Already Have a Bachelor's Degree? In 15 Months, You Can Become a Registered Nurse.

With Carlow University’s new “Second Degree” in Nursing program, you use your bachelor’s degree, no matter what field it’s in, as your ticket to fast track your way into one of today’s most in-demand professions—nursing.

And our new 15-month schedule of classes will let you “breathe.” Some programs are proud of the fact that they are only a year long. But the renowned Carlow nursing faculty know that you have families and lives and they don’t want you to burn out in this demanding second degree program. They’ve designed it to take place over a 15 month period so that, when you graduate, you’re also ready to hit the ground running at a new job.

And the Carlow nursing faculty also know you’ll be in-demand in the health care system here in Western Pennsylvania and around the country. Hospitals and health care providers are looking for nurses who can come into the profession with critical thinking skills, an ability to solve problems, and a proven record of success in the classroom.

There’s never been a better time to become a nurse!   

Why Carlow for Your Second Degree in Nursing?

  • Private university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Medical District with a strong reputation for the quality of our nursing programs—and close ties with area health care providers
  • Accelerated 15-month curriculum that still allows you to “breathe” and have a life while going back to school
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Carlow University is accredited by the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education)
  • 60 credits (once pre-requisites are completed)
Carlow Nursing graduates are known for their professional knowledge and skills. Carlow Nursing graduates have had the highest NCLEX-RN pass rate in Pittsburgh in recent years. 

Employers have expressed a preference to hire Second Degree BSN graduates and value the additional education and experience they bring to the workplace. Carlow’s strong network and relationships with area employers also facilitates placement for our graduates. 

Fall 2017 Tuition: $675 per credit     

Admissions Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university in a major other than nursing;
  • GPA of 3.00 with appropriate pre-requisite course work.

Please note:  Admission to the Carlow Second Degree in Nursing program also requires that you have not been dismissed from a previous BSN program, including at Carlow, and that you have not failed in any previous BSN nursing program. 


Carlow’s Second Degree in Nursing curriculum is offered in an accelerated format over 15 months. Some courses are offered in 8-week CAP sessions and some are 16 weeks in length. The accelerated format runs fall, spring, and summer. 

Once pre-requisites are completed, students complete the nursing-specific 60 credits and are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam upon graduation. The program is offered on-site with an occasional option for online courses.

Curriculum: Pre-requisites (28 credits) + Non-Nursing Pre-requisite (32 credits) + Nursing core (60 credits) = 120 credits.

Note: Up to 60 Non-Nursing credits may be transferred. 

Non-Nursing Pre-Requisites (32 credits)

Must be completed within the last 5 years:

  • Anatomy & Physiology I w/Lab (4 Credits) 
  • Anatomy & Physiology II w/Lab (4 Credits)
Must be completed within the last 10 years:
  • Chemistry w/Lab (4 Credits) 
  • Life Span Development (3 Credits) 
  • Microbiology w/Lab (4 Credits) 
  • Nutrition (taught by a registered dietitian) (3 Credits) 
  • Pathophysiology (3 or 4 Credits) 
  • Sociology (3 Credits) 
  • Statistics (3 Credits) 

Course Schedule 

Fall I Courses (16 total credits)

NU110 Wellness 15 wk, 3 credits
NU102 Professional Issues 15 wk, 1 credit
NU2161/2162 Health Assess CAP I, 3+1 credits
NU223 Pharm I CAP I, 1 credit
NU2171/2172 Health Promotion CAP II, 3+1 credits
NU224 Pharm II Cap II, 3 credits

Spring Courses (19 total credits)

NU 320 Research 15 wk, 3 credits
NU3161/3162 Nursing Care Children 15 wk, 3+1 credits
NU3171/3172 Nursing Care Women 15 wk, 3+1 credits
NU3181/3182 Nursing Care Adult I CAP I, 3+1 credits
NU3191/3192 Nursing Care Adult II CAP II, 3+1 credits

Summer Courses (9 total credits)

NU3121/3122 Neuropsychiatric Nursing, 3+1 credits
NU4211/4212 Complex Problems I, 3+2 credits
NU415 NCLEX Seminar, 0 credits

Fall II Courses (16 total credits)

NU420 LEPI 15 wk, 2 credits
NU111/4112 Leadership 15 wk, 2+2 credits
NU422 Complex Problems II, 2 credits
NU463 Evidence-Based Capstone 15 wk, 1 credit
Epidemiology 15 wk, 3 credits
NU4181/4182 Community Nursing 15 wk, 3+1 credits
NU4151 NLCLEX Seminar II CAP II, 0 credits


How To Apply

Submit a completed application form online. Submit an official transcript from each college and/or proprietary school previously attended—whether or not credit was earned—to the Office of Admissions; in some instances, an official high school transcript may also be required. Arrange for a personal interview and a campus visit—both are optional but strongly recommended.