Undergraduate Major

Accelerated Nursing (BSN)

Whether you are a second degree student or transferring credits, earn a BSN from a nationally ranked, accredited program that will prepare you for the ever-evolving health care field.

Nursing BSN student in clinical setting

Program Overview

Our accelerated bachelor of science in nursing will put you on the inside track to becoming a registered nurse. The accelerated program is designed for:

  • Transfer students seeking a bachelor's degree in nursing
  • Second degree students seeking a bachelor's degree in nursing

Our flexible, powerhouse program, available at our Chester Campus and Harrisburg Campus, allows you to earn a bachelor of science in nursing in just five semesters.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Widener University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Program Options

Students who wish to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing can enroll in the accelerated BSN program at our Main Campus in Chester, or at our Harrisburg Campus.

Students are required to complete pre-requisite coursework for both the main campus and Harrisburg programs prior to enrollment. Please review the list for both campuses below in the Admissions section.

Review the Loading... required for the Nursing, Full-Time Accelerated Option, BSN program.

Admissions & Program Requirements

  Chester, PA (Main Campus) Harrisburg, PA
Early action/conditional admissions deadline November 1, 2018  
Regular action deadline January 15, 2019 September 1, 2019
Final action deadline March 1, 2019 November 1, 2019


Students must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA from all previous colleges/universities.

Students need to have completed or be in the process of completing the pre-requisites prior to enrolling.

  • Chemistry (4 credits, including lab)
  • Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits, including lab) taken within 5 years
  • Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits, including lab) taken within 5 years
  • Microbiology (4 credits, including lab)
  • English I
  • English II
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Psychology or Sociology elective at the 200 level
  • Additional social science elective
  • Statistics
  • Nutrition
  • Ethics course
  • Humanities elective: any philosophy, modern language, history, art history, or English course
  • Additional humanities elective 
  • Students must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA from all previous colleges/universities
  • Students must have a bachelor's degree or be in the process of completing a bachelor's degree
  • Students must have completed the following courses:
    • Chemistry (4 credits, including lab)
    • Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits, including lab) taken within 5 years
    • Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits, including lab) taken within 5 years
    • Microbiology (4 credits, including lab)
    • Statistics
    • Nutrition
  • Completed application to Widener University specifying a major in nursing.
  • 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA in previous course work with a pattern of academic success, particularly in the science courses.
  • Letter of good standing from the dean/director/chair of the nursing program for students whose transcript contains evidence of nursing courses, including a statement indicating the student is eligible to return to the school.
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions.

Transfer Evaluation:

Every transfer student admitted to the Chester campus will receive an official transcript evaluation. The Office of Transfer Admissions can perform unofficial transfer credit evaluations prior to submitting an application or admission decision. However, priority is placed on submitted applications/admitted students.

Students must earn a grade of "C" or higher in order for a course to be considered for transfer credit. See local community college course guides for easy pre-requisite course reference.

International applicants, immigrants to the U.S., and U.S. permanent residents are required to submit the results of an English proficiency test taken with 2 years. Accepted tests and requirements are as follows:

  • TOEFL Internet-based test (80 minimum/26 minimum on the speaking section)
  • TOEFL Paper-based test (550 minimum)
  • TOEFL Computer-based test (213 minimum)
  • IELTS (6.5 overall band score)
  • *IETS (TOEFL) school code for Widener University is: 2642

Non-native English-speaking applicants born outside the United States who attended a high school in the U.S. since the 9th grade must submit an official final high school transcript as well the SAT or the TOEFL scores.

Interested in learning more about the Accelerated Nursing program? Join one of our many virtual sessions at the convenience of your own home. 

Register for a Virtual Information Session

Program Highlights

Take the inside track to a career in nursing.

Nursing BSN students in a clinical setting


Our accelerated program is designed in a flexible evening and weekend format to work for your schedule.

  • Main Campus classes during the weekday afternoon
  • Harrisburg Campus classes during the day

Clinical and lab sessions at both campuses are available at weekday, evening, and weekend times.

Female nursing student hands on in a clinical setting

Hands-on Learning

Gain hands-on learning in our state-of-the-art Center for Simulation and Lab Testing. You’ll work to problem solve clinical scenarios and learn to apply skills and techniques learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

Nursing Student in Hospital Clinical Setting

Clinical Experiences

You will be matched with the region’s top hospitals for clinical practicum. From a large teaching hospital environment to a small agency, you'll gain clinical experience in a variety of specialties in our network of more than 60 hospitals.

Female nursing student in clinical setting

Service Learning

Your education will expand beyond the classroom. From a Community Nursing Clinic and local outreach projects, to an annual disaster simulation event, you'll have the opportunity to participate in a variety of service learning activities that will enrich your academic experience.


You’ll benefit from close faculty mentorship from full-time professors who aren’t just teaching the courses but are creating the science of nursing education.

Rose Rossi Schwartz
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

"As a teacher, my role is to help students go beyond the facts. It is equally important to help students grow as people, support their professional and intellectual development, and to expand their world views. Through this growth process, students better understand themselves, their clients, and the clients' experiences."

Shirlee M. Drayton-Brooks
Professor of Nursing

I ascribe to a pragmatic philosophy of teaching and learning. I believe that nursing education must be practical and logically aligned to the diverse needs of the population we served.

Darrell Spurlock Jr.
Professor and Scholarship Director

"I teach because I believe sharing knowledge and stimulating thinking is a fundamental task of any discipline. I believe that education is change, and change is a constant human feature; education is, in this way, choosing to change. Though the focus of my scholarship and teaching centers on research methods, measurement, evaluation, and quality improvement, these knowledge areas form the bedrock of evidence-based practice—the kind of practice all health care professionals aspire to deliver to patients, families, and communities."

Kim A. Noble
Associate Professor

I believe that an education with a foundation in science is essential for entry into nursing or advanced practice nursing. Nursing clinical reasoning skills grow as students apply an understanding of disease as the loss of normal function.

Students have great variation in their manner in which they acquire, process, manipulate, store, and retrieve learned information. It is a faculty priority to assist students with the development of metacognitive strategies to assist learning success and retention.

Barbara J. Patterson

"As an educator, researcher, and student advisor, I am passionate about preparing the next generation of nurse leaders, educators, and scholars. I believe advancing the science of nursing education is dependent upon preparing doctoral students who question and explore how they teach while generating the best evidence for their teaching practices."

Nancy Laplante
Associate Professor

I consider myself to be compassionate and caring, and strive to engage my students in respectful dialogue. Teaching is a collaborative process between students and faculty, and there is a reciprocal relationship as we all learn from each other. As an advanced holistic nurse, I incorporate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection in my teaching and seek to be a role model for my students.

Donna M. Callaghan

"My teaching philosophy has its roots in Bandura's Theory of Self-Efficacy. I believe that students learn (and clients change behaviors) through observing others perform activities, doing the activities themselves, having positive feedback provided, and having their anxieties decreased."

Paula A. Gray
Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing

"I am a proud graduate of Widener's FNP program and very passionate to teach, mentor and guide students to achieve their goals in becoming successful graduates of this program. The program is well known in the Tri-State area and beyond, and because of our certification pass rate and graduate's preparedness for the work-force, our graduates are able to be employed as APRN's very soon after graduation."

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

You'll have a resume distinguished by career-specific learning experiences.

Recent Employers & Industry Connections

  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Cooper University Hospital
  • Main Line Health System
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
  • Crozer Keystone Health System
  • Christiana Care Health System
  • Einstein Medical Center
  • St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Registered nurse
  • Nurse educator
  • Legal nurse consultant
  • Case management
  • Worker compensation nurse

Industry Growth

Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

94% Graduate Employment Rate

The percentage of students who graduated with a job in 2018.

Related Work Settings

  • Hospital
  • Long-term care facility
  • Outpatient setting
  • School
  • Home care

Take the Next Steps

Start your nursing career at a university that will put you on the inside track to success.

Visit Us

To visit Widener is, more often than not, to fall in love with the place. To fit your timeline and schedule, we offer a variety of ways to get to know us. Can't make it to campus? Attend a virtual information sessions for the Accelerated Nursing program.

View Tuition and Fees

When comparing costs, we encourage you to look beyond sticker price. Because Widener is a private institution, we’re able to offer financial assistance that brings our exceptional education within reach

Financial Aid

Our financial aid team takes the guessing game out of applying for financial aid. To determine your financial aid package, including scholarships and grants, apply and complete the financial aid process. You might be surprised at how much we can offer in assistance.

Next steps to apply

Applying online has never been easier—and it’s free! We also accept the Common Application. Take the next step toward joining the Widener Pride.

Get in Touch