Female nurse raising her hand

Bachelor's Degree in Nursing

Earn Your Bachelor's Degree in Nursing

Minnesota and the United States more broadly are experiencing a nursing shortage. The field of nursing needs more professionals who approach health care from a whole-person perspective, recognizing the many factors that contribute to a person's health and well-being.

In the Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of St. Thomas program, you will be prepared to enter this high-demand field and provide the care, advocacy and interprofessional collaboration so urgently needed in the field.

Graduates will be educated to work as generalists in a variety of settings. The program will prepare you to sit for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing NCLEX-RN® licensure exam. Over the course of earning your degree, you'll gain real-world experience during work in a clinical setting.

Why St. Thomas?

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program provides a unique emphasis on whole-person wellness, social determinants of health and health equity, interprofessional collaboration, and advocacy and systems change. St. Thomas seeks to help serve the health needs of diverse populations in urban and rural areas by training culturally responsive nurses who proactively improve whole-person healing.

Our Vision

The Susan S. Morrison School of Nursing prepares highly skilled professional nurses who are culturally responsive, practice clinical excellence with ingenuity, and proactively improve whole-person healing to advance health equity and social justice.

Our Mission

Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas Susan S. Morrison School of Nursing embraces academic excellence through fostering a caring culture during students’ preparation for entry into professional Registered Nurse practice. Our graduates will partner with others, serving as culturally responsive leaders who value intellectual inquiry to act wisely in the provision of ethical and compassionate whole-person and whole-community care that promotes human flourishing. They will provide this care with ingenuity, dignity, and respect for diverse populations to advance health equity and social justice.

Program Overview

  • Course Requirements
  • Four-Year Plan
  • Degree Awarded
  • Program Outcomes
  • Applying to the BSN
  • Scholarships and Financial Aid
  • Course Requirements

    The pre-licensure BSN program is a traditional four-year undergraduate major program that consists of 56 required nursing credits along with a 1-credit First Year-First Experience course; 34 credits in supporting courses such as biology, chemistry, psychology, anatomy, physiology and more; as well as 40 credits in liberal studies courses.

    Through the coursework, you will develop knowledge and skills in assessment and diagnostics to develop, implement and evaluate plans of care and nursing interventions to care for the whole-person. You'll learn how to make clinical judgments based on the principles and practices of evidence-based nursing practice. And you'll learn to provide socially just nursing grounded in diversity, equity and inclusion to advance the common good.

    Four-Year Plan

    The BSN program follows a relatively rigorous curriculum plan. Nursing faculty and academic counselors will work closely with you to advise you on the courses needed to complete the nursing curriculum. You will take some pre-requisite courses during the fall of your first year before applying to the BSN program in the spring semester of your first year.

    Degree Awarded

    Students who complete the program will receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

    1. Integrates liberal education for the provision of professional nursing care for the whole person and whole community.
    2. Develops person-centered plans of care through therapeutic relationship, respect, holistic assessment, prioritization, intervention, and evaluation to achieve dignified health outcomes.
    3. Promotes the common good through ethical, moral and socially just nursing care for people and populations through health promotion, disease prevention, and emancipatory praxis.
    4. Demonstrates clinical decision-making, scholarship, and evidence-based nursing practice in the provision of care within complex systems.
    5. Uses ingenuity, innovation, and multiple ways of knowing to proactively and continuously improve quality and safety in nursing practice and health care systems.
    6. Demonstrates interprofessional teamwork that values similarities and differences to enhance and strengthen health outcomes.
    7. Uses information and communication technologies and informatics processes to provide quality nursing care.
    8. Demonstrates advocacy, professionalism and leadership skills, including leading self to lead others, self-care, lifelong learning, and clinical excellence.

    Applying to the BSN

    The BSN requires a secondary application after admission and enrollment at St. Thomas. Interested students may apply into the nursing major while completing prerequisite courses spring semester.

    Transfer students must be admitted and attending the University of St. Thomas in the spring 2023 semester in order to apply to be admitted to the Nursing major in the fall of 2023. Transfer students must also have completed or be enrolled Nursing 110 in order to apply. Transfer courses for pre-requisite credits will be evaluated upon admission. 

    The School of Nursing utilizes a holistic admissions process (see description below) in its review of applications. Application requirements include a review of the applicant's academic record, experiences, personal statement, multiple mini-interviews, and a simulated activity.

    Applicants in the spring of 2023 must have completed Biology 105 or Biology 207 with a C- or better to be eligible to apply.

    Students accepted into the BSN program to start in the fall 0f 2023 must have completed the following courses with a C- or higher, no later than September 6, 2023:

    1. Nursing 110
    2. Math 101, or placement in/completion of Math 108 or higher
    3. Chemistry 108
    4. Psychology 111

    Additionally, students must have a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher when they apply. 

    Holistic Review

    Holistic review assesses an applicant's unique experiences in addition to traditional measures of academic achievement such as grades. This review facilitates consideration of a broad range of factors reflecting the applicant's academic readiness and contribution to the incoming nursing class. Since the School of Nursing's vision includes advancing health equity and social justice, St. Thomas nursing students should possess the background, qualities, and skills to provide culturally responsive care to meet the needs of a rapidly diversifying patient population.

    Scholarships and Financial Aid

    The University of St. Thomas offers a variety of options and opportunities for financial aid and scholarships. Explore our resources for undergraduate students.

    Course Requirements

    Course Requirements

    The pre-licensure BSN program is a traditional four-year undergraduate major program that consists of 56 required nursing credits along with a 1-credit First Year-First Experience course; 34 credits in supporting courses such as biology, chemistry, psychology, anatomy, physiology and more; as well as 40 credits in liberal studies courses.

    Through the coursework, you will develop knowledge and skills in assessment and diagnostics to develop, implement and evaluate plans of care and nursing interventions to care for the whole-person. You'll learn how to make clinical judgments based on the principles and practices of evidence-based nursing practice. And you'll learn to provide socially just nursing grounded in diversity, equity and inclusion to advance the common good.

    Four-Year Plan

    Four-Year Plan

    The BSN program follows a relatively rigorous curriculum plan. Nursing faculty and academic counselors will work closely with you to advise you on the courses needed to complete the nursing curriculum. You will take some pre-requisite courses during the fall of your first year before applying to the BSN program in the spring semester of your first year.

    Degree Awarded

    Degree Awarded

    Students who complete the program will receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

    Program Outcomes

    1. Integrates liberal education for the provision of professional nursing care for the whole person and whole community.
    2. Develops person-centered plans of care through therapeutic relationship, respect, holistic assessment, prioritization, intervention, and evaluation to achieve dignified health outcomes.
    3. Promotes the common good through ethical, moral and socially just nursing care for people and populations through health promotion, disease prevention, and emancipatory praxis.
    4. Demonstrates clinical decision-making, scholarship, and evidence-based nursing practice in the provision of care within complex systems.
    5. Uses ingenuity, innovation, and multiple ways of knowing to proactively and continuously improve quality and safety in nursing practice and health care systems.
    6. Demonstrates interprofessional teamwork that values similarities and differences to enhance and strengthen health outcomes.
    7. Uses information and communication technologies and informatics processes to provide quality nursing care.
    8. Demonstrates advocacy, professionalism and leadership skills, including leading self to lead others, self-care, lifelong learning, and clinical excellence.

    Applying to the BSN

    Applying to the BSN

    The BSN requires a secondary application after admission and enrollment at St. Thomas. Interested students may apply into the nursing major while completing prerequisite courses spring semester.

    Transfer students must be admitted and attending the University of St. Thomas in the spring 2023 semester in order to apply to be admitted to the Nursing major in the fall of 2023. Transfer students must also have completed or be enrolled Nursing 110 in order to apply. Transfer courses for pre-requisite credits will be evaluated upon admission. 

    The School of Nursing utilizes a holistic admissions process (see description below) in its review of applications. Application requirements include a review of the applicant's academic record, experiences, personal statement, multiple mini-interviews, and a simulated activity.

    Applicants in the spring of 2023 must have completed Biology 105 or Biology 207 with a C- or better to be eligible to apply.

    Students accepted into the BSN program to start in the fall 0f 2023 must have completed the following courses with a C- or higher, no later than September 6, 2023:

    1. Nursing 110
    2. Math 101, or placement in/completion of Math 108 or higher
    3. Chemistry 108
    4. Psychology 111

    Additionally, students must have a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher when they apply. 

    Holistic Review

    Holistic review assesses an applicant's unique experiences in addition to traditional measures of academic achievement such as grades. This review facilitates consideration of a broad range of factors reflecting the applicant's academic readiness and contribution to the incoming nursing class. Since the School of Nursing's vision includes advancing health equity and social justice, St. Thomas nursing students should possess the background, qualities, and skills to provide culturally responsive care to meet the needs of a rapidly diversifying patient population.

    Scholarships and Financial Aid

    Scholarships and Financial Aid

    The University of St. Thomas offers a variety of options and opportunities for financial aid and scholarships. Explore our resources for undergraduate students.

    Doctor showing interns a skeleton of a spine.

    Gain real-world experience

    Clinical Placement Opportunities

    You will complete clinical placement to gain real-world experience in areas of nursing practice such as health promotion, acute care, pediatrics, obstetrics, public health and psychiatric/mental health. Our clinical placement specialist coordinates placements in these important areas of practice.

    Meet the Director

    Dr. Martha Scheckel headshot

    Dr. Martha Scheckel

    Dr. Martha Scheckel, PhD, RN, joined the University of St. Thomas from the College of Nursing, Health and Human Behavior at Viterbo University in Wisconsin, where she served as dean. Dr. Scheckel is a community and public health nursing expert. In her previous role, she provided academic leadership for mental health counseling, nursing, nutrition and dietetics, psychology, social work and criminal justice. She has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years, including 17 years of nursing practice experience predominantly in community and public health settings.

    Nursing Staff

    Technical Standards

    Technical standards (see below) are required abilities for effective performance in the Susan S. Morrison School of Nursing. The standards are compatible with the scope of practice for which nursing students will seek licensure as defined by the Minnesota State Board of Nursing; Nurse Practice Act: 148.171, Subd. 15. The examples show how a standard may be applied in entry-level nursing education programs. The examples listed are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be a complete list of all tasks required in an entry-level nursing program.

    These technical standards are essential program requirements, and School of Nursing students must demonstrate that they can meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations, throughout their time in the program. Reasonable accommodations to meet standards may be available for otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities. Contact the office of Disability Resources as soon as possible for more information if you think you may need an accommodation for a disability.

  • Sensing/Observing
  • Motor
  • Communication
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Ability
  • Behavioral
  • Character
  • Sensing/Observing

    • Observe and assess a patient accurately, through visual, auditory and tactile abilities
    • Ability to monitor and assess health needs
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Interpret and respond to monitors, alarms, emergency signals and cries for help
        • Interpret and differentiate heart, lung and bowel sounds
    • Observation and assessment necessary in nursing care, both at a distance and close at hand.
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Observe patient responses
        • Observe small calibration markings and numbers (e.g., on syringes)
        • Assess color change in skin and fluids

    Motor

    • Possess psychomotor skills necessary to provide holistic and safe nursing care and perform or assist with procedures, treatments, and medication administration
    • Operate equipment typically found in the health care environment (IV pumps, cardiac monitor, and electric blood pressure equipment, safe patient handling equipment, etc.)
    • Practice in a safe manner and appropriately provide care in emergencies and life support procedures and perform universal precautions against contamination
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Maintain sterile technique
        • Transfer and position patients
        • Position and re-position self around patients in their room or other workspaces
        • Perform assessment and therapeutic procedures such as inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers and procedures

    Communication

    • Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and families
    • Communicate effectively with faculty, preceptors, and all members of the healthcare team during practicum and other learning experiences
    • Accurately elicit information including a medical history and other information to adequately and effectively evaluate a client or patient’s condition
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Concisely and accurately explains treatments and procedures as well as other health education
        • Documents clearly and concisely, within legal guidelines

    Cognitive/Intellectual Ability

    • Use and apply information acquired from various sources, including written documents and computer systems (e.g., lectures, demonstrations, written documents, literature searches and data retrieval)
    • Identify and interpret information presented in images from paper, slides, videos, and screens that are presented in various formats
    • Recognize and assess client changes in mood, activity, cognition, verbal, and non-verbal communication
    • Use and interpret information from assessment techniques/maneuvers
    • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize data related to patient diagnosis and treatment of patients
    • Exercise proper judgment and complete nursing responsibilities in a timely and accurate manner.
      Synthesize information, problem solve, and think critically to judge the most appropriate theory or assessment strategy
    • Ask for help when needed and make proper judgments of when a nursing task can or cannot be carried out alone
    • Exhibit a level of consciousness and attentiveness that guarantees patient safety
    • Expeditiously incorporate data from multiple patient sources (e.g., physical assessment, vital signs, lab values, interdisciplinary documentation) in providing appropriate, safe patient care
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations
        • Recognize and respond rapidly and safely to changes in patient status based on a variety of sources such as physical assessment and pertinent laboratory findings
        • Revise care to promote appropriate patient outcomes
        • Access electronic health records using health agency-approved device
        • Safely monitor and respond to alarms, emergency signals, cries for help, heart, lung, and bowel sounds
        • Assess respiratory and cardiac function, blood pressure, blood sugar, neurological status, etc.

    Behavioral

    • Behave professionally and maintain mature, sensitive, effective relationships with clients/patients, families, students, faculty, staff, preceptors and other professionals under all circumstances
    • Exercise skills of diplomacy to advocate for patients in need
    • Able to function under stress and adapt to classroom and practice setting environments
    • Must be able to meet University of St. Thomas School of Nursing attendance requirements, including timeliness
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Arrives on time, prepared to fully participate
        • Manages work to meet deadlines
        • Student must be able and willing to examine their behavior when it interferes with productive individual or team relationships

    Character

    • Concern for others, integrity, accountability, interest, and motivation are necessary personal qualities
    • Demonstrate intent and desire to follow the ANA Standards of Care and Nursing Code of Ethics
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Is honest in all communications with others
        • Has a positive attitude to ensure teamwork
        • Maintains confidentiality

    Sensing/Observing

    Sensing/Observing

    • Observe and assess a patient accurately, through visual, auditory and tactile abilities
    • Ability to monitor and assess health needs
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Interpret and respond to monitors, alarms, emergency signals and cries for help
        • Interpret and differentiate heart, lung and bowel sounds
    • Observation and assessment necessary in nursing care, both at a distance and close at hand.
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Observe patient responses
        • Observe small calibration markings and numbers (e.g., on syringes)
        • Assess color change in skin and fluids

    Motor

    Motor

    • Possess psychomotor skills necessary to provide holistic and safe nursing care and perform or assist with procedures, treatments, and medication administration
    • Operate equipment typically found in the health care environment (IV pumps, cardiac monitor, and electric blood pressure equipment, safe patient handling equipment, etc.)
    • Practice in a safe manner and appropriately provide care in emergencies and life support procedures and perform universal precautions against contamination
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Maintain sterile technique
        • Transfer and position patients
        • Position and re-position self around patients in their room or other workspaces
        • Perform assessment and therapeutic procedures such as inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers and procedures

    Communication

    Communication

    • Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and families
    • Communicate effectively with faculty, preceptors, and all members of the healthcare team during practicum and other learning experiences
    • Accurately elicit information including a medical history and other information to adequately and effectively evaluate a client or patient’s condition
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Concisely and accurately explains treatments and procedures as well as other health education
        • Documents clearly and concisely, within legal guidelines

    Cognitive/Intellectual Ability

    Cognitive/Intellectual Ability

    • Use and apply information acquired from various sources, including written documents and computer systems (e.g., lectures, demonstrations, written documents, literature searches and data retrieval)
    • Identify and interpret information presented in images from paper, slides, videos, and screens that are presented in various formats
    • Recognize and assess client changes in mood, activity, cognition, verbal, and non-verbal communication
    • Use and interpret information from assessment techniques/maneuvers
    • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize data related to patient diagnosis and treatment of patients
    • Exercise proper judgment and complete nursing responsibilities in a timely and accurate manner.
      Synthesize information, problem solve, and think critically to judge the most appropriate theory or assessment strategy
    • Ask for help when needed and make proper judgments of when a nursing task can or cannot be carried out alone
    • Exhibit a level of consciousness and attentiveness that guarantees patient safety
    • Expeditiously incorporate data from multiple patient sources (e.g., physical assessment, vital signs, lab values, interdisciplinary documentation) in providing appropriate, safe patient care
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations
        • Recognize and respond rapidly and safely to changes in patient status based on a variety of sources such as physical assessment and pertinent laboratory findings
        • Revise care to promote appropriate patient outcomes
        • Access electronic health records using health agency-approved device
        • Safely monitor and respond to alarms, emergency signals, cries for help, heart, lung, and bowel sounds
        • Assess respiratory and cardiac function, blood pressure, blood sugar, neurological status, etc.

    Behavioral

    Behavioral

    • Behave professionally and maintain mature, sensitive, effective relationships with clients/patients, families, students, faculty, staff, preceptors and other professionals under all circumstances
    • Exercise skills of diplomacy to advocate for patients in need
    • Able to function under stress and adapt to classroom and practice setting environments
    • Must be able to meet University of St. Thomas School of Nursing attendance requirements, including timeliness
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Arrives on time, prepared to fully participate
        • Manages work to meet deadlines
        • Student must be able and willing to examine their behavior when it interferes with productive individual or team relationships

    Character

    Character

    • Concern for others, integrity, accountability, interest, and motivation are necessary personal qualities
    • Demonstrate intent and desire to follow the ANA Standards of Care and Nursing Code of Ethics
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Is honest in all communications with others
        • Has a positive attitude to ensure teamwork
        • Maintains confidentiality

    Licensure and Accreditation

    The BSN has received initial approval from the Minnesota Board of Nursing and will be granted continuing approval upon receiving initial accreditation by a national nursing accrediting body. The School of Nursing will seek accreditation for the BSN from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). St. Thomas is seeking to ensure that the first graduating class will graduate from a CCNE-accredited program. The program cannot make a determination that its curriculum meets requirements for licensure outside of the State of Minnesota until CCNE accreditation is awarded.

    Professional Licensure Disclosure

    Take the Next Step​

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