RN Options

Early Admission to MSN/DNP

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, RN Options Program at Johnstown (Early Admission to MSN/DNP) curriculum is designed for registered nurses who obtained their nursing education from either a CCNE or NLN accredited diploma or an associate degree program, to complete their nursing education with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) while offering an opportunity to obtain an early admission to graduate nursing education.


Courses are taught by nursing leaders who are experts in their field. Faculty serve as educators, role models and mentors for their students.

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown RN Options track is for professional nurses who are enthusiastically committed to their role as patient care advocates ensuring best possible healthcare outcomes. The RN Options curriculum builds upon the professional nurse's strengths and experiences to expand professional knowledge and practice skills which will provide potential career changing opportunities.

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown School of Nursing recognizes its obligation to prepare professional nurses to be competent healthcare professionals. Graduates of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown School of Nursing possess critical appraisal/thinking skills, sophisticated clinical practice knowledge, and the ability to integrate the latest research findings to provide thorough, safe and efffective patient care.

RN Options provides nurses an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills at a school of nursing with an international reputation for excellence. US News and World Report recognizes the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing among the top 10 graduate schools of nursing in the United States. The School of Nursing is consistently ranked among the top 5 schools of nursing for research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Many healthcare organizations are recognizing the advantage of having more bachelors and masters prepared professional nurses. Research clearly indicates patients cared for by professional nurses with advanced degrees have a higher incidence of positive healthcare outcomes.

Application Guidelines

  • Graduate from a CCNE or NLN accredited associate degree program or diploma school of nursing
  • A competitive GPA from previous academic work
  • Possess current PA RN license
  • Complete RN Option application
  • Brief, typed essay stating: 1) Personal philosophy of nursing, 2) Personal expectations from the RN-Options (BSN/MSN), and 3) future career goals
  • Current resume
  • Three letters of professional recommendation
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended

Your specific requirements are best identified by requesting an individualized student course plan. You may do this by sending transcripts of all college courses previously taken to: Pitt-Johnstown, Division of Nursing and Health Sciences, 214 Nursing and Health Sciences Building, 450 Schoolhouse Road, Johnstown, PA 15904. You may contact us at (814) 269-2995 for further details.

Additional Information

  • Course offerings are flexible, students may begin coursework in any term (fall/spring/summer)
  • Deadlines for admission are August 1 (Fall Term), December 1 (Spring Term), and April 1 (Summer Term)
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • Upon finishing 84 credits in the RN Options track, students must select between the Early Admission to the MSN or BSN curriculums
  • Early Admission to the MSN track students must: 1) take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), 2) provide necessary documentation for specific major, and 3) complete the remaining 36 credits of which 24 will be at the graduate level
  • BSN track students must complete 40 upper division undergraduate credits as approved by their academic advisor.
  • Full and part time schedules are available

RN Options Curriculum (subject to change)

Course Descriptions

  • CHEM 0190 & 0192 Chemistry for Health Professions & Lab *+ 4 cr.
  • BIOL 0950 Human Anatomy Physiology I & Lab *+ 4 cr.
  • BIOL 0970 Human Anatomy Physiology II & Lab *+ 4 cr.
  • BIOL 0980 & 0981 Medical Microbiology & Lab *+ 4 cr.
  • NUR 0066 Nutrition for Clinical Practice + 3 cr.
  • PSY 0501 Life Span Development *+ 3 cr.
  • PSY 0200 Psychology *+ 3 cr.
  • ANTH Anthropology *+ 3 cr.
  • COMMRC Communication/Public Speaking + 3 cr.
  • ENGCOMP English Composition *+ 3 cr.
  • STAT or NUR 0088 Introduction to Basic Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice *+ 3 cr.
  • SOC Sociology *+ 3 cr.
  • NUR 0067 Nursing Research: Introduction to Critical Appraisal and Evidence Based Practice 3 cr.
  • NUR 0081 Foundations of Nursing Practice II *+ 2 cr.
  • NUR 0082 Nursing Care of Adults with Acute/Chronic Illness *+ 7 cr.
  • NUR 1050 Nursing Care of Mothers, Newborns, and Families * 5 cr.
  • NUR 1052 Nursing Care of Children & Families * 5 cr.
  • NUR 1154 Nursing Care of the Older Adult 2 cr.
  • NUR 0086 Nursing Informatics 2 cr.
  • NUR 1060 Nursing Care of Clients with Psych Mental health Problems * 5 cr.
  • NUR 1079 Professional Development and Practicum 2 3 cr.
  • NUR 1074 Professional Development and Practicum 1 3 cr.
  • NUR 1085 Ethics in Nursing and Health Care+ 3 cr.
  • NUR 1120 Nursing Mgmt of Adults with Acute/Complex Health Problems * 5 cr.
  • NUR 1121 Advance Clinical Problem Solving 5 cr.
  • NUR 1127 Community Health Nursing Theory 3 cr.
  • NUR 1680 Introduction to Genetics and Molecular Therapeutics 3 cr.

* Can be challenged by exam
+ Credits can be transferred from other University/College institutions for credit if approved by University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

Note: All previous science related coursework corresponding to this curriculum must have been completed within 10 years of admission to the University of Pittsburgh