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Frequently Asked Questions

What courses should I be taking now?

What are the computer requirements for Nursing?

What are the different types of nursing that I can specialize in?

What are the different types of degrees I can obtain at Duquesne University School of Nursing?

What student organizations can I belong to that are specific to nursing?

What is the NCLEX-RN exam?

What courses should I be taking now?
Students often ask which courses would be beneficial to take during high school that will adequately prepare them for furthering their education at Duquesne University. The following graph has been devised to help guide students in their high school course selections. The courses have been ranked as required, strongly recommended, or helpful. Courses marked "required" and "recommended" would be most beneficial to the serious student.

Required Courses

Recommended Courses

Helpful Courses

Algebra I (1 year)
General Science (1 year)
Biology (1 year)
Chemistry (1 year)
English (4 years)
Social Studies (3-4 years)
Foreign Language (2 years)

Anatomy & Physiology
Algebra II
Plane Geometry I
Computer Science
Advanced Science
Oral Skills
Fine Arts


What are the computer requirements for Nursing?

View a complete list of Technology Requirements.

What are the different types of nursing that I can specialize in?
Nursing has become a highly specialized field. Nurses can specialize and work in a variety of fields. Here are just a few examples:

Critical Care
Operating Room
Emergency Room
Mental Health
Recovery Room
Medical Surgical
Home Health Care
School Nurse
Long-term Care
Occupational Health
Military Nurse
Otpatient Services

What are the different types of degrees I can obtain at Duquesne University School of Nursing?
Nurses can hold several different degrees. Bachelors and masters degrees are the most common to have. Many nurses go on to become nurse practitioners or obtain certification in specialized areas of nursing. Duquesne University School of Nursing offers specialization at the masters degree level in:
Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner
Forensic Nursing
Nursing Education and Faculty Role

Post-master's certificates are available in:
Family (Individual Acros the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner
Forensic Nursing
Nursing Education and Faculty role

Doctoral degrees offered:
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
PhD in Nursing
PhD in Nursing Ethics

What student organizations can I belong to that are specific to nursing? Duquesne University has a number of nursing organization that you can join. It is extremely important and highly beneficial to join your student organizations.

Alpha Tau Delta (ATD)
Alpha Tau Delta is a national professional fraternity for nursing students. The Theta Chapter was chartered at the Duquesne University campus in 1938. Eligibility is limited to full-time students who have completed a minimum of one semester in the School of Nursing with a cumulative quality point average of 2.5.

Chi Eta Phi
Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. was founded in 1932 at Freedman's Hospital in Washington, D.C. Duquesne University's School of Nursing chapter was founded in the spring of 1996. Nationally comprised of more than 5,000 members, (males and females who are predominantly Black) Chi Eta Phi represents many cultures and diverse ethnic backgrounds. Chi Eta Phi is also involved with national programs that include disease prevention and health promotion, educational scholarships, leadership development, recruitment and retention of nurses, and programs for the elderly as well as girls and boys.

Duquesne University Student Nurses Association (DUSNA)
DUSNA is a professional organization interested in contributing to nursing education by volunteerism, thereby contributing to the community and university. Our organization strives to keep abreast of the current healthcare issues and concerns, legislation and other prudent issues at a preprofessional stage by speaking out and attending various conventions and bi-annual legislative programs. Most importantly, each and every nursing student of DUSNA grows as a whole person by their individual dedication and collaboration in striving to make a difference. When you join DUSNA you also become a member of the national organization, the National Student Nurses' Association.

Sigma Theta Tau International
The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International is dedicated to promoting excellence in nursing education, practice and research. Duquesne University’s Chapter, Epsilon Phi, was inducted into this honor society in March of 1982. The stated purpose of the Duquesne Chapter is to recognize superior achievement in nursing and to develop qualities of leadership among nursing professionals and students, to foster high professional standards of nursing practice, and to strengthen commitment to the ideals and purposes of professional nursing.

What is the NCLEX-RN?
The NCLEX-RN is the National Certification Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. All nursing students are required by law to take the NCLEX-RN in order to become registered nurses. The NCLEX-RN is taken after you graduate from an accredited nursing program.

What is the preparation for the NCLEX-RN?
NCLEX preparation starts in the freshman year. All students use a software program to promote success in their courses as well as on the NCLEX. Faculty in all courses have made a commitment to active learning strategies which enhance critical thinking skills and NCLEX success. In addition, tests are constructed similarly to the NCLEX and NCLEX questions are used during the class time as a teaching strategy. Students take standardized clinical specialty exams and a comprehensive exam to prepare them for the NCLEX-RN exam. Duquesne employs the Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI), a United States company that provides exams and other educational material designed to prepare student nurses for professional licensure, and predict their likely success in tests such as the NCLEX-RN. Duquesne requires a score of 900 in the Exit HESI Exam in the student's final course, Role Preparation II.

Students take two nursing courses in their senior year that focus on the NCLEX exam.