Second Degree BSN Program

Choosing to become a nurse, even after embarking on some other career path, can be one of the best decisions you will ever make. This program provides you with a strong, broad-based clinical foundation for nursing practice . You'll not only find yourself in the classroom your first semester, but you will also be in simulations and at clinical sites.

By the end of the program, you will be prepared to become a registered nurse and will be ready for the licensure exam. Our most recent class scored a 95.58% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam.

Gain Critical Clinical Practice

As a Second Degree student, your clinical experiences begin your very first semester of the program. Under the supervision of expert clinical faculty and nurse preceptors, you will gain clinical experience at hospitals and community facilities throughout the Pittsburgh area. These experiences are a great way to apply knowledge and theory gained in the classroom to your clinical practice.

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Program Information

If you already have a bachelor's degree in another discipline, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in just 12 or 16 months through our accelerated Second Degree BSN program.

Program Type

Major

Degree

Bachelor's

Duration

12- or 16-month options

Required Credit Hours

67 at Duquesne

Join Us

Learn more about our Second Degree program and Duquesne University by attending an upcoming virtual information session.

Join us for a virtual BSN Second Degree information session December 7, 3-4 PM eastern.

Register

NCLEX Ready

We will help you prepare to be successful on the NCLEX-RN exam, which you are eligible to take after graduation for licensure as a registered nurse (RN). Our graduates who tested in the 2021-2022 cycle achieved a 95.58% NCLEX-RN Exam first-time pass rate.

How Credits are Calculated

Tranfer credits from your previous degree - 36 credits
Prerequisites* taken for the Second Degree Program - 25 credits
Credits taken at Duquesne University School of Nursing in the Second Degree Program - 67 credits
Total Credits for the Second Degree Program - 128 credits

*Prerequisites may be completed at any accredited college or university, and online coursework is acceptable. For example, we do accept credit from Portage Learning, which offers all prerequisite courses required for the Second Degree program.

12-Month Track

Students will complete 67 credits over 12-months to earn their Second Degree BSN in three semesters.

This course provides students with an introduction to professional nursing in today's contemporary health care environment. The development of the student's identity as a professional nurse is a focus of this course, presented within the context of the history and evolution of the profession. This course also prepares the student for beginning use of technology in the delivery of nursing care and how it impacts patient care, as in integral part of contemporary practice. Included is an orientation to the key issues in nursing practice, such as the legal ethical basis of nursing practice, patient safety, nursing education, technology for problem-solving, and leadership.

- 3 credits; Fall Semester
This course introduces models of transcultural health care. Issues to the health care professional's role in the delivery of culturally competent based health care are explored. Emphasis is placed on the assessment and analysis of culturally congruent care as related to clinical practice issues in the United States and globally. Interplay between models of transcultural care and other models of clinical application of culturally appropriate interventions are examined.

- 3 credits; Fall Semester
This course will focus on the concepts, skills, and attitudes fundamental to professional nursing practice within a framework of clinical decision-making. The course will emphasize critical thinking, the establishment of the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship, and the development of the student’s beginning comprehension of the patient’s physiologic and psychological responses to health and illness. Students will have lab experiences in the Duquesne University Nursing Learning Laboratory and clinical agencies where fundamental nursing skills can be practiced. Students will also receive an introduction to the main issues, views, laws, and policies within clinical ethics in order to build a foundation for ethically sound nursing practice and the use of moral reasoning to resolve ethical dilemmas that arise in practice.

- 6 credits; Fall Semester
This course focuses on the assessment of health status through the use of the Synergy Model and the development of interviewing and physical examination skills. It will begin with a discussion of optimal self-care behaviors and then focus on the principles of health promotion, disease prevention and health teaching. The use of therapeutic communication skills when performing health assessment and the assessment of cultural and socio-economic aspects of health will be emphasized. Students learn to critically evaluate assessment findings and differentiate between normal and alterations indicative of actual or potential health problems. Students have lab experiences in the nursing learning and simulation laboratory where health assessment skills can be practiced in addition to the Community Based Health & Wellness Center for Older Adults.

- 4 credits; Fall Semester
This course explores the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of body systems throughout the lifespan. Emphasis is on understanding pathophysiology as an alteration in normal physiological functioning of individuals and the presentation of selected pathophysiology and subsequent symptomatology in diverse individuals across the lifespan. The scientific approach will provide understanding of the mechanisms of disease as they are related to clinical decision-making for health promotion, risk reduction, and disease management.

- 3 credits; Fall Semester
This course will discuss the implications of the Human Genome Project and how to apply genetic knowledge to patient knowledge and health promotion/screening in the following ways: identifying those in need of genetic testing, offering genetic information, recording genetic information, referring patients and families for further genetic information and evaluation, advocacy for privacy, confidentiality, and non-discrimination with regard to genetic information, and participate in management of patients with genetic conditions. The ethical consideration as they relate to genetics will also be explored.

- 3 credits; Fall Semester
This course will focus on nursing care of adults with common acute and chronic disease processes. Emphasis will be placed on general medical and surgical conditions found in the adult population. Students will apply knowledge from fundamentals in the management of the common disease processes. The nursing care in these conditions will assist the students in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation process.

- 6 credits (4 theory/2 clinical); Spring Semester
This course covers the basic principles of pharmacology and drug therapy necessary for general nursing practice. Concepts of drug effectiveness, pharmacokinetics, mechanism of action, and drug interactions will be examined. In most cases, the emphasis will be on the pharmacological action of drugs on specific organ systems. Throughout the course, medications will be discussed in relation to their clinical use in the treatment of specific disease conditions.

- 3 credits; Spring Semester
The course focus is on the development of competencies for safe and effective nursing care of children and their families. Emphasis is on the nurse’s role in health assessment, health promotion, and promotion of adaptive processes for the child within the context of the family. Key concepts for social, cultural, economic, political, and ethical factors that affect health promotion, disease prevention, alterations in health and risk reduction for children, and the family are examined. Growth and development theory is also emphasized.


- 3 credits (2 theory/1 clinical); Spring Semester
The course focus is on the development of competencies for safe and effective nursing care of women and maternal/newborn dyads. Emphasis is on the nurse’s role in health assessment, health promotion, and promotion of adaptive processes for the woman and the infant within the context of the family. Key concepts for social, cultural, economic, political, and ethical factors that affect health promotion, disease prevention, alterations in health and risk reduction for women and the childbearing family are examined.

- 3 credits (2 theory/1 clinical); Spring Semester
This course focuses on an introduction to theory and concepts of behavioral health nursing. Emphasis is on the use of self in relationships with mental health consumers. The importance of the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship will provide the framework for exploring the factors, which contribute to stress, maladaptive behavior, and mental illness. Care will be delivered based on psychiatric standards of nursing practice. The student will then explore the role of the behavioral health nurse working collaboratively with the community as part of an interdisciplinary team. An introduction to conceptual frameworks that focus on behavioral health care is included in both the classroom and clinical portions of the course. Selected inpatient mental health settings will be utilized for clinical practice.

- 3 credits (2 theory/1 clinical); Spring Semester
This course focuses on an introduction to theory and concepts of population health. Emphasis is on the professional nurse's role in working with various populations as the client. Care will be delivered based on standards of population health. The student will then explore the role of the nurse working collaboratively within the community and as part of an interdisciplinary team. An introduction to conceptual frameworks that focus on population health will be included in both the classroom and clinical portions of the course. Selected agencies that service the various populations will be utilized for clinical practice.

- 3 credits (2 theory/1 clinical); Spring Semester
This course introduces undergraduate nursing students to ethical dimension of nursing practice. It presents the processes of moral reasoning and ethical theories, values, virtues, principles and other influences on the student’s capacity to recognize, identify and respond to potential and actual ethical issues. The course examines contemporary professional and clinical ethics issues that influence nursing practice, and to a lesser degree, it introduces students to ethical issues at the organizational level in health care. The relationships between ethical and legal principles are also examined. Various models of ethical decision-making are explored as students apply these frameworks to resolve ethical dilemmas. Students will also examine the role of professional codes of ethics and the legal standards that influence the ethical practice of nurses. This course is designated Writing Intensive. The course will thus involve a substantial writing component in which students will write and revise argumentative essays in the style of the discipline of healthcare ethics/bioethics. In their papers, students will construct well-reasoned arguments for controversial ethical issues that arise in health-care and nursing practice, and anticipate and respond to objections and opposing arguments.

- 3 credits; Spring Semester
This course will focus on the assessment and management of adults with unstable and complex system alterations. The course will emphasize the assessment of functioning, adaptation, and recovery for patients with high acuity illnesses and clinical problems. Selected sub-acute and high acuity acute care settings will be utilized for clinical practice.

- 6 credits; Summer Semester
This course will introduce the student to nursing research and its application toward advancing science and improving nursing practice. The course focuses on the use of nursing theory for both qualitative and quantitative research as well as evidence based practice to improve safe patient care. Recognizing the role of health information technology in safe care of patients will be emphasized. Students will examine the knowledge that guides nursing interventions, evidence based practice, outcomes research and critique published research reports. The importance of research ethics and its application in nursing practice will also be addressed.

- 3 credits; Summer Semester
This course serves as a preparation course to facilitate student transition into the Role of a Professional Registered Nurse. The course will emphasize clinical judgment, decision making and priority setting in the clinical environment as well as concepts related to professional behavior. Emphasis will be placed on preparation for successful completion of the NCLEX-RNCAT examination. A review of nursing knowledge from selected content/concept areas will be included with clinical judgment and decision/prioritizing skills stressed. Additionally, the course will focus on concepts related to professional development such as professional behaviors, selfcare in stressful environments and life-long learning.

- 3 credits; Summer Semester
This course is designed to provide experiences for students to advance their understanding of content and develop problem solving skills as it relates to assessment, planning, implementing and evaluating complex patient problems. Emphasis will be placed on the most common acute and chronic medical and surgical conditions prevalent in the older adult population. Complex cases will facilitate clinical reasoning in the care of the adult with considerable focus on the older adult population.

- 3 credits; Summer Semester
This course will focus on the professional nurse’s role in applying the principles of leadership and management in clinical environments. The role of the nurse leader and his/her influence on safe nursing practice will be explored. Barriers to practice, regulatory, legislative, and political processes in reference to professional practice will also be examined. The course will also emphasize nursing leadership roles and inter-professional collaboration in the development/application of technology to increase efficiency of healthcare services and improve patient outcomes.

- 6 credits; Summer Semester

16-Month Track

Students will complete 67 credits over 16-months to earn their Second Degree BSN in a slightly less intense schedule of four semesters.

This course provides students with an introduction to professional nursing in today's contemporary health care environment. The development of the student's identity as a professional nurse is a focus of this course, presented within the context of the history and evolution of the profession. This course also prepares the student for beginning use of technology in the delivery of nursing care and how it impacts patient care, as in integral part of contemporary practice. Included is an orientation to the key issues in nursing practice, such as the legal ethical basis of nursing practice, patient safety, nursing education, technology for problem-solving and leadership.

- 3 credits; Fall Semester, Year 1
This course introduces models of transcultural health care. Issues to the health care professional's role in the delivery of culturally competent based health care are explored. Emphasis is placed on the assessment and analysis of culturally congruent care as related to clinical practice issues in the United States and globally. Interplay between models of transcultural care and other models of clinical application of culturally appropriate interventions are examined.

- 3 credits; Fall Semester, Year 1
This course will focus on the concepts, skills, and attitudes fundamental to professional nursing practice within a framework of clinical decision-making. The course will emphasize critical thinking, the establishment of the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship, and the development of the student’s beginning comprehension of the patient’s physiologic and psychological responses to health and illness. Students will have lab experiences in the Duquesne University Nursing Learning Laboratory and clinical agencies where fundamental nursing skills can be practiced. Students will also receive an introduction to the main issues, views, laws, and policies within clinical ethics in order to build a foundation for ethically sound nursing practice and the use of moral reasoning to resolve ethical dilemmas that arise in practice.

- 6 credits; Fall Semester, Year 1
This course focuses on the assessment of health status through the use of the Synergy Model and the development of interviewing and physical examination skills. It will begin with a discussion of optimal self-care behaviors and then focus on the principles of health promotion, disease prevention and health teaching. The use of therapeutic communication skills when performing health assessment and the assessment of cultural and socio-economic aspects of health will be emphasized. Students learn to critically evaluate assessment findings and differentiate between normal and alterations indicative of actual or potential health problems. Students have lab experiences in the nursing learning and simulation laboratory where health assessment skills can be practiced in addition to the Community Based Health & Wellness Center for Older Adults.

- 4 credits; Fall Semester, Year 1
This course explores the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of body systems throughout the lifespan. Emphasis is on understanding pathophysiology as an alteration in normal physiological functioning of individuals and the presentation of selected pathophysiology and subsequent symptomatology in diverse individuals across the lifespan. The scientific approach will provide understanding of the mechanisms of disease as they are related to clinical decision-making for health promotion, risk reduction, and disease management.

- 3 credits; Fall Semester, Year 1
This course will focus on nursing care of adults with common acute and chronic disease processes. Emphasis will be placed on general medical and surgical conditions found in the adult population. Students will apply knowledge from fundamentals in the management of the common disease processes. The nursing care in these conditions will assist the students in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation process.

- 6 credits (4 theory/2 clinical); Spring Semester, Year 1
This course covers the basic principles of pharmacology and drug therapy necessary for general nursing practice. Concepts of drug effectiveness, pharmacokinetics, mechanism of action and drug interactions will be examined. In most cases, the emphasis will be on the pharmacological action of drugs on specific organ systems. Throughout the course, medications will be discussed in relation to their clinical use in the treatment of specific disease conditions.

- 3 credits; Spring Semester, Year 1
This course will discuss the implications of the Human Genome Project and how to apply genetic knowledge to patient knowledge and health promotion/screening in the following ways: identifying those in need of genetic testing, offering genetic information, recording genetic information, referring patients and families for further genetic information and evaluation, advocacy for privacy, confidentiality, and non-discrimination with regard to genetic information, and participate in management of patients with genetic conditions. The ethical consideration as they relate to genetics will also be explored.

- 3 credits; Spring Semester, Year 1
The course focuses on the development of competencies for safe and effective nursing care of children and their families. Emphasis is on the nurse's role in health assessment, health promotion, and promotion of adaptive processes for the child within the context of the family. Key concepts for social, cultural, economic, political, and ethical factors that affect health promotion, disease prevention, alterations in health and risk reduction for children, and the family are examined. Growth and development theory is also emphasized.

- 3 credits (2 theory/1 clinical); Spring Semester, Year 1
The course focus is on the development of competencies for safe and effective nursing care of women and maternal/newborn dyads. Emphasis is on the nurse’s role in health assessment, health promotion, and promotion of adaptive processes for the woman and the infant within the context of the family. Key concepts for social, cultural, economic, political, and ethical factors that affect health promotion, disease prevention, alterations in health and risk reduction for women and the childbearing family are examined.

- 3 credits (2 theory/1 clinical); Spring Semester, Year 1
This course introduces the student to the theoretical and research bases on which practice is built. The course focuses on the use of both qualitative and quantitative research in nursing practice. Students will examine the knowledge that guides nursing interventions, evidenced based practice, outcomes research and critique published research reports. The importance of reviewing the nursing literature in order to make informed practice decisions will be addressed. Ethical issues as they relate to research and practice will be discussed.

- 3 credits; Summer Semester, Year 1
This course will focus on the professional nurse’s role in applying the principles of leadership and management in clinical environments. The role of the nurse leader and his/her influence on safe nursing practice will be explored. Barriers to practice, regulatory, legislative, and political processes in reference to professional practice will also be examined. The course will also emphasize nursing leadership roles and inter-professional collaboration in the development/application of technology to increase efficiency of healthcare services and improve patient outcomes.

- 6 credits; Summer Semester, Year 1
This course is designed to provide experiences for students to advance their understanding of content and develop problem solving skills as it relates to assessment, planning, implementing and evaluating complex patient problems. Emphasis will be placed on the most common acute and chronic medical and surgical conditions prevalent in the older adult population. Complex cases will facilitate clinical reasoning in the care of the adult with considerable focus on the older adult population.

- 3 credits; Summer Semester, Year 1
This course focuses on an introduction to theory and concepts of behavioral health nursing. Emphasis is on the use of self in relationships with mental health consumers. The importance of the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship will provide the framework for exploring the factors, which contribute to stress, maladaptive behavior, and mental illness. Care will be delivered based on psychiatric standards of nursing practice. The student will then explore the role of the behavioral health nurse working collaboratively with the community as part of an interdisciplinary team. An introduction to conceptual frameworks that focus on behavioral health care is included in both the classroom and clinical portions of the course. Selected inpatient mental health settings will be utilized for clinical practice.

- 3 credits (2 theory/1 clinical); Fall Semester, Year 2
This course focuses on an introduction to theory and concepts of population health. Emphasis is on the professional nurse's role in working with various populations as the client. Care will be delivered based on standards of population health. The student will then explore the role of the nurse working collaboratively within the community and as part of an interdisciplinary team. An introduction to conceptual frameworks that focus on population health will be included in both the classroom and clinical portions of the course. Selected agencies that service the various populations will be utilized for clinical practice.

- 3 credits (2 theory/1 clinical); Fall Semester, Year 2
This course will focus on the assessment and management of adults with unstable and complex system alterations. The course will emphasize the assessment of functioning, adaptation, and recovery for patients with high acuity illnesses and clinical problems. Selected sub-acute and high acuity acute care settings will be utilized for clinical practice.

- 6 credits; Fall Semester, Year 2
This course introduces undergraduate nursing students to ethical dimension of nursing practice. It presents the processes of moral reasoning and ethical theories, values, virtues, principles and other influences on the student’s capacity to recognize, identify and respond to potential and actual ethical issues. The course examines contemporary professional and clinical ethics issues that influence nursing practice, and to a lesser degree, it introduces students to ethical issues at the organizational level in health care. The relationships between ethical and legal principles are also examined. Various models of ethical decision-making are explored as students apply these frameworks to resolve ethical dilemmas. Students will also examine the role of professional codes of ethics and the legal standards that influence the ethical practice of nurses. This course is designated Writing Intensive. The course will thus involve a substantial writing component in which students will write and revise argumentative essays in the style of the discipline of healthcare ethics/bioethics. In their papers, students will construct well-reasoned arguments for controversial ethical issues that arise in health-care and nursing practice, and anticipate and respond to objections and opposing arguments.

- 3 credits; Fall Semester, Year 2
This course serves as a preparation course to facilitate student transition into the Role of a Professional Registered Nurse. The course will emphasize clinical judgment, decision making and priority setting in the clinical environment as well as concepts related to professional behavior. Emphasis will be placed on preparation for successful completion of the NCLEX-RNCAT examination. A review of nursing knowledge from selected content/concept areas will be included with clinical judgment and decision/prioritizing skills stressed. Additionally, the course will focus on concepts related to professional development such as professional behaviors, selfcare in stressful environments and life-long learning.

- 3 credits; Fall Semester, Year 2