University of Louisville Nursing School Review

The University of Louisville (UofL, U of L, UL) is located in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a public research university that was the first city-owned public university in the United States. Over 15,000 undergraduates and almost 5,000 graduate students from all 50 states and 116 countries in the world attend the University of Louisville. Kentucky residents from 118 out of 120 counties also attend the University. There are 70 bachelors degree programs, 78 masters degree programs, and 22 doctorate programs offered at the University.

The University of Louisville Health Sciences Center has made many important contributions in the development of advances in healthcare. They were the first hospital to perform successful hand transplantation, the first to perform a self-contained artificial heart transplant surgery, and they were the first hospital to have an emergency room. In addition, The Health Sciences Center was one of the first blood banks in the United States. The University of Louisville has been rated as third in the nation among universities for their melanoma clinic. Their neurology research program is rated fourth in the nation, and the spinal cord research has been named 10th. The University of Louisville is rated as one of the top research universities in the nation.

Nursing Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The University of Louisville School of Nursing offers four programs that lead to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Each program is discussed below.

Four Year Traditional BSN Program

This traditional four-year program prepares students for careers as professional nurses. Students complete the liberal education courses needed for a bachelor’s degree at the University plus nursing courses and clinical experience. They practice in the Patient Simulation Lab and Standardized Patient Care Centers. Those who are interested in the nursing program must first apply to the University. After being admitted, they must complete the Lower Division Coursework. Requirements for admission to the U of L include being a high school graduate with a grade point average of 2.8 or better or equivalent GED scores. Kentucky residents must complete a pre-college curriculum, and they must also have a minimum ACT score of 21. A grade point average of 2.8 is required on any previous college work.

During the second year of studies, the student may apply to the nursing program. Admission to the Upper Division nursing program is very competitive, and there is no guarantee that all students who apply will be admitted even if they meet the requirements. A minimum grade point average of 2.8 is required on all Lower Division courses. At least 62 to 71 credits must be completed before a student may apply to the Upper Division. The University offers Guaranteed Early Admission to the School of Nursing to freshmen who have completed their first year in the Lower Division with a 3.0 grade point average.

Students in the BSN program must complete the Upper Division program after completing the Lower Division. A total of 120 credits are needed to graduate, and students have this amount of credits after completing the 58 hours of Upper Division work. Graduates take the NCLEX-RN, the national exam to obtain licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN).

Nursing students may obtain many types of financial aid, including government and state loans and grants. In addition, there are School of Nursing Scholarships to help students with their tuition. These programs are available to students in the Upper Division or in graduate nursing programs.

Traditional BSN Owensboro Campus Program

The University of Louisville offers this program in affiliation with the Owensboro Medical Health System (OMHS). Students in this program complete their prerequisite courses at a college or university in Owensboro. After these are completed, students may apply to the Upper Division Nursing School and complete all courses and clinical rotation assignments in Owensboro. Candidates must complete all prerequisite courses that total about 61 credits before entering the nursing program. A grade point average of 2.8 is required to be considered for the program.

Once a student is accepted into the Lower Division program, two U of L courses must be completed at OMHS. Students begin their clinical experience in their first year in the Upper Division, and the last semester is an intensive clinical experience. Students admitted to this program must be able to complete their classes and clinical experience in the Owensboro area. Right before graduation, students take the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain their licenses as Registered Nurses (RNs). Applicants must meet the same criteria as nursing applicants who want to attend the main campus at the University of Louisville.

Accelerated Second Degree BSN Program

The University of Louisville also offers an Accelerated Second Degree Program for those who have previously completed their bachelor’s degree in another field. Each student’s program is individualized, depending on the courses that they have taken as an undergraduate. Once the prerequisite courses are finished, applicants may complete the accelerated program in two summers and two semesters or in 15 months. Most students need two years to complete the prerequisite courses and nursing program. Graduates take the NCLEX-RN for licensure as an RN.

RN to BSN Online Program

This Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is designed specifically for working RNs who want to complete their BSN. The coursework is completed online so that nurses can fit the required work into their busy scheduled. Although there are many other online RN to BSN programs, this one can help the professional nurse with a tuition savings of over $11,000. When a student completes their portfolio online, they are awarded 25 credits hours that can be applied to the BSN. To be admitted to the online RN to BSN program, candidates must submit their online application and submit all of their official transcripts to the University. After that, it is necessary to complete a portfolio to receive credit for previous nursing courses. Candidates then meet with an advisor to discuss the remaining courses needed to complete the BSN program.

Master of Science in Nursing

An RN with a BSN may want to complete this Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) advanced nursing program to further his or her career. Having MSN opens many doors to new careers for nurses. The University of Louisville offers advanced practice nursing available. These programs that prepare graduates to take national certification exams at the completion of the program. Financial aid and scholarships are available for graduate studies in the MSN nursing programs. The American Cancer Society offers $10,000 annual scholarships to nurses who are interested in advancing their education to enter into cancer nursing. Awards for up to two years of study are awarded. There are also many other grants and scholarships awarded to RNs by various hospitals and healthcare facilities. In addition, the University of Louisville School of Nursing offers scholarships to MSN students. Some of these require the MSN graduate to work for the institution for a certain number of years after graduation. Another opportunity is a Professional Nurse Traineeship that the School of Nursing offers to MSN students. These are grants without work requirements that are awarded according to the funds available at the University.

Admission requirements to the MSN program require that applicants first apply to the Graduate School at the University of Louisville. A grade point average of 3.0 is required on undergraduate work, and the applicant must have a BSN. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is also necessary with a score of around 425 on the verbal and quantitative sections and 4 on the analytic section. The GRE scores should be at least 148 verbal and 140 quantitative. The analytic score is expected to be at least a 4. Two letters of recommendation are also required.

The School of Nursing requires a separate MSN application that includes a goal statement. Applicants must be currently licensed RNs and must pass a background check. Students are sometimes admitted on conditional and provisional statuses if they do not meet all of the criteria.

There are five concentrations from which students may choose. These are discussed below.

Adult Nurse Practitioner

The Adult Nurse Practitioner program trains RNs to provide primary care to adolescents and adults. Adult Nurse Practitioners work in many different healthcare settings, including medical offices, nursing homes, hospitals, specialty practices, and others. Students take MSN core courses and those that are required for this program. There are 630 clinical hours required under the supervision of doctors and nurse practitioners. A total of 51 credits are needed to complete the program. Admission requirements are that an applicant must first apply to the Graduate School of the University of Louisville. A grade point average of 3.0 on undergraduate courses is required. The GRE is required with acceptable scores and two reference letters from professional nurses in advanced practice or nursing academic field.

Family Nurse Practitioner

This MSN concentration prepares RNs for an advanced nursing career as a Family Nurse Practitioner. These professionals provide primary care for all family members, from pediatric patients to the elderly. An RN with this training is able to work in many specialized areas, retirement homes, clinics, hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other healthcare settings. There are 55 credits required for this program plus 700 clinical hours. Clinical experience is supervised by doctors and Family Nurse Practitioners. The MSN program prefers to admit students who have at least one year of recent experience as a registered nurse.

Students may choose to complete the first year of academic courses on a part-time basis, but the remainder of the program is full-time due to the clinical experience that is mandated at this time. It usually takes two years of full-time study to complete the program, including two summer sessions. If a student opts to complete the first year on a part-time basis, it generally takes two or three years to complete the first year of the program. Admission to the program is competitive due to the large number of applicants to the program.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

This MSN program is offered at certain times at the University, but the program is not currently accepting applications. RNs who are interested in the program should check frequently to see if applicants are being accepted at that time.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

This MSN program prepares students for a career as an Advanced Practice Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse. These RNs are able to provide primary care for psychiatric patients, including psychiatric medications and counseling. They assess and diagnose psychiatric disorders in patients in a variety of healthcare settings. After completing the MSN core courses, students complete the courses that will help them in their specialized nursing career. A total of 52 credits are required for the program. This program is different from other Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner programs because graduates of the program are prepared to sit for all four psychiatric exams instead of one.

This program trains RNs to treat severe mental illness as well as the physical illness that these patients may have. After completing the MSN core courses, students focus on advanced psychiatric and mental health practice courses, medications for treating mental illness, and other subjects related to this specialty. Students complete their clinical experience at a variety of hospitals and other community service sites in Kentucky, such as the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Home of the Innocents, Rivendale Behavioral Health Services in Bowling Green, and others.

Master of Science in Nursing with a Certificate in Health Professions Education

This MSN program trains RNs for a career as Nurse Educators who are able to teach student nurses and to facilitate workshops and other events involving nursing staff in healthcare facilities. Graduates are also able to educate patients and the public about diseases and wellness. This concentration does not require a practitioner focus. The program requires the completion of 42 credits to qualify for graduation.

Certificate in Health Professions Education

This program provides a certificate that qualifies graduates of the program to teach student nurses or in other health sciences. There are only four courses equaling 12 credits that must be completed. These courses may be applied to other degree programs, such as a Master of Education. Courses are taught in the evening and around one-third of the coursework is completed online. Students must apply to the University Graduate School before enrolling in the program.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The University of Louisville offers two options in their Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program. These are the BSN to PhD and MSN to PhD. this program prepares nurses to become leaders in many different fields within nursing, such as leadership, education, research, and health policy. Both part-time and full-time programs are available, but students are highly encouraged to pursue the degree on a full-time basis. The curriculum is different for each student, depending on the nurse’s particular interests and career goals. All students must complete the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing core courses. When coursework is completed and qualifying exams are successfully taken, a dissertation is required of the student. Each of the entry points into the program is discussed below.

A total of 64 credits are required beyond the bachelor’s degree. Only 46 credits are required beyond a master’s degree. Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete a master’s level statistics course with a grade of at least 3.0 or higher before entering the program.

BSN to PhD

This program enables nurses with a BSN to complete their Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree. The first year of coursework focuses on the master’s level. Students then continue to complete doctoral level courses and will graduate without earning a MSN. Students must complete 18 hours of prerequisite courses before enrolling in any doctoral level courses. After that, 64 credits of doctoral level courses must be completed. It takes three years to complete this program on a full-time basis. An additional year is then required for dissertation study.

MSN to PhD

This program is designed for nurses who have a MSN. They enter directly into the doctoral program and must complete 64 credits of doctoral level courses. This program can be completed on a full-time basis in two years plus an additional year for dissertation study. Admission requirements are that applicants must first apply to the University of Louisville Graduate School. BSN applicants must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 and must have a BSN from an accredited college or university.

MSN students are also required to have a grade point average of at least 3.0, and they must have completed a MSN from an accredited college or university. The GRE is also required, and applicants must have a score of at least 1100 and an analytical score of 4.0 or higher. The GRE test score must be at least 156 in the verbal section and 146 in the quantitative and 4.0 or better in the analytical section. Three letters of recommendation are required. The School of Nursing has separate requirements, which are completion of the application and the submission of a current resume and professional goal statement. A sample of professional writing that has been completed within the last five years must also be submitted. A personal interview is also required with the School of Nursing faculty, and applicants must also send a copy of their license as a RN to the nursing program. Applicants also need to have a certified background check.

University of Louisville,
2301 South 3rd Street,
Louisville, Kentucky 40208,
(502) 852-5555

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