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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 2022

Orientation Webinar: Tuesday , January 11th, 2022

Classes Start: January 12th, 2022

Summer 2022

Orientation: Thursday, May 12th, 2022 

Classes Start: May 17th, 2022

Fall 2022

Orientation: Monday, August 29th, 2022

Classes Start: August 30th, 2022

 Incoming Student Checklist 

 1. Register your PennKey- (Codes will go out by April 1st) 

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 time frame, please visit the PennKey website and click on the “student” tab.

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.

*Students who have been admitted to start more than one year in advance will not receive a PennKey until approximately 6-9 months before their start date.

* University of Pennsylvania is currently transitioning to a new record keeping system. PennKey codes should be sent out by April 1st. 

 2. Apply for your School of Nursing accounts (both computer and email) 

All students are required to open a Penn Nursing email account. Please do so as soon as you have established your PennKey, and plan to access it daily. The account application form can be found on our ITS site under Getting Connected - Incoming Students - Request Your School of Nursing Email Account . You will note in the instructions that you can set up your e-mail to be read from your home computer. The ITS website has other information about the technology resources available to students at the School of Nursing.

* PennKey required. Will be available after April 1st. 

 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 a full review. Learn about the transfer credit policy and apply for transfer credit here

* PennKey required. Available after April 1st. 

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

*PennKey may be required. 

 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

This spring, the Graduate Student Center (GSC) will be hosting several webinars for incoming students to learn about their options for living on-campus or off-campus. Register  for the webinars on the GSC website.

 8. Update your personal information

Update your address information, emergency contacts, and profile. 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. 

*PennKey required. Available April 1st. 

9. Register for courses (PennKey required)

Registration is managed by the Nursing Registrar. 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.

Registration instructions and resources are also available on the website under Courses & Registration.

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. 

* PennKey required. Available after April 1st. 

 10. 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 must be registered for classes before you are Penn Card eligible and you can pick up your Penn Card no sooner than two weeks prior to the beginning of classes. The PennCard center is located on the second floor of the Penn Bookstore (located at 3601 Walnut).

* PennKey required. Available after April 1st.