Undergraduate BSN Program

The purpose of the baccalaureate program is to prepare a professional nurse whose practice is based upon nursing science, related sciences and the arts in order to promote, restore, and maintain the health of human beings. Graduates of the program are generalists with the necessary base for graduate education and continuing professional development.

High school graduates are directly admitted to the freshman class of the four-year, full-time pre licensure baccalaureate nursing program. University of Pittsburgh students may apply for internal transfer to the freshman class. Students who are enrolled in other colleges and universities may apply for external transfer to the freshman class.

BSN Overview

Education for the practice of professional nursing demands a substantial knowledge of nursing, using the behavioral and biological sciences as a theoretical base. Throughout the program, nursing courses are taken concurrently with courses in the College of Arts and Sciences, contributing to the development of the liberally educated practitioner.

The freshman year establishes the foundation for the study of nursing with an introduction to concepts and theories related to understanding nursing practice. Clinical study is introduced in the sophomore year with the focus on health promotion and identification of risk factors. Clinical nursing skills are practiced first in the School's Skills Laboratory.

Clinical experiences take place in a variety of settings such as schools, clinics, senior citizens' centers, and long term and acute care facilities. Junior year nursing courses focus on the care of individuals and families of all ages who are experiencing the stress of illness. Clinical experiences take place in acute care settings. During the senior year, student clinical experiences are planned to encourage synthesis of knowledge gained in preceding years and focus on individuals, families, and communities. Students provide care to those experiencing more complex illnesses and problems.

Professional role behaviors that are introduced in the freshman year and augmented during the years of subsequent study are expanded during the senior year. During the senior year, students have a culminating clinical course that provides a transition into clinical practice. Students have an opportunity to work on faculty research projects.

The program provides a foundation for graduate education in nursing and serves as a stimulus for continuing professional development. A series of Kaplan Preparation Practice Tests are integrated throughout the nursing program. A Diagnostic Prep, a Predictor exam, and a 4 day Kaplan Review are scheduled at end of program to provide students with prep resources to take the National Nursing License. Registered nurses, who are graduates of diploma or associate degree programs in nursing, may choose to enroll in the RN Options.



The School of Nursing does not offer minors. However, students in the Nursing program are encouraged to consider earning minor(s) offered through the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences or other schools in the University of Pittsburgh.

View some of the minors completed by students in the School of Nursing (PDF). Learn more about the minors offered in the University of Pittsburgh (Note that only Departments with a "*" in the list offer a minor).


The graduate of the baccalaureate program will:

  1. Synthesize knowledge from nursing, biophysical, and social sciences in the practice of professional nursing.
  2. Demonstrate skills in critical thinking and decision making in the use of the nursing process with individuals, families, groups, and communities experiencing complex health problems.
  3. Intervene therapeutically to promote, restore, and maintain the maximum health potential of individuals, families, groups, and communities.
  4. Manage nursing care for groups of clients.
  5. Provide health education for individuals, families, groups, and communities.
  6. Evaluate research findings to guide nursing practice.
  7. Assume responsibility and accountability for own decisions and actions in the practice of nursing.
  8. Incorporate professional values, including ethical and legal aspects, into the practice of nursing.
  9. Communicate effectively in interactions with individuals, families, groups, and communities.
  10. Demonstrate evolving competence in multicultural interactions.

Assistant Professor Cecelia Yates discusses the attributes that make you a successful kayaker can also make you a successful nursing student. 

Traditional Undergraduate BSN Program Information Sessions

Academic Integrity Policy for Students

Brochure (PDF)