School of Nursing

Traditional Undergraduate Nursing Program | Post-Baccalaureate Nursing Program | RN to BS Online

The School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in three program formats, the traditional undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and R.N. to B.S. Online.  The Undergraduate Nursing Program, which is approved as a licensure-preparing program by the Minnesota Board of Nursing, prepares students for entry-level professional nursing practice.  This level of education is based on core knowledge and clinical competency applied through a unique blend of critical thinking, caring, communication and collaboration. 

The School also educates leaders in its Master's of Science in Advanced Practice Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs.  Information about the graduate nursing programs is found on the College website. 

All nursing programs at The College of St. Scholastica are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, D.C., 20036, (202) 887-6791.

The following Undergraduate Nursing Program outcomes identify the depth and breadth of knowledge which graduates of all undergraduate nursing program formats at CSS are able to demonstrate. Upon completion of the Undergraduate Nursing Program the graduate will:

  1. Synthesize knowledge from nursing, the arts and sciences and the Benedictine values in the holistic practice of professional nursing.
  2. Demonstrate professional values and behaviors consistent with professional standards.
  3. Demonstrate competence for entry-level professional practice.
  4. Advocate for healthcare that is sensitive to the needs of clients including vulnerable populations.
  5. Assume responsibility for ongoing professional development in an ever-changing healthcare environment.

Department of Traditional Undergraduate Nursing

Traditional Undergraduate Nursing Program

The Traditional Undergraduate Nursing Program is an on-campus program that prepares students for entry-level professional nursing practice, including the health needs of underserved populations. This level of education is based on core knowledge and clinical competency applied through a unique blend of critical thinking, caring, communication and collaboration. Health promotion, illness management and population-based care are the focus of the traditional undergraduate curriculum. Students are prepared to practice holistically as leaders in healthcare delivery, with an educational foundation grounded in the Benedictine values. Throughout the curriculum faculty blend the use of simulation, technology and integrative therapies to prepare students as healers of the mind, body and spirit.

Students need 128 credits to graduate, with 50 credits coming from nursing coursework.  The program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nursing and qualifies the graduate to take the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses). Graduates are eligible to apply for registration as a Minnesota public health nurse and have the academic credentials to pursue master's study in Nursing or a B.S. to DNP track.

Admission and Retention Procedure and Policies

New first-year students are eligible for the ENTER Program, which is a criterion-based, early admission program. Eligible students who, upon admission to the College, declare their intent to pursue a baccalaureate degree in Nursing will be guaranteed admission to the Traditional Undergraduate Nursing Program if they meet the ENTER Program criteria (available on the Web and in the Traditional Undergraduate Nursing student handbook). In the event there are more qualified ENTER students than seats available, admission will be determined based on highest overall GPA of required coursework.

New first-year students who do not meet the ENTER criteria, and transfer students will be able to apply to the Traditional Undergraduate Nursing Program through the following standard application process. Application criteria that is starred (*) applies to ENTER students only in the application process list below.

ENTER Applicants should:

  • Make application to the ENTER Program by the end of fall semester of your freshman year. The application will be posted online at the Traditional Nursing website. 
  • Complete 48 semester credits at CSS before taking NSG 2200.
  • At the time of application to the major (fall, sophomore year), have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or higher.
  • Obtain a minimum grade of B on the first year English composition course.

All applicants should:

  • Complete online application to the major.  Link will be posted in early September on the webpage.
  • Complete or have a plan for completing all prerequisite courses for the nursing program.
  • Obtain no grade lower than a C in any prerequisite course.
  • Complete all nursing program immunizations requirements through MyHealth
  • Complete a Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA) course followed by state registration as a CNA
  • Complete a TEAS V (Test of Academic Skills) exam the fall of application to nursing program

The departmental Admission and Progression Committee reviews all applications in early October. The department reserves the right to select those with the best qualifications from applicants who meet the minimum criteria. The department chairman notifies applicants in writing of the committee's action. Admissions will be finalized after fall grades have been posted. Students formally enter the nursing program their sophomore spring. Following acceptance to the major, students must maintain a minimum of a C grade in all nursing courses and required support courses.

Retention in the program is contingent upon compliance with academic policies stated in the college catalog, the student handbook and in the Traditional Undergraduate Nursing student handbook. Since the healthcare delivery system is changing rapidly, revisions may be necessary in course requirements before the publication of a new catalog. Any changes in requirements made before the student's admission to the major are binding on the student.

Courses Completed Before/Concurrent with Admission to the major:

DGN 1101, 1102, ENG 1110, SOC 1125 or SOC 2433, PSY 2208, 3341, CHM 1040, BIO 1036, BIO 2110, 2120, 2020 and CTA 1102.

Nursing requirements:

NSG 2200, NSG 3200, 3225, 3300, 3325, 3335, NSG 4200, 4225, 4235, 4240, 4343, 4500, and a Nursing elective, HSC 2215, 3020, 3777, and PSY 3331 or PSY 2335.

Other requirements

The Traditional Undergraduate Nursing student handbook and other departmental publications detail specific requirements in regard to class attendance, clinical and laboratory responsibilities and uniform and equipment needs for students. Nursing coursework may have unique times of commitment surrounding clinical coursework. Students provide their own transportation for off campus learning experiences in Nursing courses.


Students wishing to transfer from another college or university apply through the Admissions Office. Transcripts are evaluated by the Office of Transfer Admissions and the Department of Traditional Undergraduate Nursing. Students are then advised regarding the appropriate course of study.

Department of Post-Baccalaureate Nursing

Post-Baccalaureate Nursing Program

The College of St. Scholastica's Post-Baccalaureate Nursing Program is an accelerated baccalaureate degree program for college graduates with non-nursing majors. This program is based on the same philosophy and outcomes as the Traditional Undergraduate and R.N. to B.S. programs, incorporating an integrated approach to learning with a concentration in the nursing major. Students take 50 credits in the nursing major and 4 general education credits to earn a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nursing in 15-16 months. Upon completion of the program requirements, students are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination and be registered as a public health nurse. 

The department offers two accelerated post-baccalaureate programs that follow a cohort model. A cohort starts the Duluth program every May, completing the program the following August. The Duluth program is a traditional day-school model with students attending classes on the Duluth campus. A cohort starts the St. Cloud program every September, completing the program the following December. The St. Cloud program is an online hybrid model. Theory is completed online with students attending lab intensives (30 - 60 hours) on the St. Cloud campus each semester. Clinicals are also scheduled in an intensive format (90 hours) each of the first three semesters. Both programs run four consecutive semesters.

Students work with nursing faculty and expert nurse preceptors in both urban and rural healthcare facilities. Because the programs are intense, it is expected that students will not be able to work while completing either of the programs. 

Prerequisites for this program include:

Baccalaureate or higher degree attained, chemistry 4 credits, anatomy and physiology 6-8 credits, microbiology 3-4 credits, developmental psychology 3-4 credits, statistics 3-4 credits, nutrition 2-4 credits. Coursework must be completed before beginning nursing coursework with a grade of C or higher.  CLEP credits will be accepted. A CNA course followed by state registration as a CNA and current certification in CPR must be completed before entry into the Post-Baccalaureate Nursing Program. Upon acceptance, students must show evidence of meeting all immunization requirements as well as complete and pass required background studies.

Department of Non-Traditional Nursing

R.N. to B.S. Online Program

The R.N. to B.S. Nursing Program is designed for the associate degree or diploma R.N. who seeks a bachelor's degree in Nursing. This program is based on the same philosophy and outcomes as the Traditional Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Nursing programs. The B.S. degree includes general education courses and required nursing courses. If you have a bachelor of science or arts degree, an associate of arts degree or have met the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, the majority of your general education requirements are satisfied.

Academic programs will be individualized based on previous educational experience. The program requires 128 credits for graduation.  Of these, 44 must be taken in the R.N. to B.S. Nursing program. The R.N. to B.S. Student Adviser will assist students with program planning. Upon completion of the R.N. to B.S. Nursing program, graduates have the academic credentials to pursue a master's study in Nursing or a B.S. to DNP track. In addition, students that complete the program requirements, including the optional community health clinical course, are eligible to be certified as a public health nurse or school nurse.

The R.N. to B.S. Nursing Program is designed to build on the R.N. student's experience as a registered nurse. Sixteen semester credits in nursing are credited toward the BS degree upon successful validation of prior learning by means of a nursing portfolio that documents R.N. experience.

Upper-division requirements for R.N. to B.S.:

NSG 3125, 3355, 3361, 4570, 4571 (optional), 4472, 4580, 4590, 4998; TRS 3311, and Statistics (Descriptive and Inferential)

Nursing Informatics Certificate Program (graduate level)

Program Overview

This post baccalaureate certificate program focuses on the application of computerized information systems to the work processes and decision-making activities of nurses in patient care, education and research. According to the Technology Informatics Guiding Educational Reform (T.I.G.E.R.) Initiative, nurses specializing in informatics increase the accuracy and completeness of documentation, improve workflow, and manage data to improve patient safety and outcomes.


The Nursing Informatics Program is offered as an interdisciplinary program, consisting of courses from the Department of Graduate Nursing, the Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) Department, and the Computer Information Systems (CIS) Department. The certificate offers an option for a 3.5 credit practicum course that would qualify students to sit for American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Certification in Informatics Nursing. The program is offered 100 percent online.

Program Outcomes

  1. Incorporate theories, principles and concepts from appropriate sciences into informatics practice and research to improve health outcomes.
  2. Describe the design, implementation, analysis and evaluation of informatics solutions to support patients, nurses, and other providers in their decision-making.
  3. Integrate social, legal, regulatory, and ethical standards into an informatics solution for nursing and health care.
  4. Promote the use of data, information, and knowledge management in health care.

Nursing Informatics Certificate Program Admission Requirements and Checklist Eligibility

  • Current, active R.N. license, within a state or territory of the United States.
  • IMPORTANT: For your application to be processed, the College must be able to validate your R.N. license. If your state does not have an online R.N. license validation process, you must submit a notarized copy of current R.N. license valid in the U.S. to Office of Graduate and Extended Studies Admissions, The College of St. Scholastica, 1200 Kenwood Avenue, Duluth, MN 55811
  • B.A./B.S. degree in nursing or B.A./B.S. degree in a relevant field, from an accredited college or university.
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.8 on required transcripts.

Note: Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.


  • Applicants are expected to be ready for master’s-level work by having strong writing skills.
  • Have proficiency in using a computer, sending and receiving emails (with and without attachments), and browsing the web.
  • Have access to the Internet, an Internet browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox (latest versions). Additional requirements may be required for individual courses.

Dean, School of Nursing: Marty Witrak, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN

Chair, Department of Traditional Undergraduate Nursing:
Paula Byrne, M.S.N., R.N.

Chair, Department of Post-Baccalaureate Nursing:
Sheryl Sandahl, D.N.P., R.N., C.N.P., M.P.H.

Chair, Department of Non-Traditional Nursing:
Susan Hyndman, Ed.D., R.N.