Frequently Asked Questions

Is there someone who can review my transcripts and provide information about the program?

Yes, simply complete the form on our Graduate & Second Degree - Transcript Review page. Please attach unofficial copies of your transcripts. 

How do I apply?

Complete the application at www.nursingcas.org. Keep in mind that it takes Nursing CAS 4-6 weeks to verify your application after you submit it to them, so do not delay in creating, completing and submitting your application.

We consider applicants for conditional admission pending successful completion of outstanding requirements.  You should apply even if you’re finishing your first degree or you’re enrolled in pre-requisite courses – don’t wait to apply.

Watch this tutorial If you have questions about transcript and pre-requisite entry on Nursing CAS.

When should I submit my application?

The priority application deadline is November 1. We encourage students to apply as soon as possible as this allows ample time to complete the immunizations and background check.

May I apply while enrolled in prerequisite courses?

Yes, we strongly encourage you to apply before you complete the prerequisite courses. We will consider your application for conditional admission pending successful completion of all outstanding requirements.

When do you make admission decisions and how soon will I know if I am admitted?

We offer rolling admission. We review applications continuously make admission decisions as we receive applications.

Can I take the prerequisite courses online?

You can take prerequisite courses at any regionally accredited college/university in-class or online.

Do I need to complete an entrance exam for admission consideration?

No, we do not require entrance exams such as the TEAS for admission consideration. 

What other requirements will I need to complete prior to starting the program?

C.N.A training and CPR certification are not required for conditional admission, but are required to enter the program.

We require specifically American Heart Association BLS CPR and cannot accept any other CPR. Find a provider near you at www.heart.org.

You will also need to submit a specific immunization record, mandatory drug test, and blood test for TB. We will provide information about document these items upon admission.

What is the Accelerated Second Degree program like?

Students attend classes two to three days a week and are in clinical (hospitals, clinics, and other health-care settings) two to three days a week, Monday through Friday; the exact schedule varies each semester. It is possible that you could have a clinical rotation on a weekend, however students who may be assigned to a weekend clinical would have a day off during the week so that they would only have class/clinical five days per week. Students complete courses and clinicals in all the major sub-specialty areas including adult health, women’s health, pediatrics, psychiatric-mental health, critical care, and community health nursing. Because of the intense nature of the program students are strongly advised not to work while in the program.

What are students in the program like?

Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and majors. They enter this program either because they always wanted to be a nurse but were unable to find a program they could finish in a reasonable amount of time or because they wanted a career with better advancement opportunities, salaries, and benefits. Bellarmine attracts students from areas across the country including California, Washington, Oregon, Maryland, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Michigan. Students range in age from 21-65+ and the average age is 32. About 10% to 15% of students are men. Generally, half the students are married and many have children. Students in the program tend to be close-knit and supportive of each other and they enjoy a close working relationship with the faculty.

What can I do with this degree?

There are many opportunities for full- and part-time work in nursing. While the greatest numbers of opportunities are in critical care, medical-surgical, surgery, emergency room, and long-term care settings, there are also many opportunities in psychiatric-mental health, forensics, women’s health, pediatrics, community health, case management and administration. There is also a need for nurses with advanced degrees to teach in schools of nursing, work as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and as administrators.

This program prepares students for graduate school, including the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at Bellarmine. Bellarmine’s MSN program offers three tracks of study: Nursing Education, Nursing Administration, and Family Nurse Practitioner. We also offer a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program with tracks in Advanced Practice Nursing or Advanced Leadership.

Where do Bellarmine students complete clinical experiences?

Louisville is fortunate to have a diverse array of clinical sites. Our students are assigned to clinicals with the goal of exposing them to a variety of experiences and opportunities within nursing. We have clinical agreements with all the major metropolitan acute care hospitals as well as other community settings.

Do I need previous health care experience?

While work or volunteer experience is advantageous it is not required. However, because students begin clinical skills the first day of the program we do require completion of the Certified Nurse Aide course. If you are interested in getting a job or volunteer experience in the health care field, talk with an advisor.

What is the NCLEX-RN (licensure exam)?

Students graduate with a baccalaureate degree in nursing, but to become a registered nurse you must pass the RN licensure exam. The national licensure exam for registered nurses is called the NCLEX-RN. Bellarmine students complete a semester long NCLEX preparation class in the spring semester before graduation.

What is Bellarmine’s NCLEX-RN pass rate?

The 2017 First Time Pass Rate was 97%.

Over the last 5 years, Bellarmine graduates have averaged a 95% First Time Pass Rate. (Data from Kentucky Board of Nursing and National Council of State Boards of Nursing websites)

Is there funding assistance available for this program?

Independent second degree students are eligible to borrow up to $12,500 each academic year for tuition and related expenses. Dependent second degree students are eligible to borrow up to $7,500 each academic year for tuition and related expenses. The accelerated BSN program is considered two academic years (even though it is one calendar year) because the summer 2019 is an extension of the 2018-19 academic year. Therefore, you are eligible to borrow up to $25,000 as an independent student or $15,000 as a dependent student for the Accelerated BSN. To apply for federal Stafford loans, visit www.fafsa.gov.

Please note if you have used loan eligibility while completing pre-requisite courses during the fall and spring semesters prior to starting the program, it could affect the amount for which you are eligible to borrow the first semester (summer) of the program.

You can also apply for alternative loans. Alternative loans have a slightly higher interest rate than the federal Stafford loans and are based on credit worthiness. Students can borrow up to the cost of attendance in alternative loans.

Visit the Bellarmine Financial Aid website for information about applying for alternative loans as well as comprehensive advice about financial aid.

Some hospitals also offer scholarship-to-work opportunities that will help you finance your nursing education. Visit your local hospitals’ website(s) or contact their Human Resources departments to learn about opportunities in your area.