Nursing History at Bellarmine

History of the School of Nursing              

The Nursing program at Bellarmine College was established in 1975 with the opening of the RN to BSN program. Outreach locations for the RN to BSN program were developed over several years at Elizabethtown, Pippa Passes at Alice Lloyd College (later Prestonsburg), Barbourville at Union College (later Corbin), Ashland, Lexington, and Paducah. 

In 1982, with the closure of the Baptist Hospital School of Nursing, the last nursing diploma program in the Commonwealth, the Nursing Department initiated the first class for the associate degree in nursing. The associate degree program was phased out in 1985 and the inaugural class for the Bachelor of Science degree in nursing entered Bellarmine College. The graduates of the BSN program continue to achieve a high pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.

In 1997, the School of Nursing opened a 12-month second degree accelerated program for career changers.  The entering students came from a variety of backgrounds with degrees in biology, psychology, exercise science, liberal arts, and business.  All of the entering students held a bachelor’s or master’s degree in another field.

The Master’s degree program in nursing (MSN) opened in 1984 on the Louisville campus.  Over the next several years in an effort to meet the needs of nurses in Kentucky for graduate education, the MSN program started off site campuses at Ashland, Lexington, and Paducah.

The inaugural class for the Doctoral program in Nursing Practice was accepted in January 2010.  The doctoral students are developing skills in systems management, outcomes measurement, patient safety, and healthcare informatics. 


The Lansing School of Nursing and Clinical Sciences offers the following nursing programs:

Undergraduate, Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN)
  • 4-year traditional Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing for high school graduates and college transfer students
  • 1-year second degree (accelerated) Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing for career changers who hold an undergraduate or graduate degree in another field

Graduate, Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN) - Candidates must hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. The MSN program hosts four tracks:

  • Nursing Administration to prepare nurse leaders/executives
  • MSN/MBA dual degree for aspiring nurse executives
  • Nursing Education to prepare nurse faculty for teaching positions in nursing and continuing and professional development
  • Family Nurse Practitioner to prepare advanced practice nursing for primary care for children, adults and elders

Doctoral program, Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) - Candidates must hold a Master of Science degree in Nursing

  • Doctorate in Nursing Practice prepares clinical nurse leaders at the organizational/systems level


The Nursing programs at Bellarmine University offer the following opportunities:

Study Abroad
  • Curtin University, Australia
  • Maldalaren University, Sweden
  • Edith Cowan University, Australia
Service Learning Experiences
  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Community projects
  • Volunteer service in Guatemala and Appalachia
Clinical Practice Experiences
  • Kid’s Camps
  • Volunteer missions overseas
Career Planning
  • Interview skills
  • Resume development
  • Mock interviews
  • On-campus interviews