At Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, our Nursing Education and Professional Development program helps nurses at every level grow and flourish in their profession.

This support starts with our academic Nursing Education programs. We recognize the importance of developing the next generation of nurses to continue the pursuit of clinical excellence. To accomplish this, we provide diverse clinical experiences to undergraduate and graduate nursing students from local, regional and national programs.

Our professional nurses benefit from our Professional Development programs. Working in central Pennsylvania's only academic, Level I, regional trauma offers you many opportunities for clinical and professional advancement. We are proud to be an organization where you can truly find your nursing niche.

Comprehensive programs

Nursing Education and Professional Development at Hershey Medical Center includes programs such as:

  • Specialty certification. This is one of the best ways for our nurses to demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills while receiving financial rewards.
  • Tuition assistance programs. These offer our nurses financial assistance for continued education.
  • Our Professional Clinical Ladder. This program is based on a theory of skill acquisition. It offers our nurses the opportunity for professional growth, career advancement and financial rewards. Our four-tier program is designed to recognize different levels of nursing expertise within the organization. 
  • Continuing education. Nurses at Hershey Medical Center are encouraged to participate in continuing education. View continuing education opportunities

Annual School Nurse Conference

The Annual School Nurse Conference is designed to provide relevant, up-to-date information to school nurse professionals. At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to transition reviewed concepts into excellent care for school-age children in the community. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association Approver Unit an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. A completed evaluation is required in order to receive a certificate for attending this activity.

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Education assistance

Education assistance

Hershey Medical Center offers a variety of tuition programs intended to enhance the recruitment, retention and advancement of those employees interested in attaining a nursing degree, as well as advancing their nursing career. Employees interested in becoming nurses may benefit from the tuition reimbursement program. The nursing educational assistance program (SEIU, Article 34) and educational privileges at Penn State can assist current nurses with advancing their nursing careers.

Tuition reimbursement program

All full-time non-bargained employees of Hershey Medical Center have the option of attending a college or university of their choice (other than Penn State) and working toward a degree or certificate program, which is mutually beneficial to both the employee and Hershey Medical Center. The employee is reimbursed 85 percent of his or her tuition up to $5,250 per calendar year. Employees must submit grades and proof of payment at the end of each course for reimbursement. Many of our current Hershey Medical Center employees who are interested in pursuing a nursing degree use this program to complete their pre-requisite courses. The policy explaining this can be found under Human Resources, Policy HR58. Teamster employees are eligible to receive up to $2,100 for undergraduate courses and up to $2,500 for graduate classes.

Nursing tuition program

Administered through the Department of Nursing, this program allows both part-time and full-time nurses working toward an advanced nursing degree to be reimbursed 100 percent of tuition only. Grants and scholarships are not eligible for reimbursement. Full-time nurses qualify for up to $5,250 reimbursement in a calendar year, and part-time employees qualify for up to $1,500. Employees must submit grades and proof of payment at the end of the course for reimbursement. Information regarding this program is located in the SEIU Handbook, page 71, article 34, Educational Assistance, or refer to policy HR66.

Educational privileges

Educational privileges allow all full-time Hershey Medical Center employees to attend any Penn State campus and receive a 75 percent tuition discount. Classes are offered locally and current BSNs utilize this program to pursue master's level programs. The policy explaining this can be found under Human Resources, Policy HR12.

Programs may be subject to certain levels of taxation.

The tuition application process has been reorganized to allow easy access to all education benefits and opportunities with a single contact in Human Resources to guide you. For additional information or questions regarding any of these programs, contact Human Resources, at 717-531-3831.

Nurse anesthetist education expense program

This program provides newly graduated nurse anesthetists reimbursement for costs associated with their program of study. Hershey Medical Center will provide up to $40,000 toward expenses. To receive the maximum benefit, nurse anesthetists must maintain full-time employment with Hershey Medical Center as a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) for a period of 36 consecutive months.

To be eligible for this reimbursement, you must be a full-time, benefit-eligible (0.9 - 1.0 FTE) nurse anesthetist who fulfills a defined employment commitment at Hershey Medical Center. Eligible participants must have:

  • Graduated from a nurse anesthesia program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
  • Been hired by Hershey Medical Center into their first nurse anesthetist position since graduating their program of study
  • A current Pennsylvania RN license to practice their profession
  • Certification by the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA)

To learn more about our Nurse Anesthetist Education Expense Program, please contact our nurse recruitment team at nurserecruitment@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Inspired Nursing Program

Inspired Nursing program

"Inspired Nursing" is a program for any high school student, college student or other individual not currently in a health care-related program of study who is interested in exploring a professional career in nursing. Open to individuals age 16 years and older, the program highlights the diversity of roles and opportunities in nursing. The day begins with brief presentations by nurses who practice in a variety of roles and clinical areas. Inspired Nursing participants then have an opportunity to tour our clinical nursing units and participate in hands-on nursing activities in the state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Center at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

We are excited to announce that the Inspired Nursing Program will return to an in-person event on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact Dawn Eppinger at deppinger@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Program registration

Registration for the program is required. The program will begin promptly at 7:45 a.m. and conclude at noon. 

Please register online through Ticketleap:

Note: You must fill out the electronic registration form and sign the Code of Conduct/Waiver/Confidentiality Agreement in order for your registration to be complete.

Once you register, please send your registration documents to the Inspired Nursing Program by one of the following ways:

  1. Scan the documents and email to Dawn Eppinger at deppinger@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.
  2. Fax to 717-531-8861.
  3. Mail to:
    Dawn Eppinger – Inspired Nursing Program
    Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
    Department of Nursing
    500 University Drive, P.O. Box 850 
    Mail Code H102
    Hershey, PA 17033-0850

Your program registration will not be considered complete until electronic registration is complete and these documents are received.

Day of program checklist

  • Wear business casual attire (please reference Code of Conduct and Dress Document within your registration paperwork for more information).
  • Wear comfortable shoes (no open-toe).
  • Bring directions to T4007 and additional paperwork emailed after confirmed registration.
  • Bring a pen.
  • Wear your nametag at all times.

Frequently asked questions

Is lunch included?

No, the Inspired Nursing Program will conclude at noon. Light refreshments will be served at the beginning of the program.

When will my registration be confirmed?

You will be contacted at least one week prior to the event about your acceptance.  

Future Dates for 2023 Inspired Nursing Program

  • Feb. 20, 2023
  • Aug. 11, 2023
  • Oct. 9, 2023

Continuing Education

Nursing Continuing Education

For more information about continuing education events for nurses, please visit: https://ce.med.psu.edu/programs/nurses/