depends on several factors, including the program type and school. Students should budget at least $40,000 for a standard four-year accelerated BSN program. Tuition can cost up to $80,000, or perhaps even $100,000. BSN degrees are typically 120 credits in length, with universities and colleges charging per credit. With a nursing degree, graduates can expect to earn a good salary and enjoy job security in a growing industry.
Our ranking methodology focused on program length and cost for Pennsylvania residents. The top rankings went to the schools with the faster completion pathways possible to get a nursing degree and certification through an accelerated program. After ranking for the shortest program length, we ranked the schools by the cost of the tuition. Besides tuition, there may be other costs associated with attending each school. Please see the school’s website for the full costs.
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