Widener University School of Nursing

Widener University School of Nursing offers CCNE accredited BSN, RN to BSN, ABSN, MSN, PhD, and DNP degree programs including programs for CNS, NP, Educators, and Executive Leadership roles, as well as post-master's certificates. Schools Scholarships Student Support

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Best ProgramsAccredited Public NonProfit

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

Widener University, a private, non-profit, institution, was founded in 1821.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) - Traditional

The pre-licensure undergraduate BSN program is designed for the new college student and is a full-time program. It takes four years to complete when a student enters as a freshman.

BSN - Accelerated

The accelerated BSN option at Widener is identical to the day program, but offered in the evening/weekend format. In only five semesters, this program can be completed and the student will earn the BSN degree. Classes, labs, and clinical experiences meet weekdays starting at 4 p.m., weekends, and evenings.

Requirements, BSN (not all inclusive)

Incoming Freshmen

  • ACT score of 19 or higher
  • ACT math minimum requirement for Chemistry 19 or higher; below 19, MATH 101 course required
  • Evidenced Based Reading/Writing and Math SAT score of 980 or higher
  • SAT math minimum requirement for Chemistry is 530 of higher; SAT math score below 530, MATH 101 course required
  • High school GPA of 2.85 or higher

Accelerated BSN Track Admission (not all inclusive)

  • 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA in previous course work
  • Letter of good standing from the dean/director/chair of the nursing program
  • Transcripts from prior college or university

RN to BSN (100% online)

The online RN to BSN program is designed for licensed registered nurses (RN) that hold a diploma or associate degree in nursing. The program makes it easy for students to transition to the graduate studies.

Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

  • Associate in Nursing degree or RN Diploma from a regionally accredited college or university
  • 2.0 minimum GPA
  • Active RN license



RNs with a BSN are eligible to transition to the MSN program with the completion of three undergraduate nursing courses. A State of Pennsylvania registered nursing license is required.

RNs with a bachelor's degree in another field of study are eligible to apply to the MSN program. A State of Pennsylvania registered nursing license is required.

Admission (not all inclusive)

  • Transcripts from ALL previously attended institutions of higher education
  • Licensure as an RN in the State of Pennsylvania
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in Nursing or Bachelor's degree
  • Undergraduate statistics course with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transcript/portfolio assessment
  • Current resume
  • Goal statement

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN and DNP courses are offered in a hybrid format which blends on-campus meetings on the Harrisburg or Chester campuses with Internet-based technologies.

The Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner program is offered on both the Harrisburg and Chester campuses.

Specialty Tracks and Post-Master's Certificates

  • Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) CRNP (FNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (A-G CNS)
  • Nursing Education
  • Executive Nurse Leadership

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

There are two options for this program: an accelerated format for bachelor's prepared nurses and the traditional post-master's format.

Post-Baccalaureate RN to DNP

The program is designed to prepare graduates to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based disease management care and/or to organize care for multiple chronic conditions for individuals and populations.

Post-Baccalaureate RN to DNP Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) CRNP

This program prepares graduates to perform acts of medical diagnosis and prescription of medical therapeutics and corrective measures in primary care, collaborating with interprofessional teams in the nurse practitioner role with emphasis across the lifespan.

Post-Baccalaureate RN to DNP Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

This program of study prepares graduates with a broad foundation in health promotion and disease prevention, concepts of wellness and illness care, and clinical decision-making grounded in evidence-based practices. Caring for late adolescents, adults, and older adults is the focus.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The primary goal of the PhD program is the preparation of nurse scholars and leaders in nursing education.

MSN to PhD

Graduates provide leadership as practitioners, teachers, and scholars with the focus always being on evidence-based practice for nursing, health care, and education. After successfully completing the doctoral requirements, including the dissertation, the PhD degree will be awarded.

Accreditation and Approval

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the baccalaureate, master's, and DNP programs at Widener University.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredited Widener University.

The Nursing program is approved by the State Board of Nurse Examiners of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


US News & World Report (2019-2020)

  • #194 (tie) in National Universities
  • #264-#346 in Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #135 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #125 in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice

NICHE (2019)

  • Best Value Colleges in America #349 of 1,590
  • Most Conservative Colleges in America #582 of 725
  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #1,108 of 1,592
  • Best Value Colleges in Pennsylvania #40 of 110
  • Most Conservative Colleges in Pennsylvania #47 of 60
  • Most Diverse Colleges in Pennsylvania #67 of 105
  • Best Value Colleges in Philadelphia Area #15 of 36

College Factual ranked Widener University #81 Colleges for the Money in Pennsylvania (2018-2019).

Washington Monthly College Guide ranked Widener University in the top 10 in service and 55th overall among national universities.

Widener University was ranked by Newsweek (No. 19) as a service-minded college in the nation.

Payscale.com's listed Widener University #28 in their "Best Colleges in Pennsylvania by Salary Potential".

Widener University was awarded a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence for 2017-2022.

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