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Contact: DARA WEGMAN-GEEDEY, Professor (Biology)
B.S., Mount Union; Ph.D., Delaware

Augustana's pre-nursing program is designed to prepare students for several types of nursing degree programs. Augustana graduates have been accepted into a variety of accelerated BSN programs, second-degree BSN programs, and direct-entry MSN programs, some of which feed into nurse practitioner programs. Acceptance into any post-baccalaureate nursing program is dependent upon undergraduate performance, clinical shadowing experience, letters of evaluation, interview results and successful completion of all entrance requirements.

While requirements vary among different schools, Augustana's pre-nursing program satisfies the general education and science prerequisites for nearly all nursing schools in the country. The program requirements include BIOL-200, BIOL-210, BIOL-343, BIOL-351, BIOL-362, BIOL-370; CHEM-121, CHEM--122, CHEM-123; PSYC-100, PSYC-216, PSYC-240; one of RELG-326 or PHIL-203 or PHIL-205. Recommended supporting courses include ANTH-220, CHEM-311, SOC-100, upper-level communication and composition courses, and additional social science coursework.

The Augustana nursing program is not a graduation major, so a departmental major must be completed if the student intends to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree. The choice of graduation major is not critical for acceptance by a school of nursing, but the majority of students matriculating in advanced nursing programs have a major in the biological sciences or psychology. Having an academic degree from Augustana before completing a professional nursing degree provides students with enhanced critical thinking and communication skills, advanced understanding of genetics and other topics in biology, as well as a foundation in ethics and the social sciences - all these are concepts needed for work with our diverse and changing US population. Research shows that the more education a nurse has, the better the overall patient outcomes are. These patient outcomes are a standard measure for performance assessment used across US healthcare systems. 

One option for students interested in nursing is a unique BA/BSN Dual Degree articulation between Augustana College and Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences. Students may apply to the program in fall of their sophomore or junior year at Augustana and must then maintain a minimum grade-point average and complete all required coursework. Through this articulation, students are granted limited acceptance to Trinity to take their first nursing skills course in early summer following their third year at Augustana. Following this course, students may opt to take their CNA certification exam, but CNA certification is not required to go into a nursing career.

All Dual Degree students return to Augustana for their senior year to complete the BA in biology and a minor in either anthropology, psychology, public health, sociology or women and gender studies. During senior year, students may work as part-time CNAs or patient care technicians at local facilities which will provide them with additional clinical experience.

After graduation from Augustana, Dual Degree students are granted complete acceptance to Trinity and finish the remaining year of nursing school (paying tuition and fees to Trinity), graduating with a BSN degree and an RN license pending adequate performance on the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Exam for RNs). The Augustana/Trinity College program (five years total) is not restricted to Illinois residents.

Students interested in nursing should confer with the advisor before the end of their first year of study.