Comparison of Louisville Nursing Universities
There are a few schools within the city of Louisville that offer a variety of nursing programs. At the University of Louisville, which is the largest school profiled here, and Bellarmine University, a small, private Catholic school, students can earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Jefferson Community and Technical College, another large school that is part of the Kentucky State community college system, features diploma and associate's programs in nursing.
|University of Louisville||Jefferson Community and Technical College||Bellarmine University|
|Nursing Programs Offered|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
|Associate Degree Nursing||Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice|
|Related Programs Offered|| Post-Bacc Certificate in Pre-Med,
MS in Clinical Investigative Sciences (CREST)
| Certificate in Nursing Assistant,
Certificate in Advanced Nursing Assistant,
Certificate in Phlebotomy
| Bachelor of Health Science in Respiratory Therapy,
Bachelor of Health Science in Medical Laboratory Science
|School Type||4-year, public||2-year, public||4-year, private, not-for-profit|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||21,402*||12,250*||3,757*|
|Campus Setting||Large city*||Large city*||Large city*|
|Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)|| $11,264 in-state,
| $4,160 in-state,
|Percent of 1st-Year Students Receiving Financial Aid (2016-2017)||97%||92%*||100%*|
|Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2017)||75%*||Open admissions*||89%*|
|Retention Rate of 1st-Time Students (2017)|| 81% full-time,
| 59% full-time,
| 72% full-time,
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate||54% (students who began in 2011)*||14% (students who began in 2014)*||65% (students who began in 2011)*|
|Distance from Downtown||3.5 miles (9 min.)||Located downtown||4.2 miles (12 min.)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
Nursing Programs at University of Louisville
UL's nursing school is located in the Health Sciences Center, which also houses the medical, dental, and public health schools, as well as a number of health-related centers, institutes, and research programs. The school provides a full range of nursing programs, from two pathways to a bachelor's degree, to a master's in nursing to a terminal doctoral program that prepares candidates for leadership, teaching, or research in the nursing profession.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
The BSN program has several options for students. Those new to nursing can enroll in the traditional 4-year program, which features training in nursing practices, human development across the lifespan, global healthcare issues, pharmacology, anatomy, and physiology; clinical and capstone practicums are required to earn the degree. There is also an option for licensed RNs to earn a BSN via online studies; this option does require a clinical community health practicum in the student's locale.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Students can choose from a Master of Science in Nursing program that also includes a Certificate in Health Professions Education. Additionally, there is a Master's Entry into Professional Nursing (MEPN) program. Curriculum in the master's/certificate program includes topics like theoretical applications for entry professional nursing, health policy, statistics, pharmacology, physiology and advanced clinical assessment. The MEPN program requires that students already have their bachelor's degree. This master's degree is designed to prepare students for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Clinical coursework is required in addition to areas like child health, adult health, leadership, community health and disease prevention.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing
This program prepares nurses to be scientists in the teaching, leadership, research, or health policy arenas. Candidates can enter with either a BSN or MSN. BSN students complete 1 year of master's level coursework, then proceed to the doctoral level; MSN students enter directly into doctoral-level courses. All students complete work in nursing theory, statistics, health policy, research methods, science philosophy, as well as participating in leadership and research practicums. A dissertation is required.
Nursing Programs at Jefferson Community and Technical College
JCTC is a part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. It emphasizes workforce training in areas such as business, engineering, and trade technologies. Through the allied health program, students can earn a diploma or an associate's degree in nursing.
Diploma in Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
This LPN program consists of 47 credits earned over 3 semesters. Students learn about human growth and development, anatomy and physiology, nursing care, pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing, mental health nursing, and family nursing. In their last semester, students participate in a practicum experience to learn hands-on patient care. To be admitted to the program, applicants must be registered in Kentucky as a State Registered Nurse Aide (SRNA) or Medicaid Nurse Aide (MNA); training courses can be taken at Jefferson.
Associate in Applied Science in Nursing
As with the LPN program above, associate's program applicants must have passed the PAX-RN and be registered as an SRNA. There are 3 pathways to earn this degree. Students who have completed the prerequisite courses in math, psychology, anatomy, and physiology may be eligible for the traditional program. This curriculum focuses on 8 aspects of the nursing profession, including professional behavior, the nursing process, and managing care.
LPNs can take advantage of a pathway that, with the exception of clinical and lab practice, offers many courses through an online format. LPNs with a current license can participate in a summer bridge program that awards 9 credits for 1 course, after which they can enter the associate's degree nursing program as a sophomore. Graduates of all pathways are eligible for the NCLEX-RN.
Nursing Programs at Bellarmine University
The Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Bellarmine was established in 1975. Today, it offers both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, including a doctorate in nursing practice. In addition to traditional programs, the school provides opportunities for nursing study in Australia and Sweden, service experiences in Appalachia and Guatemala, and overseas clinical practice.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Admission requirements include completion of prerequisite courses and 2 nursing classes. The nursing curriculum begins in earnest during the student's sophomore year, covering subjects including nursing processes with women, children, and ill adults; nurse-client interaction; health assessment; and mental health nursing. Students with a bachelor's degree in another field can opt for an accelerated program that allows them to earn this degree in 12 months of intensive study. RNs may take advantage of a part-time option through which they can earn the BSN.
Master of Science in Nursing
To be eligible for this program, students must have a BSN degree and be licensed as an RN. The MSN program offers concentrations in family nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and nursing administration. Students may also opt for an MSN/MBA dual-degree program that combines studies in nursing and business. Programs consist of 37-43 hours depending on the concentration, and students have up to 6 years to complete their program.
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Students will not be required to have an MSN to enter this program; a BSN-DNP option exists. Additionally, there are two concentration options: advanced practice nursing clinical leadership and advanced nursing executive leadership. Core didactic courses for both programs cover subjects such as health policy and law, healthcare informatics, quality improvement, and managerial epidemiology. Core clinical courses require practice immersions and a residency, which culminate in a capstone project. Development of a portfolio is also required for graduation.
Other School Options
Another choice to consider is Spalding University, which is just 2 miles from downtown Louisville and offers bachelor's and master's programs in nursing. Students seeking a school in a smaller town might consider Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, where students can earn an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing. This 2-year institution is about 47 miles from Louisville.