MSN Programs Pennsylvania

The aging population, greater accessibility to health coverage and longer life expectancy fuel an incessant demand for primary care services. Meanwhile, a shortage of primary care physicians to meet demands raises concerns for patients, especially those in rural areas. Efforts to educate and train more primary care physicians will not address the immediate need, so expanding the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants is considered a feasible solution for the short and long term.

In light of the role of nurse practitioners, or Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners as they’re called in Pennsylvania, legislation has been presented to allow independent practice authority. Currently, CRNPs practice within a collaborative agreement with a supervising physician. With the passage of the proposed bill, nurse practitioners will have the authority to make diagnoses without reference to a collaborating physician. They would be able to prescribe medication independently – within the limits of the clinical specialty or area of population focus.

Since nurse practitioners’ main role is in the area of primary care, they will be capable of managing more than 90 percent of patient cases in health centers and retail clinics. They provide reliable and consistent service to patients in rural areas, bringing quality care to uninsured patients and vulnerable populations.

With proper training, through a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) program or doctorate, nurse practitioners are prepared to provide high-quality care to patients. Major studies prove that the patient outcomes are as good as or even better than other providers. Moreover, primary care services from nurse practitioners will save money and deliver much-needed care to residents in rural areas.

Specialized Learning

A constantly changing health care landscape makes higher education for nurses more of a necessity than a luxury. Registered nurses who want to stay on top of the latest practices and regulations and implement research findings to improve patient outcomes will enroll in the master’s degree in nursing program. The MSN prepares students for a role in leadership, education, or administration. Studies in health care policy and leadership prepare students to make positive changes in the health care system.

The comprehensive curriculum emphasizes advanced nursing principles, health policy, complex issues and trends in nursing, economic perspectives, and the provision of health care services to diverse populations. In addition to core courses, students will complete specialty track courses to prepare for their chosen advanced practice role. Clinical practice experiences, completed under the supervision of a qualified preceptor, will provide further opportunities to develop in the area of specialty. The clinical practical hours may be used to qualify for admission to the DNP program.

Flexible online learning lets students pursue advanced learning without compromising work and life responsibilities. The curriculum is covered entirely online with the exemption of the clinical practice, which requires student participation at a local health care facility. Full-time students are able to prepare for an advanced practice role in four to five semesters. At the conclusion of the program, graduates will be prepared for national certification as a nurse practitioner, nurse executive, nurse educator, clinical nurse specialist, or another chosen area of specialty.

Here are three options to pursue an MSN degree:

RN to MSN: Students enrolled in the RN-to-MSN program have a unique opportunity to complete two degrees in less time that it takes to complete them individually. The BSN component helps registered nurses immediately improve the leadership and management functions as clinical nurses. Students may have the opportunity to commence graduate-level courses from the onset or at some later point. They prepare students for the specialty track and provide graduate level knowledge to develop competent leaders, administrators, educators, and executives.

Direct Entry MSN: Registered nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree can enroll in the direct entry MSN to develop advanced clinical skills. Pennsylvania’s universities offer nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist programs with various population focus to fill the two roles that the Board of Nursing recognizes. Students may also select other specialty roles, such as nursing administration, nurse anesthetist, and public health nursing.

Post-Master’s Certificate: The post-master’s certificate option is open to nurses who hold a master of science in nursing degree. It gives nurses the expertise to contribute or to develop a plan of care for patients, to fill an execute role, to educate other nurses, develop health policy, and to serve in a specialized clinical role – based on the selected area of study. The complex and fast-paced curriculum will also prepare graduates for national certification in another role.

Requirements

  • A completed application for enrollment and non-refundable application fee
  • A baccalaureate or associate’s degree in nursing from an accredited program.
  • Official transcripts from all graduate and undergraduate institutions attended
  • A grade C or above in undergraduate statistics
  • A current and unencumbered registered nursing license in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • A personal statement describing purpose and goals for the selected specialty track
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A curriculum vitae or resume
  • Attend a personal interview

Admission to an MSN program may be based on the availability of space although enrollment is typically not competitive. It is important to complete the statistics course and meet the other requirements before applying.

Requirements For Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing recognizes two advanced practice roles: Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) and Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).

Candidates for advanced practice licensure must hold an unrestricted RN license in Pennsylvania. A registered nurse license can be obtained through examination or endorsement – for RNs who hold a license in another US state or territory or Canada.

Following are the steps for applying for certification for advanced practice as a CRNP or CNS in Pennsylvania.

Guidelines for CRNP Certification

For the initial application for CRNP certification:

  • Complete and mail the Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner Certification application to the State Board of Nursing.
  • Enclose the fee of $100 in the form of a personal check, money order or cashier’s check. The fee should be made payable to the “Commonwealth or Pennsylvania.’ All payments are non-refundable.
  • Fill out the application completely and provide a social security number. You will not be able to renew your license if you do not provide an SSN to the Board of Nursing.
  • Provide verification of completing an accredited nurse practitioner program. Send a copy of Form 2 (Verification of Nurse Practitioner Program) to the Director of the nursing program. The Director must fill out the form and return directly to the Board of Nursing.
  • Provide documentation of certification from a Board-recognized national certifying organization. Verification of your certification must be sent from the certifying agency directly to the PA Board of Nursing. Verification is required for the initial licensure only.
  • Provide a detailed, signed and dated personal explanation, court documents, and a recent criminal history record check from the Pennsylvania State Police if you answer “yes” to question 2 or 3 of the Criminal / Discipline History questions.

Notes:

  1. Graduates of an out-of-state Nurse Practitioner program must request an official transcript from the nursing program to be sent directly to the PA State Board of Nursing. The transcript must indicate the degree or certificate awarded and the month, day and year of program completion.
  2. The Board must receive the application within 90 days of the date the application is signed. It is valid for one year from the date signed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit all the required documents within the one-year time frame.
  3. A licensed CNS must obtain and maintain professional liability coverage at a level required for non-participating health care providers.
  1. Board-approved certifying organizations for nurse practitioners include:
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • National Certification Corporation
  • Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

Additional Requirements for CRNP Endorsement Applicants

Applicants for licensure by endorsement must meet the following additional requirements:

  • Submit Form 3 to the original licensing authority to verify licensure in another state or territory.
  • Submit Form 2 to the Nurse Practitioner program to verify your nurse practitioner education.

The Board may require details of the licensure or certification requirements at the time of your initial licensure/certification in the other jurisdiction. The Board may contact the Director of the nursing program if additional information is needed.

Guidelines for CNS Certification

For the initial application for CRNP licensure:

  • Complete and mail the Clinical Nurse Specialist Certification application to the State Board of Nursing.
  • Enclose the fee of $100 in the form of a personal check, money order or cashier’s check. The fee should be made payable to the “Commonwealth or Pennsylvania.’ All payments are non-refundable.
  • Fill out the application completely and provide a social security number. You will not be able to renew your license if you do not provide an SSN to the Board of Nursing.
  • Provide verification of completing an accredited CNS program. An official transcript must be mailed directly to the Board from the CNS education program. The transcript must designate the degree awarded and the month, day and year you completed the program.
  • Provide documentation of certification from a national certifying organization or equivalency. If you’re not eligible for national certification, you should forward your curriculum vitae, course descriptions of from the CNS program, three professional recommendations confirming your work experience in the CNS role, and any national certification and transcripts of any other advanced nursing education.
  • Provide a detailed, signed and dated personal explanation, court documents, and a recent criminal history record check from the Pennsylvania State Police if you answer “yes” to question 2 or 3 of the Criminal / Discipline History questions.

Notes:

  1. Graduates of an out-of-state CNS program must request an official transcript from the nursing program to be sent directly to the PA State Board of Nursing. The transcript must indicate the degree or certificate awarded and the month, day and year of program completion.
  2. The Board must receive the application within 90 days of the date the application is signed. It is valid for one year from the date signed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit all the required documents within the one-year time frame.
  3. The specialty designation on the PA CNS certificate will reflect the national certification designation. If you’re not eligible for national certification, you will be designated as “without specialty” by the Board.
  4. A licensed CNS must obtain and maintain professional liability coverage at a level required for non-participating health care providers.

Additional Requirements for CRNP Endorsement Applicants

Applicants for certification by endorsement must meet the following additional requirements:

  • Complete Section A of the Verification of Licensure and forward to the licensing/certifying agency in the jurisdiction where you hold a CNS license.
  • Contact the agency to determine and pay any fees for verifying your license.
  • Ensure that the agency mails verification directly to the Board.

The Board may require details of the licensure or certification requirements at the time of your initial licensure/certification in the other jurisdiction. The Board may contact the Director of the nursing program if additional information is needed.

Prescriptive Authority (CRNP)

If you are applying for prescriptive authority, you must include the following with a completed application for prescriptive authority:

  • Documentation of completing 45 hours of coursework in advanced pharmacology.
  • The application fee of $50. Checks or money order must be made out to the “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Additional applications for CRNP prescriptive authority will not require verification of completing advanced pharmacology and will cost $30.

APRN Renewal Requirements Pennsylvania

Advanced practice certification (CRNP or CNS) and prescriptive authority will expire at the same time as the registered nursing license. Certification expires on a biennial basis. The Board of Nursing will mail a courtesy reminder of the upcoming renewal to your address on file.

Renewal requires:

  • Documentation of current national certification
  • Attestation of completing the required general and pharmacological continuing education requirements
  • A completed application for renewal
  • Application renewal fee – payable to the “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. CRNP renewal costs $75, and CNS costs $50. The renewal fee for prescriptive authority is $25.

Continuing Education Requirements

For each biennial renewal period, you must complete 30 hours of continuing education. Failure to complete the requirements could lead to non-renewal of your certification and/or disciplinary action. All continuing education must be from a board-approved provider.

Renewal of prescriptive authority requires completion of 16 out of the 30 hours in pharmacology – pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics.

All continuing education courses must be related to your area of specialty and meet the Board’s standard of approval.

Contact the Board of Nursing

Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing

Mailing Address
State Board of Nursing
P.O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649

Physical Address
One Penn Center, 2601 N. 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Phone: (717) 783-7142
Fax: (717) 783-0822
[email protected]

MSN Programs Pennsylvania

Ashton, PA MSN Programs:
Neumann University
One Neumann Drive, Aston, PA 19014-1298
610-459-0905

Bloomsburg, PA MSN Programs:
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
400 East Second Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815-1301
570-389-4000

Center Valley, PA MSN Programs:
DeSales University
2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA 18034
610-282-1100

Chester, PA MSN Programs:
Widener University
One University Place, Chester, PA 19013
1-888-WIDENER

Clarion, PA MSN Programs:
Clarion University
40 Wood Street, Clarion, PA 16214
800-672-7171

Dallas, PA MSN Programs:
Misericordia University
301 Lake Street, Dallas, PA 18612
570-674-6400

Erie, PA MSN Programs:
Gannon University
109 University Square, Erie, PA 16541
814-871-7000

Greensburg, PA MSN Programs:
Excela Health
134 Industrial Park Road, Suite 2000, Greensburg, PA 15601
1-877-771-1234

Gwynedd Valley, PA MSN Programs:
Gwynedd Mercy University
1325 Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437
215-646-7300

Immaculate, PA MSN Programs:
Immaculate University
1145 King Road, Immaculate, PA 19345
610-647-4400

Indiana, PA MSN Programs:
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
1011 South Drive, Indiana, PA 15705
724-357-2100

Lancaster, PA MSN Programs:
Eastern Mennonite University
PO Box 10936, Lancaster, PA 17605-0936
717-397-5190

Mansfield, PA MSN Programs:
Mansfield University
31 South Academy Street, Suite- 1, Mansfield, PA 16933
570-662-4000

Millersville, PA MSN Programs:
Millersville University
P.O. Box 1002, Millersville, PA 17551-0302
717-872-3011

Moon Township, PA MSN Programs:
Robert Morris University
6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108
800-762-0097

Philadelphia, PA MSN Programs:
Holy Family University
9801 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114
215-637-7700

La Salle University
1900 West Olney Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19141
215-951-1000

Nazareth Hospital
2601 Holme Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19152
215-335-6000

Drexel University
3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-895-2000

Philadelphia University
4201 Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144
215-951-2700

Thomas Jefferson University
1020 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-955-6000

Temple University
1316 West Ontario Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140
215-707-4800

The University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– 19104
1-215-898-5000

Pittsburgh, PA MSN Programs:
Carlow University
3333 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
800-333-2275

Duquesne University
600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15282
412-396-6000

La Roche College
9000 Babcock Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5808
412-367-9300

Reading, PA MSN Programs:
Alvernia University
400 Saint Bernardine Street, Reading, PA 19607
610-796-8217

Scranton, PA MSN Programs:
Marywood University
300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509
570-348-6211

The University of Scranton
Scranton, PA 18510
570-941-7400

Titusville, PA MSN Programs:
University of Pittsburgh
504 East Main Street, Titusville, PA 16354
888-878-0462

University Park, PA MSN Programs:
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Health and Human Development East, University Park, PA 16802
814-863-0245

Villanova, PA MSN Programs:
Villanova University
800 East Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085
610-519-4500

Waynesburg, PA MSN Programs:
Waynesburg University
51 West College Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370
1-800-225-7393

West Chester, PA MSN Programs:
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
700 South High Street, West Chester, PA 19383
610-436-1000

Wilkes-Barre, PA MSN Programs:
Wilkes University
84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
1-800-WILKES-U

York, PA MSN Programs:
York College of Pennsylvania
441 Country Club Road, York, PA 17403-3651
717-846-7788

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