Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing

About the College

Laurie Badzek, Dean, College of Nursing

Penn State's Nursing program began in 1964 to provide an academically-grounded, clinical training program for future nurses. Since then, the College of Nursing (CON) has steadily evolved to meet the demands of modern healthcare and provide diverse, hands-on clinical experiences, a well-rounded classroom curriculum and cutting-edge technology to today’s students. The CON features a complete range of educational programs in nursing.

The  baccalaureate degree  program has three options for study: the  B.S.N., for those students who are entering the four-year program of study for an initial professional degree, the Second Degree option for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, and the RN to B.S.N.  for RNs who wish to complete the B.S.N. degree.

The master’s programs include an  M.S.N. program  with five options for advanced nursing roles. There are three advanced nursing practice options: Family/Individual Across the Lifespan, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Two options—Nurse Administrator and Nurse Educator—are offered fully online through  Penn State World Campus. In addition, there are two post baccalaureate Certificate programs and one post-master's Certificate program offered online via the Penn State World Campus. There is also a  B.S.N.–Ph.D. program  that incorporates an M.S. degree as preparation for the Ph.D.

The interdisciplinary Ph.D. program  in Nursing, dual-title Ph.D. in Nursing and Bioethics and dual-title Ph.D. in Nursing and Clinical and Translational Sciences  are designed to develop clinical scholars, faculty, and researchers who can teach and provide leadership through scientific inquiry and innovative practice.

The  Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program  prepares nurse leaders with a professional, practice-focused doctoral degree designed to prepare highly qualified advanced nurse clinicans to be leaders and deliver expert nursing care and ultimately improve health care outcomes. This degree is designed for nurses who plan to continue in a practice role, and have already received a bachelor's or master's degree with a major in nursing. Offered online through  Penn State World Campus, the program also requires two in-person intensives.


Mission and Goals

The mission of the College of Nursing is to improve healthcare for all people in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the nation and the world through the development of qualified nurse leaders at all levels of practice, the development of nursing science, and the provision of nursing care to individuals, families and communities. This is accomplished through the integrated programs of nursing, education, research, scholarship and outreach.


The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science (nursing) and Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Programs are accredited by:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
655 K Street, NW
Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001
202-887-6791 - Phone
202-887-8476 – Fax


Academic Advising

All students are assigned an academic faculty adviser and a graduate adviser once admitted to the program. The University Park/World Campus Academic Advising office is located in 203 Nursing Sciences Building and can be reached by calling (814)-863-2211 or emailing

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

The faculty and staff of the College of Nursing value and are committed to fostering diversity in the classroom, the University, and the profession. By respecting differences in culture, age, gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, differing abilities, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation, we enrich the learning environment; improve the practice and profession of Nursing; and enhance personal creativity and professional growth.

The College of Nursing’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives fosters a welcoming and inclusive community while promoting and enhancing the diversity of the College's students, faculty, and staff. We support the College’s efforts related to recruitment, retention, development and graduation of underrepresented students in Nursing. The office can be reached at (814) 863-6207.

Beta Sigma Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International

Sigma Theta Tau International, today known as Sigma, is the international honor society for nursing. The purposes of Sigma are to recognize superior achievement, recognize the development of leadership qualities, foster high professional standards, encourage creative work, and strengthen commitment to the ideals and purposes of the profession.

The Pennsylvania State University’s Beta Sigma Chapter was chartered in 1974. For acceptance of into Beta Sigma Chapter, graduate students must have a 3.5 GPA and demonstrated superior scholastic achievement and potential for professional leadership. Invitations for membership are given out during the year of graduation. The induction ceremony into Sigma is held during the Spring Semester.


Doctoral Student Organizations (DSO)

The purpose of the College of Nursing Doctoral Student Organizations (Ph.D. DSO and D.N.P. DSO) is to support the academic achievement and enhance the academic environment of doctoral students throughout their enrollment at Penn State by providing a forum for collegial support, free exchange of ideas, and discussion of critical issues related to the respective doctoral programs.

All students enrolled in the Ph.D. or D.N.P. program are members of the respective DSO. There are no financial obligations related to membership. Each DSO is facilitated by one College of Nursing graduate faculty member and led by doctoral students. Meetings, held four times during the academic year, are scheduled and directed by student leaders.

Center for Nursing Research

The Center for Nursing Research provides faculty and graduate students with consulting services on quantitative and analytic approaches, assistance with grant proposal, mock grant reviews, and proposal submissions.


Study Abroad

Graduate student opportunities for international experiences are varied and are planned collaboratively with other units in the University. International experiences also can be arranged through Global Penn State.



Lisa Kitko
Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research
College of Nursing
203 Nursing Sciences Building
University Park, PA 16802