Alvernia University (AU)

Alvernia University is a caring and inclusive learning community guided by Franciscan faith and values and by St. Bonaventure's concept, “knowledge joined with love.” Since 1973, Alvernia is well known for its quality nursing programs. Students Schools Scholarships

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  • Accreditations CCNE Accredited
  • Location Reading, Pennsylvania
  • Programs BSN, DNP, MSN, RN-to-MSN, RN-to-BSN, Entry-Level BSN, MSN-to-DNP, NP, Post-grad Certificate, Other
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Why should I choose the BSN program at Alvernia University?

You will learn from faculty who are experts in their specialty areas.  Not all-inclusive, many faculty members are nurses who are experts in the fields of maternal-child health, medical-surgical nursing, psychiatric nursing, critical care nursing, emergency/trauma nursing, and/or neonatal nursing.  At Alvernia, the instructor is an expert in the clinical setting in which they teach.

You will practice skills with state-of-the-art equipment in our nursing skills laboratory.  The skills lab at Alvernia gives the student cutting edge, innovative opportunities.

We have a flexible scheduling of skills practice with supportive and knowledgeable lab staff.  You are never alone as a student.  Faculty members are available to help you fully understand the subject matter.

You will develop nursing expertise in a variety of diverse clinical practice settings.  When you graduate, you will feel confident as you provide care for your patients.

Find out how to participate in campus and community service programs and service-learning courses.  Nursing is not only in the hospital. At Alvernia, you can go into the community and learn as well.

Join and participate in the Student Nurses Association.  Becoming involved at the school level can help you feel more confident as you interact with other nursing students.

Learn about political activism and patient advocacy in nursing.  You are the advocate for your patient.  At Alvernia, we will give you the confidence to be able to be that advocate.

You will enjoy small clinical and lab sections.

Alvernia has friendly and accessible faculty and staff members.


Pre-licensure Baccalaureate Nursing

This program gives the student an opportunity to become a nurse at the baccalaureate level.  After passing the NCLEX licensure exam, the graduate nurse will then be able to apply for RN licensure in their individual state. This program gives students the opportunity to learn in an environment in which the faculty care about the student and enable them to grow through the development of knowledge, professionalism, collaboration, and moral integrity.

RN to BSN Completion

I have already graduated with an Associate of Science in Nursing degree and am licensed as an RN.  My friend has a Diploma in Nursing.  He, too, has an RN license.  What is available for us?

You are ready to move on up to a BSN to become more marketable when looking for your next career opportunity.  We offer classes in a semester format over 8 weeks, throughout the year, with one day per week dedicated to classwork. We offer classes at our Main Campus (Reading) and our Philadelphia and Pottsville Centers.

Online RN to BSN Completion

The program is comparable to the RN to BSN Completion program, but RNs are able to take everything online. This option is for those who are self-motivated and can complete their work without being in the classroom.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

There is a growing need for advanced educated nurses. At Alvernia University the Master's degree in nursing graduate program is designed for professional nurses who seek a career in nursing education. There are two tracks from which to choose:

  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Leadership and Health Care Administration

If you have the heart of a teacher, the Nurse education track will be right for you. Students learn about instructing pre-licensure nursing students in classroom and clinical settings, teaching experienced RNs new skills in staff development positions, or planning totally new distance education offerings.

The Nurse Leadership track is for those who want to become quality nurse leaders in local, regional or national healthcare settings. Courses run over three semesters across the calendar year.  This helps keep the student on a steady pace. Each course combines a hybrid of web-based and live classroom work to meet our students’ needs.

Certification in Nurse Leadership

Four courses (12 credits) are offered to BSN prepared nurses to fulfill various leadership and management roles in the healthcare setting.  After completion, the student is awarded the Graduate Certificate in Nursing Leadership.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

I am really looking for a DNP program with a lot of flexibility because I have to keep working.  Will this program allow that?

It is expected that nurses are working while obtaining their DNP.  This is a one of a kind program at Alvernia University offering evening courses in a distance-friendly online blended format.  Additional on-campus intensive course offerings (weekend residency) are offered for several doctoral level courses. 

Students will gain clinical experience and develop critical thinking skills by working with Nurse Practitioner (NP) preceptors in the Reading, Lancaster, and Berks County region.

Post-BS Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN) Tracks

There are two tracks available for those who want to become Nurse Practitioners (NP).  The student must also complete clinical leadership-related courses: Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP) and the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).

Online Post-Master's DNP Clinical Leadership

This online program is for master’s-prepared and licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) who are seeking a practice doctorate to advance their careers to the highest level in nursing.

This program includes 35 credits of coursework and a minimum of 375 practicum hours while in the program to achieve a total of 1,000 practicum hours required by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. At Alvernia, there is an average 12:1 student-faculty ratio, with fewer than 20 students in most classes.

Accreditation and Approval

The BSN and MSN programs at Alvernia University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accredited Alvernia University.

The BSN program is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.


NICHE (2019)

  • Best College Dorms in America #359
  • Most Conservative Colleges in America #518
  • Safest College Campuses in America #702
  • Best Value Colleges in America #795
  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #1,390
  • Best College Dorms in Pennsylvania #27
  • Most Conservative Colleges in Pennsylvania #38
  • Safest College Campuses in Pennsylvania #42
  • Best Value Colleges in Pennsylvania #78
  • Most Diverse Colleges in Pennsylvania #95

US News & World Report ranked Alvernia University #105 (tie) in Regional Universities North (2019).

Alvernia University is featured in The Princeton Review (2018).

G.I. Jobs magazine named Alvernia as a Military Friendly School.

The prestigious Carnegie Foundation selected Alvernia as one of only 23 institutions in Pennsylvania and 361 nationally to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification., a leading provider of reviews and ratings in the higher education industry, named Alvernia to it's January 2015 list of Ten Best Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania for its graduate degree programs.

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