Program of Study: Dual Degree in Nursing



Program of Study: Dual Degree in Nursing


PLEASE NOTE: The associate nursing program of study is changing, effective Fall 2014.  The curriculum described below reflects the new program, which is in effect for students who enter the university as associate students in Fall 2014.

The Dual Degree in Nursing is a progressive pathway to starting your nursing career. After two to three years in the program, you'll earn an associate of science in nursing degree and prepare to take the NCLEX examination. After passing the NCLEX you'll be eligible to start working as a registered nurse.

You'll then proceed seamlessly into the accelerated RN-BS Degree Completion program — and graduate a year or two later with a bachelor of science degree with a nursing major.

Throughout, you'll experience the hallmarks of a St. Kate's nursing education: clinical excellence, academic rigor, values-based learning, ethics, critical thinking, communication skills, leadership development and a focus on social justice.

How long will it take you?

The answer depends on your academic readiness and your goals. It's possible to complete the Dual Degree in Nursing in four years if:

  • You're ready for a more intensive learning experience, or
  • You are transferring in liberal arts and sciences courses that meet Dual Degree in Nursing requirements, or
  • You have already completed prerequisite courses that are required before you start the nursing courses (see below).

Your program may take longer if the above criteria do not apply to you, or if you need more time to work on math, reading or writing skills. St. Kate's will work with you to develop a pathway into nursing based on your unique needs and goals.

See our class schedule page for details on program timelines and class schedule options.

Phase 1: Liberal Arts and Sciences courses

All Pre-Nursing students are required to take the Compass test to assess competency in reading, English and math.  Depending on your scores, you may be required to start with one or more foundation courses (College Writing, Math, Reading, Critical Language, Study Skills for Anatomy and Physiology).

Core prerequisite courses (24 credits)

Below is a list of prerequisite and supporting courses for the associate nursing major.  Some courses must be completed before starting the nursing course sequence. Others must be done before starting certain courses within the nursing course sequence:

  • BIOL 2400: General Anatomy and Physiology (4 credits)*
  • English Composition (3 credits)
  • PSYC 1000: General Psychology (4 credits)
  • MATH 1000: Medical Dosage Calculations (1 credit — must be taken at St. Kate's)
  • BIOL 2410: Advanced Anatomy and Physiology (4 credits)*
  • BIOL 2450: Applied Microbiology (4 credits)*
  • PSYC 2020: Lifespan Developmental Psychology (4 credits)*

* Must have been completed no more than five years prior to entering the pre-nursing program

Other required associate-level Liberal Arts and Sciences courses (12 credits) may be taken before or at the same time as nursing courses:

  • PHIL 2000: Ethical Problems in Healthcare (2 credits)
  • Theology elective (2 credits — must meet St. Kate's content requirements to transfer in)
  • CORE 1000: The Reflective Practitioner (4 credits — must be taken at St. Kate's)
  • SSCS 1000: Power and Social Change (2 credits)
  • Literature elective (2 credits)

* Must have been completed no more than five years prior to entering the pre-nursing program.

If you have previously attended college and are transferring in courses that meet some of the above requirements, you can substitute selected bachelor's-level core liberal arts and elective courses, as approved. These courses will fulfill bachelor's core liberal arts and elective requirements, and reduce the number of credits you'll need to take later on to finish your bachelor's:

  • Courses — which may include Statistics, Theology and Healthcare, Foundations of Public Health, The Anatomy of Violence, and others — will expand your critical thinking skills and prepare you for success in nursing.

► End of Phase 1

In order to progress into Phase 2, the associate nursing course sequence, you must:

  • Be a current Pre-Nursing student (phase one, listed above)
  • Attend a Nursing application meeting and complete the application to major form
  • Have achieved an overall minimum grade point average of 2.5
  • Complete all prerequisite coursework with grades of "C" or better, along with a cumulative GPA in prerequisite courses of 2.5 or above
  • Have taken the Kaplan Nursing School Entrance Exam
  • Submit documentation showing active status on the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry

Phase 2: Associate-level nursing courses (two years)

Your next step is to take a two-year, 34-credit sequence of nursing courses. At the same time, you'll continue to take core liberal arts courses, as needed.

To start the nursing course sequence, you'll need to have all prerequisite course requirements (listed above) completed, as well as have current status as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA):

  • Introduction to Pharmacology (2 credits)
  • Care of Adult Patients with Chronic Health Alterations (3 credits)
  • Care of Patients with Common, Non-Complex Acute and Chronic Health Alterations (3 credits)
  • Introduction to Pathophysiology (2 credits)
  • Care of the Childbearing Family and Families Across the Lifespan (4 credits)
  • Care of Adults with Common, Unstable Chronic and Acute Health Alteration (4 credits)
  • Focus on the Care of Persons with Acute Mental Health Conditions (4 credits)
  • Care of Patients Experiencing Acute Unstable Complex Medical-Surgical Conditions (4 credits)
  • Care of Individuals Experiencing High Activity Complex Conditions (8 credits)

► End of Phase 2: Associate of Science in Nursing degree awarded. Upon successful completion of the NCLEX, you'll be eligible to start working as a registered nurse.

Phase 3: Bachelor's-level liberal arts and elective courses (one or more academic terms)

You'll take additional liberal arts and elective courses (38 credits) required for your Bachelor of Science degree. If you have prior college experience, you may have fewer of these credits to take.

You may take some of these courses at the same time as nursing courses (below). Before starting upper-level nursing courses, however, you must have completed a statistics course and all but eight credits outside of the nursing major (liberal arts and elective courses).

  • Statistics (4 credits) — must be completed before starting bachelor's-level nursing courses
  • Global Search for Justice (4 credits) — must be taken at St. Kate's
  • One additional course (4 credits) among the following: history, fine arts, literature, second language, global cultures
  • Additional elective credits (26 credits) in communications, healthcare economics, integrative therapies, foreign language and more.

Phase 4: Accelerated RN-BS Degree Completion courses (10-12 months)

To complete your Bachelor of Science degree, you'll take a 10-12 month sequence of upper-level nursing courses, along with a cohort of other students.

  • Empirical Foundations (4 credits)
  • Professional Nursing: Theories, Concepts and Practice (4 credits)
  • Introduction to Public Health Nursing (3 credits)
  • Population-Based Nursing Practice (4 credits)
  • Leadership and Systems Change (4 credits)
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Outcome Management (3 credits)

► End of Phase 4.  Bachelor of Science degree with a Nursing major awarded. You'll be recognized as a "BSN nurse," eligible for public health nursing certification and licensure as a school nurse, and admission into graduate nursing programs. You'll also be prepared for career advancement as a nurse leader.