Admissions Office
The College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(218) 723-6046
(800) 249-6412
TTY/TDD: (218) 723-6790

Paula Byrne, M.S., P.H.N., RN
Department Chair, Traditional Nursing Program
Science Center, Room 3110D
(218) 723-6020

Baccalaureate Nursing

Fast Facts: Baccalaureate Nursing

  • The baccalaureate nursing program at St. Scholastica is designed to prepare graduates for a holistic nursing practice with a particular emphasis on rural and underserved populations. Baccalaureate nurses engage in active learning in leadership and quality improvement.
  • This level of education is based on core knowledge and clinical competency applied though a unique blend of critical thinking, caring, communication and collaboration. Health promotion, illness management and population-based care are the framework of the traditional undergraduate curriculum.
  • Students are prepared to practice holistically as leaders in healthcare delivery, with an educational foundation grounded in the Benedictine values. Throughout the curriculum simulation, technology and integrative therapies are blended to prepare students as healers of the mind, body and spirit.
  • Curriculum bridges factual knowledge and conceptual understanding, enabling students to integrate their thinking as they relate facts to organizing concepts, link new knowledge to prior knowledge and achieve deeper levels of understanding.
  • All students use e-books and case-based studies to learn how to apply concepts to various scenarios.
  • Graduates of St. Scholastica's nursing program integrate knowledge from the humanities, the behavioral arts and sciences and the natural sciences with skills acquired in the nursing curriculum to establish a base for professional practice. Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared for entry level positions in a variety of health care settings.
  • By adhering to the strong Benedictine tradition of educating the whole person, the College prepares its nursing graduates to be committed to personal and professional development throughout their lives.
  • The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. Graduates are eligible to take the examination for licensure as a Registered Nurse (R.N.). 
  • It is a program in which students enjoy the best of both worlds in terms of classroom instruction, simulation lab and clinical learning experiences in a variety of healthcare settings.
  • Duluth is a regional healthcare center with three hospitals, two major clinics, several nursing homes and residential healthcare facilities, and numerous community health agencies that serve northeastern Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and upper Michigan.    
  • Students have many opportunities to experience nursing from unique and different perspectives throughout their four-year college careers. Nurses will be called on to serve a variety of populations with diverse backgrounds and cultural competence and international experience will be invaluable. Opportunities for study abroad service learning are available.
  • Recognized by Nursing Schools Almanac as one of the top nursing schools in the Plains region as well as one of the top private nursing schools in the country. 
  • Nursing students may choose to pursue a health humanities minor, which provides an interdisciplinary approach to investigating and understanding the profound effects of disease and illness on patients, on health professionals and on the social worlds in which they live and work.

Program Requirements

Major: 50 credits

Hands-on Learning

  • In our skills and simulation laboratories, nursing students practice hands-on skills, physical assessment, best practice techniques, interprofessional communication skills and professional behaviors.
  • Simulation classrooms and connected patient care environment rooms are interactive through a one-way mirror and microphones, allowing instructors to do live evaluations.
  • Nursing students go through skills lab and simulation exercises weekly throughout their five semesters in the nursing program.
  • Simulations are used at St. Scholastica to enhance clinical experiences — they do not replace clinical learning experiences.

Admission to Major

New first-year students are eligible for the ENTER program, which is a criterion-based, early admission program. Eligible students who, upon admission to the College, declare their intent to pursue a baccalaureate degree in nursing will be guaranteed admission to the Nursing Program if they meet the ENTER program criteria. Students who do not meet the criteria will still be able to apply to the Nursing Program through the standard application process. The application is available for review online at the website. Students apply to the Nursing program the fall of their sophomore year and begin the program the spring of their sophomore year.


Nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals, and the need for their services is predicted to grow well into the 21st century. Career opportunities abound for nurses prepared at the baccalaureate level. In fact, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's August 2012 research shows that nurses with baccalaureate-level preparation are linked to better patient outcomes, including lower mortality and failure-to-rescue rates. With the Institute of Medicine calling for 80 percent of the nursing work force to hold at least a bachelor's degree by 2020, moving to prepare nurses at this level has become a national priority.

Additional research from the American Association of Colleges in Nursing shows that 89% of new BSN graduates had secured employment in nursing 4-6 months after graduation.

Graduates are prepared to give care to individuals of all ages with healthcare needs ranging from health promotion to rehabilitation. Graduates may choose to focus on groups of consumers, families or communities as they work in institutions and in the community. A baccalaureate degree is the first step toward advanced practice in nursing; areas such as nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nursing faculty and advanced leadership in complex organizations all require an advanced nursing degree such as a Ph.D., or Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Sample curriculum

Here are some classes you could take as part of this major or minor. Please note that you would not necessarily need all of these courses to fulfill a major or minor. This list doesn't include general education courses. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse HSC 2215 - Nutrition for Health/Wellness

This course focuses on how the basic principles of nutrition affect the individual. The role of nutrition in heath promotion and disease prevention is explored.

Expand and Collapse NSG 2111 - Professional Nursing and Health Care I

Introduces the nursing student to professional nursing roles. The concepts included will be: patient-centered care; safety; clinical judgment; communications (therapeutic); role development; ethics; spirituality (personal) and will be explored from the perspective of the developing professional nurse.

Expand and Collapse NSG 2222 - Recipient of Care Across the Lifespan I (Individuals)

Introduces the student to individuals across the lifespan from a nursing perspective. Focused concepts include; growth and development, functional ability, and genetics/genomics. Students will perform developmental and functional health assessments on healthy individuals in community settings as well as apply all three concepts to selected exemplars.

Expand and Collapse NSG 2333 - Health Continuum I: Individual Adaptive Responses

Introduces the student to holistic nursing care of individuals through the application of concepts in classroom, laboratory, and simulated patient care settings. Students will learn principles of therapeutic communication, physical assessment, safety and essential nursing skills and interventions utilizing current evidence-based practice and information technologies. The focus is on the individual’s adaptation to health challenges and transitions, including the concepts of sensory perception, pain, mobility, thermoregulation, coping and stress. This course is a total of 3 credits; 2 credits of classroom/ theory and 1 credit of skills/ simulation lab.

Expand and Collapse NSG 3111 - Professional Nursing & Health Care II

Introduces the nursing student to principles of evidence-based nursing practice, and the use of technology and informatics to seek and analyze knowledge that influences nursing practice. Students will explore how professional communication within the healthcare team influences safety and patient/family/community health outcomes. Students will develop a deeper understanding of clinical judgment and its application to nursing practice.

Expand and Collapse NSG 3334 - Health Continuum II: Individual Physiologic Responses

Focuses on the individual’s response to health and illness challenges across the lifespan in clinical, classroom and laboratory settings. Concepts covered are metabolic changes, fluid and electrolytes, acid base balance, gas exchange, perfusion, tissue integrity, nutrition, elimination, infection, and safe medication administration. Students will apply principles of therapeutic communication, physical assessment, safe nursing skills and interventions utilizing current evidence-based practice and information technologies. This course is a total of 6 credits; 3 credits of classroom/ theory, 2 credits of skills/ simulation lab and 1 credit of clinical.

Expand and Collapse NSG 4200 - Holistic NSG Approaches

This course focuses on the practice of holistic nursing for individuals and families experiencing multi-system illness. Concepts are applied in a variety of clinical settings. Prerequisite: NSG 3300, 3325, 3335. Corequisite: NSG 4225, 4235, 4245.

Expand and Collapse NSG 4225 - Multi-System Illness - Holistic Nursing Interventions

This course will engage the student in simulation activities which continue to develop critical thinking and professional nursing skills for care of clients experiencing multi-system illness. Prerequisite: NSG 3300, 3325, 3335. Co-requisite: NSG 4200, 4235, 4245.

Expand and Collapse NSG 4235 - Public Health Nursing

This course examines public health from local, national and global perspectives. Students will learn and apply public health principles in the holistic nursing care of populations. Corequisites: NSG 4200, 4225, 4343.

Expand and Collapse NSG 4240 - Community as Client

This course focuses on community assessment, resource finding and resource utilization. Students will apply the holistic caring process to a public health target population. Prerequisite: NSG 3300, 3325, 3331. Prerequisite or Corequisite: NSG 4235.

Expand and Collapse NSG 4343 - NSG Leadership & Management

This course focuses on holistic leadership and management roles of the entry level baccalaureate nurse. Prerequisite: NSG 3300, 3325, 3335. Corequisites NSG 4200, 4225.

Expand and Collapse PSY 2335 - Statistics for Profl Practice

Introduction to statistical concepts and methods useful in evaluating and applying results of research studies done by others. Students learn to construct frequency distributions and simple graphs, to compute measures of central tendency, variability, transformed scores, correlations and simple regression, and to carry out hypothesis tests (t-tests, analysis of variance, chi-square) using hand calculators and MS-Excel. Taught with a strong focus on numeracy (understanding and using numbers in decision-making) and the correct evaluation and interpretation of research results reported in the public press and professional journals.

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  • "I've appreciated the clinical setting when we're applying knowledge. It really helps to have those 'a-ha' moments where things click and you start to see how much you've learned."

    – Josh Trosen, '17