• Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

Licensure exam (NCLEX-RN) pass rates have averaged above 90-percent for Gannon University Villa Maria School of Nursing students over the last five years, and graduates enjoy a nearly 95-percent placement rates within months of graduation.

  • Nursing Students in Classroom
  • GU Possibilities
    • 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 95-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

    The baccalaureate program in Gannon University’s Villa Maria School of Nursing  is a community-based curriculum, providing students opportunities to offer holistic nursing care to individuals, families, groups, communities and larger 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. In addition to the baccalaureate program, Gannon offers an online RN to BSN completion option, an online post-bachelor’s certificate in school nursing and an on-ground RN to MSN program leading to a master’s degree in nursing.

    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. Our state-of-the-art Patient Simulation Center is integrated throughout the curriculum to enhance student clinical expertise, critical thinking ability and confidence in clinical practice.

    Between the student’s junior and senior years, summer internships are available in Erie’s 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 nurse aides.

    You Will Achieve

    Students will be prepared to enter into the largest healthcare profession. The Villa Maria School of Nursing helps students develop intellectual curiosity and a quest for life-long learning. Achieving the Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) provides the foundation for entry-level professional nursing practice and preparation for graduate-level study in professional nursing.

    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 (based on geographical location of employment): $55,400
    • Mid-career salary: $71,700

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

    You Will Study

    Example Course Descriptions

    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 identified populations within the community.

    NURS 312 Promoting Health in Child Rearing Families

    This course provides students with the opportunity to apply the nursing process in promoting health in pediatric populations. Three levels of prevention are addressed with students providing anticipatory guidance, wellness care, age appropriate screenings and illness care. Health promotion strategies are applied in such a manner as to recognize the family as primary care giver. Clinical experiences are community-based and include ambulatory clinics, educational and inpatient sites.

    NURS 415 Comprehensive Nursing Practicum

    This senior nursing practicum facilitates the students' ability to synthesize knowledge, skills, and experiences in selected healthcare settings. This experience enables the student to develop independence in professional practice. Individual goals and objectives are mutually determined by faculty and student to evaluate success in the practicum. Students are paired with an agency preceptor to attain individualized course objectives. A faculty facilitated seminar is conducted weekly.

    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.