Accelerate Your Career in the RN-BSN to MSN Program

Take a fast-track approach to your professional future by obtaining a BSN and credits toward a Master's in Nursing. In Carlow's accelerated nursing program, you may earn up to 12 master's nursing credits by the completion of your BSN degree. You will build upon your experience and skills as a working nurse to advance your career and strengthen your abilities as a nurse.

This fast-track nursing program requires 120 credits for graduation. Of this total, 30 credits are advanced standing for an RN license, 24 credits are in the nursing major, and 66 credits are in general education and liberal arts, including University core requirements. 

The accelerated program prepares academically qualified Carlow nursing majors to take a fast-track approach toward their professional future that includes graduate education and advanced practice roles. Students who qualify for this program may earn up to 12 master’s nursing credits by the completion of their BSN degree at Carlow University. Refer to the Department of Nursing RN-BSN Student Handbook for specific policies regarding admission into and progression across the RN-BSN to MSN accelerated program curriculum. 

  • MSN: Nurse Practitioner
    (Family/Individual Across Lifespan)
  • MSN: Nursing Concentration in Education and Leadership Online!
  • Dual Degree MSN in Education and Leadership/Masters of Business Administration (MBA)

RN-BSN to MSN Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission, you must:

  • Have a current, valid, active, unrestricted license as a registered nurse in the state in which you are practicing.
  • Meet the University and clinical agency health requirements.
  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of greater or equal to 3.0 while at Carlow.
  • Achieve a minimum grade of B-* in the accelerated MSN courses to continue in the accelerated program.

*If you obtain a passing grade below a B-, you may finish in the RN to BSN program (not continuing in the MSN); however, you may apply directly to the MSN program after earning your BSN degree. A grade below B- in an MSN course must be repeated if accepted into the MSN program.

A Registered Nursing License in the state where the nurse is currently practicing is required. An RN-BSN nursing major requires 120 credits for graduation. Of this total, 30 credits are advanced standing for RN license, 24 credits are in the nursing major, and 66 credits are in general education, support, and liberal arts, including University core requirements.

Prerequisites: Undergraduate nursing, LAI, and support courses must be completed before beginning accelerated MSN courses.


Where Our Graduates Go

This is just a small sample of where recent graduates of Carlow are working: 

  • UPMC Passavant, Shadyside, St. Margaret
  • Excela Health
  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Allegheny General Hospital
  • Memorial Hermann Health System
  • Freemont Dermatology
  • Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Penn State
  • Monongahela Valley Hospital
  • American Red Cross  

RN-BSN to MSN Curriculum

Notable Courses
NU 412 Professional Nursing Concepts and Practice for the RN

This course explores the wide variety of roles for professional nurses in today's dynamic and evolving health-care delivery system. Areas of knowledge that professional nurses require in order to be effective in the changing health-care environment will be addressed. The format of the courses requires the student to be an active participant in the learning process by contributing to discussion of the various topics.

NU 435 Capstone: Evidenced Based Practice

 This capstone project is a culmination of the learning experiences of the student in the RN to BSN Nursing program. This course focuses on the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Competencies, and the Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude framework. The student will develop a written proposal for a quality improvement project derived from evidence-based practice that will enhance clinical outcomes. The proposal focuses on resolution of an issue/problem significant to professional nursing which links daily nursing practice to research. The proposal includes a problem description, resolution, implementation plan, evaluation plan, and dissemination plan. The capstone project proposal will reflect synthesis and integration of course content, informatics, and professional practice. The capstone project is guided by the baccalaureate program student learner.

NU 440 Advanced Nursing Care for the RN

This required course is designed for the experienced RN. Students will expand their knowledge of human pathophysiology, pharmacotherapy, and physical assessment. Students will apply prior knowledge of health promotion, patient education, informatics, and evidence-based practice. Students take an active role in developing disease-specific health education. Presentation of course content is conducted through the use of various teaching methodologies.

This is just a small sample of the variety of classes you'll be taking. For more details about these classes and more, please visit the Course Catalog section of our website or request more information to hear from an Admissions Counselor. 


 Weiwen Wang, RN to BSN student

When Weiwen Wang moved to Pittsburgh from China years ago, she knew for sure that she wanted to become a nurse, despite the language barrier and the challenge. She thinks it is a true privilege to be trusted and have the ability to take care of people when they are vulnerable. Weiwen transferred to Carlow as an adult student. She completed the RN-BSN program at Carlow while working as a bedside nurse at one of the best hospitals in the country. The excellent experience with Carlow’s faculty made Weiwen decide to continue her education here. She was accepted to Carlow’s graduate school by the end of her undergraduate program. Weiwen is currently going to school to become a Family Nurse Practitioner with the goal of helping more people as a healthcare provider in the future. Advice: “You might not be at where you want to be in life now, but one day you will be braver, wiser, and stronger than you could ever imagine. When you look back, you will appreciate all the hard work you did that made who you are”.