RN to BSN Accelerated Program

Accelerate Your Career in the RN-BSN to MSN Program

Take a fast-track approach to your professional future by obtaining a BSN and credits toward a Master's in Nursing. In Carlow's accelerated nursing program, you may earn up to 12 master's nursing credits by the completion of your BSN degree. You will build upon your experience and skills as a working nurse to advance your career and strengthen your abilities as a nurse.

This fast-track nursing program requires 120 credits for graduation. Of this total, 30 credits are advanced standing for an RN license, 24 credits are in the nursing major, and 66 credits are in general education and liberal arts, including University core requirements. 

The accelerated program prepares academically qualified Carlow nursing majors to take a fast-track approach toward their professional future that includes graduate education and advanced practice roles. Students who qualify for this program may earn up to 12 master’s nursing credits by the completion of their BSN degree at Carlow University. 

  • MSN: Nurse Practitioner
    (Family/Individual Across Lifespan)
  • MSN: Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Concentration in Education and Leadership Online
  • Dual Degree MSN in Education and Leadership/Masters of Business Administration (MBA)

RN-BSN to MSN Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission, you must:

  • Have a current, valid, active, unrestricted license as a registered nurse in the state in which you are practicing.
  • Meet the University and clinical agency health requirements.
  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of greater or equal to 3.0 while at Carlow.
  • Achieve a minimum grade of B* in the accelerated MSN courses to continue in the accelerated program.

*If you obtain a passing grade below a B, you may finish in the RN to BSN program (not continuing in the MSN); however, you may apply directly to the MSN program after earning your BSN degree. A grade below B in an MSN course must be repeated if accepted into the MSN program.

A Registered Nursing License in the state where the nurse is currently practicing is required. An RN-BSN nursing major requires 120 credits for graduation. Of this total, 30 credits are advanced standing for RN license, 24 credits are in the nursing major, and 66 credits are in general education, support, and liberal arts, including University core requirements.

Prerequisites: Undergraduate nursing, and University support courses must be completed before beginning accelerated MSN courses.



Where Our Graduates Go

This is just a small sample of where recent graduates of Carlow are working: 

  • UPMC Passavant, Shadyside, St. Margaret
  • Excela Health
  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Allegheny General Hospital
  • Memorial Hermann Health System
  • Freemont Dermatology
  • Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Penn State
  • Monongahela Valley Hospital
  • American Red Cross  

RN-BSN to MSN Curriculum

Notable Courses

NU 737 GN Healthcare Ethics & Policy

The focus of this course is the confluence of ethics, healthcare policy, and politics. It examines the influence of politics on the development of current health care policies and the delivery of health care.  The student is introduced to a range of policy questions and principles of ethics that impact healthcare. This course includes an overview of healthcare policymaking in the United States as well as the role of the 'leader as advocate' in ethics and policy.  The role of the healthcare provider is analyzed in relation to development of health policy in the delivery of health care.  Specific consideration is placed on the understanding of the legislative and organizational processes, current ethical health issues, and the effect of health policy on care and diverse populations.

NU705: Nursing Leadership

This course focuses on theoretical foundations and conceptual principles of nursing leadership and the skills necessary to practice leadership competently in healthcare environments, recognizing that organizational and systems leadership are critical to the promotion of high quality and safe patient care. Leadership skills are needed that emphasize ethical and critical decision making, effective working relationships, and a systems-perspective.  The course is designed to enhance leadership self-awareness and to encourage students to fashion personal perspectives on how to lead professionally.  Analyzing trends and issues in the current health care system that have implications for exercising leadership will help students determine the way they can make a difference. 

NU 712 Professional Collaboration and Communication

This course provides students with an exploration of advanced nursing roles focusing on the areas of professional collaboration and communications. Strategies to assess and improve professional communications are introduced. Key concepts including motivation and individual behavior, interpersonal and group behavior job satisfaction work stress and culture, and influences of micro-, meso-, and macro-organizational behaviors are explored. Students will learn how to develop and use performance management to evaluate individual and group outcomes and link behaviors to organizational goals.  


This is just a small sample of the variety of classes you'll be taking. For more details about these classes and more, please visit the Course Catalog section of our website or request more information to hear from an Admissions Counselor. 


 Weiwen Wang, RN to BSN student

When Weiwen Wang moved to Pittsburgh from China years ago, she knew for sure that she wanted to become a nurse, despite the language barrier and the challenge. She thinks it is a true privilege to be trusted and have the ability to take care of people when they are vulnerable. Weiwen transferred to Carlow as an adult student. She completed the RN-BSN program at Carlow while working as a bedside nurse at one of the best hospitals in the country. The excellent experience with Carlow’s faculty made Weiwen decide to continue her education here. She was accepted to Carlow’s graduate school by the end of her undergraduate program. Weiwen is currently going to school to become a Family Nurse Practitioner with the goal of helping more people as a healthcare provider in the future. Advice: “You might not be at where you want to be in life now, but one day you will be braver, wiser, and stronger than you could ever imagine. When you look back, you will appreciate all the hard work you did that made who you are”.