DeSales University

At DeSales University, nursing students are exposed to the virtues and philosophy of Christian Humanism as they seek quality BSN, MSN, and DNP nursing degrees. Schools Scholarships Student Support

Best ProgramsAccredited Hybrid On-campus Online Private

BSN   DNP   MSN   RN-to-MSN   RN-to-BSN   Entry-Level BSN   MSN-to-DNP   CNS   NP   BSN-to-DNP   Accelerated BSN   Post-grad Certificate   Other  

  • Accreditations CCNE
  • Location(s) Pennsylvania
  • Address 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, Pennsylvania, 18034
  • Telephone 1-610-282-1100
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In 1964, DeSales University was founded as a private, not-for-profit, Catholic liberal arts institution that received its name from St. Francis de Sales, who lived over 400 years ago and was admired throughout the Church. St. Francis de Sales was known for his sanctity, learning, missionary zeal, gentleness, and understanding of the human heart. In 1974, the Department of Nursing was established, along with the first Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.


Traditional Day BSN

This Traditional Day BSN program is designed for individuals who want to become RNs in the traditional college setting. The program is full time and conducted during daytime hours. A final project, called the capstone, is an experience where the student takes on the care of patients and functions as a nurse under the direction of a preceptor. Those who complete their degree with a 3.0 GPA are eligible to enter graduate courses.

Evening and Online RN to BSN

This online, evening RN to BSN program is designed for RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Courses are flexible to help the nurse continue with his or her daily commitments. RN experience and previous credits are transferred. There are no clinical hours within the program. The program courses are 8-week sessions. Qualified students have the option to take up to 3 MSN courses to satisfy elective courses as part of the RN-MSN program.  

Accelerated BSN

The Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN program is available for students who want to work at an accelerated pace, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 15 consecutive months, and already hold a bachelor's degree in another field.  

The program has the same education, clinical hours, and lab hours as the traditional program, but at an accelerated speed. After completing the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a Registered Nurse (RN).

Clinicals are held in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding area nursing homes, hospitals, etc.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN program at Desales University helps prepare the nurse for an advanced practice role.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family/Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

  • MSN/MBA Dual Degree:  Online and/or In Class
  • RN-MSN
  • MSN Completion for Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Nurse Practitioners

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Certificate Programs

  • Post-MSN Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-MSN Adult Gerontology Acute Care CNS
  • Nurse Educator
  • Post-Master's FNP
  • Post-Master's Adult-Gerontology Acute Care CNS
  • Post-Master's Nurse Educator

MSN Admissions Requirements (not all inclusive)

  • BSN from an ACEN or CCNE accredited institution - cumulative GPA 3.0 or higher
  • Registered Nurse license or eligibility for licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • 12 months full-time nursing practice within the last three (3) years
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner track, evidence of two years RN experience - evidence of the equivalent of 12 months full-time nursing practice in an adult acute/critical care specialty area within the last two (2) years (preferably in critical care, trauma or emergency units)
  • Post-Master's Certificate Programs, evidence of a minimum of one (1) year RN experience within the past two (2) years
  • For applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement, required GRE or MAT

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP program is for students who want to take their degree to a terminal level in nursing. The degree requirements are met within a seven-semester time frame, with an additional five semesters required for the MBA option.

The program is available in a hybrid or online format, giving the nurse the flexibility of still work while completing the doctoral study; fulltime or part-time options are available.

Track Options

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Clinical Leadership
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Clinical Leadership with an MBA
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership with an MBA

Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

Clinical Leadership Track

  • BSN from ACEN or CCNE accredited institution
  • MSN from an ACEN or CCNE accredited institution with cumulative GPA 3.3 or higher
  • Master's level statistics course with a grade of "B" or better within the last 5 years
  • Current U.S. RN license
  • National certification as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) - (NP, CNS, CNM, CRNA)
  • Minimum 500 preceptor/supervised clinical practicum hours during the APRN program
  • Equivalent of 12 months of full-time advanced nursing practice within the last three years

Executive Leadership Track

  • BSN from an ACEN or CCNE accredited institution
  • MSN from an ACEN or CCNE accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale in one of the five following Concentrations: Health Administration, Health Policy, Clinical Informatics, Clinical Leadership/Clinical Nurse Leader, or Public Health
  • Master's level statistics course with a grade of "B" or better within the last 5 years
  • Current U.S. RN license
  • National certification strongly recommended but not required

The program will provide up to 1,000 hours of practice post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program that aligns with the corresponding DNP Essential(s) and to verify that standards specific to advanced practice have been met

Nurse Scholars Program - 5 year BSN/MSN

Students who are in high school are able to apply to the Nurse Scholars Program. This program is for those who want to graduate with an MSN and BSN degree, all within 5 calendar years.


US News and World Report (2019-2020)

  • #55 (tie) in Regional Universities North
  • #43 in Best Value Schools
  • #264 (tie) in Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #118-#154 in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs

NICHE (2019)

  • Safest College Campuses in America #23 of 1,357
  • Most Conservative Colleges in America #152 of 725
  • Best College Dorms in America #542 of 1,370
  • Best Value Colleges in America #563 of 1,590
  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #887 of 1,592
  • Safest College Campuses in Pennsylvania #3 of 89
  • Most Conservative Colleges in Pennsylvania #13 of 60
  • Best College Dorms in Pennsylvania#40 of 103
  • Most Diverse Colleges in Pennsylvania #52 of 105
  • Best Value Colleges in Pennsylvania #66 of 110
  • Best Value Colleges in Allentown Area #6 of 7

MONEY Magazine ranked DeSales University #462 Best Colleges For Your Money (2018-2019).

Approval and Accreditation

The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing approved the nursing programs at DeSales University.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the baccalaureate degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, as well as the post-graduate APRN certificate programs at DeSales University.

DeSales University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

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