Pittsburgh Nursing Schools with Degree Program Overviews

Dec 10, 2018

Research nursing degrees in Pittsburgh, which currently has around ten colleges and universities offering programs. To discover which one is right for you, read an overview of the admission and program requirements at three of those schools located within seven miles of the city's center.

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Nursing Programs in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has several schools around the city that offer undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing. To learn more about what training in this field is all about, take a look at the coursework and clinical experiences required by three area universities. This article also contains a table of statistics on the profiled schools and some info on another college in the area.

  • Located about six miles from downtown, the University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in nursing as well as two doctoral programs. The school boasts a 94% NCLEX first-time pass-rate among bachelor's degree students.
  • Duquesne University also offers nursing students the opportunity to earn bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in the field. The campus is about seven miles from central Pittsburgh.
  • Carlow University is located roughly six miles from Pittsburgh's downtown area. It offers a program that allows registered nurses to earn a bachelor's degree; the school also has a nursing master's degree program and a doctoral-level option in nursing practice.

Comparison of Schools

To further help you narrow your nursing school options, consider the facts and figures in the table below. It contains a variety of details that could impact your education decision, including stats on tuition, acceptance rates, graduation rates and more.

University of Pittsburgh Duquesne University Carlow University
School Type 4-year, Public 4-year, Private not-for-profit 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017)* 28,642 9,190 2,248
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $19,080 in-state; $30,642 out-of-state $36,394 $28,596
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 77% 100% 100%
Acceptance Rate (fall 2017)* 60% 72% 92%
Retention Rate (2016-2017; for Full-Time Students)* 93% 86% 78%
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Students Beginning in 2011) 82% 80% 57%

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is a 4-year, public college with a nursing school dating back to 1939. Pitt offers undergraduate nursing programs, in addition to graduate level programs designed for students who already have some nursing education.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Pitt's Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program gives students a foundation in nursing before providing them with clinical experience in settings such as schools, senior citizen centers, clinics and acute care facilities. The university also offers an accelerated BSN program, which can be completed in as few as three terms, for students who already hold a bachelor's degree in another field. Additionally, the university's RN Options program allows current RNs to earn a BSN while gaining early admission to Pitt's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program.

Master of Science in Nursing

The University of Pittsburgh offers four majors through its MSN program: nursing administration, clinical nurse leader, nurse anesthesia and nursing informatics. Additional areas of study may be offered through these majors. Curricula are offered online, face-to-face or through a combination of both, depending on a student's desires. Students may attend on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Students in Pitt's DNP program learn to evaluate nursing practice through evidence-based knowledge and complex clinical skill development. The length of the program greatly varies depending on the applicant's previous education. The curriculum includes a mixture of coursework and clinical experience. Students may study topics such as health care policy, ethics, transformation of health care and population health.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The University of Pittsburgh's Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing began in 1954. The program helps students develop expert skills in nursing disciplines, methods, theories, history and philosophy. Students are required to choose an area of specialization, complete a residency and write a dissertation.

Duquesne University

Duquesne University is a 4-year, private, not-for-profit school affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Duquesne offers undergraduate and graduate programs through its School of Nursing. There are a variety of nursing organizations, as well as study abroad opportunities, available for students.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Duquesne University's BSN program is open to high school graduates, transfer students, current RNs and students who hold a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing. The program emphasizes cultural aspects of nursing, as well as advanced nursing science and research. Coursework may include technologies in nursing, pharmacology, applied pathophysiology, synergy in nursing and community health concepts.

Master of Science in Nursing

Duquesne University offers an online MSN program with specializations like family nurse practitioner, forensic nursing and nursing education. All three specialties require students to take core courses such as theory in nursing, methods of nursing research and bioethical decision-making. All master's students must also take clinical core courses before moving on to specialized classes.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Duquesne University's online DNP program teaches students to design systems that will improve and transform health care delivery and patient care service. The program focuses on health care policy, economic trends and organizational effectiveness. Students are required to complete a practicum prior to graduation.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The Ph.D. in Nursing program at Duquesne University is offered online, although students may choose to attend on-campus courses as well. All students must attend a one-week on-campus residency annually. Ph.D. students must complete a dissertation on a topic related to nursing science and must defend it for evaluation.

Carlow University

Carlow University is a Roman Catholic school that was founded by the Sisters of Mercy from Carlow, Ireland, and is still steeped in its Irish heritage and religious traditions, with Irish music celebrations and a campus ministry. The school also has a study abroad program, with programs ranging in length from two weeks to one year. Nursing programs are offered on its main campus in Pittsburgh, as well as at Carlow's education center sites in Greensburg and Cranberry, which are situated farther from city center.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The RN to BSN program is designed for registered nurses to complete a bachelor's degree. This degree program builds on the clinical hours earned during the completion of RN licensure requirements. Students will focus on areas of study such as community-based care, nursing theory and health care policy. There are also pre-licensure BSN and second-degree BSN track options.

Master of Science in Nursing

MSN students have the option of specializing in a nursing concentration in education and leadership or family nurse practitioner. Both programs prepare students for doctoral learning. The family nurse practitioner specialty also trains students for the Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) licensure. Finally, there are other master's options, such as Women's Health Nurse Practitioner or an MSN/MBA dual degree.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Applicants to the doctoral program must have a master's degree in nursing, as well as RN licensure. The program takes two years to complete, including summer sessions. Coursework may include nursing inquiry and leadership, population health promotion, scholarly inquiry and systems leaderships.

Other School

Nursing degree programs are also available at Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington, located about 17 miles away.

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