Be the first to earn a Practical Nurse Certificate from Carlow University

You can become a part of the change needed in healthcare with a Practical Nurse Certificate from Carlow University. In just 16 months, you will be immersed in a nursing education that includes clinical experience in a variety of healthcare settings. Direct patient care, community engagement and cultural experiences are integral to the program, as students will have the opportunity to explore intellectual endeavors, responding ethically and compassionately to diverse communities.

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX) PN in Pennsylvania.

Credits required:


Cost per credit:


Time to Completion:

As few as 16 months


On campus

Practical Nurse Certificate Program Curriculum

The Practical Nurse Certificate Program serves as the ideal foundational model for a career-building pathway in the healthcare field. The Practical Nurse Curriculum provides an environment that enhances the creativity of the learner who contributes freely as a valued team member. Various clinical and non-clinical-based projects and learning modalities will be incorporated into the educational model.

Quick Facts

  • After completing the program, students will be able to provide competent, holistic care by applying relevant knowledge and skills needed to meet the needs of the patient.
  • The Pittsburgh metropolitan region is the state’s second largest employer of LPN’s accounting for 5,700 employed LPN’s.
  • On-campus facilities include classroom settings, biology labs, nursing skills lab, and nursing simulation lab

Career Opportunities for Practical Nurse Certificate Program

Students who graduate from the program will be career ready and prepared to practice in healthcare settings that include long-term care, home care, rehabilitation facilities, physician offices, and community agencies.

By the year 2030 PA is expected to have a deficit of 18 ,700 FTE LPN’s.

Admission Requirements and Application Process

  • Submit an application for admission. It is free to apply.
  • Request that official transcripts from all current and previous institutionsyou’ve attended are sent directly to the Carlow University Office of Admissions.


Start Term:


Nursing faculty

Contact Admissions

If you are interested in this certificate program, our Admissions team is available to assist you with the next steps, including scheduling an on-campus visit.

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Get your college career off to a great start!

Discover the pathway that may be best for you in pursuit of an undergraduate degree at Carlow University.

Ugandan boat ride
Experience campus living
Experience campus living
Engage in a variety of direct service-learning projects
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Explore Your Passion and Empower Global Communities

Welcome to a unique, first-semester educational opportunity that helps you in getting to know yourself better, while helping others. The Carlow faculty have designed this immersive experience so you immediately can apply your learnings in real-world settings to make a meaningful impact. In addition to core curriculum courses that you can apply to most majors, you will spend 4 weeks abroad in Uganda.

Quick facts

  • Experience campus living and a structured self-reflection learning program focused on reinvigorating your passions and your purpose in life 
  • Serve alongside your peers, through service-learning projects in the fields of education, healthcare, social justice and more  
  • Benefit from onsite counseling to help you discover and process your strengths, interests and skills throughout your experience
  • Minister to the needs of Ugandans, igniting your global perspective of the ways in which you can best serve yourself and the world around you
A woman holding a Ugandan child, both are smiling.
Doctor consulting her female patient. Patient and doctor sitting in office. Diagnostic, prevention of women diseases, healthcare, medical service, consultation or education, healthy lifestyle concept

Your Discovery Program experience

On-campus discovery and preparation

You will begin your self-discovery living on Carlow University’s charming, urban campus in the heart of Pittsburgh’s exciting Oakland area.

  • First semester courses can be applied to most Carlow undergraduate majors.
  • You will be part of a living/learning community on campus during your first semester.
  • Service-learning projects will occur locally and internationally.
  • A residency fee, billed by Carlow, includes round-trip travel on major U.S. carriers, accommodations, meals, activities, and project materials.
  • Financial aid and scholarships may be available for eligible students.

Get Your College Career Off to a Great Start

If you are interested in the Discovery Program, complete this form or contact Global Center Director, Susan O’Rourke, at or +1 (412) 578-2054.

Service Learning in Uganda (30 days)

Apply what you learned, sharpen your problem-solving skills and make positive contributions through service and volunteer opportunities at Ugandan schools and health care clinics.

One of your guides and mentors abroad will be Global Center Director, Susan O’Rourke. She has led study abroad programs for decades and is committed to helping you become immersed in the Ugandan culture with amazing moments and adventures. Alongside Susan will be a counselor available to students, both are trained in healthy relationships, stress management practices and study-abroad protocols.

Serve, Learn & Volunteer

  • Volunteer (provide tutoring and engage in fun learning activities) at Noah’s Ark School for Children with Disabilities in Entebbe
  • Participate in service projects (plant orchards and tend to school gardens) for Bright Kids Uganda on Lake Victoria Island
  • Serve (provide instruction and adapt learning materials for children with disabilities) at Silver Memorial Inclusive Community Learning Center (SMILE) in Opucet
  • Assist with vision assessments and distribution of donated eye glasses for seniors and school children
Two adults conduct an eye exam for a Ugandan woman. They are sitting pointing at a piece of white paper.
Three adults; one Ugandan and two women walk along a dirt road talking together.

Meet a New Culture

  • Hear inspiring life stories from locals, young and old; learn about their history including the effects of living as a British colony and subsequent years of conflict
  • Become familiar with local customs and their challenges
  • Interact with people living in remote villages without access to electricity, clean water, phones or computers
  • Prepare, taste and eat authentic Ugandan food 

Take amazing adventures

  • Visit the source of the Nile River and go white water rafting 
  • Take a hike to the tallest waterfall in eastern Africa, Sipi Falls 
  • Observe animals in their natural habitat on a three-day safari 
  • Visit Chimpanzee Island
Three women and one man stand on top of a rock flexing their muscles. A waterfall is behind them.
A Carlow student holds a Ugandan reptile in a field near a river.
Olivia Miller, ’21, biology major and runner on the track & field/cross country team.

An impactful experience

“I would go back and serve in Uganda in a heartbeat. I wish I had more time there. It had a huge impact on my life after returning and loved the opportunity to be able to have an impact on the lives of those there.”

– Kaylee Goblesky, Carlow University Nursing student

Get Your College Career Off to a Great Start

If you are interested in the Discovery Program, complete this form or contact Global Center Director, Susan O’Rourke, at or +1 (412) 578-2054.

Program Director

Susan O'Rourke
Susan O’Rourke, Faculty, Education, Education & Liberal Studies, Thursday, September 2, 2021. (Rebecca Droke/Carlow University)

Susan O’Rourke, EdD
Global Center Director

Global Center Director, Susan O’Rourke has been working in Uganda for 10 years (since 2012). She has personally selected the comfortable and secure living facilities for the Uganda service-learning program and prearranged secure transportation through established partners in Uganda. Dr. O’Rourke has developed experiential learning and service projects through established partnerships and non-government organizations (NGOs).

Partners such as:

  • Noah’s Ark School for Children with Disabilities
  • Bright Kids Uganda
  • Silver Memorial Inclusive Community Learning Center (SMILE)
  • Prime Tower Primary School

Contact the Discovery Program

If you are interested in the Discovery program, and have questions, email us or give us a call. We’re here to help!

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