More Hawks in Healthcare: Saint Joseph’s to Acquire PA College
In January 2023, Saint Joseph’s University entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences (PA College) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The merger will expand both Saint Joseph’s geographic reach beyond Philadelphia and its academic portfolio with more than 20 nursing and allied health programs ranging from certificates through the doctoral level — including a BSN nursing program on Hawk Hill. The agreement also allows PA College to increase opportunities for students while preserving and stewarding its tradition of serving South Central Pennsylvania through excellence in healthcare education for more than 120 years.
“We know that programs like those offered at PA College are not only sought after by students, but they also have an exponential value in the communities where those students then go on to live, work and lead," said Cheryl A. McConnell, PhD, president of Saint Joseph’s University. "It has long been our strategy to add nursing to our list of offerings for our students.”
In the fall of 2024, Saint Joseph’s Hawk Hill campus will become home to a robust BSN nursing program. Students will benefit from experienced faculty leading well-established coursework, simulation-based learning and hands-on clinical experiences in Philadelphia, one of the nation’s healthcare hubs.
The agreement also allows for the development of interprofessional and interdisciplinary programs at the intersection of societal need and student interest, as well as an academic portfolio that includes certificate and two-year nursing and allied health degree programs.
PA College’s rich history includes a long-standing connection to its founder, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (LG Health), where more than 800 employees are current PA College students and thousands more boast alumni status. PA College students’ licensure exam passage rates are among the best in the nation and state in nursing — a testament to PA College’s strong curricula and excellent faculty and LG Health’s outstanding clinical rotation experiences.
LG Health and Saint Joseph’s are committed to future students and patients through a joint healthcare-education pipeline, which will continue to provide a pathway to rewarding, financially secure careers for Lancaster-area residents. They will maintain strong affiliation agreements allowing for tuition benefits and clinical placements and will engage in ongoing conversations to address evolving healthcare workforce needs. Additionally, the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine) will reserve clinical placements in the Philadelphia metropolitan area for Saint Joseph’s nursing students.
“We know that programs like those offered at PA College are not only sought after by students, but they also have an exponential value in the communities where those students then go on to live, work and lead. It has long been our strategy to add nursing to our list of offerings for our students.” - Cheryl A. McConnell, PhD, president
Saint Joseph’s and LG Health intend to continually evaluate and adapt educational offerings to meet Southeastern Pennsylvania’s evolving healthcare workforce demands with a sustainable academic portfolio.
More than 1,500 PA College students will become part of the Saint Joseph’s community following the closing of the merger, which is planned for January of 2024, after a one-year period of integration planning and efforts. Closing of the merger is subject to a variety of accreditation and government approval processes.
For more information, please visit www.sju.edu/pacollege.