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2021 Best Colleges for Nursing in Pennsylvania

Nursing is a popular major and Pennsylvania is the 10th most popular state for students studying this major. 11,569 of the 296,913 Nursing degrees earned last year were given by colleges in Pennsylvania. With so many choices it can be difficult finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Nursing in Pennsylvania ranking analyzed 55 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in nursing. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 8 colleges for Nursing students in Pennsylvania.

Choosing a Great Nursing School

Best Colleges for Nursing in Pennsylvania Your choice of nursing school matters. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we include a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a combination of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 30% of our overall quality ranking.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 452 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

A nursing degree from colleges on this list usually results in above average earnings after graduation. While the average nursing bachelors degree from Pennsylvania schools results in an average starting salary of $64,839, graduates of colleges on this list average $67,588.

Starting Salary  ( 62873 to 72926 )
$0
$76,400

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Nursing students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other nursing students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized nursing related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Nursing students in Pennsylvania.

Best Schools to Study Nursing in Pennsylvania

Learn about the top ranked colleges and universities for nursing majors.

Top 10 Best Nursing Colleges in Pennsylvania

#1

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University is a good option for students interested in a Nursing degree. Drexel is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 186 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Drexel is a great college overall.

There are roughly 1013 nursing undergrads enrolled in this program at Drexel. Graduates from the nursing program at Drexel University make $4,616 above the standard college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

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#2

Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia, PA

It is difficult to beat Thomas Jefferson University if you wish to pursue nursing as a major. Located in the large city Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population. This college ranks 30th out of 123 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There are about 521 nursing undergraduates studying this program at Thomas Jefferson University. Thomas Jefferson University nursing majors earn $2,716 more than the average nursing student.

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#3

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

It's hard to beat Villanova University if you want to pursue nursing as a major. Located in the suburb Villanova, Villanova is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 78 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Villanova is a great school overall.

A preferred major for nursing undergraduates, there are approximately 329 students studying this degree at Villanova. Graduates from the nursing major at Villanova University make $2,516 above the typical graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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#4

University of Scranton

Scranton, PA

University of Scranton is a great decision for students pursuing a Nursing major. Scranton is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Scranton. A Best Colleges rank of 159 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Scranton is a great college overall.

University of Scranton is a fairly popular college to study nursing in Pennsylvania with over 124 graduates last year. Graduates from the nursing degree program at University of Scranton earn $11,116 above the standard college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

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#5

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

UPenn is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 9 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UPenn is a great school overall.

There are approximately 530 nursing undergrads studying this degree at UPenn. Graduates of the nursing program make about $64,700 in the first couple years of their career.

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PA College is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Lancaster. This school ranks 29th out of 123 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There are approximately 420 nursing undergrads enrolled in this degree at PA College. Students who graduate from this degree state that they receive average early career earnings of $63,900.

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#7

Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Valley, PA

Located in the large suburb Gwynedd Valley, Gwynedd - Mercy is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. This school ranks 70th out of 123 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

A favorite major for nursing undergraduates, there are approximately 411 learners studying this degree at Gwynedd - Mercy. Gwynedd Mercy University nursing students receive $5,116 more than the typical nursing graduate.

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#8

Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Pittsburgh. This college ranks 24th out of 123 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

Duquesne University is a fairly popular school to study nursing in Pennsylvania exceeding 312 graduates last year. Graduates of the nursing program make around $59,600 in the first couple years of their career.

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#9

Chatham University

Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Pittsburgh. This college ranks 40th out of 123 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

Chatham University is a fairly popular college to study nursing in Pennsylvania with over 128 graduates last year. After graduating, nursing students typically earn an average of $64,900 in the first five years of their career.

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Located in the large city Pittsburgh, Pitt is a public school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 129 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Pitt is a great college overall.

University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus is one of the most popular college to study nursing in Pennsylvania exceeding 300 graduates last year. Students who graduate from the nursing program earn about $58,800 in the first couple years of working.

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Best Nursing Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region

Explore all the Best Nursing Schools in the Middle Atlantic Area or other specific states within that region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
New York 324 15,459
Maryland 275 3,846
New Jersey 264 5,424
District of Columbia 183 1,103
Delaware 163 1,186

One of 34 majors within the Health Professions area of study, Nursing has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Allied Health Professions 3,300
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 2,946
Health & Medical Administrative Services 2,583
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 2,392
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 2,029

View All Nursing Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Aleksahgabrielle. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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