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The College of St. Scholastica

All St. Scholastica students learn about the Benedictine values of hospitality, respect, stewardship, community and love of learning. But for students in the health care fields, these words are particularly powerful.

At any given moment, a nurse might be caring for someone who is going through the worst experience of his or her life. Their warm, thoughtful bedside manner will make all the difference. As a St. Scholastica nursing student, the philosophy of patient-centered care will be at the core of your education. At the same time, your training will be grounded in technology, evidence-based best practices and interdisciplinary teamwork.

Another hallmark of our program is hands-on learning. In our skills and simulation laboratories, you will gain the confidence and techniques you need to thrive on the job from day one. Count on our longstanding reputation for excellence in nursing education as you pursue this rewarding, fast-growing career field.

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Admission Pathways

St. Scholastica offers 3 paths to admission for the traditional undergraduate nursing program. High school students are eligible for Direct Enter, a criterion-based, early admission program. New first-year students are eligible for the ENTER program, criterion-based, early admission program. Sophomore students are able to apply to the nursing program in the Fall through the standard application process. There are 112 applicants accepted into the nursing program each spring.

Direct Entry

The Direct Entry Program guarantees admission to the nursing major upon acceptance to the College for freshman students (entering directly from high school) who meet certain criteria. Students who indicate nursing as their intended major and meet qualifying criteria will automatically receive a letter from College Admissions regarding their eligibility.

Qualifications for admission to the Direct Entry Program:

  • Student must be an incoming St. Scholastica student
  • Student must indicate nursing as their intended major on application for admission to St. Scholastica
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher upon finishing high school
  • Priority deadline: February 1 — Direct Entry admission may not be guaranteed for qualified applicants after that date

During freshman year, Direct Entry students will need to:

  • Maintain full-time enrollment at The College of St. Scholastica
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.4 or higher
  • Achieve a grade of C or higher in all nursing prerequisites taken at CSS (B or higher if taken elsewhere)

Before starting the nursing program students must:

  • Complete the two-year Healthcare Provider CPR certification prior to the start of the nursing program
  • Complete all nursing program immunizations requirements through MyHealth
  • Successful completion of a Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA) course

All Direct Entry students who meet the above criteria by the end of their freshman year will be guaranteed admission to the nursing program.

If Direct Entry students do not meet the above criteria by the end of spring semester their freshman year they can still apply to the nursing program. They will need to complete an Application to the Nursing Program fall semester of their sophomore year for consideration.

ENTER Program

The program is available for traditional first year students starting their academic career at The College of St. Scholastica. Students who declare their intent to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing the first semester of their freshmen year will be guaranteed admission to that program after two years of undergraduate work if they meet the plan criteria. Transfer students are not eligible for the ENTER program.

Admission criteria include the following:

  • Apply to the ENTER program by the end of fall semester of your freshman year. The application will be posted online in September each year. Applications open on the first day and close on the final day of fall semester.
  • 48 semester credits at CSS prior to taking spring nursing courses
  • Complete or have a plan for completing all prerequisite courses for the nursing program
  • At the time of application to the major (fall, sophomore year), have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or higher
  • Obtain no grade lower than a ‘C’ in any prerequisite course
  • Complete the two-year Healthcare Provider CPR certification prior to the start of the nursing program
  • Complete all nursing program immunizations requirements through MyHealth
  • Successful completion of a Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA) course

Students who do not meet the above criteria will be able to apply to the nursing program through the standard application process.


Application to the nursing program is submitted during the fall semester of a student’s sophomore year.

Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisors to discuss any questions regarding course scheduling or major requirements.

Applications to the major will be reviewed annually in October with an admission status report sent to the student prior to registration for spring semester classes. Admissions will be finalized after fall semester grades are posted. Students will be notified of changes in their admission status via campus email in January.

Recognized 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 Schools Almanac

Degree Details


Are You Looking for a Face-to-Face (on-campus) Experience?

St. Scholastica’s longstanding commitment to inclusivity and generous financial aid packages make our world-class educational programs accessible to students from any background.


Visit our Catalog to view the program, course and degree requirements, and learning outcomes. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Clinicals and 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. Instructors conduct real-time evaluations of each student.
  • Through the Observed Simulated Clinical Interdisciplinary Experience, students engage in patient simulations with University of Minnesota Duluth medical school and pharmacy students, and St. Scholastica occupational therapy, physical therapy and social work students, to gain a better understanding of the role of other health professionals and how to work on an interdisciplinary team.
  • Students will receive clinical experiences in multiple 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.

Career Outlook

Career opportunities abound for nurses prepared at the baccalaureate (bachelor’s degree) level. 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.

National data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows employment for registered nurses (RNs) is expected to increase 16 percent by 2024, which is faster than the national average for all other occupations.

St. Scholastica nursing 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.


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at the College of St. Scholastica are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

CCNE Accredited logo

Board Approved

The College of St. Scholastica’s pre-licensure degree program, the Bachelor’s to DNP with APRN concentration degree program, and the post-graduate APRN certificate program are approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing.

Meet Our Faculty

Experienced, Dedicated and Distinguished Educators

Expect to be heard, to be challenged and to be involved. St. Scholastica faculty are world-class scholars and experts in their field who invest in your success. Our values of community, respect, stewardship, hospitality and love of learning reflect our faculty’s commitment to lifting up others and celebrating our common humanity.