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School of Nursing

The School of Nursing was established as an independent school of the University by action of the Board of Trustees in April 1939 and was opened in September of the same year. The University conferred the degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education for the first time in August 1939. The University conferred the first Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees in February 1942.

The first graduate degree was awarded in 1944, and the first Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1957. The first Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree was awarded in 2008

Mission

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, founded in 1939, is one of the oldest programs in baccalaureate and doctoral education in nursing in the United States. As one of the nation's distinguished schools of nursing, the resources of the School constitute an invaluable asset for the intellectual, scientific, and economic enrichment of health care in Pennsylvania, the nation, and throughout the world.

The School of Nursing's mission is to:

  • provide high-quality undergraduate education in nursing;
  • maintain and develop superior graduate programs in nursing that respond to the needs of health care in general and nursing in particular within Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world;
  • engage in research and other scholarly activities that advance learning through the extension of the frontiers of knowledge in health care;
  • cooperate with health care, governmental, and related institutions to transfer knowledge in health sciences and health care;
  • offer continuing education programs adapted to the professional upgrading and career advancement interests and needs of nurses in Pennsylvania; and
  • make available to local communities and public agencies the expertise of the School of Nursing in ways that are consistent with the primary teaching and research functions and contribute to the intellectual and economic development in health care within the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

Contact Information

University of Pittsburgh

School of Nursing

Student Services Office

239 Victoria Building

Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-624-4586 or 1-888-747-0794
E-mail: sao50@pitt.edu
www.nursing.pitt.edu

Master's Program Admission Process and Admission Criteria

Applications are available online at www.nursing.pitt.edu. Admission criteria are described on the school's Web site listed above. Complete applications will be reviewed and interviews (face to face or by telephone) will be conducted prior to admission decision. The School offers master's admission to only the Nurse Administration, Clinical Nurse Leader, Informatics, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Anesthesia and majors/areas of concentration. The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing admits a FALL COHORT ONLY to all MSN Program areas of concentration except the Nurse Anesthesia major. The application deadlines for all areas except Nurse Anesthesia are February 15th and May 1st.  International students are advised to apply by the February 15th deadline.  Complete applications received by February 15th will be reviewed and an admission decision will be made by June 1.  Complete application received by the May 1st deadline will be reviewed and admission decisions made by June 30th.  The Nurse Anesthesia major’s application deadline for BOTH THE FALL AND SPRING COHORT is January 5th. Applicants must apply online at https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=up-nurs

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Admission Process and Admission Criteria

The DNP Program has multiple points of entry and is planned to predominantly allow for three types of prospective students: post-baccalaureate RNs, current master’s degree nursing students; and advanced practice nurses and nursing administrators who have completed a master’s degree from an NLN, CCNE or ACEN accredited program of nursing. Nurses with a PhD  can also seek a DNP.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing admits a FALL COHORT ONLY to all DNP Program areas of concentration except the Nurse Anesthesia major. The application deadlines for all areas except Nurse Anesthesia are February 15th and May 1st.  International students are advised to apply by the February 15th deadline.  Complete applications received by February 15th will be reviewed and an admission decision will be made by June 1.  Complete application received by the May 1st deadline will be reviewed and admission decisions made by June 30th.  The Nurse Anesthesia major’s application deadline for BOTH THE FALL AND SPRING COHORT is January 5th.  

Applicants must apply online at https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=up-nurs.

* Note: Admitted students with other master's degree may be required to take extra courses in additional to normal curriculum.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Admission Process and Admission Criteria

Admission to the PhD program is assessed through interviews, references, standardized testing, and a written statement of goals. Prerequisites include parametric statistics courses that prepare the student in descriptive and inferential statistical analysis. The PhD program follows a FALL TERM ONLY COHORT ADMISSIONS process. There are two deadlines for submitting applications, February 1st and May 1st. Complete applications received by February 1st will be reviewed and admission decisions made prior to June 1st, while complete applications received by May 1st will be reviewed and admission decisions made by June 30th. International applicants need to apply by February 1st in order to allow sufficient time for obtaining relevant documents.  Applicants must apply online at https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=up-nurs. The School offers BSN-PhD and MSN-PhD. Applicants are expected to be RN's.

BSN to PhD

The School of Nursing offers a BSN to PhD option, in which a student with a BSN can be admitted directly into the PhD program. In addition to completing all of the requirements for the traditional PhD program, the BSN to PhD student completes 30-33 credits at the master's level prior to beginning doctoral level course work. Detailed requirements for this program are included in the section describing the Doctor of Philosophy degree. This program is particularly appealing to nurses who wish to pursue a career in nursing research. Interested applicants should contact the Student Services Office at 412-624-4586 for further information.

 

Admission of Students from Other Countries

Students from other countries applying to the School of Nursing should apply using the same admissions process and admissions criteria described above. The application should be completed in English and be accompanied by official academic credentials with notarized English translations. Applicants must successfully complete the TOEFL or IELTS if English is a second language. Applicants must also have a professional nursing license.  The following links specify the licensure requirement for the MSN, DNP, and PhD programs. Applicants who need to apply for a professional nursing license are encouraged to visit the Pennsylvania State Board website which contains information for internationally educated nurses applying to take the NCLEX-RN examination.

Insurance and Health Care Requirements

All students admitted with full or provisional status are required to participate in a University liability insurance policy annually and to have a physical examination upon admission.  All admitted students are required to submit Act 33, 34 and 78 clearances completed within 3 months of admission. Individual students must meet additional health requirements of clinical agencies, such as drug testing and annual testing for tuberculosis. CPR certification will be validated in each clinical course. Students are required to carry health insurance for the duration of their study, which will cover payment for treatment and follow-up procedures related to injury or medical problems incurred during graduate study.

Financial Assistance

The School of Nursing has a commitment to helping students to achieve their educational goals. The sources of awards and aid may include: professional nurse traineeships, part-time tuition aid, graduate student assistant positions, graduate student researcher positions, teaching assistant positions, teaching fellow positions, school scholarships, pre- and postdoctoral training grant fellowships, federal Stafford Loans, private loans, and emergency aid.

Academic Policies

All students in the School of Nursing are governed by School of Nursing and University policies. Therefore, it is essential that students regularly review and familiarize themselves with those policies, both general and graduate. Question about policies should be directed to the academic advisor or to their respective program, major or area of concentration director/coordinator. Policies of particular importance deal with admission criteria, registration processes, transfer of credits, acceptable academic status, warning and probation, readmission, requirements for degree completion, academic integrity, unsafe clinical performance, and impaired clinical performance.

Advising

Each new student who is admitted to the graduate program is assigned a faculty advisor from the specific major area to which the student is admitted. The faculty advisor provides some initial orientation to the school, the University, and the program requirements. Each student meets at least once a term with the advisor for course selection and other academic advising, although students and advisors can meet additionally as needed. The advisor is actively involved if there are academic concerns.

Each student also can use the staff in the Student Services Office in the School of Nursing to obtain information about sources of financial aid, scholarships, school policies, registration, course availability, University resources, and community resources for help with personal problems. An online general orientation program is mandatory for all new students.

General Degree Requirements

To earn the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) the student must demonstrate satisfactory academic achievement in required coursework prescribed by the curriculum with an overall academic achievement of a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00. Successful completion of a written comprehensive examination is also required for the MSN, BSN to DNP and PhD in nursing. The DNP requires a capstone project and the PhD requires successful defense of an original dissertation.

Application for Graduation

Each candidate for graduation must file an official Application for Graduation in the Nursing Student Services Office at least three months before the degree is to be completed. Students are required to be register for at least 1 credit at the University during the term in which they are graduating.

Major and Degree Options

The School of Nursing offers the following graduate degrees:

  • The Master of Science in Nursing with majors and areas of concentration in the following areas:
    • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Nurse Practitioner

       

      Acute Care Nurse Practitioner*

      Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner*
      Adult Nurse Practitioner*
      Family (individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner*
      Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner*
      Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
      Psychiatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner*

    • Clinical Nurse Specialist
    •  

      Medical-Surgical Nursing*
      Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing*

    • Nurse Specialty Role

       

      Clinical Nurse Leader
      Nursing Administration
      Nursing Informatics
      Nursing Education*
      Nursing Research*

    *not currently accepting applications

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

     

    • MSN to DNP Options
      • Nurse Practitioner
        • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner*
        • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Adult Nurse Practitioner*
        • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner
        • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
        • Psychiatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
      • Clinical Nurse Specialist
        • Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
        • Medical-Surgical Nursing*
        • Adult-Gerontology (CNS)
      • Nurse Specialty Role
        • Nursing Administration
      • Nurse Anesthesia
    • BSN to DNP Options
      • Nurse Practitioner
        • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner*
        • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Adult Nurse Practitioner*
        • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner
        • Pediatric  Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
        • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
      • Clinical Nurse Specialist
        • Medical-Surgical Nursing*
        • Adult-Gerontology (CNS)
        • Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing*
      • Nurse Specialty Role
        • Nursing Administration

  • The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing (including the BSN to PhD and MSN to PhD options.)
  • *not currently accepting applications

Special Academic Opportunities/Programs

The School of Nursing offers a variety of special programs within its master's and doctoral programs:

Minors

Students in the Master's program, the DNP program and the PhD program have the option of completing a minor in nursing education, nursing informatics, nursing research, nursing administration, and gerontology for nurse practitioners, or health care genetics using elective credits. The minimum credits required to obtain a minor is 9-12 credits.

Post-MSN/DNP Certificates

Post-MSN/DNP certificates are available in nursing education, health care genetics, nursing informatics, nursing research, gerontology for nurse practitioners acute care nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, and psychiatric nurse practitioner. The nurse practitioner certificate options require a minimum of 15 credits; additional credits may be required depending on previous graduate course work. All students admitted to a nurse practitioner certificate programs must meet all curriculum requirements of the full graduate degree program, either through previous course work or credits earned during the certificate program. Individual review of transcripts will determine the exact number of credits needed to meet curriculum requirements.

The School of Nursing also offers coursework that allows students to obtain level-one school nurse certification through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Admission criteria for master's level certificate programs include:

  • Evidence of successful completion of MSN, DNP or other relevant first professional degree
  • Relevant work experience
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Satisfactory interview with program faculty
  • Current Pennsylvania RN license if applicant to a nurse practitioner certificate program

 

RN Option (Early Admission to MSN)

RN to MSN and RN to DNP options provide a quality affordable way for registered nurses to earn their advanced degrees. Detailed requirements for these programs are included in the RN Option section of the undergraduate bulletin.

Master's Program Descriptions

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

School of Nursing Course Listing

School of Nursing Faculty

 

 
 
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