Department of Nursing


nursingstudentNursing provides many employment opportunities. Our degree ladder approach allows you to start and/or continue your nursing career from the associate degree level through the doctorate level. The nursing faculty consists of experienced educators with expertise in many nursing specialties.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced in November its expectation that registered nurses will experience greater job growth than any other occupation by 2018, with 581,500 jobs or a 22.2 percent increase.   

deborah  j. kelly, DNP, RN, CHPCA
Chair and Nurse Administrator
department of nursing

1801 West First Street
220 Montgomery Hall
Oil City, PA 16301
814 676 6591, Ext. 1258
If you cannot find the information you are looking for or have questions please contact the Department of Nursing.  We are happy to assist you in any way that we can.  Call 814-393-1251. 
Choose Your Program:
Associate of Science in Nursing (Venango campus)
RN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Online)

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Clarion campus)

Master of Science in Nursing (Online)

Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online)
Hospital setting
Clarion University's ASN, BSN, RN-BSN and MSN nursing programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Upon achieving Candidacy Status (upon graduation of the first DNP class), the department plans to pursue ACEN accreditation for this new program as well.

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
Phone: 404 975 5000

Associate of science in nursing Questions? 

Deadline to apply - July 1, 2017 for the Fall 2017 semester

Patti Shontz
Venango campus
218 Montgomery Hall
814 676 6591, ext. 1252
The Clarion University of Pennsylvania Associate of Science in Nursing Program prepares technical nurses to exhibit integrity and ethical behavior, and to provide holistic patient centered care, with dignity and respect for diversity.  
The two-year Associate of Science in Nursing Program provides educational experiences that promote:
  • Human Flourishing,
  • Nursing Judgment,
  • Professional Identity,
  • and a Spirit of Inquiry.
The program encourages students to aspire towards excellence and provides the graduate with a foundation for further education.  Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be eligible to take the national licensure examination to become a registered nurse.  Upon successful completion of the licensure exam, students can begin working as a registered nurse. Most of the ASN graduates obtain employment and continue in the online RN-BSN program around work and family obligations and are able to secure financial assistance through tuition reimbursement through their employers to continue on in the RN-BSN program offered completely online.

 What are the differences in the ASN and the BSN four-year program?

ASN Students in sim lab


2016 NLN Test Information (ASN Students only)

all testing is held in Montgomery hall, room 311 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, on the Venango campus

Test dates:

October 28, 2016
Nov. 18, 2016
Dec. 9, 2016
Jan. 13, 2017
Feb. 10, 2017
March 10, 2017
April 14, 2017
May 12, 2017

Student Guide to NLN Testing Portal 


Are you a graduate of the Associate Degree in Nursing program at Community College of Beaver County (CCBC)? 

Through a new agreement with Clarion University, Community College of Beaver County graduates who hold an Associate Degree in Nursing and other nurses in or near CCBC, who already hold a diploma or associate degree, can earn credits from CCBC that apply towards a bachelor's degree from Clarion University.

This partnership agreement provides an opportunity for students to take all of the general education courses and a nursing elective required for the BSN degree at CCBC. This is a very cost-effective solution for nurses in the region.  These courses can be taken face-to-face or online.  The students will then take the last 30 credits through Clarion University.  Clarion provides all of their RN-BSN courses online so students would not need to leave Beaver County to complete the degree.   Additionally, Clarion tuition tends to be among the lowest in the region for bachelor of nursing level courses, particularly as an online option.   


"Fall 2014 was my first experience with online classes, Clarion, and the RN-BSN program. I was very anxious and uncertain at the beginning of the program but can honestly say I now feel empowered. I have learned so much and can actively participate in conversations about the costs of healthcare, the PPACA, and current practices that I never would have believed possible when this semester started. I truly believe the instructors want us, as a class, to succeed. I am now certain that I made the right decision in choosing this program and Clarion."

- Laura Ravotti (current student)

RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Questions?

Patti Shontz
Venango campus (RN-BSN) 
218 Montgomery Hall
814 676 6591, ext. 1251


The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree builds upon the knowledge of registered nurses and continues their education completely online.  The program aims to provide educational experiences designed to promote scientific inquiry, creative thinking, critical judgment and personal development.  This establishes the basis for a variety of BSN learning activities that focus on professional nursing practice.

  • New 7 1/2 week class format
  • Students with 90 credits can complete in 3 semesters
  • Credit given for prior leaning
  • Affordable
  • Employers love our grads!
In addition, the RN-BSN program at Clarion University provides a foundation for graduate education at the master's and doctoral levels. Clarion University accepts transfer credits from other accredited colleges and universities.
RN-BSN Admissions (Requirements/Processes)
Gain credit for what you already know

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
A maximum of 60 credits may be earned through the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP).  No more than 30 of the 60 credits may be earned after admission.  These examinations, administered by the College Entrance Examination Board, may be taken at the Venango Campus of Clarion University.  They are designed for adult learners and non-traditional students who have gained college-level knowledge through prior education or training.  The College-Level Examination Program includes five general examinations and approximately 31 subject examinations, which if successfully passed, will earn the student three credits per examination.  A list of the general and subject examinations, minimum acceptable scores, and credits available is published in the Clarion University of Pennsylvania Undergraduate Catalog.
Credit for Prior Learning Procedure (CLEF)
The faculty of the RN-BSN Program recognizes that some students enrolled in the program have had specific life experiences directly related to the nursing courses of the program. In accordance with the University's policy and procedure on granting academic credit, the following steps describe the procedure students would follow when requesting credit for life experience.
  • Review Clarion University's policy and procedure for Credit for Prior Learning.
  • Obtain from the School of Nursing a course syllabus for each course you are seeking credit for life experience.
  • Complete the Credit for Prior Learning Form (CLEF).
  • Attach to the form a detailed narrative documenting prior learning related to specific course work. Each objective of the course is to be addressed in the narrative.
  • Submit a portfolio of additional documentation which supports the prior learning. Documentation may include but is not limited to a resume, certificates, grant proposals, project descriptions, brochures, pamphlets, and conference agendas.
  • Submit a hard copy of all of the above information to the Department of Nursing Chair. Packets may be mailed to the office, or hand delivered to either Venango campus or the Pittsburgh site. Prior Learning Credit will not be considered until the packet is complete.
  • Faculty and the Department Chair will review the packet and make a recommendation within 4 weeks of receiving the packet.



Bachelor of Science in Nursing (4-year) Questions? 

Kristina Kennedy
Clarion campus (BSN4Y) 
132 Ralston Hall

814 393 1851
The new traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program is innovative in its approach to nursing education. Unlike many nursing programs, students in Clarion's BSN program will participate in nursing courses and be introduced to research and critical thinking beginning in the first semester. Several high-impact educational practices such as clinical experiences, nursing courses, collaborative assignments, undergraduate research and a capstone project are incorporated throughout the curriculum.

The program utilizes a highly successful clinical immersion model in which several instructional methods are used to support lectures and discussions. Simulation laboratories, volunteer experiences in health care agencies, and creative, hands-on experiences such as live standardized patient labs and research studies are in place throughout the freshman through junior years as components of clinical learning to support senior-level clinical preparation.

In the senior year students will be immersed in clinical practice and will complete five clinical specialty rotations, after which they will participate in a clinical preceptorship. Capstone courses are offered in the final two semesters of the program and will result in a completed research project.|

Nurse with child
What are the differences in the ASN and the BSN four-year program?


BSN Admissions Requirements

BSN Curriculum Plan & Checksheet

BSN 4 Year Handbook




Master of science in Nursing

best online programs

The Clarion and Edinboro universities Master of Science in Nursing degree program offers a concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner. The didactic coursework is online; focused clinical and internship experiences are offered in local health care and educational agencies. Students must live within a two-hour drive of Edinboro University or Clarion University's Clarion, Venango or Pittsburgh campuses.

college choice awardIndependent college search and rankings website College Choice has published its 2016 Rankings of Best Online Master's in Nursing Programs. Clarion University of Pennsylvania/Edinboro University of Pennsylvania ranked #17 overall.  The 2016 Rankings of Best Online Master's Nursing are based on the number of factors, including academic reputation, acceptance rate, cost of tuition, and average graduate earnings. Data was collected directly from school websites and from other publicly available sources, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and

Post-Master's Certificate Programs

For individuals already holding a master's degree in nursing, options include a post-master's certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), or a second master's degree in the FNP concentration.


MSN Questions?
Debbie Ciesielka, DEd, ANP-BC
Program Coordinator, Clarion & Edinboro Universities MSN Program 
814 393 1851 

Patti Shontz
Venango campus
218 Montgomery Hall
+1 814 676 6591, ext. 1252
  • Accessibility. With the exception of clinical experiences, internships and select skill labs, course work is delivered in an online format that is available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Affordability. Tuition is competitive as part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
  • Responsiveness. Program graduates meet regional health care needs by providing primary care in rural and medically underserved communities.
  • Quality. The U.S. News & World Report Best Online Education Program Rankings, 2016 edition, ranked the Clarion and Edinboro Universities Master of Science in Nursing Program among top programs for the third year in a row.
  • Success. Over the past three years students averaged a 97% first-time pass rate on FNP certifying exams.  In addition, graduates are in high demand by employers and many have continued their educations at the doctoral level.

Note: Students who are not enrolled in the program but take individual classes that are included in the curriculum are subject to course surcharges.

MSN Application Procedures & Materials
MSN Student Handbook
MSN Program Information Sheet

*Due to state authorization requirements, we are currently only able to accept students from Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio, or those who otherwise hold an RN license in Pennsylvania and are willing to complete all clinical practice hours within a 2-hours driving time of the Edinboro/Erie area and Clarion University sites in Clarion, Oil City, and Pittsburgh.



DNP online

*27 credits post-masters to DNP completion

Online nursing programs offered by Edinboro University in consortium with Clarion University ranked 4th in's list of the 25 most affordable schools offering online nursing degrees.

DNP Questions?  
Dr. Colleen R. Bessetti-Barrett, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC | Assistant Professor
Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Coordinator
Graduate Program Head - Department of Nursing
Edinboro University
Jeremy Brown Human Services Building 
215 Scotland Road Office #122
Edinboro, PA 16444
814 732 1643/Fax: 814 732 2536

DNP Program Directors:

Dr. Meg Larson, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC
Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing
814 732 2458

Dr. Jill Rodgers, DNP, CRNP
Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing
814 732 2236

The Clarion and Edinboro Universities' DNP Program is a 27 credit on-line program that offers students the opportunity to advance their skills and education through the study of leadership, policy, population health, and clinical practice.  Students will have the opportunity to develop a doctoral research project in collaboration with DNP faculty.  Courses can be taken part-time over 5 semesters in an online format. Students will be admitted in cohorts and begin courses in May of each year. The program is designed to be flexible, affordable and professionally rewarding. The online, part-time structure accommodates employment as an advanced practice nurse while pursuing the DNP, thus easing the financial burden.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a master's degree* in nursing or health science from a nationally accredited program.  This may be direct care such as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetist, clinical specialist, nurse midwife or in-direct care such as nurse administrators and nursing informatics.

The student must also meet the following requirements:

  • Completed online application form
  • Non-refundable application fee ($40 payable at the time of online application submission)
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
  • *Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other bachelor's degree from an accredited program with a GPA of 3.25 or higher (Applicants must have at least one degree in nursing, either a BSN, BSN equivalent, or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).  Applicants with only a diploma degree in nursing or ASN cannot be accepted).
  • *MSN or other master's degree from an accredited program with a GPA of 3.25 or higher (Applicants with a master's degree other than nursing may require additional coursework prior to enrollment, as determined by a review of official transcripts)
  • A graduate course in research with a grade of "B" or higher or successful completion of graduate thesis (Note: Completion of a graduate level capstone project will be considered upon review of the project)
  • Two professional recommendations; excluding peer reference
  • Resume/CV
  • Current unencumbered licenses as a Registered Nurse 
  • Written documentation of completed clinical hours in a master's program (DNP degree requires a total of 1000 hours of clinical time between the master's and doctoral programs)
  • A type-written 1-2 page personal statement describing your learning goals and a telephone interview

*Students who have not yet completed their master's degrees:  Admission can be granted to students contingent upon anticipated graduation from their master's degree program during their initial semester in the DNP program.

Apply Now 

Application Deadline: Accepting applications until all seats are full. Classes begin May annually.

Please submit all application materials in a large envelope to the administrative site:

Graduate Admissions, Clarion University, 840 Wood Street, Clarion, PA 16214

Tuition and Fees 

 *Due to state authorization requirements, we are currently only able to accept students from Pennsylvania and Colorado.  Students in Colorado must be employed in advanced practice and licensed and covered under the employer's workman's compensation.


DNP Application Procedures


Mu Xi - The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International

In 1922 six  nurses founded Sigma Theta Tau at the Indiana University Training School for  Nurses, now the Indiana University School of Nursing, in Indianapolis, Ind, U.S.A.  The founders chose the name from the Greek words Storgé, Tharsos and Timé  meaning "love," "courage," and "honor." The honor society became incorporated in  1985 as Sigma Theta Tau International, Inc., a not-for-profit organization with  a 501(c)(3) tax status in the United States.

Organizational Mission

The mission of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma  Theta Tau International is to support the learning, knowledge, and professional  development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide.

Society Vision

The vision of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma  Theta Tau International is to create a global community of nurses who lead in  using knowledge, scholarship, service and learning to improve the health of the  world's people.

Mu Xi Officers

President: Nancy Falvo
Vice President: Laurie Pierce
Treasurer: Linda Steiner
Secretary: Sherry Patton
Counselor:  Laurie Bladen

Officer, chair, and committee member positions are immediately available to anyone who is interested. Please contact one of the officers listed above for more information.



Last Updated 11/23/16