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MSN & DNP Students

Welcome and congratulations on your acceptance to Penn Nursing!

New Student Orientation

The first step on your journey - a full day orientation at the school of nursing before you start your first semester of coursework. You’ll learn about academic opportunities, support services, financial aid, technology - and more! - while getting a chance to interact with faculty, staff and fellow students.

Spring 2017


When: Tuesday, January 9, 2018 from 9:30 - 3pm
Where: Claire Fagin Lobby (418 Curie Blvd)

Classes start: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 (Monday class schedule)


Summer 2018


Orientation: Thursday, May 10, 2018

School of Nursing summer classes start on Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Fall 2018

Orientation: Monday, August 27, 2018

Classes start: Tuesday, August 28, 2018

RSVP to New Student Orientation

 Incoming Student Checklist

 1. Register your PennKey

A PennKey and password are required to access many of the University’s resources, including establishing your Nursing email. You should receive a PennKey set-up code in the mail or email within 5 to 7 business days after you submit your enrollment deposit. If you do not receive your set-up code in this timeframe, please visit the PennKey website and click on the “student” tab.

Note: If you have a PennKey from a previous Penn affiliation (i.e. Knowledge Link at UPHS), you do not need to create a new PennKey.

 2. Open a Penn Nursing email account
All students are required to open a Penn Nursing email account. Please do so immediately, and plan to access it daily. E-mail setup can be found online here. You will note in the instructions that you can set up your e-mail to be read from your home computer. You can also visit the ITS website for more information about the technology resources available to students at the School of Nursing.
 3. Review tuition and financial aid information
The Penn Nursing Financial Aid Office provides expert, individualized financial aid counseling to help you best plan your Penn Nursing education. Learn about program cost, types of financial aid, and next steps here.
 4. Apply for transfer credit
All transfer credit requests must be submitted for full review. Learn about the transfer credit policy and apply for transfer credit here
 5. Learn about clinical compliance
All students in clinical MSN programs will need to fulfill a series of compliance requirements prior to starting clinical coursework. One of these requirements is that students must have and maintain a current RN license in PA prior to admission and obtain DE and NJ licensure prior to the start of their clinical courses. It is recommended that you begin the process of applying for state licensure at least 6 months prior to your first clinical course. Please wait until you receive instructions from the Office of Compliance before you begin to work on any other compliance requirements, as the timing will differ based on your plan of study.

 6. Enroll in or waive health insurance

The University of Pennsylvania requires full-time students to meet certain health requirements, including carrying comprehensive health insurance coverage and immunization against diseases. The Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) is available for students who do not have insurance, whose plans do not provide coverage in the Philadelphia area, or whose plans do not meet our criteria for alternative insurance. You can enroll in the PSIP or request an insurance waiver on the Student Health Services website.

Full-time students must meet University immunization requirements, which is a distinct process from the School of Nursing clinical compliance process. More information can be found here.

 7. Explore housing options

The University offers on-campus housing for graduate students, or you can use Penn Off-Campus Services to assist in your Philadelphia housing search.

New to the area? The Penn Grad Housing Guide, based on a survey of 1,000 graduate students at Penn, is a useful starting point for getting to know the city’s neighborhoods and housing options

 8. Update your personal information
Update your address information, emergency contacts, and profile on Penn InTouch. Carefully review your billing, local, and permanent addresses so that communication from the school will be sent to the correct address. Periodically review your profile to make sure everything is correct. 
 9. Create your Academic Planning Worksheet

Each MSN student is expected to create and maintain an Academic Planning Worksheet in Penn InTouch, using their plan of study from admission. The worksheet is used to plan and track degree progress, and will be viewable by both the student and their advisor(s). Instructions on how to create your worksheet can be found here.

Please note that students in the Streamlined Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Post-Masters program do not need to create an academic worksheet.

10. Register for courses

Registration is managed by the Office of Student Information. They will send instructions by email once registration is open for your particular start term. You will register for courses based on the plan of study received at the time of admission; if you need to make any changes to your plan of study, please contact your Program Director before you register.

Canvas is the Learning Management System used at the University of Pennsylvania. Students use Canvas to access their course content, upload assignments, and interact online with their instructors and classmates. Once you register for a course, you will be added to the Canvas site. Please note that sites are published individually by instructors each semester, so don’t worry if you don’t see a course in your course listing right away. 

 11. Pick up your Penn Card
PennCard is the official identification care of the University of Pennsylvania and is required for all students. The PennCard gives you access to many University facilities. You do not need to have a PennCard prior to orientation or the start of classes, but please get one as soon as possible after your arrival on campus. The PennCard center is located on the second floor of the Penn Bookstore (located at 3601 Walnut).