Nurse Practitioner Programs in Pennsylvania: Facts & Figures

The Health Resources and Services Administration keeps close track of what it refers to as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), or counties that do not have enough health professionals to adequately serve their populations. There are numerous of these HPSAs across the state of Pennsylvania, and like many states in the U.S., there is a distinct need for nurse practitioners there.

The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing handles all applications for nurse licensure in the state, including applications to be licensed as a:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), including Nurse Practitioners
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with Prescriptive Authority (APRN-Rx)
  • Dietitian-Nutritionist
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Nursing Licensure in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is not a member-state of the Nurse Licensure Compact, so nurses who are licensed in another state must reapply for local licensure if they wish to practice in Pennsylvania. The steps for application are outlined below, and more detailed instructions can be found at the website of the Pennsylvania Department of State.

  1. Complete the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN), administered by the National Council of state boards of nursing (NCSBN).
  2. Submit all required paperwork, including transcripts from nursing college or training program and any previous licenses you have held.
  3. Submit to a criminal background check.
  4. Renew your license every two years using the application instructions available on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.
  5. Fulfill continuing education requirements every two years, and submit proof of this along with your renewal application.

Average Nursing Salaries in Pennsylvania

All salary data is as of May 2011.

The mean annual wage for RNs in the state of Pennsylvania is $67,140, which is below the national mean, but at least in the same ballpark. The state’s metropolitan areas show a wide range of wages for nurses, possibly due to major differences in population density and relative income in the different regions.

The table below compares the mean annual salaries for RNs in Pennsylvania against those in the metropolitan areas of the state, and against the U.S. as a whole. All data has been provided by The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Area Registered Nurses Average Salary
United States 2,724,570 $69,110
Pennsylvania 130,740 $67,140
Altoona, PA 1,690 $64,320
Lancaster, PA 3,700 $63,840
Philadelphia, PA Metro Division 45,820 $74,460
Pittsburgh, PA 28,040 $62,130
Reading, PA 3,760 $61,250

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