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 four-year, full-time pre licensure baccalaureate nursing program. Students enrolled in other educational centers within University of Pittsburgh may apply for internal transfer to the first year. Students who are enrolled in other colleges and universities may apply for external transfer to the first year.

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 Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, contributing to the development of the liberally educated practitioner.

The first 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 second 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, hospitals, senior citizens' centers, and long term and acute care facilities. Third 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 fourth (final) 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 first 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. Throughout the program, students have an opportunity to work on faculty and/or doctoral student research projects.

The program provides a foundation for graduate education in nursing and serves as a stimulus for continuing professional development. A series of NCLEX Preparation Practice Tests are integrated throughout the nursing program. A Diagnostic Prep, a Predictor exam, and a 3 day NCLEX 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).

Student Learning Outcomes

The graduate of the baccalaureate (BSN) program will:

  1. Synthesize knowledge from liberal education with professional nursing
  2. Apply leadership concepts, skills, and decision making in the provision of high quality nursing care, healthcare team coordination, and the oversight and accountability for care delivery in a variety of settings.
  3. Integrate evidence, clinical judgment, interprofessional perspectives, and patient preferences in planning, implementing, and evaluating outcomes of care.
  4. Demonstrate skills in using patient care technologies, information systems, and communication devices that support safe, effective nursing practice
  5. Explore the impact of sociocultural, economic, legal, and political factors influencing patient care quality, workplace safety, and the scope of nursing and other health professionals’ practice.
  6. Incorporate effective communication skills to contribute the nursing perspective to interprofessional teams to optimize patient outcomes.
  7. Collaborate with members of the interprofessional team to develop an assessment and intervention plan that takes into account determinants of health and available resources that contribute clinical prevention and population health
  8. Assume accountability for personal and professional behaviors that demonstrate the nursing standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct.
  9. Implement holistic, evidenced-based, safe patient-centered care across the health illness continuum, across the lifespan, and in all healthcare settings.

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

Zoom: BSN Info Session

BSN Info Session Packet