Graduate Nursing Programs in Philadelphia

The diverse city of Philadelphia offers nurses the potential for a range of nursing graduate program at the master's and doctoral level. Information regarding a range of these programs is presented.

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Graduate Nursing Programs in Philadelphia

Nurses who wish to advance their career might consider earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing. Philadelphia, with multiple academic hospitals and institutions of higher education, is a great place to pursue higher education in nursing. Read on to learn more about some graduate programs in nursing in Philadelphia and the admission requirements for these programs.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university, offers graduate nursing programs at both the master's and doctoral level. The master's program prepares students as nurse practitioners in a range of specialties, including psychiatric-mental health and neonatal. There are also master's level tracks for nurse midwives and nursing administration. The DNP degree is available to those who wish to become nurse anesthetists and those who already hold an advanced practice nursing degree. The PhD in nursing program focuses on preparing nurses as scholars. Dual degree programs are available at both the master's and doctoral level, including a Master of Bioethics and a Master of Business Administration. Another avenue to pursue specialization is through the choice of a minor, in areas including Autism Spectrum Disorder, forensic science, and global health. Students have opportunities to engage in clinical practice through the diverse University of Pennsylvania Health System, which has facilities on-campus and in several suburban settings. During clinical practice, students focus on creating interprofessional teams with doctors, nurses, and medical students.

Drexel University

Drexel University offers students the option to earn a master's degree, DNP, or PhD. At the MSN level, students can opt for an advanced role track, which prepares graduates for careers in clinical research, nursing education, and nursing innovation; students can opt for a nurse practitioner track in a range of specialty areas including family, pediatric, and psychiatric. Students can also earn an MSN in nurse anesthesia. The DNP is offered as a terminal, practice-focused degree centered on translating nursing research into practice. Most courses are held online, with brief on-campus and international residencies. The PhD in Nursing is designed as a research-focused degree with an interdisciplinary focus.

Jefferson University

At Thomas Jefferson University, which is affiliated with Philadelphia University, students can earn the MSN or DNP. Within the MSN program, students can prepare as a nurse practitioner in adult gerontology, pediatrics, neonatal or women's health, or they can focus on areas including nurse informatics or community systems administration. For any master's degree, students will take core classes including epidemiology and informatics. Full-time and part-time study is available. A DNP focused on scholarship is available in an online format. Jefferson also offers a DNP in nurse anesthesia. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital offers clinical experience to nursing students.

Temple University

Another option within Philadelphia is Temple University. Students can earn the DNP degree within Temple's College of Public Health. The DNP at Temple is offered as a hybrid degree, with some classes being taken in person and others online. Students may focus upon family/individual across the lifespan or adult/gerontology primary care to qualify as a nurse practitioner.

LaSalle University

At LaSalle University, students can study for the MSN or DNP degrees. Within the MSN program, nurse practitioner tracks focus upon adult gerontology or family care, or students can choose clinical nurse leader, nursing administration, or other specific tracks of interest. An online post-master's certificate program, as well as an on-campus DNP in nurse anesthesia program, are offered as well. The DNP program includes a strong clinical component.

Program Admission Requirements

Requirements to be admitted to a graduate program in nursing will vary by which degree is being pursued and by university. Some general requirements are as follows.

Master's Degree Programs

Candidates should expect to provide transcripts, recommendations, and a resume. An RN license is required, and practice experience in the area of the program focused will be recommended or required. Typically, a GPA of over 3.0 is necessary to be competitive for admission. Some programs may require interviews or GRE reports.

DNP Degree Programs

Candidates should hold a master's degree and RN license. They should expect to provide recommendations, an essay, and copies of all transcripts. A GPA of 3.2-3.5 will be competitive for program admissions. Typically, an undergraduate course in statistics is required.

PhD Programs

Candidates should hold an MSN or other closely related master's degree. Essays, recommendations, and transcripts will be required. The most competitive applications will have a GPA of 3.5 or over, GRE scores, and demonstrated clinical nursing practice experience.

A graduate degree in nursing, either at the master's or doctoral level, can truly take your career as a nurse to the next level. Depending on your career goals, consideration may be given to any of the above programs in Philadelphia.

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