Bachelor of Science Degree
Established in 1965, the General B.S. program is a four-year program that combines a broad liberal arts and science foundation with an extensive range of nursing courses. The program prepares students to provide nursing care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practice, long-term care, clinics, and health care/community agencies.
Students gain experience in diverse settings such as academic medical centers, rural hospitals, community agencies, schools, and prisons. After earning the B.S., students are eligible to take the national examination for licensure as a registered nurse (NCLEX).
Why a four-year nursing degree?
A four-year education helps nurses navigate the increasingly complex medical field. In its report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of all nurses have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree by 2020. Hospitals applying for Magnet status employ a larger percentage of nurses with a B.S. degree than those without. Many institutions have higher pay grades for baccalaureate-prepared nurses. A four-year degree is also the foundation for the advanced education needed for advanced practice positions (nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist) and other advanced nursing roles (administrator, educator, or researcher).
Associate of Science Degree in Nursing
The national picture of nursing education is changing. As a leader in the field, Penn State is transitioning the associate of science (A.S.) degree to a baccalaureate of science (B.S.) degree in Nursing at Altoona, Erie, Fayette, Mont Alto, and Worthington Scranton campuses. This transition aligns with the future of nursing practice and projected employment patterns. The fall 2014 semester was the final opportunity for admission to the two-year associate of science (A.S.) program in Nursing, and the first opportunity for admission to the four-year baccalaureate of science (B.S.) program in Nursing at these five campuses. For more information, visit the College of Nursing website.
CURRENT STUDENTS: Please refer to the College of Nursing website for access to the student handbook, recommended academic plan, and other necessary information.