Students in the Nursing Resource Center

B.S. in Nursing Overview



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.


A Promising Career Path

There couldn’t be a better time to choose a career in nursing. The field is experiencing explosive growth and nurses are in high demand.


America’s aging population, an increasing focus on preventative care and wellness, recent healthcare reforms and practitioners retiring from the field are among the many factors that account for the national shortage of registered nurses. As a result, employment is projected to grow more than any other occupation over the next decade. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 500,000 new jobs will be added to the workforce by 2022.


For Nursing graduates, the future is bright with unlimited job opportunities in every healthcare setting. Simply apply for RN Licensure by taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) after graduation, and get ready to start your career in this exciting and rewarding field. Alvernia graduates have an exceptional 95% NCLEX-RN pass rate.


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


  • Administration
  • Education
  • Health Coaching
  • Law
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Nutrition and Fitness
  • Occupational Health




Bachelor of Science in Nursing students will earn 125 credits both within and outside of the major. Required or recommended nursing courses are:

NUR 110 Intro to Experiential Nursing Science I (recommended) 0.5 credits
NUR 111 Intro to Experiential Nursing Science II (recommended) 0.5 credits
NUR 209 Foundations of Professional Nursing Concepts 5 credits
NUR 210 Intro to Nursing Practice: Roles and Responsibilities 3 credits
NUR 218 Pharmacology and the Nursing Process 3 credits
NUR 220 Nursing I: Adult Medical Surgical Clients 5 credits
NUR 311 Health Assessment Across the Life-Span 3 credits
NUR 315 Nursing II: Birth and Childhood to Adulthood 9 credits
NUR 312 Transcultural Nursing 3 credits
NUR 317 Nursing III: Behavioral Health and Chronicity 5 credits
NUR 408 Intro to Research Methods 3 credits
NUR 410 Nursing IV: Adult and Geriatric Clients 5 credits
NUR 412 Nursing of the Family and Community 5 credits
NUR 409 Leadership and Ethical Dimensions for Practice 3 credits
NUR 417 Nursing Role Synthesis Practicum 6 credits
NUR 418 Nursing of the Acute and Critically Ill 3 credits
Other required courses include those in Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Philosophy, Foreign Language, etc.

During the senior year, all nursing students complete a two-phase Capstone Project designed to develop and demonstrate competency in a cluster of skills that are integral to the practice of professional nursing at the baccalaureate level.

In accordance with USDE Regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v): The Alvernia University Nursing Curriculum meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification for all fifty states in the United States, listed below:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Experiential Learning 

Through clinical experiences, students have opportunities to apply theories and knowledge learned in the classroom in a variety of professional settings. In addition to providing exposure to the activities and expectations of a real-world workplace, clinical experiences help students develop their network of professional contacts.


To determine the cost of this program, please visit our Tuition page.  For a personalized estimate, please contact an admissions counselor at 610-790-8269 or at

Financial Aid

100% of Alvernia students receive some form of scholarship and/or aid. Our admissions counselors can help you identify the aid that is available to you and for your program. For more information, visit our Financial Aid page.


The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Alvernia University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

All programs offered by Alvernia University are approved by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing Update

Alvernia’s nursing programs have been a point of pride at the university for more than 50 years when we first began preparing students to deliver health care to individuals, families, and community groups, consistent with our Catholic Franciscan values. Our program emphasizes dignity of all people regardless of their background or beliefs and promotes the call to serve others. 

That pride was magnified recently when we announced the John and Karen Arnold School of Nursing and the expansion of the nursing facilities at Alvernia to include 25,000 sq ft of classroom and lab space including a new Healthcare Simulation Center. Alvernia University’s nursing program recently earned national recognition by Colleges of Distinction and the U.S. News and World Report for its high-impact curriculum and expansive experiential learning opportunities.

The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing provides oversight to colleges and universities granting Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. It presently requires at least 80% of students taking the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) for the first time to perform above the passing standard. Alvernia University’s nursing program earns national recognition by Colleges of Distinction (COD) and the U.S. News and World Report for its high-impact curriculum and expansive experiential learning opportunities to perform above the passing standard. Alvernia nursing graduates have consistently performed well on the NCLEX. In fact, at this time, 98% of students graduating from our BSN program within the past 3 years have passed the NCLEX on their first or subsequent attempts. 

However, for the state’s designated testing period from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022, a total of 12 students who took the exam for the first time did not pass the exam on their initial attempt. To date, 93% of students overall who graduated in May 2022 have passed the NCLEX-RN and hold licenses as a registered nurse. Statistically, though the university still maintains a high overall NCLEX pass rate, last year’s first-time pass rate fell below the standard established by the state. 

As a result, the state requires that all schools that have experienced a similar occurrence – with NCLEX first-time pass rates of less than 80% -- inform all matriculated (current) students of the below benchmark pass rates and that all such programs, including ours, have been granted Provisional Approval status until those first-time pass rates meet the minimum standard of 80%. 

This status will not have any effect on you or any student who is interested in enrolling in our BSN program. Nor will it affect any student already enrolled in Alvernia’s BSN program. Our program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and remains in good standing. More importantly, our employer satisfaction, alumni satisfaction, and graduate placement rates, for both graduate school and with employers, remain outstanding.

What this does mean is that we will continue to enhance the nursing curriculum to ensure it meets changing state and national standards and workplace needs, allowing our students to graduate with the training and confidence needed to excel. The University and John and Karen Arnold School of Nursing leadership team have already put in place initiatives to address first time pass rates and have developed new strategies and dedicated increased resources to the program, including 25,000 sq. ft. of classroom, lab space, and a new Healthcare Simulation Center at Reading CollegeTowne, that will allow us to achieve and/or exceed the state standard well within the two-year period allowed by the PA State Board of Nursing. 


Learn More

For more information about Alvernia’s Nursing Program contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or, or reach out directly to:


Deborah A. Greenawald, Ph.D., RN

Nursing Department Chair

Associate Professor of Nursing



Nursing students in lab
U.S. News & World Report's Top Nursing Program
Alvernia recognized as top 500 program in first-ever national BSN rankings

Success Stories

Abby Eby | Nursing | 2011
Abby Eby '12 DNP '19
Adult student at graduation
Cynthia Truscott '18
Ettiena Britt | Class of 2020 | Nursing Student
Ettieanna Britt '20
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