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Pre-Nursing course catalog

2024-25 catalog


SCOTT GEHLER, Associate Professor, Pre-Health and Biology Coordinator
B.A., Cornell College; Ph.D., University of Minnesota

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 any entrance requirements required by a nursing school.

While requirements vary among different schools, Augustana's pre-nursing program satisfies the general education and science prerequisites for nearly all post-baccalaureate nursing programs in the country.

The program requirements include BIOL 130, BIOL 140, BIOL 250, BIOL 343, BIOL 351, BIOL 362; CHEM 131, CHEM 132, CHEM 215; PSYC 100, PSYC 216, PSYC 240 or MATH 130; one of RELG 355 or PHIL 103 or PHIL 105.

Recommended supporting courses include CHEM 245 or CHEM 321, SOAN 101, SOAN 324, 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. These are concepts needed for working with our diverse and changing U.S. population. Research shows that the more education a nurse has, the better the overall patient outcomes are for those under their care. These patient outcomes are a standard measure for performance assessment used across U.S. health-care systems. 

Students interested in nursing may opt for one of three unique articulations between Augustana College and Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

• BA-BSN Dual Degree Articulation w/ TCN&HS

• BA-MSN Dual Degree Articulation w/ TCN&HS

• BA-MSN Dual Acceptance Program w/ TCN&HS for prospective students

Students may apply to either the BA-BSN or BA-MSN Dual Degree Articulations in fall of their junior year at Augustana and must then maintain a minimum grade-point average and complete all required coursework. Prospective students who are high school seniors applying to Augustana can choose to apply to the BA-BSN Dual Acceptance Program and must then maintain a minimum grade-point average and complete all required coursework.

Through each of these articulations, 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 or psychology with a minor in either anthropology, psychology, public health, sociology or women and gender studies (depending on program criteria). During senior year at Augustana, 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 their remaining nursing coursework (paying tuition and fees to Trinity), graduating with either a BSN or an MSN 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 for BA-BSN or six years for either BA-MS path ) is not restricted to Illinois residents.

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