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University of Pennsylvania

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LAST UPDATED: June 27th, 2019

The University of Pennsylvania strives to teach exceptional students to be exceptional nurses. Penn Nursing provides its students with a state-of-the-art simulation center, student research opportunities, classrooms with the latest medical records technology, and scrupulous clinical experience. 

Penn Nursing's faculty also includes some of the top researchers in the world, whose work is nationally and internationally recognized. 

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The Good

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Accelerated Nursing Programs
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs
  • Veterans at Penn

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Penn Nursing undergraduates have access to everything at the university. Undergrad students will benefit from dedicated faculty members, most of whom are recognized worldwide. Students will also have plenty of academic opportunities and will gain clinical experience. Clinicals begin during the spring of sophomore year and allows students to have experiences working in primary care, acute care, women’s health, and mental health, as well as working with newborn and older patients. 

Accelerated Nursing Programs

Students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field and/or have an RN license have the option to apply to the BSN Second Degree, Direct Entry BSN-MSN/DNP, or BSN-PhD accelerated program. 

Accelerated students complete their BSN degree in 18 months and have the option to choose from 14 master specialties. Students can also have dual degrees in public health, bioethics, and business administration. 

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs

The field of nursing is complex and continually evolving, and Penn Nursing’s MSN program offers students the opportunities to gain experience in a wide variety of specialties. 

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:
  • Nurse-Midwifery

Administration Programs:

  • Health Leadership
  • Nursing and Healthcare Administration

Veterans at Penn

The University of Pennsylvania honors the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. The school and programs have committed funds to the Yellow Ribbon Program, but there are limited openings and the award is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Interested veterans should contact that school for more information. 


The Bad

  • Competitive Accelerated Program
  • Low Acceptance Rate

Competitive Accelerated Program

The Accelerated Program is quite competitive, and the school only admits 25 to 30 percent of its pool. Students should also be aware that the accelerated BSN cannot be completed part-time or online. 

Low Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate for the University of Pennsylvania is around 10 percent, which is relatively low.


The Bottom Line

Penn Nursing students will benefit from the state-of-the-art simulation lab, plenty of student research opportunities, and clinical experience. Students just out of high school are able to apply and have several opportunities to gain experience in several fields. The accelerated program is another opportunity for students to earn a BSN degree in as little as 18 months. However, the accelerated program is competitive and the acceptance rate is relatively low. 

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