How to Become a Nurse in Pennsylvania
Understanding how to become a nurse in Pennsylvania is very similar to most states in the
US. As the health care industry continues to grow, the demand for nurses in Pennsylvania will also
Of course, before pursuing any type of nursing career, you must have either a high school diploma or GED.
Also, depending on what level of nurse you are wanting to become, you might need to pass a college entrance exam
like the SAT's or ACT's.
If you've checked those prerequisites off your list, then let's move forward and discuss exactly what it takes
to become a nurse in Pennsylvania.
Step #1 - Choose The Right Nursing School In Pennsylvania
Your first step to becoming a nurse in PA will revolve around selecting a nursing school. With over 100
accredited nursing schools in PA to choose from, you should
have no problem finding a school that will fit within your budget and geographic area.
Depending on your career goals, choosing a nursing school will also depend on if you want to
become a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). LPN's usually require 1-2 years of education
and must pass the NCLEX-PN exam. RN's usually require between 2-4 years of education and must pass the
Whatever you decide, pick a nursing school or college matches your career goals.
Step #2 - Maintain A Passing GPA While In School
Maintaining a good GPA while attending nursing school is also important. While becoming an RN may only
require a two-year Associates in Nursing Degree, having the four-year or Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
(BSN) opens up far more job opportunities.
If you choose to pursue a bachelor's degree, then your first two years of school will require basic courses with
an emphasis on biology and science. The final two years will be made up of nursing specific courses and
possibly some elective courses that can contribute to a particular field in nursing you wish to specialize in, such
Step #3 - Pass Your Final Exam
All nursing students who want to become an LPN or RN must take a final exam which is known as the NCLEX.
LPN's must pass the NCLEX-PN and RN's must pass the NCLEX-RN before they officially earn their title and can start
Step #4 - Search Out Compatible Nursing Job Opportunities
Once you become a qualified LPN or RN you should have no problem finding work in either a rural or urban
location like Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. Students who attended some of the more successful nursing schools in
PA will want to check in with their college placement office. This office should help your find work
immediately out of college.
Step #5 - Continue Your Education To Advance
The best way to grow your salary and further your career is to continue the education process after you've
started working. So if you are an LPN, look to become an RN. If you are an RN with an Associates degree then
look to pursue your bachelors. And if you have your bachelors, think about getting your masters in
nursing online. While the base salary for any nurse in PA is good, specialized nurses with masters or
doctorate degrees have the ability to earn over 6 figures a year.
In conclusion, becoming a nurse in Pennsylvania is a rewarding career path for both
personal and financial reasons. As the need for nurses continues to grow, there has never been a better time to
consider this worthy profession.