two male students and one female student in lab setting

Biomedical Engineering and Nursing (BME/BSN) Dual Degree

As a biomedical engineer, you will be charged with advancing health care treatment for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Having a health care background with clinical experience, especially in Nursing, can greatly enhance your ability to solve clinical problems. Nurses are in the best position to assess the functional health status and technology needs of patients.

Our program is the first dual undergraduate degree program in Biomedical Engineering and Nursing in the U.S. The dual format is cost effective as it provides additional clinical knowledge and skills via a holistic nursing approach. During this five-year program, you will not only gain a deep clinical perspective, but you will also solve real clinical problems and learn to develop technologies such as those that:

  • Assist patients and create efficiencies for nurses in the hospital, outpatient and home care arenas.
  • Are lifesaving and cost effective for developing countries.

How Does the Program Work?

High school students must first apply for admission to the Biomedical Engineering (BME) program. Once you are accepted to Duquesne University, you can declare the BME/BSN dual major. For application requirements, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

BME students have until the second semester of their sophomore year to declare the dual BME/BSN major.

You begin taking Nursing courses during Year 3 of the program, and most of your classes in Year 4 and Year 5 will be Nursing courses.

At the end of five years, you will have earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

You are required to meet program outcomes for both the BME and BSN programs.

"The BME/BSN program has challenged me in my studies, but it gives insight into the medical field. Learning about technology that makes patient care efficient and safe and then using it in clinical settings has helped me to bridge the gap between medical technology development and the application of the technology in direct patient care. This program gives me an opportunity to help spearhead development and application of medical devices to increase quality of life and also increase a patients return to their highest level of functioning."

—Timothy Pecoraro, BME/BSN student

BME Program Outcomes
  1. An ability to identify, formulate and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science and mathematics.
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental and economic factors.
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental and societal contexts.
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks and meet objectives.
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
BSN Program Outcomes

At the completion of the nursing program, the student:

  1. Integrates clinical judgment skills when implementing care for individuals, families, groups and community.
  • Analyzes one's clinical judgment skills when implementing care for individuals, families and groups.
  • Demonstrates clinical judgment skills when implementing care for individuals.
  • Explains the meaning of and necessity for using clinical judgment skills in one's professional role.

  1. Role models ethical, legal and professional standards into one's professional nursing practice when acting as a moral agent.
  • Engages in ethical decision-making.
  • Practices within the ethical and legal framework of one's profession.
  • Differentiates between the ethical and the legal aspects of one's profession.

  1. Displays a caring attitude in all aspects of one's practice.
  • Integrates caring into all aspects of one's practice.
  • Initiates caring behaviors with self and others.
  • Expresses the importance of caring to professional practice.

  1. Institutes collaborative efforts for the improvement of care to individuals/families and communities.
  • Engages in collaboration with others in planning and implementing care.
  • Describes the meaning of collaboration for the improvement of health care.
  • Identifies the meaning of collaborative care to one's practice.

  1. Demonstrates the ability to utilize integrated systems analysis for personal and professional navigation of the health care delivery systems.
  • Examines the use of various strategies within the system that can be used to improve patient outcomes.
  • Explains how changes in the system can affect patient outcomes.
  • Identifies the meaning of a systems thinking approach.

  1. Integrates culturally congruent care in caring for individuals/families of diverse populations.
  • Implements care in a culturally sensitive manner with all persons.
  • Illustrates examples of culturally sensitive care.
  • Describes the meaning of cultural sensitivity.

  1. Engages in evidence-based practice.
  • Interprets the research process methodology as it is related to sound practice.
  • Gives examples of research-based practice.
  • Explains the meaning of clinical inquiry to a profession.

  1. Incorporates teaching/learning process into all aspects of one's practice.
  • Engages in the development of teaching plans to promote the health of patients, groups and communities.
  • Explains the teaching/learning process.
  • Discusses the relationship of teaching to health promotion.

  1. Participates in ongoing educational activities that enhance professional growth and improve health care.
  • Identifies extracurricular opportunities to enhance professional development.
  • Articulates the benefits of engagement in activities that support professional development.
  • Utilizes best practices in improving the health of individuals, groups and communities.

  1. Utilizes evolving information technologies to enhance professional nursing practice.
  • Utilizes technology in academic and clinical settings.
  • Participates in analysis of ethical considerations when using technology.
  • Demonstrates competencies in the use of technology in the clinical setting.

  1. Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing to all individuals and groups.
  • Incorporates major communication theories in all interactions.
  • Analyzes factors that promote/interfere with effective communication.
  • Examines the major principles of therapeutic communication.

  1. Uses leadership abilities to influence professional nursing practice.
  • Examines nursing leadership roles.
  • Applies the principles of leadership in clinical environments.
  • Participates in interprofessional collaboration to influence efficiency of health care services.

  1. Evaluates the interrelationship of nurse competencies and the patient characteristics to patient outcomes.
  • Utilizes the unique strengths of the patient characteristics and the nurse competencies to affect patient outcomes.
  • Examines the interrelationship of nurse competencies and the patient characteristics to patient outcomes.
  • States the patient outcomes and the nurse competencies.