Nursing (Pathways to Nursing)

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Nursing (Pathways to Nursing) Overview

Chatham University and UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing are proud to offer Nursing (Pathways to Nursing), a collaborative track to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Nursing (Pathways to Nursing) prepares world-ready nurses to develop the skills necessary in today's healthcare system. In four years, a Nursing (Pathways to Nursing) student can graduate with a BSN, RN license, and a year of work experience as an RN. 
  • Take general education and science courses at Chatham's Shadyside Campus, and prelicensure nursing courses at UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing (SSON).
  • You will officially become an RN when you pass the NCLEX-RN after completing the SSON program your third (junior) year.
  • After successfully passing the NCLEX-RN you will enter Chatham's accredited online RN-BSN program for your final (senior) year.
Degrees Offered
  • BS
Program School

Chatham’s Pathways to Nursing Program

Take an “inside look” at UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing (SSON), part of a partnership exclusive to Chatham University’s unique Nursing (Pathways to Nursing) BSN degree. Nursing (Pathways to Nursing) students take undergraduate courses at Chatham and their nursing courses at SSON.

Explore the Nursing (Pathways to Nursing) Degree:

  • Get the most out of Chatham's excellent science curriculum, our 150-year heritage of education, and the ability to experience the full undergraduate experience, including residential life, student activities and all the added benefits of living in Pittsburgh – consistently voted one of America's and the world's most livable cities.
  • Chatham and UPMC SSON offer dedicated nursing faculty (not teaching assistants) and the same academic advisor for all four years.
  • Earn your nursing diploma through UPMC SSON, a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
  • Chatham's RN-BSN program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Basic Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab

This is the first of two courses designed for students who need a broad coverage of anatomy and physiology and have little or no background in science. It includes a study of the structure and function of human cells, tissue, organs, and systems. Clinical applications of anatomy and physiology will also be considered. Three hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week. Enrollment in a school of nursing is required.

Global Cultural Diversity and Specialty Population Nursing

This course is focused on various cultural and specialty populations. Multiple aspects of culture, vulnerability, and needs of individual populations will be analyzed and discussed. Content includes issues of ethics, social justice, health literacy, and barriers to care. 

Foundational Concepts of Nursing

This course introduces the student to the foundational concepts of nursing practice across the lifespan. Basic care and comfort is explored through the concepts of nutrition, elimination, safety, mobility, and sensory perception. Physical assessment is a major component of this course. The promotion of health and wellness is an underlying theme carried throughout the course. The student is introduced to basic foundational skills of nursing practice, including medication administration, through both the clinical and lab settings. Students engage in clinical experiences in inpatient medical-surgical units.

View Full Curriculum

Applications for admission to the Chatham University Nursing (Pathways to Nursing) program must include:

  • The Chatham University online application
  • The supplemental UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing application
  • High School transcripts showing graduation date and 2 years of science with related lab coursework
  • Post-secondary Education: all transcripts must be submitted
  • Completion of the following high school courses with a “C” or higher
    • 4 years of English
    • 2 years of Science (Biology or Chemistry) with a related Laboratory
    • 2 years of Mathematics (1 of which is Algebra)
    • 3 years of Social Studies
  • High school GPA of 3.0 or greater
  • SAT > 1050 or ACT > 21 or TEAS test score of 62% or higher. Offered by ATI and required for admission to UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing.

If accepted for admission to UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing, receive a written offer of acceptance. To reserve a space in the incoming class, the candidate must acknowledge acceptance in writing per the letter offering admission to the school.

Once accepted to Nursing (Pathways to Nursing), all students are required to satisfy the requirements for participation in clinical rotations including background checks and a health screening, and a current CPR certification.

All students will be provided a current checklist detailing documentation to be provided and the respective submission deadlines when attending a post-acceptance UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing Information Session.

Students not meeting the requirements to enter or remain enrolled in the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing Program will receive written notification from the School of Health Sciences Dean's office advising them to select an academic major other than Nursing (Pathways to Nursing). Students are required to complete appropriate documentation to secure a different academic major and advisor. The University Registrar’s Office will automatically change the student’s major to “undeclared” and assign a new advisor if the appropriate documentation is not completed within the timeframe designated in the notification letter.

Post-Acceptance Information Session/New Student Orientation

Attendance at a post-acceptance information session/new student orientation is required once the offer of admission has been accepted. Topics covered at these sessions include: academic schedules, photo ID cards, and compliance requirements.


If one word could best sum up Chatham's faculty, it would be engaged. Professors bring experiences to relate the course lessons to real-world situations.

Full Faculty
Photo of Diane Hunker
Program Director of Nursing, DNP Program Coordinator & Professor of Nursing
Photo of Emily Hopkins
Associate Professor of Nursing, MSN Program Coordinator, IRB Co-Chair
Photo of Julie Slade
Assistant Program Director/Associate Professor
Photo of Lora Walter
Assistant Professor of Nursing, Pathways to Nursing Coordinator

State of the Art Facilities and Practices

UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing offers a state-of-the-art human simulation lab and a curriculum based on quality and safety principles. 

Careers and Future Development

Once you earn your degree, you will have opportunities for career placement at facilities like UPMC Shadyside Hospital, a Magnet® recognized facility. You can also advance your career potential with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Chatham University.