Philadelphia Nursing Programs: RN Program and School Overviews

There's no shortage of academic opportunities for Philadelphia students interested in nursing; currently, 19 institutions offer programs in the field. To make an informed education decision, learn about the degree options, admission info and program requirements for three schools located less than five miles from downtown Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia Nursing Schools

A registered nurse (RN) provides direct patient care under the supervision of physicians in hospitals and other health care centers. There are several schools offering nursing programs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that prepare students for state board examinations to become registered nurses. Read about the course topics and clinical experiences required at three colleges in particular. This article also provides a table of statistics about the featured schools as well as some information on a fourth institution in the area.

  • The Community College of Philadelphia is conveniently located approximately one mile from downtown Philadelphia and offers a nursing associate's degree program for students who wish to earn their degrees in as little as two years.
  • Drexel University offers the option to complete a nursing bachelor's program in four or five years, with a unique co-operative learning experience. An accelerated program and a bachelor's degree completion program in the field is available at the school, which is situated only about a mile from central Philadelphia.
  • Temple University, located roughly two miles from Philadelphia's downtown area, is the largest of the three school options and boasts an impressive student passage rate for the RN licensure examination. Students can earn a bachelor's degree in nursing at the institution.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Clinical Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing
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  • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing for Adults and Seniors
  • Nursing Science
  • Occupational Health Nursing
  • Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
  • Registered Nurse

Comparison of Schools

Take a little time to look over the table below. It has several figures and facts that may help you decide if one of the featured schools suits your needs, including details on costs, acceptance rates, student enrollment and more.

Community College of Philadelphia Drexel University Temple University
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 17,296 24,190 39,967
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $5,142 in-district; $10,284 in-state; $15,426 out-of-state $52,002 $16,658 in-state; $28,418 out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 85% 99% 91%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* N/A - Open admissions 79% 57%
Retention Rate (2017)* 59% for full-time students 89% for full-time students 90% for full-time students
Graduation Rate* 13% (began in 2014) 71% (began in 2011) 71% (began in 2011)

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Community College of Philadelphia

The Community College of Philadelphia is a 2-year, public school with an annual student population of more than 17,000. It offers associate's degrees and certificate programs to undergraduate students, including one for aspiring registered nurses. The nursing program has been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing

An associate's degree in nursing can prepare students to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) to become an RN. The associate's degree program also prepares students to transfer into a baccalaureate degree program in nursing. Students enrolled in the program develop the practice-based competencies necessary to work in a clinical setting. They study the basics of nursing theory and human anatomy in classroom lectures before going on to participate in clinical learning experiences.

Drexel University

Students at Drexel University can complete bachelor's programs in either four or five years before going on to take the licensing examination to become registered nurses. Nursing degree programs are offered through the College of Nursing and Health Professions and are approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Students enrolled in Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs at Drexel typically take courses in chemistry, psychology, ethics, pediatric health, pathophysiology and pharmacology. They also complete a unique, paid co-operative work experience with a health care organization. Students complete either one 6-month experience or three 6-month experiences, depending on the length of their programs. In addition to gaining valuable clinical experience, students also receive career guidance and professional development opportunities while completing their co-op experiences.

Accelerated Career Entry BSN

A 1-year option is available for students who already hold bachelor's degrees but want to earn a BSN. Several prerequisites, including coursework in nutrition, anatomy and chemistry, are required for entry into the program. This short, accelerated program is designed for working professionals seeking a career change.

RN/BSN Completion Program

Drexel University also offers a degree program designed for registered nurses who wish to earn bachelor's degrees. Admission requirements for the RN/BSN program include current RN licensure and a 2.0 grade point average. Applicants also must have completed 60 credits of prerequisites, including courses in anatomy and physiology, sociology and nursing. Graduates of this program may choose to pursue a master's degree in nursing at Drexel.

Temple University

Temple University is one of the largest public universities in Philadelphia. It offers associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to more than 39,000 students each year.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Temple's BSN degree program provides students with the education and clinical experience necessary to sit for the NCLEX-RN and earn licensure as registered nurses. To be considered for enrollment as first-time freshmen, applicants to the program must be highly qualified with AP courses or high SAT/ACT scores. Students enrolled in the program spend their first two years studying human anatomy, chemistry, microbiology and nursing care theories. The last two years focus on practical nursing skills and participation in clinical fieldwork.

Other School Option

Rutgers University in nearby Camden, New Jersey, also offers bachelor's degrees in nursing to aspiring registered nurses. It is located just four miles from downtown Philadelphia.

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