• Licensure exam (NCLEX-RN) pass rates have averaged 93.5 percent over the last five years.
    • Graduates of Gannon’s nursing program enjoy a nearly 100-percent placement rate within months of graduation.
    • The Villa Maria School of Nursing was one of the first generic baccalaureate programs in Pennsylvania, admitting its first students in 1952.
    • Gannon’s nursing programs have held approval from the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing since 1953, and have maintained consistent accreditation since 1965.
    • The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing and post-graduate APRN certificate at Gannon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

    You Will Learn

    Gannon University’s Villa Maria School of Nursing baccalaureate program is a community-based curriculum, providing students opportunities to offer holistic nursing care to individuals, families, groups, communities and populations. Students benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio in the clinical setting with nursing faculty who specialize in the area they teach.  Students and faculty in the Villa Maria School of Nursing are involved in more than 3,000 service-learning hours per year. Gannon offers an online RN to BSN completion option.  A post-bachelor’s (BSN) certificate in school nursing is also available online. An RN to MSN option leading to a master’s degree in nursing is available. 

    You Will Experience

    Clinical experiences are an integral part of the baccalaureate nursing curriculum. The Villa Maria School of Nursing has affiliation agreements with more than 50 healthcare agencies in northwestern Pennsylvania. Students complete 980 hours of supervised clinical experience before graduation. During senior year, students will complete 224 hours of clinical with a RN preceptor to provide synthesis of the professional nursing role.

    Between the student’s junior and senior years, summer internships are available in Erie’s state-of-the-art medical centers and hospitals. Students can also apply to health centers close to home in preparation for their first position after graduation. Internship areas of interest include medical surgical floors, psychiatric mental health facilities, intensive care units, oncology units, pediatric facilities and mother/baby centers. Students can qualify after successful completion of the sophomore year to be employed as nursing aides.

    You Will Achieve

    Students will be prepared to enter into the largest healthcare profession and the beginning to a lifelong career. The BSN provides the foundation for entry-level professional nursing practice and preparation for graduate-level study in professional nursing.

    You will Study

    The baccalaureate program of the Villa Maria School of Nursing offers students a wide range of experiences in the classroom and in the community. Notable courses in the program include:

    NURS 206: Health Assessment I

    This is the first course in a two-course sequence in health assessment for the professional nursing student. Successful completion of this course will provide students with

    a nursing approach for conducting and documenting a comprehensive health assessment. Students learn to consider normal variations specific to gender, age, developmental level and culture. A major expectation is that students apply appropriate health promotion strategies to members of the peer group and to identified populations within the community.

    NURS 204: Pharmacology and Nursing Implications of Medication Administration 

    This course is designed to focus on nursing pharmacology by presenting a firm theoretical foundation and a practical approach to drug therapy applicable in community-based settings. The course presents general principles, theories, and facts about drugs. General characteristics of major classifications of medications are discussed. Specific information regarding action, dosage, side effects, adverse reactions and contraindications of selected medications within each classification is addressed. Practical information is presented on how the nursing process is integrated with pharmacology. Specific drug information is discussed in relation to assessment, nursing diagnoses, client monitoring, interventions, client education and evaluation of safe and effective drug therapy.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    The employment opportunities for registered nurses (RNs) are excellent, as a continued shortage of RNs is projected through 2025. Salaries in the industry vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • Starting salary: $55,400
    • Mid-career salary: $71,700

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (