College of Nursing to offer master of science in nursing degree at Schuylkill

Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner options available

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa.— Nurses who have their bachelor of science in nursing (B.S.N.) degree will now have the opportunity to earn their master of science in nursing (M.S.N.) degree to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in the Schuylkill County. Penn State College of Nursing recently announced that Penn State Schuylkill in Schuylkill Haven will deliver its popular Nurse Practitioner master of science in nursing degree program beginning fall 2019.

“The M.S.N. nurse practitioner option delivered to Penn State Schuylkill by the Penn State College of Nursing will allow a pathway for students completing a B.S.N. to continue their education at our campus,” said Penn State Schuylkill Interim Chancellor Darcy Medica. “The program will help to provide a highly educated workforce for our local health care facilities, contributing significantly to the quality of health care in Schuylkill County," Medica concluded.

The College of Nursing’s NP program offers a total of three degree options, with the Schuylkill campus offering the Family Nurse Practitioner and the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner programs. The Schuylkill campus will be one of five campuses to deliver the NP degree options (the others are University Park, Fayette, Hershey, Shenango and Scranton).

The M.S.N. Nurse Practitioner options enable baccalaureate-prepared nurses to acquire knowledge and clinical practice skills in direct care of individuals, families and aggregate populations.

“I am excited that the College of Nursing and Penn State Schuylkill can offer these options to nurses in the northeastern region of Pennsylvania to become primary care nurse practitioners,” said Madeline Mattern, director Nurse Practitioner Options for the College of Nursing. “Pennsylvania has a great need for providers in the rural areas. The majority of our NP graduates work in rural, medically underserved areas or health professional shortage areas, which supports the program’s mission to improve access to primary care in Pennsylvania.”

Students in the NP program can complete the M.S.N. degree and become nurse practitioners in as little as four semesters with full-time study; however, the program is also available for those students who want to attend part-time. The curriculum will be delivered to the Schuylkill campus using videoconferencing technology and some online courses, with clinical experiences in the local area. Upon graduation, graduates will be eligible for national certification and state licensure in their specialty areas.

"Our ability to collaborate with the College of Nursing to deliver the M.S.N. program at the Schuylkill campus builds on the long-standing relationship the College of Nursing and the campus have with health care providers and organizations in the community," said Marianne Adam, coordinator of nursing at Penn State Schuylkill. "We are elated to bring master’s-level nursing education to Schuylkill County."

Penn State’s M.S.N. program is nationally recognized. Out of more than 500 accredited nursing schools with master’s degree programs, U.S. News & World Report ranked Penn State #20 nationwide—and #9 among public universities—in overall nursing master’s degree programs for their 2018 Best Graduate Schools rankings.

Penn State Schuylkill currently offers the registered nurse (RN) to bachelor of science in nursing (B.S.N.) degree. The campus also partners with the Joseph F. McCloskey School of Nursing (Lehigh Valley Health Network) to offer area residents the unique opportunity to earn a diploma in nursing (RN) from Joseph F. McCloskey and complete the RN to B.S.N. at Penn State Schuylkill in a seamless and timely manner.

For more information on becoming a nurse practitioner with a Penn State master of science in nursing degree, contact Marsha Freije, academic adviser, College of Nursing graduate programs, at 814-867-5025; or visit nursing.psu.edu/graduate/msn/npo. To speak to a Penn State Schuylkill representative, contact Marianne Adam, coordinator of the Penn State Schuylkill RN to B.S.N. program, at 570-385-6061 or mta133@psu.edu, or learn more about the Schuylkill campus Nursing program at schuylkill.psu.edu/nursing.