Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Nurses play a vital role in delivering healthcare services in communities across the nation and around the world. For those who dedicate themselves to this life of service, it is truly a noble profession.

The John and Karen Arnold School of Nursing at Alvernia University prepares future healthcare professionals to enter the field ready to provide skillful, compassionate healthcare in virtually every setting, from community health clinics and hospitals to schools and nursing homes to emergency and disaster relief sites. Combining theory with clinical practice, the curriculum develops the skill set necessary for nurses to not only address the physical and psychological needs of their patients across the lifespan, but also to educate and advocate, counsel, research and problem solve with sensitivity and understanding.

Rooted in the University's rich Franciscan traditions, the program challenges students both intellectually and spiritually, emphasizing ethics, moral integrity and reverence for the dignity and care of the human family.

Getting Started

Where You Can Get A Degree

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is available:

General Notes
  • A minimum of 123 credits are required for graduation.
  • Credits earned for COM 100 and MAT 100 do not count toward the 123 credits required for graduation; however, COM 100 students may petition for elective credit.
  • Where appropriate, courses required for the major can be used to satisfy General Education requirements. However, the credits earned for these courses are applied to either Gen Ed requirements or the major, not both.
  • Paths of Knowledge coursework may count towards major or minor requirements, but may not fulfill a second Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration requirement.
  • Students are expected to follow the catalog requirements for General Education, the major, and additional requirements.
  • A minor or second major within the areas listed under Paths of Knowledge automatically fulfills that area of the Gen Ed requirements.
Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective undergraduate students — including first-year, transfer, and international students — may apply via the Alvernia web portal or The Common Application. To learn more about how to complete your application, please visit our application page.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our Student Financial Services page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about tuition, the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email

Request More Information


Alvernia's John and Karen Arnold School of Nursing
The new John and Karen Arnold School of Nursing houses a state-of-the-art learning facility that mimics what healthcare professionals experience daily.

Program Overview

Major Notes

The following requirements apply:

  • Achievement of a “C+” or better in each nursing course. Students may repeat/delete only one nursing course throughout the nursing program.
  • Students who receive a grade of less than a “C+” in a nursing course may not progress in nursing courses for which that course is a prerequisite.
  • Achievement of a “C” or better in each required science course. Students may repeat no more than three required foundational science courses (including BIO 107/117, BIO 108/118, CHE 106/109, and BIO 220, as well as BIO 216 & BIO 410) in order to earn a passing grade of at least a “C” and may repeat no single science course more than one time. Students who receive a grade of less than “C” in a required science course may not progress in nursing courses for which that science is a prerequisite.
  • Students may withdraw from a required science or nursing course without receiving a grade only once.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5.

Prior to entering NUR 220 (first course with an off-campus clinical education component), a variety of certifications, clearances and background checks are required. Information about these requirements will be provided during the summer before the sophomore year and must be completed before the stated deadline.

Nursing students are required to undergo a substance abuse test for the presence of drugs or controlled substances immediately prior to clinical rotations. Random and/or for cause drug screening may be required at any time during a student’s enrollment. Students will receive specific information about the mandatory screening in their clinical nursing classes. Costs are covered by student/course fees.

Nursing students are responsible for additional expenses, which include, but are not limited to: lab fees, evaluation and remediation costs, uniforms, clearance fees, college identification, transportation/parking associated with clinical practice and applications for NCLEX-RN and licensure.

Curriculum: General Education

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Criminal Justice Administration majors must complete 48 credits in the major.

First Year Curriculum: Enduring Questions

  • SEARCH Seminar-Enduring Questions or Honor Search-Enduring Questions (3 credits: SRH 101 or HNR 160)
  • COM 101 Composition & Research: Must earn a C or higher (3 credits)
  • THE 105 Foundations of Theology (3 credits)
  • PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits)

Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration Credits

  • Exploring the Natural World (6-8 credits)
    • Lab Science (Met in major)
    • Math (Met in related area)
  • Individuals & Communities (6 credits)
    • History or Political Science
    • PSY 101, HIS, POS, SOC, SSC, or ECON 3 (Met in related area)
  • Culture & Language (9 credits)
    • Communication (Not COM 100 or 101)
    • World Language – 2 courses in sequence
  • Creative Expressions (6 credits)
    • Literature (ENG)
    • Art, Music, or Theatre (Met with PHI 200, 210 or 220)

Ethical Leaders and Followers Credits

  • Theology or Philosophy (200-400 level) (3 credits)
  • Theology or Philosophy (Ethics/Morality @ 200 level) (3 credits) (PHI 290 recommended)
Curriculum: Paths of Knowledge

Paths of Knowledge may count towards minor or Related Requirements, but not Mid-Level Arts Exploration requirements. Choose one path.

PATH 1: Interdisciplinary Study (IS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level from the interdisciplinary minors of Women & Gender Studies, Digital Media, Community & Environmental Sustainability, Community Engagement, Cultural Studies, Leadership Studies or Pre-Law.

PATH 2: Multi-disciplinary Study (MS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level employing multiple disciplinary perspectives to explore the Enduring Questions in one of the following themes: Cultural & Global Studies, Imagination & Creativity, Peace & Conflict, Poverty & Wealth or Sustainability, Science & Technology.

PATH 3: In-depth Disciplinary Study (DS)

Three courses at the 200-400 level in one Liberal Arts discipline other than one’s major, guided by common ideas and methods of inquiry. Students choose from Art, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Theatre or World Languages. This path may be used to give students a firm foundation in a discipline supporting their chosen major, or to pursue an interest in one of the Liberal Arts disciplines. 

Curriculum: Major Requirements

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Nursing majors must complete 92 credits in the major.

Required Nursing Courses (61 credits; 'C' or better required in all courses)

  • NUR 209: Foundations of Professional Nursing Concepts; includes lab (pre-requisites: BIO 107/117, BIO 108/118, CHE 106/109, BIO 220, to progress to the sophomore level in the Nursing program, and specifically as a pre-requisite for NUR 209, students must complete three of the four foundational science courses, two of which must be BIO 107/117 and BIO 108/118; co-requisites: NUR 209 Lab, NUR 210)
  • NUR 210: Introduction to Nursing Practice: Roles & Responsibilities (pre-requisite: Nursing major eligible for sophomore level nursing courses or permission; co-requisite: NUR 209 or department permission)
  • NUR 218: Pharmacology & the Nursing Process (pre-requisites: NUR 209, NUR 210; co-requisite: NUR 220)
  • NUR 220: Nursing in Health and Illness I: Adult Medical-Surgical Clients (pre-requisites: BIO 107/117, BIO 108/118; NUR 209 & 210; Completed Health records & required Immunizations, FBI & PA Child Abuse History Clearances, Criminal Record Check, Drug Screen; co-requisite: NUR 218)
  • NUR 311: Health Assessment Across the Lifespan (pre-requisites: NUR 220, NUR 218; co-requisite: NUR 311 Lab)
  • NUR 312: Transcultural Nursing (fulfills diversity requirement; pre-requisites: NUR 220; NUR 311; NUR 315; co-requisite: NUR 317)
  • NUR 315: Nursing in Health & Illness II: Birth & Childhood to Adulthood (pre-requisites: PSY 101; BIO 107/117, BIO 108/118, BIO 220, CHE 106/109, BIO 216; NUR 218, NUR 220; co-requisite: NUR 311)
  • NUR 317: Nursing in Health & Illness III: Behavioral Health & Chronicity (pre-requisites: NUR 220, NUR 311, NUR 315; PSY 101, BIO 107/117, BIO 108/118, BIO 220, CHE 106/109; co-requisite: NUR 312)
  • NUR 408: Introduction to Research Methods (pre-requisites: MAT 208 or 209, or instructor permission; co-requisites: NUR 410, NUR 412)
  • NUR 409: Leadership & Ethical Dimensions for Nursing Practice (pre-requisite: NUR 410; co-requisites: NUR 417, NUR 418)
  • NUR 410: Nursing in Health and Illness IV: Adult & Geriatric Clients (pre-requisites: NUR 311, NUR 315, NUR 317,
  • BIO 410; co-requisites: NUR 408, NUR 412)
  • NUR 412: Nursing of the Family and Community (pre-requisites: NUR 311, NUR 315, NUR 317; co-requisites: NUR 408,
  • NUR 410)
  • NUR 417: Nursing Role Synthesis Practicum (pre-requisite: NUR 410; co-requisites: NUR 409, NUR 418)
  • NUR 418: Nursing of the Acute & Critically Ill (pre-requisite: NUR 410; co-requisites: NUR 409, NUR 417)

Related Requirements (31 credits; all science courses must earn a 'C' or better)

  • BIO 107/117: Anatomy & Physiology I & Lab
  • BIO 108/118: Anatomy & Physiology II & Lab
  • BIO 216: Nutrition (pre-requisites: BIO 107/117, BIO 108/118 or permission)
  • BIO 220: Clinical Microbiology & Lab (co-requisite: BIO 220 Lab)
  • BIO 410: Pathophysiology (pre-requisites: BIO 107/117, BIO 108/118)
  • CHE 106: Fundamentals of Chemistry (co-requisite: CHE 109)
  • CHE 109: Fundamental Lab Techniques (co-requisite: CHE 106)
  • PSY 101: Introduction to Psychology (pre-requisite: PRIOR TO Junior year)
  • MAT 208: Introductory Statistics (pre-requisite: PRIOR TO Senior year)
  • THE 210: Medical Moral Theology
Experiential Learning Opportunities

The expansion of the university’s nursing program, a key component to the second phase of the renovation of the John R. Post Center at Reading CollegeTowne, will address the need for nurses in the local healthcare industry by relocating, expanding and modernizing Alvernia’s John and Karen Arnold School of Nursing. The project will add over 25,000 square feet of classroom and lab space, including a new Healthcare Simulation Center. The state-of-the-art simulation facilities will enhance Alvernia’s accredited professional undergraduate and graduate nursing degree programs. 

Accreditation Statements
  • The John and Karen Arnold School of Nursing has full approval from the PA State Board of Nursing.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Alvernia University has received 10-year accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (
  • Alvernia is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Career Outlook

An undergraduate degree in Nursing is the foundation for a wide range of advanced studies and career options, including:

Health Coaching
Nurse Practitioner
Nursing Informatics
Nutrition and Fitness
Occupational Health


Nursing to BSN Completion hero
Why Choose Alvernia?
• A nationally ranked comprehensive regional university, Alvernia offers more than 50 majors and minors.
• An ever-expanding number of experiential learning opportunities includes internships, field experiences, co-ops, research projects and study/service abroad programs.
• A rich campus life allows students to enjoy a full calendar of activities and events, more than 50 clubs, intramural sport and student leadership and governance opportunities.
• In growth mode, Alvernia continues to add value to its student experience: expanding academic programming in new facilities; adding student living space and updating residence halls; partnering with a community health provider; and adding amenities including a game room and new performance space.

Get to Know Your Faculty

For more information about Alvernia’s Nursing program, contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-8269 or Or reach out directly to Assistant Dean of Nursing Linda Roy at