School of Nursing

Penn Nursing offers a number of resources and experiences not found at most other schools, including a state-of-the-art simulation lab with mannequins that respond as patients would, classrooms with the latest hospital-based electronic medical records (EMR) technology, and clinical experiences in The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, two of the nation’s best hospitals. Penn Nursing is a premier academic and research institution renowned for advancing the frontiers of nursing science and patient care. Our students learn from the thought leaders in nursing research, education, and practice who ensure Penn Nursing remain one of the top schools of nursing in the world. At Penn Nursing, students become part of the next generation of healthcare leaders, prepared to care for patients, to conduct landmark research, and to make new strides in healthcare management and health policy.

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The mission of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is to make a significant impact on health by advancing science, promoting equity, demonstrating practice excellence, and preparing leaders in the discipline of nursing.


The mission of the School of Nursing is aimed at meeting the health needs of society in a global and multicultural world. To this end, scholarship, research, education, and practice are integrated to create a culture of inquiry that values intellectual curiosity and diversity, and where faculty, clinicians, staff, and students thrive and learn from one another.

Scholarship and Research

We believe that integrating the arts and sciences is the basis for nursing knowledge and the framework for nursing practice and scholarship. Nursing knowledge encompasses empirical, philosophical, historical, ethical, and personal ways of knowing and is fundamental to the advancement of professional practice. Scholarship encompasses more than research, but also the integration of research into practice and health policy formation and the advancement and dissemination of nursing knowledge. Research is integral in every educational program and strengthened by participating in and contributing to the rich scholarly environment of the University and across national and international health policy organizations.

Nursing is scientifically based and carried out autonomously, as well as interdependently. The focus is development, dissemination, and utilization of knowledge about nursing actions that promote positive changes in patients, systems of care, and the larger society. Nurses collaborate with individuals, families, groups, communities, and other professions to achieve health and well-being for all people.

The School of Nursing is responsive to numerous influences that shape health care, including evolving models of care, consumer advocacy, demographic changes, and advances in science and technology. The faculty are committed to a scholarly agenda that pushes the boundaries of nursing science, in turn influencing education and shaping policy and practice.


Education at the University of Pennsylvania facilitates the intellectual, personal and social development of students as they identify and attain academic and professional goals. Our educational environment fosters independence, ethical behavior, creative and critical thinking, increased breadth of knowledge, and sensitive interactions concerning cultures and viewpoints.

Programs, from baccalaureate to post-doctoral and lifelong learning, are enriched by the varied needs and perspectives of a culturally diverse population, as well as pressing needs for nursing leaders in a rapidly changing world. These leaders will be the clinical experts, health policy shapers, and nursing scholars of the future.

The baccalaureate program, including traditional and second degree students, focuses on professional nursing practice across the continuum of health care, with particular emphasis on vulnerable populations. The curriculum is dynamic and includes leadership skills, interdisciplinary collaboration, and content and clinical experiences that emphasize evidence-based practice. The curriculum also reflects changes in science and technology.

The Master’s programs focus on advanced practice nursing and administration, with an emphasis on specialty and subspecialty practice in concert with changing societal needs. Graduate nurses are prepared for advanced practice that creatively combines knowledge and skills in critical thinking and expert interventions across the lifespan. Special attention is given to clinical decision-making and management skills, as well as methods of evaluation of quality and cost of care.

Pre- and post-doctoral education is dedicated to advancing the discipline of nursing through research. The goal is to equip students with a foundation in nursing and a field of concentration to make substantive contributions to scholarship. Strong faculty mentorship is integral to the development of a critical cadre of future researchers, academicians, and leaders, nationally and internationally.


The primary goal of nursing practice is to optimize care and outcomes for patients and their family members. The practice of nursing is the foundation for informing educational pedagogies and for the generation of discipline-specific research. Practice is defined as the diverse and varied construction, application, and evaluation of knowledge and the action within the discipline of nursing, particularly for the recipients of nursing care. We believe it is the responsibility of academic nursing to serve as the fulcrum of modeling the intentional integration of education, research, and clinical care to improve the delivery of quality health services.

Nursing is an evidence-based, caring profession that improves the health and quality of life for individuals, families, and communities throughout the world. Nursing possesses a unique body of knowledge that guides its practice in both autonomous and collaborative health care settings. Penn Nursing serves as the model for nurses who care for society’s needs in a global and multicultural context. Thus at Penn, we seek to promote health and alleviate suffering in every part of the world by preparing nurses to be responsive to the health-related issues and preferences, values, and needs of all societies. Our goals are to improve and maintain optimal health, prevent disease, enhance the quality of recovery from illness, and support patients and families to cope with acute and chronic health problems. Penn Nursing serves as a model to direct the advancement of the translation of evidence-based knowledge toward culturally competent models of care.

Revised Mission and Philosophy approved by the School of Nursing Faculty Senate 2/3/03.

Revised Mission and Philosophy approved by the School of Nursing Faculty Senate 5/7/12.

Revised Practice statement approved by the School of Nursing Faculty Senate 4/8/13.

Revised Mission approved by the School of Nursing Faculty Senate 10/5/15.

The Office of Nursing Research, along with our four research centers and partnerships across Penn, provide students with resources and support that are virtually unparalleled in our field. Students, from undergraduates to doctoral students, have numerous opportunities to engage in research and work alongside some of the most recognized researchers in their fields. 

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Accreditation is a hallmark of educational quality, and we are proud to share our credentials on our website:

Penn Nursing students benefit from a dual advising structure. All students are assigned a faculty advisor and have access to the professional staff advisors in the Office of Student Affairs.

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