nursing lab

Nursing (ASN)

This program is designed to give you the hands-on clinical experiences needed to become an excellent nurse. In addition to your coursework, you will rotate through quality healthcare facilities, all within a reasonable distance from the Commonwealth University - Clearfield and Lock Haven campuses.


Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) Program



The Associate Degree Nursing program supports the mission of the Commonwealth University (CU). The Department of Nursing is committed to providing excellent, accessible, affordable high quality nursing education to meet the diverse and changing health care needs of the service area and to promoting the development of qualified students prepared for the professional role of the entry level nurse. The Department of Nursing values intellectual challenge, supportive learning environment, student success, ethical behavior and civility, civic responsibility, stewardship and service. Through real-world experiences and close interactions with faculty, students apply their knowledge from the liberal arts and sciences and nursing courses in a variety of clinical settings helping the student to gain diverse experiences and perspectives.
The Department of Nursing encourages students to participate in a variety of co-curriculum activities to develop teamwork, leadership and interpersonal skills. Graduates of the program may be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).


The philosophy of the Associate Degree Nursing program is a result of the faculty’s beliefs about the human being/patient, environment, health, nursing, practice and education of the Associate Degree nurse.

Human beings/patients are recipients of nursing care services. Patients may be individuals, families, groups, communities, or populations. Patients may function in independent, interdependent, or dependent roles, and may see or receive nursing intervention related to disease prevention, health promotion, or health maintenance, as well as illness and end of life care. The faculty believes in a culture of holism and affirms the human person is an individual, who is complex, multidimensional, unique, and significant possessing inherent value and worth. All individuals have dynamic physiological, psychological, socio-cultural, spiritual and developmental needs that contribute to health, quality of life, and achievement of potential. Each individual has a right to access health care and information that will assist him/her to participate actively in his/her health care in order to achieve the highest level of wellness possible. All individuals should be cared for, respected, nurtured, and assisted within the context of their environment. Patient centeredness must be the focus of providing and managing nursing care.

Environment is the “surrounding context, milieu, conditions or atmosphere” in which an individual lives, works, or plays (ANA, 2010, p. 64). The individual interacts constantly with a changing environment that consists of both internal and external forces. These forces vary throughout the lifespan and have the potential to cause stress in the individual. The
organization’s systems and the individual’s characteristics influence how well the individual adapts to his/her environment. Considering the environment, the nurse can assist the individual to alter aspects of the environment and to utilize innate and learned coping mechanisms to adapt to these stressors.

Health is an ever-changing state of mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. It exists on a continuum from optimal wellness to illness and ends in death. The individual’s needs for health care are determined by his/her position on the continuum. Each individual’s health is based on his/her cultural perceptions and beliefs of health and illness and on the ability to adapt to internal and external environmental forces. To the extent of their capabilities, individuals are responsible for and capable of identifying, learning, and practicing health behaviors that can promote wellness, prevent illness, restore or maintain wellness, or achieve a dignified death.

Nursing is “the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations” (ANA, 2010, p. 10). Nursing is a profession that combines the science and art of
integrating and assimilating knowledge, skills and attitudes to deliver patient-centered, culturally competent and holistic care. Knowledge and skills are derived from biological, sociological and behavioral sciences and information technology. These knowledge, skills and attitudes provide the foundation from which nursing judgment occurs. Nursing judgment
enables the nurse to integrate the art of nursing with the scientific foundation for nursing practice utilizing the nursing process. Functioning autonomously and through collaboration and teamwork, the nurse incorporates evidence-based practice and good communication skills to assist individuals to reach their maximum health potential. The goals of safe and quality client outcomes, promotion of wellness, prevention of illness, restoring of health or assistance in achieving a dignified death are assured through this teamwork approach.

Practice-The graduate of the Associate Degree Nursing program at CU is prepared to meet the educational competencies defined by the Nurses of the Future Core Competencies, QSEN, and the Nurse Practice Act of Pennsylvania (Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Nursing Initiative, 2016). The graduate incorporates concepts of safety, quality improvement, leadership, professionalism, and informatics into clinical practice to achieve client goals and outcomes and organizational outcomes. . Valuing diversity and global health the graduate helps to create a work culture directed at providing cultural sensitive care while meeting the health care needs of individuals throughout their lifespan.

Nursing education at the Associate Degree level is a process that develops professional behaviors, professional identity, and judgment necessary to function in the role of the entry-level nurse. The nursing curriculum is based on a balance of evidence-based nursing theory and practice, general education, and the sciences in an environment conductive to adult and
collaborative learning. The Associate Degree Nursing program at CU provides an education that progresses from simple to complex, novice to self-directed (Benner, 1984), and addresses the changing health care needs of the individual, significant support person(s), and community. Through these educational experiences, with the utilization of information technology,
evidence-based practice, cost-effective strategies, and quality improvement measures, students will have the opportunity to integrate critical thinking and nursing knowledge to develop clinical judgment skills to “generate the best possible evidence-based solutions in order to deliver safe client care” (Woo, n.d.).

Learning is a life-long, continuous process that results in a change of behavior and occurs when the individual is challenged and motivated to enhance excellence in personal and professional development. Teaching and learning are parts of an interactive process between teacher and learner. The responsibility of the faculty of CU Associate Degree Nursing program is facilitate the student’s understanding and ability to meet the competencies for nursing practice through the
design and evaluation of learning experiences. The nursing student is responsible and accountable for actively participating in learning experiences and for developing the knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional behaviors necessary to provide safe, quality, patient-centered nursing care.

  • American Nurses Association. (2010). Nursing’s social policy statement: The essence of the
  • Benner, P. (1984). From novice to expert: Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice.
  • Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Nursing Initiative. (2016). Massachusetts Nurse
    of the Future Nursing Core Competencies – RN (3rd ed.).
  • Woo, A. (n.d.). A practical framework for measuring higher-order cognitive constructs: An
    application to measuring nursing clinical judgement. NCSBN: National Council of State
    Board of Nursing.
  • QSEN competencies. (2020). QSEN Institute.



This is an innovative, fast-paced, two-year program leading to an Associate of Science in Nursing degree. The Associate of Science in Nursing Program prepares nurses to manage direct care to patients with commonly recurring illnesses in acute and long-term health care facilities. There is an optional externship program between the first and second years and a semester long preceptorship experience during the last semester. All graduates are eligible to take the licensing exam for registered nurses. The Associate of Science in Nursing Program at Commonwealth University is committed to excellence in nursing education.

Minimum Nursing Requirements

  • GPA of 2.7 or higher
  • Algebra- earning a C or higher. From high school or college level.
  • Biology with a lab- earning a C or higher. From high school or college level.
  • Chemistry with a lab- earning a C or higher. From high school or college level.
  • TEAS composite score of 65% or higher

PLEASE NOTE:  Disclaimer: Those who apply that do not meet the admission criteria may or may not be added to a waitlist to be considered for the program when application criteria is met. Acceptance is highly competitive. Being added to the waitlist does not guarantee acceptance into the ASN program. 

--End of Program Student Learning Outcomes

Click here to download PDF

Upon completion of the  Commonwealth University Associate Degree nursing program, the graduate is prepared to:

  1. Provide nursing care across the lifespan, adapted to the health care consumer’s physiological, psychological, socio-cultural, developmental, and spiritual dimensions of health. (Patient-Centered Care)
  2. Demonstrate professional nursing behaviors, evidencing integrity, legal accountability, ethical responsibility, advocacy, caring and a commitment to lifelong learning. (Professionalism)
  3. Select informatics and technology to manage information, minimize error, and achieve defined health care outcomes. (Informatics and Technology)
  4. Select effective and professional communication skills. (Communication)
  5. Interpret effective relationships with health care consumers and members of the health care team in order to meet mutually determined health care outcomes. (Teamwork and Collaboration)
  6. Demonstrate the ability to provide nursing care that protects health care consumers and health care personnel from health and environmental hazards. (Safety)
  7. Evaluate the principles of quality improvement to achieve cost effective, patient-centered outcomes. (Quality Improvement)
  8. Use critical reasoning and best current evidence to make nursing care decisions. (Evidence-Based Practice)
  9. Select leadership strategies to direct nursing care, promote change and foster achievement of health care goals. (Leadership).
  10. Demonstrate professional nursing behaviors related to global health practices that include the effects of the culturally diverse community, from the individual to global perspectives, on such areas as disease transmission, violence, health care policy, and health care economics. (System Based Practice/Global Awareness)
--Application Process

Application deadlines

All applications are processed through the CU Admissions Office. The Admissions Office will correspond with applicants about missing paperwork or inability to meeting the competitive prerequisite requirements.

Early Deadline: December 1st
     Nursing admissions committee will review only completed files received by the above date.
     Applicants will be notified of their decision via email in late December

Regular Deadline: March 1st
     Nursing admissions committee will review only completed files received by the above date.
     Applicants will be notified of their decision via email in early April

PLEASE NOTE:   It is your responsibility to ensure all course information has been submitted with your nursing application by the deadline in order for your application to be considered complete. Only completed course final grades will be accepted for prerequisite courses, not courses in progress. 

Application Process

Apply online using the Commonwealth University application

  • High school students must submit transcripts from high school, including dual enrollment courses.
  • Transfer students must submit official transcripts from high school and every college they have attended. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Acceptance into Commonthwealth University does not guarantee acceptance into the nursing program. Admission to the nursing program is a separate process. Applicants for the nursing program are considered on a competitive basis for fall semester start date only.

CU Student Interested in Changing Major 

Directions for Current CU Student- Application for Fall 2024



You will need to have a minimum composite score of 65 on the TEAS exam as part of your admission application. You may take the exam once in a calendar year, Jan. 1 – Dec. 31.

The  Breiner School of Nursing will accept TEAS scores from exams taken at (1) Commonwealth University (2) PSI Testing Center; or (3) at another University. If you take the exam remotely or at another University it is your responsibility to have your scores sent to Commonwealth University. To register for the TEAS exam go to

*When you take the test, you are given 1 credit that can be used to send the report to the school of your choosing. You can go back into your account at any time and list (Commonwealth University of PA Lock Haven ADN) to receive the report and then they will automatically send the report to us.

Effective June 3, 2022, ATI replaced the ATI TEAS Version 6 Exam with the ATI TEAS Version 7 Exam. The CU Nursing Department will accept exam results from either Version 6 or Version 7 for Fall 2024. TEAS Scores are valid for 3 years.

learn more about the TEAS and register here

If you have questions about the  Nursing application requirements please contact the Nursing Department at 814-768-3450. If you have questions about the application process please contact the Admissions Office at 570-484-2027 or .

--Courses and Course Sequence

The Associate of Science in Nursing courses consist of liberal arts and selected sciences, as well as nursing courses.  Each required course listed on the curriculum worksheet must be taken in the designated sequence as knowledge builds from less complex to more complex.  Each nursing course is made up of a theoretical and clinical component. 

Topics covered include:

  • Foundations of Nursing
  • Medical Surgical Nursing
  • Maternal Child
  • Behavioral Health
  • Geriatrics
Nursing ASN Degree Map (Lock Haven and Clearfield) Nursing ASN Checksheet
--NCLEX Passage Rate
NCLEX Passage Rate
Class of 2023 96% *Exceeds state and national Average
Class of 2022 75.51%
Class of 2021 74.63% 
Class of 2020 89.09% *Exceeds state and national Average
Class of 2019 94.12% *Exceeds state and national Average
Class of 2018 89.13% *Exceeds state and national Average

pic1Nurse and Baby

Program Highlights

  • Scholarships: From honorariums to full-tuition waivers, scholarships exist to reward your hard work and dedication to the major. Find more information here.
  • Accreditation: The ASN Nursing Education Program is accredited by ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.).
  • PA State Board Approved: Our ASN program is fully-approved by the PA State Board.

  • Facilities:  Faculty deliver courses in technology-enhanced classrooms with vast multimedia capabilities.  Students can access open computer labs and campus wireless network when using personally-owned devices.  Students can request technology resources from Stevenson Library, Media Services.

 ACEN Image

The ASN nursing program at Commonwealth University located at the Clearfield and Lock Haven Campuses, located in Clearfield, Pennsylvania and Lock Haven, Pennsylvania is accredited by the: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 975-5000

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the ASN nursing program is Continuing Accreditation

The Commonwealth University,  Associate of Science in Nursing program meets the state educational requirements for the Registered Nurse license in the state of Pennsylvania. Commonwealth University has not determined if the Associate of Science in Nursing program nursing program at Commmonwealth University meets the state educational requirements in any other state or any U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia. Contact the state regulatory agency for nursing in any other state for which this information is needed.

The National Council for State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has resources that may be helpful:
1. Nursing Practice Act
2. FAQs regarding the impact of 34 CFR 688.43 on nursing programs

3. State Authorization for Distance Education and Field Experiences

Contact Us

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