Penn State Behrend nursing students in Erie, PAThe bachelor’s degree has become the desired minimum academic credential for entry-level nursing, particularly at hospitals seeking Magnet status from the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center.

A four-year education will help you navigate the complexities of the health-care field. In its Future of Nursing Report, the Institute of Medicine, which is a division of the National Academy of Sciences, recommends that 80 percent of all nurses hold a baccalaureate degree by 2020. With a bachelor’s degree you’ll enjoy higher pay scales and greater career opportunities, since the four-year degree is the foundation for the advanced education needed to become a nurse educator, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse administrator, or nurse researcher.

Why Penn State Behrend?

In our state-of-the-art Nursing Technology Lab and Simulation Center you’ll prepare for patient-care environments using high-, moderate-, and low-fidelity simulators and other task-specific trainers. These full-body adult and pediatric human patient simulation mannequins generate realistic physiological responses to illness and injury—and respond to your interventions! 

Other anatomic models help you to learn central line placement, oral tracheal intubation, placement of nasogastric tubes, tracheostomy care, peripheral IV insertion, and central line care. In these simulation labs you’ll learn and practice your patient-care skills in a low-risk, forgiving setting so that you can enter the clinical component of your training with confidence in your abilities. 

At the completion of your degree, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX, the national examination for licensure as a Registered Nurse.

Admission to the Nursing Pre-Major

The majority of Nursing students begin their studies in the Nursing Pre-Major Program (NRCOM). This most often happens when an applicant’s high school grade-point average or standardized test scores don’t meet the criteria for admission to the B.S. degree program, yet a comprehensive review of their academic record indicates readiness for college-level work. For students enrolled in NRCOM, admission to the Nursing degree program will be based on first-semester grades and other academic criteria. Admission also may depend on space availability within the program. 

Want to Learn More?

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Already employed as a nurse? Consider the RN to B.S.N. Program:
    The RN to B.S.N. in Nursing program at Penn State Behrend allows diploma and associate degree-prepared nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree. The program curriculum is designed so that students spend only one day per week on campus and all course work is completed in three semesters. This allows diploma and associate degree-prepared nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree in one year.