Carlow University Nursing School Review

Carlow University (CU) is a Catholic higher education institution based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with additional campuses in Cranberry, Oakland and Greensburg. The university was founded in 1929 and named for the Sisters of Mercy from Carlow, Ireland. The university was first founded by the Sisters of Mercy as Mount Mercy College. Carlow University offers undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs to over 2,500 enrolled students. Carlow University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Nursing Programs

Carlow University School of Nursing offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate degree programs in nursing.  Undergraduate and graduate nursing programs at Carlow University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Carlow University Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Prelicensure BSN (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing)

The Prelicensure BSN is the introductory nursing program that prepares students to work in a variety of healthcare settings. Prerequisites for the BSN program include courses in social and natural sciences as well as introductory nursing courses. The Prelicensure BSN can be completed in123 credits. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take the National Council for Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become a Registered Nurse (RN) and earn a BSN.

RN to BSN (Registered Nurse to Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing)

The RN to BSN program prepares licensed RNs with the entry-level foundation to greater career and educational opportunities. The nursing degree completion program focuses on preparing nurses in theory, and has limited clinical experience recognizing the clinical experience that the RN has developed in practice. Courses in the program focus on the following six areas: community-based care, multiculturalism, health promotion, nursing research, health care policy and nursing theory. The RN to BSN program is a fast track program which can be completed in approximately 16 months.


The Step Ahead program allows nursing students to earn graduate academic credits in nursing while completing the BSN. Admission requirements to the Step Ahead program include a minimum score of 1100 on the SAT, and a minimum high school and college sophomore GPA of 3.5. Students must maintain a 3.1 GPA to continue enrollment in the program. Nursing students in the Step-Ahead program graduate with a BSN and 11nursing academic credits towards future graduate coursework.

Carlow University Graduate Nursing Programs

Nursing MSN (Master of Science in Nursing)

Carlow University offers an MSN program with specializations in Nursing Education and Leadership (MSN-NCEL) and Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP).  The FNP program prepares students to take the CRNP (Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner) Exam. Students can complete the MSN program in two to four years depending on the student’s chose specialization.

DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)

The DNP program prepares nurse leaders to understand research and effect change in healthcare settings. The doctoral nursing program is a hybrid (both on-campus and online) program. Students applying to the DNP program must submit two letters of reference, a reflective essay and transcripts of both undergraduate and graduate education experiences. The DNP program can be completed approximately two years of academic study (16 months).

Carlow University
3333 Fifth Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3165