Saint Louis University Nursing School Review

Dating back to 1818, Saint Louis University (SLU) is one of the oldest centers of higher education in US. The college that was to become Saint Louis University; Saint Louis College was established by a Catholic Bishop in those early years of the 19th century. In 1826, the college was taken-up by the Jesuits Tradition and to this day, the university still remains a catholic university under the Jesuits Traditions. Many developments occurred but the most significant was the opening of an out of state campus in continental Europe in Madrid, Spain.

Nursing Programs at Saint Louis University

The Nursing School at Saint Louis University is quite old and has a number of nursing programs under it. Programs start at the baccalaureate level all the way to the two terminal nursing degrees not to mention Continuing Nursing Education (CNE). Different entry points into the baccalaureate nursing programs are available and various options for graduate degrees in nursing. The nursing programs also greatly benefit from Cardinal Glennon and St. Louis University Hospitals; facilities that help students get real nursing experience right around campus. The nursing programs are fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. There is also preliminary accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Undergraduate Nursing at Saint Louis University

At undergraduate level, students have four options to choose from ie an accelerated option, an international study option, a traditional program and a completion program as explained below:

Traditional BSN

This Bachelor of Science in nursing program is designed for freshmen who come in as high school graduates or students from pre-nursing program from community colleges. It is a full time, 4-year program that requires students to take a minimum of 127 semester credits of 2 years for Pre-nursing graduates. The program is meant to prepare students to write the NCLEX-RN exam for initial licensure as RNs.

Four-Year BSN International Nursing

This is an exciting program that enables students to experience the learning experiences of different continents by one university. In the arrangement, students always start off their nursing journey at Saint Louis University in Madrid Spain. For the freshman and sophomore years, students take courses from Madrid, hence experiencing the great exposure to the Spanish and English culture. After successful completion of the lower division courses, students transfer to the main campus in St Louis, Missouri, again, getting to learn in an American environment. Graduates of the program receive a Bachelor of Science from St Louis, just like those who took the generic BSN at Missouri.

Accelerated One-Year BSN

Saint Louis university prides itself to be very first university in US to offer a second degree in nursing program; the accelerated one-year BSN. The program is designed for baccalaureate holders with other degree other than nursing. It is a very intensive program that seeks to train professional nurses in 12 months of three-semesters.  Students must have earned at least 77 transferable semester credits from their previous programs so that they only complete 51 upper division nursing credits at St Louis. Completion of the program offers sufficient preparation for students to write the NCLEX-RN to become registered nurses.


The RN to BSN program is meant to meet the career advancement needs of registered nurses. The Bachelor of Science in nursing completion program is suitable for nurses with a diploma or associate degree. It is a very flexible program that allows RNs to work while studying since coursework is offered in an online mode. All nursing courses are offered online while other courses needed for program completion are available both online and on-site. Nursing courses take 16 weeks to complete while supporting courses take 8 and 18 weeks for online and site-based instructions respectively.

To eligibility for this program, students must first register at the university’s School of Professional Studies where they are take pre-nursing courses not received from the transfer policy. Part time and full time study options are also available for this program

Graduate Nursing

Five nursing program are listed under the graduate nursing programs and include different masters level degree options and terminal nursing degrees as explained below:

Accelerated Generalist Masters of Science in Nursing

The AGMSN program at St Louis will target bachelor degrees holders who are not already registered nurses but want to get into the nursing profession through a masters level education. The program will help students to prepare to take their first NLCEX-RN exam with a master level nursing option of Clinical Nurse Leader certification. The program is designed to be covered in 21 months of five, full time semesters.

Masters of Science in Nursing

The Master of Science at Saint Louis calls for candidates who are BSN prepared to apply for the various MSN tracks.  The program is offered online with options of full time or part time study plans. Two Advanced Practice Nursing options are available ie Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator. For those who choose the Nurse Practitioner track, five specialty role options are available namely:

  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner  
  • Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

Post Master’s Certificates

Post master’s certificates programs are available for students who have already completed their MSN degrees. All the post master’s programs are available online and students are encouraged to seek advanced placement for some credits from their MSN graduate coursework. The certificates programs are all those included in the Masters of Science in nursing package.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

At Saint Louis, student wishing to take this terminal degree can do so with two options namely:

  • Post BSN to DNP
  • Post Master’s DNP

On the first option, BSN prepared graduates can enroll but will take courses including a MSN component. Due to the MSN component, the total number of credits required is up to 70 with students choosing any of the above Nurse Practitioner as specialty roles for their advanced nursing practice status. The program is offered online with only two-5-day residency session at St Louis campus. Part time and full time study plans are available hence study period can range between 4 and 5 years.

On the second Post Masters DNP option, courses are fewer and total to 28 semester credits. Just like the first option, students can choose between part time and full time study plans of this online program. Campus visits are done twice, an orientation at the start and capstone presentation period towards the end.

PhD in Nursing

At St Louis University, students have the options of taking the full time or part time study plans of this terminal nursing degree. The curriculum is delivered in two methods; students can come to campus for site- based instructions or follow the same sessions at the campus using synchronous web learning modes like webcam or video conferencing from their homes.

Continuing Nursing Education (CNE)

The St Louis University is approved to offer CNEs by Missouri Nurses Association under the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Nurses are able to shop from a large pool of CNE courses, apply for them and take them online. At the end of the courses, students earn a certificate of completion, instantly.

Saint Louis University
221 N Grand Blvd., St. Louis,
MO 63103