Nurses have always been an integral part of our healthcare system, and their role is increasing in scope as they become more highly educated and trained. In addition to caring for patients, nurses serve as administrators, educators and leaders within healthcare organizations.

Nurses not only tend to the physical and psychological needs of patients, they also must be effective communicators. Nurses assume the responsibilities of teachers, counselors, advocates, managers, researchers and change agents. They must be able to interact effectively with patients, family members, peers, physicians, support staff and supervisors.

Nurses serve in many different settings and contribute greatly to communities across the United States and around the world. They are found in community clinics, private homes, hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers, war zones, businesses, schools, hospice settings and mental health facilities. Nurses are indispensable to every aspect of modern healthcare.

With a nursing program that has been evolving since 1973, Alvernia University is well known and highly regarded for its Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and has full approval by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. As a graduate of the program, you will be prepared to deliver healthcare to people of all ages with sensitivity to cultural and environmental factors.


Why should you study Nursing at Alvernia University?

Because at Alvernia, you get all the benefits of an outstanding university education in a manageable setting with personal attention and unique opportunities that can benefit you as you move toward your career.

Alvernia is well known and respected for its Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, which is based on liberal arts and sciences. Baccalaureate nursing graduates are set apart from diploma and associate degree graduates, as they are prepared to communicate, evaluate and provide holistic healthcare to individuals and groups and serve as leaders and managers within today’s fast-paced healthcare environment. A BSN is also the prerequisite degree for continuing education in any of the advanced practice nursing roles, such as Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Specialist, and Certified Nurse Anesthetist.

Small Class Size
Alvernia has a 14-1 student-faculty ratio, and most classes contain less than 20 students. This facilitates valuable, professional relationships among faculty members and students. In these small class settings, you get individual attention to help you excel.

Faculty Who Care
Alvernia’s faculty members aren’t just teachers. They’re experts in their fields who are committed to passing along their knowledge and expertise to their students. In small class settings, faculty members become mentors and advisors, intent on helping you learn, grow and succeed. Alvernia’s Nursing faculty members have worked in various medical settings and are highly regarded in their fields. They understand the challenges of nurses because they have worked as nurses. They are board members of prestigious organizations and have presented papers and reports both nationally and internationally. Most importantly, they’re there to help you succeed.

Research Opportunities
Alvernia offers opportunities for many students to work with faculty members on research projects relating to their areas of concentration. This collaboration prepares students for professions and/or graduate school.

Honors Program
Alvernia’s Honors Program for students who are academically gifted and highly motivated is designed to allow students to work at their own pace and to recognize and encourage academic excellence. Honors students interact with one another to exchange ideas and information across a wide range of disciplines and interests.

The Honors Program offers co-curricular activities, service opportunities and intellectual and social support to encourage students to exceed their own expectations.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Honors Programs at

Get Real
Classroom learning is valuable and necessary, but out-of-the-classroom, experiential learning provides nursing students with hands-on, real-world learning opportunities that enrich your educational experience and are highly valued by employers.

You’ll have opportunities to participate in clinical experiences, community service, campus events and other experiences to help you stretch and grow toward your full potential.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Get Real program at


A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Alvernia University can put you on the road to a highly successful career. You might decide to pursue work in a hospital or other healthcare setting. Or, you may choose to pursue further education in graduate degree programs for an advanced practice career such as nurse practitioner, nurse educator, administrator or many other advanced practice roles.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half a million positions for registered nurses will become available between 2012 and 2022. In addition, it is projected that more than a half million nurses will be needed to replace those who are leaving the field.

That will result in a 19 percent increase in employment of registered nurses during that time frame, a rate much higher than the average for all occupations. The high demand for nurses is attributed to factors such as an increasing emphasis on preventative care and growing rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

Aging Baby Boomers are demanding an increasing number of healthcare services, and recent healthcare reforms have enabled millions of additional people to gain access to the healthcare system.

When you graduate from Alvernia’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, you will be eligible to apply for RN Licensure by taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Once licensed, you will be ready to begin your career.

Recent Graduates of Alvernia’s B.S. in Nursing Program have found employment with:

  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Reading Health System
  • Lehigh Valley Health System
  • Temple University Hospital
  • Penn State Health, St. Joseph Medical Center
  • And many more

For more information about Alvernia’s Nursing Program contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or


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 Skills 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.

You can learn more about all courses offered by Alvernia University by viewing the 2015-2016 Academic Course Catalogue at

Your Real-World Learning Experience
Alvernia believes that real-world experience is extremely important, as it can improve your confidence and introduce you to professionals in your intended field of employment.

You will not only benefit from faculty members who have extensive knowledge and experience in both healthcare and classroom settings, you’ll also get the opportunity for firsthand learning in clinical settings.

The Alvernia University Nursing Program provides a rich diversity of clinical practice sites. Examples of clinical sites include:

  • Ephrata Community Hospital
  • Penn State Health, St. Joseph Medical Center
  • Good Samaritan Hospital of Lebanon
  • HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Reading School District
  • Reading Health System
  • Wernersville State Hospital
  • Home Health Agencies Community-based Clinics
  • Long-Term Care Facilities

You can find out more about Alvernia’s commitment to real world learning at

Research Opportunities
Research is a valuable aspect of any education. Nursing and allied health faculty members at Alvernia conduct research in a variety of areas.

As a Bachelor of Science in Nursing major, there may be an opportunity for you to assist in faculty research and to benefit from knowledge gained through faculty research.

The Honors Program
If you’re academically gifted and highly motivated, you may want to learn more about Alvernia’s Undergraduate Honors Program. Honors students have opportunities to take courses dealing with unusual topics and participate in a variety of activities. You can learn more about the Honors Program and how to apply at

The Eight-Semester Plan
You can do it! It’s easy to stay on track to graduate in four years if you pay close attention to what classes you need and make sure to take them in a timely manner. Advisors are available to assist in planning academic programs, course selection and registration, but it’s your job to make sure that you meet all academic requirements and comply with University policies.

You can greatly enhance your university experience by participating in activities both on and off campus. Start planning well in advance for your clinical experience or other off-campus experiences, as you’ll need to assure that you will be able to complete all required coursework.

Study Abroad Programs
Alvernia’s Study Abroad Office works closely with students who want to spend one or more semesters in a different country. Healthcare Science students have studied and traveled in Italy, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, England, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Morocco, Palestine and China.

You pay the regular Alvernia tuition while studying abroad, and continue to receive financial aid, if applicable. Credits earned count toward your Alvernia undergraduate degree.

If you’re interested in studying in another country, you should start planning early, as you’ll need to start the application process about a year in advance.

You can get more information about these programs from the Study Abroad Office at or by contacting

Year-by-Year Major Map


Think Globally

  • Explore opportunities for study abroad, alternative break trips, pilgrimage to Assisi and service trips. Network with upper-class nursing students through involvement in ASNA and discover what exciting opportunities they have taken advantage of!

Take the Right Classes

  • Review general education, university and major requirements.
  • Be aware of which semester required courses are offered and of course sequencing.
  • Focus on getting good grades.

Get Good Advice

  • Get to know Nursing faculty and your advisor.
  • Visit the Educational Planning Center on the first floor of Bernardine Hall.

Real-Life Learning

  • Explore opportunities for service related to healthcare.
  • Utilize skills acquired in First Year Experience.

Make the Right Connections

  • Identify peers that support your academic goals.
  • Get involved by joining the Alvernia Student Nurses Association or the Pre-Health Professions Club.
  • You may decide to join the Student Government Association or consider some of the many other student clubs and community organizations.

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Develop a working résumé.
  • Assess strengths, weaknesses and interests.
  • Hone your skills in basic math calculations (essential for safe nursing practice).


Think Globally

  • Review opportunities for extended learning, particularly experiences that can be completed in the summer or during semester breaks. The Study Abroad Office is the place to go for more information.

Take the Right Classes

  • Make sure you’ve reviewed which required courses you must take.
  • Focus on getting good grades.

Get Good Advice

  • Talk to Nursing faculty and your advisor about your area(s) of interest within the field of Nursing.
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center.

Real-Life Learning

  • Look into the Alternative Break program.
  • Look for part-time or summer jobs that relate to your interests.
  • Get familiar with the Educational Planning Center’s Internship database.

Make the Right Connections

  • Volunteer for community service.
  • Stay involved in clubs and organizations.
  • Observe the roles of those in leadership positions.
  • Form study groups.

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Update your working résumé.
  • Assess your strengths, weaknesses and interests.
  • Complete the process of obtaining all required background checks and clearances.
  • Research Nursing job postings to get familiar with job availability and requirements.


Think Globally

  • Participate in service trips or “May”mester.

Take the Right Classes

  • Focus on getting good grades and improving your GPA.
  • Work with your advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate on time.

Get Good Advice

  • Talk to faculty members about career opportunities in the area of Nursing.
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center.
  • Get familiar with, a career services library available on the Educational Planning Center’s website.

Real-Life Learning

  • Look into the Alternative Break program.
  • Look for part-time or summer jobs that relate to your interests.

Make the Right Connections

  • Connect with area nursing and healthcare leaders.
  • Assume leadership roles on campus.
  • Connect with alumni in your field.

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Get feedback on your working résumé from the Educational Planning Center.
  • Get your résumé ready for job fairs and employment opportunities.
  • Work on getting recommendations.
  • Attend Career Planning opportunities such as job fairs and practice interviews.
  • Look for possible summer student nurse externships.


Think Globally

  • Look for service opportunities.

Take the Right Classes

  • Complete the two-phase Nursing Capstone
  • Work with your advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate on time.

Get Good Advice

  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center.
  • Talk to faculty members and alumni about career opportunities.
  • Ask for advice from professionals in your area of interest.

Real-Life Learning

  • Participate in off-campus activities, such as volunteering with an Alvernia community partner.

Make the Right Connections

  • Connect with area nursing and healthcare professionals.
  • Continue in leadership roles on campus.
  • Connect with alumni in your field.
  • Attend campus events at which alumni are present.

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Fine-tune your résumé.
  • Search for jobs through and connections you’ve made.
  • Finalize recommendations.
  • Attend Career Planning opportunities such as job fairs and practice interviews.

Alvernia is committed to serving the needs of its students. Whether you have questions or problems related to academics, life on campus, student activities, social activities or any other issue, there is someone available to help you. You can learn more about all student services at

Educational Planning Center
The Educational Planning Center offers advice and support to help you with any problems or issues related to your Alvernia education. It also assists with career exploration and preparation. The office is open every day and can be contacted at 610-796-8266.

Career Services
Staff members at the Career Development office will help you with any questions you have about exploring or planning careers. They also will guide you about how to look for and apply to jobs as you get closer to graduation. The office also has a career resources library. You can learn more about career services at, or by emailing

Financial Aid
The Financial Aid office is the place to contact with any questions you have about the cost of an Alvernia education and options for paying for it. Nearly all undergraduates at Alvernia get some type of financial aid, and everyone is encouraged to apply for it. You can learn more at or by emailing

Admissions Office
If you’re interested in applying to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Alvernia, contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-3011 or at

Faculty Members
Alvernia’s Nursing faculty members are dedicated, highly qualified professionals who are committed to sharing their expertise and knowledge with students. Faculty members have extensive experience in various aspects of nursing and healthcare and bring their expertise to the classroom. They often work one-on-one with students to enhance the student’s learning experience, and serve as mentors to aspiring students.

All Nursing faculty members are both Registered Nurses and have earned advanced degrees in Nursing or related fields. They are experts in both the healthcare field and the classroom. Faculty members are actively engaged in research, have written articles that have appeared in prestigious publications and have presented nationally and internationally at conferences.

You can learn more about Alvernia’s Nursing faculty and their credentials at:


There is so much more to college than classes, and Nursing majors at Alvernia have some excellent opportunities to get involved in activities that are both enjoyable and provide beneficial, hands-on experience. Students who get involved and engaged in extracurricular activities benefit both academically and socially, and open themselves to integral life lessons from beyond the classroom.

You’ll be encouraged to participate in a range of activities, including some rewarding and inspiring service projects. Some organizations and activities you might enjoy and benefit from include:

  • The Nursing Honor Society at Alvernia University (Upsilon Zeta Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International) recognizes superior achievement and the development of leadership qualities. It fosters high professional standards, encourages creative work and strengthens commitment to the ideas and purposes of the nursing profession. You will need to meet certain eligibility requirements to be invited to join the Nursing Honor Society during your senior year.
  • Alvernia Student Nurses Association (ASNA). This organization provides opportunities for networking with nursing students and professionals on state and national levels. Students can broaden their understanding of issues and concerns facing nurses and the general healthcare profession.
  • Pre-Health Professions Club. For students who are working toward careers in health professions, the Pre-Health Professions Club meets to share information with its members and help them learn more about the health industry and meet others with similar interests. Members include pre-medical and pre-dental students, occupational therapy majors, nursing students, healthcare science majors and others.
  • Alvernia also offers many organizations, clubs and activities outside of your major, and you’re encouraged to get involved. You can learn more about Alvernia’s Student Government Association, becoming a Student Ambassador, student trips and other activities at
  • The Holleran Center for Community Engagement serves as a bridge between the University and the community. The Center partners with a variety of organizations to provide Alvernia students opportunities to serve. You might volunteer to work at the Lutheran Home Care and Hospice Center or at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center. You can read more about volunteer opportunities at

Alvernia University’s Nursing students are prepared for the real-world by receiving guidance from faculty and staff. They are also prepped for the real-world by participating in clinicals. Here are some of our Nursing alums’ stories post graduation.

Dimas Cortez’15
“It’s so rewarding to help children overcome whatever illness they are battling. That’s the best part.” Continue reading Dimas’s story to learn what made him decide to major in Nursing.

Torre Flemming’12
“I got that extra push I needed to try out different aspects of a nurse’s duties and see what caught my attention and where my strengths were,” she said. Read on about Torre’s experience at Alvernia.

nursing programs

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