Bellarmine University Nursing School Review

Bellarmine University (BU) began operations in 1950 as Bellarmine College until the name was changed in 2000 to its current name. The university is an independent Catholic institution that values its Catholic identity, Gospel Values and Merton spirit and sensibility. It was founded by Thomas Merton and since its inception has grown to be a remarkable education hub that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and professional studies.

Nursing students will find the following undergraduate and graduate programs being offered by the school.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

This is a four year program that provides students with academic advancement that allows them to pursue graduate studies in nursing. The course uses the concepts and guidelines established by ANA standards of professional performance and care to prepare students to act professionally and provide therapeutic nursing when applicable. Students also learn the leadership skills and can work independently or under the supervision of another professional. The course is open to transfer students, and adult students that are enrolling in a first degree program.

Accelerated Second Degree BSN

This one year program that allows students interested in changing their career to tap into the many possibilities that exist in the nursing profession. Only students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field can apply. This is an intensive course that builds on the strength of previous education and disperses relevant knowledge to enable students to function effectively in the demanding health sector.

While the course can be completed in 12-months, the school also offers a two-year accelerated option and a three-year part time option. Applications are welcome from students that have completed all pre-requisite courses. No student can be enrolled in the accelerated program and the prerequisite courses simultaneously. The prerequisite courses include: Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Ethics, Nutrition, Statistics and Developmental Psychology. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale and a minimum prerequisite GPA of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale and meet the additional admission requirements to enter the program.


Applications are accepted from students that have proof of a RN license and have completed a state-approved licensure exam to quality as a registered nurse. The RN to BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Graduates from the program are competent professionals that know the importance of developing caring relationships that facilitate health and healing. They also have sharp analytical and problem solving skills and are able to use these and their expertise to provide professional services to communities.

This program is specifically designed for registered nurses and can be completed on a part-time basis. Students that wish to accelerate their own development in the program can discuss their plans with their advisor to achieve this goal on a full-time basis.

Masters of Science in Nursing

The following options are available to students that want to complete specialties in the Master of Science in Nursing program (MSN).

a) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): This program is designed for both full-time and part-time studies. Students must complete 43 hours of graduate credit for the program and maintain a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applications are only accepted once yearly to this program. Students that opt for the one-year full time course will do the MSN core and FNP core twice weekly during the semester. Each meeting is for the entire day.

Students that decide to complete the FNP specialty on a part-time basis will take the MSN core in the first year of the program. They will then take the FNP core in the second year. Graduates from the FNP program will have the necessary skills to interpret laboratory results, take histories, provide health teaching and supportive counseling among other roles.

b) Nursing Education: This course can be completed on a part-time basis. Students will have the opportunity to attend classes during weeknights and weekends. All students must consult with an advisor during the program.

Applicants to the program must demonstrate proof of obtaining a BSN from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited nursing program. Students working full-time can enroll into two courses per semester. Graduates from the program can work in the area of staff development, student preparation and health education.

c) Nursing Administration: This course prepares students to acquire the necessary skills that enable them toundertake roles that include but are not limited to: human and resource management, organizational leadership and financial and economical aspects of health care. This is a part-time program and all students must complete practica.

d) MSN/MBA Program: This program is offered through the combination of the MSN nursing administration track and complete MBA program. The content of both courses will prepare students to be effective leaders and apply sound management principles to ensure that the effective health care is delivered.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice at Bellarmine University is designed for professional nurses that are looking for an alternative to research focused doctorate programs. It is a post-master’s program and offers the following two tracks to interested students:

a) Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) Focus: This is an interesting and relevant program for students that are motivated to explore advanced courses about the healthcare of individuals. Only applicants that have a completed their MSN from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited nursing program can apply. The University accepts a minimum GPA of 3.5 for graduate coursework. Successful graduates will be able to use the training and knowledge acquired during the program to document practice trends and make improvement in the area they find themselves.

b) Advanced Leadership Focus: Applicants to the Advanced Leadership Focus must provide proof of active license to practice nursing in Kentucky. They must also have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA for graduate work to be accepted into the program. Students accepted to this program will develop skills that are effective in resolving the many complex issues that are present in the health care system. They will be able to apply their knowledge to deploy delivery systems that are effective in meeting the health needs of patients.

Bellarmine University
2001 Newburg Road,
Louisville KY, 40205

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