University of Pennsylvania (Penn) - Penn Nursing

The School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) at Penn, ranks as the best nursing school in the world and has the most number one rated master’s programs in the United States. Academic nursing programs include, BSN, RN to BSN, ABSN, MSN, DNP, PhD, CNS, Nurse Midwifery, Nurse Anesthesia, and Nurse Practitioner. Students Schools Scholarships

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  • Accreditations CCNE Accredited
  • Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Programs BSN, DNP, MSN, RN-to-BSN, Entry-Level BSN, MSN-to-DNP, MSN to PhD, CRNA, CNS, CNM, NP, PhD, BSN-to-PhD, BSN-to-DNP, Accelerated BSN, Post-grad Certificate, Other
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Founded in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is a private Ivy League research university and one of nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

The nursing school was established in 1886. In 1988, the School of Nursing became the first nursing school to be officially designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Center (WHOCC) for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership. Penn Nursing celebrated its 125th year anniversary in 2011.


Traditional Four-Year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

The traditional four-year bachelor of science in nursing program assists incoming freshmen in achieving a four-year BSN. Clinical rotations start in the Spring of the student's sophomore year. High school students apply for the undergraduate degree through the university's central admissions office.

The Accelerated Bachelor's program is designed for students who hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field and would like to become an RN. Students holding an ADN or Diploma in Nursing have the option to apply to the BSN Second Degree, Direct Entry BSN-MSN/DNP, or BSN-PhD accelerated program.

The BSN Second Degree program is designed for students holding a non-nursing degree.

The Direct Entry BSN/MSN program is for students pursuing an MSN and who do not plan to work between obtaining the BSN and MSN degrees.

The Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation is designed for highly motivated students who have an interest in the PhD in Nursing program. This program admits the student directly into the program after completing the BSN.

Accelerated nursing students complete the BSN degree in 18 months. There are 14 master's specialties from which to choose, including dual degree programs. Many students choose to start working and complete the MSN degree while employed.


Master of Science in Nursing/Post-Master's

Minimum qualifications (not all inclusive)

All applicants must have completed a BSN at an accredited college or university. A statistics course is required. Competitive applicants have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the undergraduate BSN program. Applicants who have completed the BSN program in the United States with a GPA of 3.2 or greater are eligible to have the GRE requirement waived.

Nurse Practitioner Programs

  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
  • Family
  • Neonatal
  • Pediatric Acute Care
  • Pediatric Primary Care
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health
  • Women's Health/Gender-Related

Advanced Specialist Programs

  • Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse-Midwifery
  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist

Administration Programs

  • Health Leadership
  • Nursing and Healthcare Administration

Programs Requiring RN Experience

  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP - 1 year RN experience in acute care setting
  • Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist - 1 year RN experience in acute care setting
  • Neonatal NP - 2 years RN experience (post-orientation) in a level III NICU
  • Pediatric Acute NP, Chronic Care Concentration - 2 years RN experience (post-orientation) on an inpatient pediatric unit
  • Pediatric Acute NP, Critical Care Concentration - 2 years RN experience taking care of critically ill children
  • Pediatric Acute NP, Pediatric Oncology Concentration - 2 years RN experience on a pediatric oncology unit

RN experience must be met prior to the start of clinical rotation(s). In all programs except Nurse Anesthesia, non-clinical courses may be taken part-time while completing the required work experience.

Post-Master's Certificates

  • Adult Gerontology
  • Adult Oncology
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Family
  • Health Leadership
  • Neonatal
  • Nurse-Midwifery
  • Nursing and Healthcare Administration
  • Pediatric
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health
  • Transformative Nursing Education
  • Women's Health/Gender Related

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Nurse Anesthesia

Replacing the original MSN program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice for Nurse Anesthetists (DNP-NA) is the first to be offered by an Ivy League university.

Initial experience is obtained in the simulation center; during clinical rotations, the student has the opportunity to work with patients in pediatric, cardiac, and non-cardiac thoracic specialties.

The DNP-NA program is full-time, 36 month, 38.5 credit course of study.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Students with an MSN or MS (in a related field) are eligible for the PhD program.

The program has a focus on research with 22 course units and usually complete the work in three to four years. At that time, the student will be on dissertation status until the final dissertation defense.

The Hillman Scholars program offers an accelerated path for students that tracks high achieving undergraduates from BSN to PhD

BSN to PhD

The program includes a clinical nurse fellowship in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Health System.


The MS-PhD track is for applicants who hold a bachelor's degree but do not desire a clinical master's degree. This option allows students to take general classes at the master's level and prepare to begin the doctoral program.


If the student has completed an undergraduate degree, he or she can enter this program to earn an MSN and a PhD.


The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs and the Master of Science Nurse Practitioner programs.

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) accredited the Nurse Anesthesia program.

The Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) accredited the Nurse Midwifery program.

The University of Pennsylvania is formally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).


The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing ranked as the number one nursing school in the world according to a recent survey by QS World University.

US News & World Report (2019)

  • #8 (tie) in National Universities
  • #12 in Best Value Schools
  • #32 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
  • #4 in Best Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #3 (tie) in Nurse Practitioner: Adult / Gerontology, Acute Care
  • #2 in Nurse Practitioner: Adult / Gerontology, Primary Care
  • #4 in Nurse Practitioner: Family#1 in Nurse Practitioner: Pediatric, Primary Care
  • #3 in Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric / Mental Health, Across the Lifespan
  • #1 in Nursing Administration
  • #29 (tie) in Nursing-Anesthesia
  • #7 (tie) in Nursing-Midwifery
  • #16 Best Global Universities

Niche (2019)

  • Best Colleges for Nursing in America #1 of 599
  • Best Colleges in America #6 of 1,647
  • Top Private Universities in America #6 of 975
  • Best Value Colleges in America #9 of 1,590
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in America #10 of 1,591
  • Colleges with the Best Student Life in America #24 of 1,542
  • Top Party Schools in America #24 of 1,520
  • Best College Locations in America #63 of 1,553
  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #65 of 1,592
  • Most Liberal Colleges in America #111 of 687
  • Best College Campuses in America #128 of 1,408
  • Best Colleges in Pennsylvania #1 of 111
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in Pennsylvania #1 of 111
  • Best Value Colleges in Pennsylvania #1 of 110
  • Top Private Universities in Pennsylvania #1 of 73
  • Best Colleges for Nursing in Pennsylvania #1 of 53
  • Colleges with the Best Student Life in Pennsylvania #2 of 109
  • Most Diverse Colleges in Pennsylvania #3 of 105
  • Most Liberal Colleges in Pennsylvania #6 of 44
  • Best College Locations in Pennsylvania #7 of 107
  • Best Colleges in Philadelphia Area #1 of 36
  • Best Value Colleges in Philadelphia Area #1 of 36

Forbes (2019)

  • #7 Top Colleges
  • #7 in Private Colleges
  • #7 in Research Universities
  • #5 in the Northeast
  • #28 America's Best Value Colleges

The Princeton Review (2019)

  • The Best 384 Colleges
  • Best Northeastern
  • Green Colleges
  • Top 50 - Colleges That Pay You Back - #25

MONEY Magazine ranked UPenn #14 Best Colleges For Your Money (2018-2019).

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