45 Top Accelerated Nursing Programs in Pennsylvania-Tuition

If you have plans of studying accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania, then it is highly likely that you may have a hard time finding what accelerated nursing programs will be best for you.

This is due to the high number of elite accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania. And even though we have covered 45 of the most reputable of these programs, there is still a chance that we might have left out a few.

However, that shouldn’t bother you as these 45 top accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania are the best nursing programs in the state, based on popular reviews and schools’ reputations.

Without further ado, let us dive in.


A career in nursing is a rewarding, high-demand field that offers many opportunities. Nursing programs are available at the associate and bachelor’s levels, as well as for students who wish to move into advanced practice roles. The programs can be completed in traditional or accelerated (fast-track) formats, with the latter offering more flexibility for students who have other commitments.

In this article, we also cover schools that have programs available for RN-BSN and LPN programs for aspiring nurses.

Entrance Requirements

To get admitted to study any of the top accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania, you may need:

  • A personal statement or essay that explains your motivation for studying nursing and why you’re drawn to this field. In it, you should address any gaps in your academic record—a low GPA, for example—or other issues that could be detrimental to your acceptance into a nursing program. If relevant, share how these experiences have shaped who you are today and how they’ve helped prepare you for a career as a nurse.

  • Letters of recommendation from previous instructor/university or employer who can speak to your performance in their respective fields and/or explain why they think you’d be good at pursuing nursing school.

  • To have at least a 3.0 GPA in prerequisite courses for accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania. However, this varies among nursing schools in Pennsylvania. Elite schools like UPenn require more than a 3.65 GPA.

  • To take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE), which is commonly required by most graduate nursing schools including those offering accelerated programs in Pennsylvania.

    Your GRE score will also help determine whether or not certain degree programs require additional prerequisites before admission such as math courses or chemistry classes If this applies to Accelerated BSN Programs in Pennsylvania then we have listed those below.

We hope this helps save time when researching what might best fit into one’s schedule before committing fully—especially if considering several options within close proximity since most accept transfer credits from each other’s institutions.


The cost of tuition will vary by school, and whether the accelerated nursing program is online.

Tuition costs are generally higher for online programs than for traditional on-campus programs. Accelerated nursing students also typically pay a higher tuition rate due to the increased number of hours spent in class each week.

Here is a highlight of some elite schools offering accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania.

Popular Nursing Schools in PennsylvaniaTuition Cost
UPenn$57,610 per year
Villanova University$48,500 per program (total ABSN cost)
Duquesne University$56,202 per year (12-month option)
Drexel University$13,803 per year
DeSales University$12,200 per year
Holy Family University$36,000 per program (total ABSN cost)
West Chester University$7,716 per year

ABSN Programs

Accelerated bachelor’s nursing programs, or ABSN programs, allow you to earn your bachelor’s in nursing (BSN) degree in just 12 months instead of four years for traditional programs. Some other programs take more than 12 months but less than four years to complete.

These accelerated programs are available at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels and have been designed specifically for students who want to advance their education while reducing the time it takes them to complete their degrees.

Most accelerated BSN programs take place on one campus with students taking classes during both semesters each year. Some schools offer hybrid courses that meet once per week over an extended period of time or online courses that allow students to complete coursework from home on evenings or weekends.

LPN Programs

Pennsylvania is home to a number of LPN programs that can help you advance your career.

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are healthcare professionals involved in patient care and management. They typically work under the supervision of a doctor, or even a Registered Nurse (RN).

If you’re looking for accelerated LPN programs in Pennsylvania instead, there are a ton of schools in Pennsylvania where these programs can be found.

ADN Programs

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs are a great way for nurses who have a degree in another field to enter the nursing field. They’re also an option for people who want to switch from another career to nursing, and even for individuals who already hold an ADN or BSN degree. In fact, there’s no limit on how many times you can enroll in an ADN program (with some caveats).

ADN programs are offered by vocational schools and community colleges across Pennsylvania. They usually take between one and two years to complete, depending on how much time is spent completing clinical hours at hospitals or other healthcare facilities during the school year and summer breaks.

RN-BSN Programs

If you have plans of entering the nursing industry quickly but have no background in nursing (say you got your first major in Biochemistry), then RN-BSN programs are best for you.

Throughout Pennsylvania, a ton of nursing universities and colleges offer these programs that teach you how to become a nurse as soon as possible and advance your career in the nursing workforce.

This article will teach you about the top schools that offer these programs.  

The List of Accelerated Nursing Programs in Pennsylvania

The following are the best 45 accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania. We’ve listed them in no particular order, as opinions are always divided on which schools are actually the best ones.

Drexel University, Philadelphia

Drexel University offers one of the shortest accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania. In just 11 months, students who study in Drexel’s NACE program can obtain their license and become practicing nurses. The school also offers an online accelerated MSN program.

Both programs include a summer term that allows students to earn credit at their own pace in order to finish by May of their senior year. There are also specializations available for both programs, providing students with more specialized training in departments such as nursing informatics or nursing administration.

View program.

DeSales University, Center Valley

DeSales University offers a 15-month ABSN program that provides students with the flexibility to earn their BSN while working full-time.

Students can take advantage of this program by enrolling in classes during the evening or on weekends (part-time), or completing the program in 15 months (full-time). This schedule allows them to balance the demands of professional life with their educational goals.

Students will complete the clinical portion of their education at one of DeSales’ hospitals, where they will gain hands-on experience working with patients. They will also have access to online resources and a variety of other services that help them succeed as future nurses.

View program.

Holy Family University, Philadelphia

The mission of Holy Family University is to provide a challenging, student-centered liberal arts education that fosters intellectual, spiritual, and ethical growth.

Holy Family University has been ranked as one of the best nursing schools for graduate students across the country for its accelerated BSN program since 2013. The accelerated BSN program allows you to earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing from Holy Family University after only 14 months of coursework and clinical training along with full-time work experience as an RN (registered nurse) at an approved healthcare facility or agency.

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La Salle University, Philadelphia

La Salle University’s accelerated nursing program is a 17-month program. It is offered as a hybrid format, meaning that students may attend classes in one of La Salle University’s three locations (Old City, Center City and their newest location in South Philadelphia).

The accelerated nursing program at La Salle University offers two start dates per year: August and January. The school also offers traditional on-campus classes for those who are unable to commit to the accelerated schedule due to work or family obligations.

Students will take one class at a time during each semester of their studies, with breaks between semesters in order to allow them adequate time for studying and completing clinical rotations in hospitals around Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania.

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Gwynedd Mercy University, Gwynedd Valley

Gwynedd Mercy University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program is designed for students who want to become nurses but don’t want to spend four years in school. It’s also perfect for nursing students who want to get their bachelor’s degree as quickly as possible.

The ABSN program allows you to earn your bachelor’s degree in under two years, and you’ll have access to the same supportive, small-class environment that Gwynedd Mercy University is known for. And because the program is accelerated, you’ll be ready to take on practical clinical experiences sooner than most traditional nursing students.

As a student at Gwynedd Mercy University, you’ll also have access to:

  • a variety of affordable dining options on campus;
  • the latest technology;
  • free printing at the library;
  • the opportunity to participate in sports and clubs;
  • and an overall top accelerated nursing program in Pennsylvania.

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Duquesne University, Pittsburgh

Duquesne University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is designed to prepare you for success as a registered nurse. It is one of the best schools in Pennsylvania, and as expected, they offer some of the best accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania for nurses who want to make a difference in their careers.

Duquesne University offers the regular 4-year BSN undergraduate program, a Weekend BSN program, and a 12-month accelerated second degree BSN program. Interestingly, students who enroll in its 12-month ABSN program have the option of extending their program by a semester (16 months) in cases where they don’t meet up with the required coursework for graduation.

In addition to its rigorous curriculum, Duquesne offers many benefits to help make your learning experience easier. They have a flexible schedule that allows you to work part-time (evenings and weekends) while completing your degree.

At DUQ, there’s no doubt that you’ll learn from the best in the business and receive specialized training that will prepare you for the demands of being an RN.

If you’re ready to take your career to new heights, you can view the program to find out if it is a suitable option for you.

Eastern University, St. Davids

If you’re looking for a high-quality, accelerated nursing program to complete your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in as few as 14 months, you should consider Eastern University. The accelerated BSN completion program is offered at the university’s campus in St. Davids and allows students to earn their bachelor’s degree while still enrolled in the Accelerated Nursing Program.

Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 and submit an application, essay and three letters of recommendation along with their academic transcripts. Additionally, applicants must complete the following prerequisites: Anatomy & Physiology I; Anatomy & Physiology II; Chemistry I or General Chemistry I; Statistics (with lab).

The program features include:

  • small class sizes with up to 18 students;
  • individualized attention from faculty members who hold at least one graduate degree;
  • hands-on experience through clinical rotations at partnering hospitals that provide opportunities to gain valuable experiences prior to graduation;
  • online learning resources such as faculty recorded lectures and practice tests;
  • access to library facilities including books, journals articles databases, etc.;
  • and computer labs equipped with software needed throughout the curriculum.

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Edinboro University, Edinboro

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a unique program that offers students the opportunity to earn a degree in just three semesters (12 months).

The program begins with a foundation course, which covers topics such as health promotion and disease prevention, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and pharmacology.

The following semesters of study focus on clinical experiences, including the development of critical thinking skills and clinical reasoning. Students also gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations that prepare them to work with patients in hospitals and clinics.

The Edinboro University ABSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and lasts for three semesters.

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Misericordia University, Coraopolis

The Misericordia University Accelerated BSN Program is a fast-track for registered nurses who are looking to complete their bachelor’s degree in nursing in just two years.

The program requires students to take 60 credits of accelerated coursework during their first year and then continue with 20 credits per semester. Students will be taught by professors who are experts in their fields, many of whom are practicing nurses.

The program also offers clinical opportunities at several hospitals throughout Western Pennsylvania including Allegheny General Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and UPMC Presbyterian.

View program.

Immaculata University, Chester Country

The 15-month accelerated nursing program at Immaculata University is offered in a blended format with both online and in-person components.

This allows students to complete their coursework quickly while still allowing them the opportunity to interact with their classmates and instructors. Courses are taught by Registered Nurses who have years of experience working in the healthcare field and understand what it takes to succeed as an RN on graduation day.

In addition, financial aid is available for those who qualify.

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Pennsylvania State University, Altoona

At Pennsylvania State University, you’ll be able to take advantage of an amazing opportunity to join a program that will help you advance your career in nursing.

The ABSN program at Penn State is a rigorous and challenging course of study, but it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in your life. It’s designed to give you all of the tools you need to be successful as a nurse practitioner in your chosen field.

In addition to learning from some of the most talented professors in the country, you’ll also get hands-on experience working at several different hospitals around the state of Pennsylvania. This is invaluable because not only will it help prepare you for practicing as a nurse practitioner, but it will also give you first-hand knowledge about what kinds of environments are best suited for each type of patient.

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Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg, Harrisburg

Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg is an accredited online nursing school offering a variety of accelerated nursing programs. These include an ADN program, a Second-Degree program, and RN to BSN.

These accelerated nursing programs are designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and want to become nurses. Students can complete their entire coursework online, but they must attend classes on campus at least once per quarter.

The university also offers several concentrations within the RN-to-BSN program, viz:

  • adult gerontology acute care;
  • family nurse practitioner;
  • health management and policy; maternal/child (nurse midwife) – mother-infant nurse education;
  • pediatric acute care, etc.

View program.

Robert Morris University, Moon Township

Robert Morris University offers a great ABSN program. Here are a few of the benefits:

  • The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN) and approved by the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing.
  • You will learn from experienced faculty who have real-world experience working as nurses.
  • The program is designed for working adults, so you can finish it in less than two years.

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Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia

Thomas Jefferson University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is designed to help you complete your bachelor’s degree in nursing in less time than the traditional four-year program. The ABSN program is offered at both the Philadelphia and Phoenix campuses, and it provides a convenient, efficient way to earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The ABSN program is designed for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in another discipline, meaning that you can enter the program with an undergraduate degree and still graduate as a nurse. The curriculum is designed around flexibility and relevance, so you can keep pace with your studies while balancing your busy life. The duration of the program is 1 year (FACT-1) or 2 years (FACT-2), depending on your track selection.

You’ll learn from experienced faculty members who are passionate about their work, and they’ll help you develop the skills you need to succeed as a nurse. You’ll also gain valuable clinical experience through hands-on training in hospitals throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

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University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia

Without a doubt, UPenn is one of the best nursing schools to study accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania in. The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing offers an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program. This accelerated nursing program is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree and want to become nurses in just 15 months.

In addition, the ABSN program at UPenn has a 93% NCLEX-RN pass rate, which means that most graduate students from this school are typically known to ace their license exams and become highly sought-after RNs.

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University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh is a world-class institution that offers an ABSN program that will prepare you to be a registered nurse. The program is offered at the Pittsburgh campus in Pennsylvania and includes a clinical component in which you’ll gain hands-on experience with patients.

The coursework covers topics including anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and therapeutic interventions. The school also has an excellent student support network that provides many opportunities for students to practice their communication skills as well as leadership abilities.

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Villanova University, Villanova

You’ve probably heard of Villanova University. It’s a top-notch Catholic university that has been educating students for over 150 years. Located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the school boasts a beautiful campus and world-class faculty.

But did you know that Villanova also offers an ABSN program? The Accelerated BSN program is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree and want to become nurses.

The 14-month or 23-month (BSNFlex) ABSN program is rigorous and challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. You’ll gain real-world experience through clinical rotations at local hospitals during your first semester, then learn how to apply that knowledge through classroom instruction from experienced nurses in the second semester.

The program culminates with an intensive capstone course where you’ll develop a personal learning plan to help guide your career path as a nurse. And there are plenty of opportunities for networking and career building after graduation. This program comes highly recommended at a bargain cost of $48,500 (excluding living expenses).

View the program.

Waynesburg University, Waynesburg

Waynesburg University has a nursing program that’s open to every student, and the university’s ABSN is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and other top accreditation bodies in global nursing.

The university offers an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program as a second degree for students who have already earned their first bachelor’s degree from another university or college. The program is a highly-rated one, and it is ranked as one of the top accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania.

For nursing students with continuing education, the school offers two options: an RN-to-BSN option, which allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree without needing to take general education courses; and an LPN-to-BSN option that helps already-practicing students develop leadership and technical skills needed in the healthcare industry.

These programs are designed to help students who have already earned their RN license or diploma to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Both options use an asynchronous format where “no live” classes are held; instead, you can work at your own pace through recorded lessons and assignments.

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West Chester University, Exton

West Chester University is a public university located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The university offers accelerated nursing programs for students who have already earned an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or near graduation, or are currently enrolled in a nursing program at another institution. These programs include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) – Accelerated Option.
  • RN to BSN program.
  • Advance 2 MSN (A2M) program for bachelor’s degree holders.

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Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre

Wilkes University is a private, co-educational university with three campuses in Pennsylvania. The main campus is in Wilkes-Barre, but there are also branch campuses in Nanticoke and Easton. The university has a large online presence that includes over 400 graduate degrees and certificates.

The nursing program at Wilkes University includes several options for students interested in accelerated nursing programs. There are accelerated bachelor’s degrees available through the School of Health Sciences and Human Services (HSHS) as well as accelerated master’s degrees in Nursing offered via the Graduate Studies Office at Wilkes University Graduate School of Professional Studies (GSPS).

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Delaware County Community College, Media

One of the top accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania is located at Delaware County Community College, Media. This public community college is full of resources that support student success, including an Academic Center for Excellence, Career and Transfer Center satellite office, writing center, and more.

The college offers undergraduate degrees in biology; business administration; criminal justice; English language/literature; mathematics; psychology and liberal arts & sciences. The Accelerated Nursing Program at Delaware County Community College (DCC) is designed to give students a strong foundation for success as they enter this rapidly changing field—and it will fit nicely with your other classes here.

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Harcum College, Bryn Mawr

Harcum College is a great place to start your career in nursing. Their Pre-Nursing program offers a unique curriculum that will give you the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the field.

The Harcum College ABSN program is designed to help you develop the critical thinking skills, clinical reasoning abilities, and communication abilities that are essential for success as a professional nurse. To achieve this goal, they created an intensive coursework plan that includes both classroom lectures and hands-on training in state-of-the-art simulation labs.

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St. Luke’s School of Nursing, Fountain Hill

St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Fountain Hill offers an accelerated nursing program that allows students to complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in just 24 months.

Students can also choose from two tracks to complete their RN-BSN: the traditional track, which requires one year of undergraduate coursework and three years at St. Luke’s; or the accelerated track, alternatively.

The Accelerated Track is designed for students who have completed at least 60 college-level credits with a GPA above 3.0 but under 3.3 (or equivalent). The Traditional Track is designed for those who have completed fewer than 60 college-level credits with a GPA below 3.0 (or equivalent).

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Lehigh Valley Health Network, Pottsville

The LPN program at Lehigh Valley Health Network is designed to give you the training and clinical experience you need to become a nurse. The curriculum is tailored to the needs of the Lehigh Valley community, so you’ll learn how to care for patients in a variety of settings.

If you’re interested in becoming a practicing nurse (LPN), consider applying for the ABSN program at Lehigh Valley Health Network.

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Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, Lancaster

If you’re looking for a great city to live in, Lancaster is another place to consider. The nice thing about Lancaster is that it has a lot of history and culture, which can be fun if you like learning about things like that. Also, there’s no need to worry about crime because it’s very safe.

So, if you’re thinking of going to college somewhere else but don’t know what school would be best for your needs, then consider attending the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences (PCHS). This school offers some great accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania which give students an opportunity to earn their bachelor’s degree within two years instead of four years as other colleges do

View program.

Notable Accelerated Nursing Programs in Pennsylvania

S/NMore Nursing Schools in PennsylvaniaPrograms Offered
1UPMC Johnson School of Nursing, New Castle16-month accelerated RN track, LPN to RN (bridge)
2Fortis Institute, ScrantonADN, LPN track; RN to BSN, and MSN (both offered online)
3Northampton Community College, BethlehemRN and LPN programs
4Lincoln Technical Institute, AllentownLPN
5Community College of Beaver County, MonacaADN, LPN, LPN to RN
6East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, East StroudsburgBSN, RN to BSN
7Messiah University, MechanicsburgBSN (with pre-athletic training concentration
8Central Pennsylvania College, SummerdaleRN to BSN
9Prism Career Institute, PhiladelphiaLPN
10St. Francis University, LorettoABSN, RN to BSN to MSN
11Moravian University, BethlehemPre-Licensure baccalaureate program, ABSN
12Millersville University, MillersvilleRN to BSN, RN to MSN, BSN to MSN, DNP
13Temple University, PhiladelphiaADN
14Marywood University, ScrantonADN
15Carlow University, Pittsburgh15-month ABSN (on-campus); MSN, Rn to BSN, DNP (all offered online)
16Pennsylvania College of Technology, WilliamsportADN, RN to BSN, MSN, LPN to RN (all online)
17Bucks County Community College, NewtownADN
18Cabrini University, RadnorADN
19Neumann University, Delaware CountyADN, RN, LPN
20Roxborough Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, PhiladelphiaADN, RN

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Pennsylvania by Numbers

These are the summed-up numbers of accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania. These programs include:

  • Pre-licensure/PreSpecialty/ Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs;
  • Accelerated BSN programs (ABSN);
  • RN to BSN programs;
  • LPN to BSN programs;
  • Masters in Nursing (MSN) programs;
  • The unique RN to MSN programs;
  • Doctor in Nursing (DNP) programs; and
  • Ph.D. programs.
Pre-licensure/PreSpecialty BSN/ADN programsABSNRN/LPN to BSNLPN to RNMSNRN/BSN to MSNDNPPh.D. in Nursing
1525 (including online programs)155174157

Please note that these numbers are based on the 45 nursing schools that we have listed in this article. Pennsylvania has over 70 nursing schools.

This data is possible because a particular nursing school may offer more than one accelerated nursing program in Pennsylvania.

For instance, Duquesne University offers the:

  • Traditional BSN;
  • Accelerated BSN;
  • Masters in Nursing (MSN);
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP);
  • PhD in Nursing; and the
  • DNP to PhD programs.

As you have found out, Pennsylvania has no shortage of accelerated nursing programs. The only hard time you might be having is which one to choose.

Moreover, practicing nurses in Pennsylvania make a ton of money per year; so you can fancy your chances and living and working in this state after you graduate from any of these accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania.

Wrapping It Up

We hope we’ve given you a good overview of the accelerated nursing programs in Pennsylvania. The state is not only home to some of the best universities in the country, but also an incredible range of opportunities for those looking to make a difference.

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