Dual Degree in Nursing

Snapshot: Dual Degree in Nursing


  • An alternative pathway for women and men, often adults with prior college experience, seeking to start nursing careers and finish bachelor's degrees with a nursing major. 
  • After Phase I (2-3 years), earn an associate degree and start working as a registered nurse.
  • Continue into Phase 2 (1-2 years) to complete your bachelor's
  • Nurses are in demand — especially those with plans for completing their bachelor's.
  • Flexible class scheduling: Choose from evening/weekend or weekday options in Phase 1. Phase 2 is offered evenings/weekends/online for working nurses.
  • Transfer in your previous college credits.
  • Tailor your program of study, based on your goals. Get access to courses you need to make progress on your bachelor's degree.

Next steps

About the program

St. Catherine University's associate of science in nursing program is now joined with the university's bachelor's degree-completion in nursing in the new Dual Degree in Nursing option.

Until now, St. Kate's students pursued these two options separately. They completed associate degrees and left the university to start working as registered nurses. Then, at a later date, they enrolled again in St. Kate's accelerated RN-BS Degree Completion option to finish upper-level courses for the bachelor of science degree with a nursing major.

Now, through the Dual Degree in Nursing, students will be able to move seamlessly and continuously through both options.  Most students will be awarded associate degrees in nursing after 2-3 years, pass the NCLEX exam and become eligible to start working as registered nurses and then, without pause, continue on for another 1-2 years to complete their bachelor's degrees in nursing.

Why the Dual Degree?

The nursing profession is undergoing a transformation. The profession has become more complex, requiring advanced clinical, critical thinking and communication skills. Now, to be hired into some positions or advance in others, many nurses must hold bachelor's degrees — or demonstrate that they are on the way to completing their bachelor's. This transformation is driven by the need to improve patient outcomes and is in line with recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

With the Dual Degree in Nursing, St. Kate's offers you an opportunity to get a head start on courses that will count toward your bachelor's degree before completing your associate degrees, and for moving seamlessly from one step on your educational pathway to the next.

As the only university in the region offering all levels of nursing education — associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral — St. Kate's is able to offer a streamlined pathway through your nursing education. Throughout all Dual Degree in Nursing courses, St. Kate's has threaded the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Essentials of Baccalaureate Education.  

Who are Dual Degree in Nursing students?

St. Catherine University offers three options for students seeking to become registered nurses. Each option serves different students requiring different pathways into the profession: (1) The "Day" bachelor's option is a traditional pathway to a nursing bachelor's degree for full-time, weekday students in St. Kate's College for Women; (2) the Master  of Science in Nursing: Entry-Level, a highly competitive program with limited enrollment, for women and men who have already earned bachelor's degrees (without nursing majors); and (3) the Dual Degree in Nursing> The Dual degree may be right for you if you are:

  • An adult student seeking a program that offers a more flexible pathway into nursing.
  • Seeking a program that allows you to earn an associate degree, and start working as a nurse, before completing your bachelor's degree.
  • An adult with prior college experience — we'll recognize your prior college credits, and offer you a program of study that gets you where you need to go.
  • Seeking a program that meets on a "nontraditional" class schedule, with more options for evening, weekend and online study.
  • A student with a previous bachelor's degree, seeking an alternative to the M.S. in Nursing: Entry-Level (for which enrollment is limited, and admissions are highly competitive).

Dual Degree in Nursing enrollment is open to women and men, from diverse backgrounds and a wide variety of faith traditions. Some students are in their 20's, others are mid-life career changers. Some students have little or college experience, while others have previous undergraduate or graduate degrees. 

Essential abilities: Is nursing right for you?

Nursing is a rewarding profession with promising long-term career prospects. It is also highly demanding. Before considering a nursing career, and taking on the time and expense of a nursing degree program, consider carefully the physical, emotional, scheduling and other demands of nursing. Read closely our statement of essential abilities for nursing students. And, consider that there are many different ways to work in healthcare. St. Kate's also offers other programs for students interested in preparing for health careers. Contact your admission counselor for help exploring your options.

The St. Kate's advantage: quality, values, liberal arts, leadership

Why St. Kate's?  As a Dual Degree in Nursing student, you'll get an educational experience that moves well beyond basic technical education standards. Employers recognize St. Kate's nurses for superior communication skills, critical thinking, ethics, compassion, and caring. Clinical excellence and academic rigor are the foundation for your experience, grounded in the university's Catholic and liberal arts traditions. With a St. Kate's nursing degree, you'll be prepared for leadership in nursing.