Pennsylvania offers as many nursing education possibilities as the best of any state, with almost 100 training facilities that range from community colleges to teaching hospitals. At least seven colleges offer a docoral program, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University in Philadelphia, the University of Pittsburgh, Villanova University, Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Waynesboro College in Canonsburg and Widener University in Chester. These universities also offer various programs outside the PhD, including programs for minorities at the University of Pennsylvania, an open door to adult learners at Villanova and an accelerated second degree BSN at Pittsburgh. Other venues for Pennsylvania students include a learning diploma in nursing at such places as Allegheny Valley Hospital in New Kensington or at Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johnstown. Many other schools throughout this state offer associate, BSN and MSN degrees in cities and towns such as Millersville, Indiana, Hazleton, Scranton and many others.

Statewide, the average salaries for LPN, RN and specialty nurses range between $13,000 and $75,000 annually, depending upon degree earned, years in the field, expertise and size of the health facility. One of the largest employers in Pennsylvania includes the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UMPC, with a team of more than 40,000 employees who work in a new 900,000 square-foot hospital in the Lawrenceville area. This campus is part of a ten-acre, 1.5 million-square-foot campus development that requires even more employees. Genesis HealthCare, located in Kennett Square, is one of the nation’s largest long-term care and rehabilitation therapy providers. This company currently has over 34,000 employees situated throughout their system of 200 nursing centers and assisted living communities located in twelve eastern states. The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, Presbyterian Medical Center, Pennsylvania Hospital (the nation’s first hospital), CPUP, PennCare and Penn Home Care Services. On the other side of the state, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System was established as the first hospital in Pittsburgh and the first Mercy Hospital in the world. Saint Vincent Health System, based in Erie, not only is one of this state’s largest employers, but they offer “job shadowing” for high school juniors and seniors who might want to enter the health professions. Finally, Select Medical Corporation operates 97 specialty hospitals, over 600 outpatient rehabilitation clinics and the ability to provide medical rehabilitation services on a contract basis to nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living and senior care centers, private homes, schools and work sites. This organization is located in Mechanicsburg. These examples provide just a smattering of nursing employment opportunities in Pennsylvania.

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