Agreement with Penn State

Questions about the agreement with Penn State University

Which Dixon classes do I receive an official transcript from Penn State Abington for?

The courses are Pharmacology, Health Assessment, Understanding and Applying Nursing Research, Introduction to Nursing Informatics, and Transitions and the Professional Nursing Role. Students who successfully complete each class will receive an official transcript from Penn State showing completion of these five courses, for a total of 15 credits that may be applied to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

What’s the total number of credits that Penn State Abington will accept for completing the Nursing program at Dixon?

All students will receive 34-35 credits for the 1st year courses completed at an accredited college/university (nursing prerequisite courses) which transfer to Penn State. All courses must be successfully passed with a grade of C or higher. While attending Dixon, the student is taking our nursing credit course work for two years. The nursing school’s credits are diffferent than the typical accredited college/university credit system. The graduate is given officially 33 college credits by Penn State for completing the nursing program at Dixon and upon passing the licensure examination. To clarify, 15 Penn State University credits are included in the Dixon curriculum. Penn State Abington will apply the 15 credits and the 33 credits toward the core curriculum requirements for the BS in Nursing degree upon successful completion of the NCLEX licensure examination. Students who have additional college coursework may receive additional transfer credits.

Please note, Penn State now requires a math prerequisite(Math 021 is a prerequisite for Chem 101) prior to taking Chemistry at their school.

How many more credits will I have to take at Penn State Abington for the BS in Nursing Degree? How quickly can I complete the remaining courses?

The BS in Nursing Degree requires a total of 120 credits, so students graduating from Dixon in 2015 and later will need at least 34-36 additional credits. This number will vary based on the individual coursework of the student.The courses can be completed in as little as one to two semesters in the full time Pathways program and in one to two years when completed part time.  Click here for the DSON – PSU Abington RN to BS Worksheet. Additional information is also available here:

What’s the advantage of the agreement between Dixon and Penn State Abington?

The higher number of transferable credits means the student has less courses to complete at Penn State Abington for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, which saves both time and tuition expense.

Where are the classes held? Who teaches the classes?

All classes are held at the Dixon School of Nursing, and are taught by Dixon School of Nursing faculty during the two year nursing program. Students who choose to continue at Penn State for the RN to BS in Nursing degree have the option to take courses on campus at Penn State Abington, online through Penn State’s World Campus, or through the Penn State Pathways program offered at Dixon School of Nursing.  All Penn State courses are taught by Penn State faculty.

While enrolled at Dixon, am I also considered a Penn State student?

While enrolled full-time at Dixon, students are Dixon students, not full-time Penn State students.  However, students will receive a Penn State Abington ID Badge and access to resources on campus, such as the Library.

Do I pay tuition and fees to Penn State Abington?

No. The tuition and fees are paid to the Dixon School of Nursing while you are here for the two years of the nursing education. The tuition cost for each nursing course and the Penn State course(s) are included per term on the student’s account. Dixon students gain access to resources at the Penn State Abington campus while enrolled.

What is the difference between the credentials BSN and BS with a Major in Nursing?

(BSN and BS in Nursing) are the same— the institution determines what credentials are given.
The BS with a major in nursing is an academic degree
The BS in Nursing (BSN) is a professional degree.

Educational Preparation:

Basically the BS with a Major in Nursing versus a BSN designation is determined by the institution presenting the degree. The two degrees are equivalent in nursing requirements and may differ a bit in the general education requirements.

The courses offered in BS degree with a major in nursing include general education courses that will be more broad in nature than those offered in a BSN. For example, courses in BS include communications, natural sciences, math, chemistry, algebra, and biology (science foundation) and a specialization (major) in nursing. The courses offered in the BSN provide student with basic foundation in science while focusing on nursing as a specialty.


Both the BS with major in Nursing and BSN have common nursing courses (specialization) that prepares the student to sit for the NCLEX and for entry into nursing practice. Also, either degree allows the individual to pursue graduate education.

-Dr. Raymonde Brown, Associate Dean for Nursing, Penn State University

The School of Nursing at Penn State University has full accreditation from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Credentialing Center for Nursing Education (AACN-CCNE), and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).