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Saint Joseph’s University and Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Complete Landmark Merger, Bolstering Healthcare Education Offerings

Marking the second acquisition in two years, Saint Joseph’s is reinforcing its commitment to educational excellence in healthcare, adding a school of nursing and allied health.

Female Saint Joseph's University nursing student in clinical center

Spring 2024

Total reading time: 2 minutes

Saint Joseph’s University completed a landmark merger with Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences (PA College), resulting in the acquisition of more than 15 new nursing and allied health programs. The acquisition, which follows closely on the heels of another successful merger with University of the Sciences, further expands Saint Joseph’s academic portfolio in the health sciences in the broader region and brings a bachelor’s-level nursing program to the University’s Philadelphia location.

“This merger not only continues PA College’s legacy of excellence in healthcare education in the Lancaster community, but also allows Saint Joseph’s to continue expanding our offerings in sought-after nursing and healthcare programs,” said Cheryl A. McConnell, PhD, president of Saint Joseph’s. “Together, we will educate and prepare the next generation of healthcare leaders, innovators and caregivers.”

Both Saint Joseph’s University and the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences are dedicated to educational excellence and share a passion for advancing healthcare. Students will benefit from a proven, accredited curriculum, state-of-the-art facilities and mentorship from experienced faculty, positioning them for success in their chosen healthcare careers.

“By combining our strengths with Saint Joseph’s, we can create a dynamic educational environment that fosters innovation, collaboration and hands-on learning,” said Melissa Snyder, DEd, FNP, CNE, former assistant dean of nursing at PA College and inaugural dean of nursing and allied health at Saint Joseph’s. “This partnership will undoubtedly shape the future of healthcare education in Lancaster, Philadelphia and beyond.”

In addition to the merger agreement, Saint Joseph’s has penned two additional agreements: one with Lancaster General Health and one with Penn Medicine. Lancaster General 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. The strong affiliation agreement allows for tuition benefits and clinical placements and the two organizations 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 Hawk Hill nursing students. Additional clinical placement sites are anticipated to be announced in the coming months.

PA College has prided itself on its excellent licensure exam (NCLEX) passage rates being among the best in the nation and state in nursing at 97.62% for 2022-2023 BSN students. Saint Joseph’s will continue to uphold these high educational standards, bringing its own excellent liberal arts foundation and strong Jesuit roots.

For more information about the merger and the new healthcare programs offered, please visit