Why major in Nursing?

Nurses are in high demand by a variety of employers. Majoring in nursing can lead you to multiple career paths. As a nurse, you’ll be a part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team that focuses on the best outcomes for the patients and families in your care. Nursing is consistently regarded as the most trusted profession with respect to honesty and ethics as rated by the Gallup poll 16 years in a row. Graduates of our program are either offered jobs prior to graduation or find employment soon thereafter.

Nursing student and professor treat a patient simulator while classmates watch.

Program Distinctives

In addition to classroom learning, you’ll also get hands-on learning opportunities as you practice skills in UPIKE’s simulation labs and in the real-world at local hospitals, clinics, hospice and schools. For students who excel in the first year of the program, nurse extern (a paid position under the supervision of a Registered Nurse) opportunities are available at a local hospital.

UPIKE’s nursing program is over 30 years old and has graduated hundreds of alumni that practice all over the United States (even north of the Arctic Circle).

Nursing student receives her honorary pin for completing the nursing program.

Interesting Courses

NUR 125 Family Nursing This course is an introduction to nursing care of women, newborns and a family experiencing pregnancy and birth. Emphasis is placed upon wellness, prevention, health maintenance and health restoration. Practical experience is provided in community and acute care settings.

NUR 306 Pharmacology This course examines the clinical application of drugs as they relate to clients across the lifespan who are experiencing acute and chronic health problems. Emphasis is placed on gerontological implications of pharmacology.

NUR 245 Mental-Health Nursing This course is an introduction to the concepts of mental health nursing of patients across the lifespan. Wellness, prevention, health maintenance and health restoration are emphasized.

NUR 246 Professional Transitions This course addresses factors that facilitate the transition from a nursing student to a registered nurse. Seminar aspects of the course review the historical, political, social and legal framework of healthcare delivery and nursing practice.

Nursing student

Student Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of UPIKE’s associate degree in nursing program, you’ll be able to provide safe, accountable and effective nursing care across the lifespan in a variety of settings; practice within the legal, ethical and regulatory parameters of nursing; utilize critical thinking and decision-making skills in the nursing process; demonstrate effective and therapeutic communication with clients, significant support persons and the healthcare team; exhibit caring behavior in the delivery of culturally competent care; function collaboratively; and demonstrate effective management skills. You’ll gain the coursework and experience required to be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a Registered Nurse.

Career paths in Nursing

Initially, most graduates will begin practice as a generalist Registered Nurse in various areas (medical-surgical, intensive care, obstetrics, emergency, etc.) of acute care. With additional education and experience, nurses can pursue careers in nursing education, primary practice and anesthesia.



Where Recent Graduates have gone to work or study

Appalachian Hospice Care
Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Inc.
Baptist Health, Lexington, KY
Chamberlain University
Highlands Regional Medical Center
MedFlight of East Kentucky
Ohio University
Pikeville Medical Center
University of Kentucky, Albert B. Chandler Hospital
U.S. Air Force


“The Elliott School of Nursing at UPIKE is a place I will forever cherish. When I started my journey to become a nurse, I did not understand what an impact my education would have on my career. The Elliott School of Nursing was more than just a school to me, it was a place I learned to grow, gained many friends and became part of a family I will never forget. When I think back on my time during the ADN program, I cannot find enough words to describe my amazing experience. I will always recommend this school. The Elliott School of Nursing may have required many textbooks to learn the basics of becoming a registered nurse, but the faculty taught us how to be better people. I am forever thankful for the instructors that reinforced the importance of being compassionate in nursing and reminding us to always be knowledgeable with our skills. The faculty taught us how to be respectful and maintain organization and dignity during the hardest times for people experiencing life-altering events. UPIKE is a place to grow, learn and call home. I will carry the teachings I attained through the Elliott School of Nursing throughout my entire career and smile, knowing my education made me a better person.”



Jessica Williamson

Administrative Assistant, Division of Nursing
(606) 218-5750