Career Pathways

Career Pathways

Becoming a registered nurse

Through the Dual Degree in Nursing, you'll become eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) and work while you learn. 2-3 years into the program, you'll be awarded an associate degree in nursing and become eligible to take the NCLEX, and start working as a registered nurse. Then, in the final 1-2 years as a Dual Degree in Nursing student, you'll finish your bachelor's degree with a nursing major.

As a registered nurse, you may work in hospitals, clinics, hospice care, long-term care and assisted living facilities. After finishing your bachelor's, you'll improve your prospects for getting hired or advancing in positions at leading hospitals and clinics. You'll also be eligible for certification as a public health nurse.

St. Kate's nurses are in demand

With a St. Catherine University nursing degree, you'll get an extra edge. You'll have a recognized credential from a highly respected university, with an unmatched regional reputation for breadth, depth and excellence in nursing education. The Dual Degree in Nursing, from the university's Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, is backed by more than 100 years of experience in nursing education, a faculty with strong connections to the field, and an unparalleled range of nursing programs — undergraduate, master's and doctoral.

What do leading healthcare employers see in St. Kate's nurses? They see nurse leaders who apply clinical excellence, critical thinking, superior teamwork and communication skills, caring and compassion to improve the lives of each patient they serve. 

Demand for bachelor's-prepared nurses

Nurses will continue to be among the professions in greatest demand in Minnesota and nationally. Long-term career prospects and earnings potential are well above average. 

But the nursing profession is undergoing a transformation. The profession has become more complex, requiring advanced clinical, critical thinking and communication skills.

It's still possible to start a career as a registered nurse with an associate degree. However, to be hired in some nursing positions or advance in others, nurses must hold bachelor's degrees — or demonstrate that they are on their way to completing bachelor's degrees. This transformation is driven by the need to improve patient outcomes and is in line with recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

IOM has set a goal a dramatic increase in the proportion of nurses with bachelor's degrees. In response, major hospitals, clinics and other healthcare employers have changed their hiring and promotion practices to favor bachelor's-prepare nurses over nurses with associate degrees only.

Prepare for leadership and advancement

The Dual Degree in Nursing prepares nurse leaders. After completing the program, you'll be ready for what's next in healthcare and in your career. You'll be eligible to apply for graduate school and advanced preparation as a nurse practitioner or other advanced practice registered nurse, or a nurse educator or nurse leadership graduate program and, perhaps, advance into the doctor of nursing practice degree program.