Bachelor of ScienceNursing (BSN)

Nursing student hanging IV bags

Begin your rewarding journey as a nurse with our Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Why earn your nursing degree at Bellarmine?

At Bellarmine, you’ll learn from the best nursing instructors in the region, who will put you on the path toward a rewarding career in nursing. You’ll also benefit from the renowned Bellarmine undergraduate program, which teaches critical-thinking and leadership skills. Our small class sizes ensure your professors will be there to support you, and you’ll learn the highest standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct. And you’ll benefit from our location in Louisville, Kentucky, which has some of the best clinical settings and major healthcare employers in the nation.

Program Highlights

Our BSN program prepares you to function independently or in collaboration with other health care providers to serve individuals and families in hospitals and community settings. We’ve designed our program to encourage your active participation in achieving program outcomes. Upon completion of the program, you will have a recognition of and desire for continuing professional development and a sound foundation for pursuing graduate education in nursing.

Graduates of the BSN program will be able to:

  • Synthesize knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences, and the discipline of nursing, in the provision of professional nursing care. 
  • Demonstrate leadership skills to ensure patient safety and enhance quality of care, within the context of the interprofessional team.
  • Integrate evidence-based practice in the planning of care for individuals, families, groups, and populations.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of healthcare policy, finance, and regulatory environments in healthcare delivery and practice. 
  • Implement population-focused nursing interventions across the lifespan. 
  • Function as a professional nurse in accordance with standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct. 
  • Incorporate information systems and patient-care technologies in the delivery of quality nursing care.
Graduate at hospital working

“Everyone within the nursing program at Bellarmine takes great pride in developing the best nurses possible. I will never forget Lori Minton, my first instructor in my sophomore year clinicals. She provided me with the basic skills and knowledge I needed to build a great foundation as a nurse. Whatever your passion is, you can pursue it at Bellarmine.”

Stephanie Wilson Oeswein FNP, APRN
Baptist Health CBC Group
BSN '11, MSN '14

Frequently Asked Questions

Is admission into the nursing program competitive?

No. As long as you meet the admission criteria, you will be accepted into the nursing program.

When do I get to start clinicals?

Clinicals begin your first semester, sophomore year.

What is your NCLEX pass rate?

Bellarmine graduates consistently surpass the national, regional, and local first-time pass rates, and over the last 5 years they have averaged a 91.4% First Time Pass Rate. (Kentucky Board of Nursing data)

What types of clinical settings do you offer?

Clinicals take place in medical surgical, community, pediatric, psychiatric, maternal-child, and critical care settings. Students also complete a leadership clinical where they work with a nurse leader in a hospital setting.

How many graduates find a job when they graduate?

100% of our new graduates find employment upon graduation. Most have jobs secured in their last semester of the program.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate of our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, you’ll be qualified for many roles in the field of nursing. Our alumni have gone on to rewarding careers in acute care hospitals, primary care outpatient clinics, community heath settings, school health and as nurse educators. You’ll also be qualified to pursue a higher degree, such as a master of science in nursing (MSN), a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP), or a doctoral degree in nursing (PhD). This may include many tracks such as a nurse practitioner, nursing leadership, or nursing education, among others.

On Campus Experiences

Nursing students enjoy many experiences on campus. The Bellarmine Association of Nursing Students (BANS) organizes, represents and mentors nursing students to convey professionalism in nursing practice, promote networking and serve the local community through service projects.

The Galileo Learning Community is designed for first-year students interested in careers in health and medical sciences.

Sigma Theta Tau is an honor society for nursing.

Students also have the opportunity to study abroad.

Nursing students who qualify may participate in the Honors Program at Bellarmine.


Here is a quick snapshot of a few of our faculty members. Read profiles of all of our distinguished faculty.

Leslie Leffler, APRN, FNP-BC
BSN Department Chair
Phone: 502-272-7974

Kelly Ruppel, PhD, RN, CNE

Kelly Ruppel, PhD, RN, CNE
Interests: Evidence-based teaching strategies in nursing education; health behaviors of women; population health; leadership & management.

Carol Smith, PhD, APRN, FNP-C

Carol Smith, PhD, APRN, FNP-C
Interests: Cardiac (MI signs and symptoms); women’s health; critical care

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the BSN program you must first be admitted to Bellarmine University. Upon completion of all courses designated in the BSN curriculum for the freshman year, you must apply for admission into the BSN program. For a comprehensive list of admission requirements, please visit our Admission Requirements page.

Disclosure for Students who Reside outside of Kentucky

  • Bellarmine University cannot confirm whether its courses or programs meet requirements for professional licensure in states other than Kentucky. Prior to enrolling in a Bellarmine program, a student who does not reside in Kentucky should contact applicable licensing board(s) in the student’s home state to determine whether the program meets requirements for licensure in the state where the student resides.
  • Nursing licensure contacts: 


The Baccalaureate degree program in nursing, Master's degree program in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Bellarmine University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

The BSN program is approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

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