Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.


Chair, 2007-08: Rita S. Glazebrook, maternity nursing, leadership

Faculty, 2007-08: Carol Austin, pediatric and adult medical-surgical nursing; Mary Beth Kuehn, public health nursing, leadership, and nutrition; Judith A. Sateren, psychiatric nursing; Diana O. Neal, pediatric and adult medical-surgical nursing

Other MINC Faculty, 2007-08: Heidi Meyer, adult medical-surgical nursing; Lori Steffen, public health nursing and leadership; Paula Swiggum, pediatric and adult medical-surgical nursing; Barbara Zust, maternity and mental health nursing

Nursing, the largest of the health professions, is founded on a commitment of service to others and focuses on the health and well being of society. Nursing practice involves four areas: promoting health and wellness, preventing illness, restoring health, and care of the dying.

The Minnesota Intercollegiate Nursing Consortium (MINC), the nursing program at St. Olaf working in cooperation with that of Gustavus Adolphus College, offers students the opportunity to enjoy a St. Olaf education, earn a bachelor of arts degree with a major in nursing, enroll in nursing courses with students outside the major and from another college, enjoy courses taught by professors from two colleges, and have clinical learning experiences in a wide variety of local and Twin Cities medical and health care centers, long-term care facilities, community agencies, home health, and other facilities. By combining the values of the individual and a liberal arts background with the acquisition of professional knowledge and nursing skills, the program integrates development of the whole person, a commitment to life-long learning, and service to others with a holistic approach to the practice of professional nursing.

The program, which is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and has been approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing, spans four academic years.

Upon graduation, students are eligible to apply for initial licensure by examination for registered nurses offered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and, upon licensure, they can apply for certification as a public health nurse in Minnesota.


The program, through an innovative design that integrates theory with practice and partners educators with professionals in practice, prepares graduates to provide and coordinate nursing care for individuals, families, and communities within standards of professional practice utilizing the Neuman Systems Model. Students learn to think critically, communicate effectively, and implement therapeutic nursing interventions within the sociocultural, spiritual, and developmental context of patient situations.

Graduates are qualified to work in hospitals, public health agencies, and clinics, to give high quality nursing care to patients and families, and to direct the nursing care given by others. They have the background for graduate study in nursing programs, which can prepare them for advanced nursing practice, teaching, administration, and research.


Information regarding the national accreditation status of the program can be obtained from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036-1120, (202) 887-6791. Information regarding state approval of the program is available from the Minnesota Board of Nursing, 2829 University Ave., Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55414, (612) 617-2270.

Admission and Progression

Students are encouraged to express an interest in the nursing major upon application for admission to St. Olaf College. Enrollment in the program is limited and admission is competitive; therefore, early consultation with the department chair is recommended. Interested students are assigned nursing faculty as academic advisors. Recognizing the cooperative relationship that exists between Gustavus Adolphus College and St. Olaf College as participants in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Nursing Consortium (MINC), no college in MINC will accept, as transfers in nursing, students who have taken the prenursing or nursing curriculum from the other institution in the consortium. In exceptional circumstances (e.g. withdrawal from college for a period of one year), a student may petition to the MINC director for an exception to this policy.

Students must apply for admission to the nursing major during the fall of the sophomore year. Application information is available from the department chair. Admission criteria include cumulative grade point average, grades in prerequisite courses, essay, interview, and student status. Students will be notified of their conditional acceptance into the major by a letter from the department chair before the Spring Semester of the sophomore year. Nursing courses begin in the fall of junior year.

Conditional acceptance into the nursing major will become final if students meet the following criteria at the end of the sophomore year: a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.70 and successful completion of all nursing prerequisite courses. Prerequisites must be taken for a letter grade. Only one prerequisite course may be below C-, and this course (or an alternate course approved by the Nursing Department chair) may be repeated once. A minimum grade of C- must be achieved in the repeated or substituted course. If a grade of C- is not achieved in the repeated or substituted course, the student may not continue in the major. If two or more prerequisite courses are below C- the student may not continue in the major.

Students not accepted may choose to be placed on a waiting list and will be notified of their rank on that list. If openings occur, admission will be offered to waiting list students by rank, highest rank first. Students on the waiting list may also reapply for admission to the nursing program the following year. They will be considered in the next pool of applicants but will not be guaranteed admission because they apply a second time.

In the event that a student is denied admission to the program by the department of nursing, and is subsequently unsuccessful in appealing the decision within the department, the student may appeal to the Academic Dean, who will ask for a written statement from both the student and the department prior to rendering a decision. The Dean's decision will be final.

In addition to the college health requirements, nursing students must also provide documentation of: immunization to Hepatitis B, measles, mumps, varicella and rubella, and negative Mantoux or Tine (TB) test or negative chest x-ray after June 1 of both the junior and senior years in the major.

Continuous certification in CPR (Basic Life Support for health providers) must be maintained throughout the major according to American Heart Association guidelines. Students should complete a CPR course prior to beginning nursing courses that meets these guidelines and provides certification for the two-year period they are enrolled in the major.

In order to be qualified to provide direct patient services, students must undergo an annual criminal background study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (MDHS). If a student is disqualified by the MDHS, he or she will be unable to provide direct patient care. Direct patient care is a requirement of the nursing major. If a student is disqualified and cannot provide direct patient care, he or she will be dismissed from the nursing program.

Requirements for Graduation

Students must meet all college requirements for graduation, as well as complete eight prerequisite courses, one supporting course and 11 upper division nursing courses. The required courses are Nursing 302, 304, 306, 308, 336, 338, 386, 388, 392, and 397.

Prerequisite Courses

Eight courses to be completed before beginning upper division nursing courses are: Biology 125, 231, 243; one of Chemistry 111, 121, or 125; Nursing 110; Psychology 125 and 241; one of Sociology 121, 128, 260, or 264. A course in ethics must be completed before graduation. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what courses meet this requirement for nursing from general education EIN courses.


The Department of Nursing seeks to recognize senior students who distinguish themselves through an independent project which goes beyond the requirements of the major. Candidates are evaluated for the extent to which they: synthesize and integrate knowledge from the basic sciences and the liberal arts in nursing care; apply cognitive, interpersonal, and psychomotor skills to the nursing care of patients through the nursing process; demonstrate accountability for the quality of their own nursing interventions and independence in decision making; demonstrate leadership skills in relation with patients, peers, nursing, and other health team members and in functions relating to professional nursing; demonstrate participation in extra-curricular activities; and demonstrate the ability to develop a creative project with relevance to nursing.

Students with a grade point average of 3.0 or above in the nursing courses completed at the point of application and with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above are eligible to be candidates for departmental distinction. Guidelines for distinction are available from the nursing office.

Study Abroad

Nursing students at St. Olaf can participate in the Study/Service or Semester Abroad programs listed in the International Studies section of the catalog. However, participants in programs abroad most likely will need additional time to complete all requirements for the nursing major. The nursing advisor or the department chair will assist in planning for these experiences.

Second Majors

Undergraduates may choose to earn a double major at St. Olaf, in nursing and another discipline. Additional time may be necessary for this choice, as well as advising by faculty representing both disciplines. Students who have already earned a St. Olaf degree are eligible to earn a second major in nursing. Students should consult with the department chair to determine prerequisite courses needed prior to beginning the nursing courses. Special tuition charges are possible.


Nursing courses which count toward the major are upper division (junior and senior years). Courses progress from nonacute to acute nursing, from simple to complex situations and include care of the individual, the family, and the community. Each nursing course which counts toward the major provides the student with 39 class periods, or the equivalent, of instruction. One class period equals 55 minutes at St. Olaf. Three and a half hours of classroom laboratory or clinical laboratory is the equivalent of one class period. Clinical experiences are provided in each semester of the nursing major in a variety of rural and metropolitan settings. Students must provide their own transportation to clinical experiences. Nursing faculty design and evaluate all classroom and laboratory experiences; in some courses registered nurses working as adjunct instructors assist faculty to guide student learning in the classroom or clinical laboratories. A fee is assessed each semester for off-campus program expenses.

110 Nutrition and Wellness

This course explores the sources, chemical composition, and metabolic behavior of nutrients. Nutritional requirements for a balanced diet are examined as well as the consequences of excesses and deficiencies. Students use nutrition tools and guidelines to make sound food choices, learn how to read food labels, and consider factors affecting food consumption. Class activities increase students' awareness of a healthy diet, help students evaluate nutrition behaviors, and facilitate a nutritionally sound lifestyle. Prerequisite: High school biology and chemistry strongly recommended.

120 Images of Wellness

This course examines how contemporary culture influences present day wellness perspectives. Values, lifestyle, daily stresses, and corresponding coping mechanisms affecting one's well-being are explored. Students study health behaviors as a function of social influences and, conversely, the impact of unhealthy coping behaviors on the social enterprise. This course also includes an exploration of wellness from the perspective of non-western cultures.

130 Family Violence

Violence between family members and intimates is recognized as a significant social and public health problem. This course explores the magnitude, causes, and consequences of family violence in America. Students examine the factors predisposing individuals to violence and the institutional and societal responses to the problem. The issue is addressed from health care, legal, religious, and public policy perspectives. Offered during Interim.

294 Internship

Does not count toward the major.

298 Independent Study

Does not count toward the major.

302 Health Care Issues

This course focuses on critical issues in contemporary health care. Topics include principles of wellness, health promotion, interpersonal communication, cultural competency, and ethical, legal, political, and economic aspects of the health care system in the United States. Students have the opportunity to explore health care issues, such as interpersonal violence, genomics, bio-terrorism, and global health problems. Prerequisites: Non-Nursing majors: FYW; nursing majors: all Nursing prerequisites.

304 Nursing Concepts

This course explores the foundational and philosophical concepts of the discipline of nursing. Topics include the history and image of nursing, scope of practice and professional roles, research, and lifelong learning. Students develop the ability to assess an individual's state of health from a holistic perspective, using Neuman's Systems Model as a theoretical framework. Emphasis is on the use of critical thinking and evidence-based practice. Taken concurrently with Nursing 302, 306, 308.

306 Health Assessment

Classroom and laboratory experiences in nursing and health assessment skills develop the student's ability to provide nursing care. Opportunities are provided to apply knowledge from the liberal arts and nursing theory to simulated patient care situations. Individual practice sessions in the nursing laboratory are expected. Performance testing determines readiness for the role of caregiver in a variety of clinical settings. Taken concurrently with Nursing 302, 304, 308.

308 Adult Health I

This course focuses on principles of pharmacology and care of the hospitalized adult. Topics include pain management, sleep and rest, and sensory perceptual alterations. Students apply the nursing process to the care of adults, with emphasis on the elderly. Using a holistic perspective, students collect and analyze information related to an individual's health status. Students begin to develop the professional role of caregiver and patient advocate. Taken concurrently with Nursing 302, 304, 306.

336 Adult Health II (2.0)

This course explores health problems in adults requiring medical or surgical care. Students utilize the roles of caregiver, patient advocate, educator, and collaborator in the care of individuals. Classes integrate pathophysiology, pharmacology, and knowledge of acute and chronic health problems in the adult population. Experiences are provided in a variety of settings serving adult and elderly populations. Prerequisites: Nursing 302, 304, 306, and 308.

338 Child Health

This course explores health problems of children requiring medical or surgical care. Students integrate knowledge of developmental, transcultural, and communication theories in the care of children from infancy through adolescence. Trends and issues related to family-centered health care are explored. Students further develop the roles of educator, collaborator, advocate, and caregiver. A variety of pediatric clinical settings are utilized. Prerequisite: Nursing 336 or concurrent registration.

371 Health Care in Norway (abroad)

This course explores health and nursing in Norway. Students learn about culture, compare nursing and health care in Norway and the U.S., examine the influence of government and economics, explore settings where health care is provided, analyze the effectiveness of the social welfare system in meeting health needs, and identify factors affecting health care in the future. Activities include lectures by Norwegian health professionals, seminars with St. Olaf faculty, readings, journals, short papers, visits to health agencies, and cultural field trips. Does not count toward the major. Open to non-majors on a space-available basis. Offered during Interim 2006 and in alternate years.

386 Perinatal Health

This course explores the childbearing process in healthy and high-risk families. Clinical experiences are provided with families during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and following birth. Clinical settings include hospital birth centers, clinics, and home care agencies. Students develop the role of educator by working with parents to integrate and care for a new member of the family system. Prerequisite: Nursing 336.

388 Community Health

This course emphasizes the health of communities and populations. Topics include population- based health issues such as environmental health, epidemiology and communicable disease. Students assess and screen individuals and families within communities, address identified needs and educate populations across the lifespan, collaborate with other health care professionals, make referrals, and participate in health promotion clinics. Clinical experiences occur in rural public health agencies and community-based programs. Prerequisite: Nursing 336.

392 Mental Health

Students explore issues related to the care of individuals suffering from acute and chronic psychiatric disorders. The course includes topics such as major mental illnesses, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety disorders. Students develop the roles of counselor and collaborator by working with an interdisciplinary team in providing care to patients in psychiatric settings. Clinical experiences emphasize the use of therapeutic communication, psychiatric assessment, and interpersonal relationship skills. Prerequisite: Nursing 388.

394 Internship

Does not count toward the major.

396 Directed Undergraduate Research: "Topic Description"

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offer based on department decision. Does not count toward the major.

397 Nursing Leadership

This course explores the theories of leadership, management, and organizations and the process of managing personnel and work. Concepts of change, conflict negotiation, and preparation for professional practice are examined. Professional communication is emphasized through writing and conducting a teaching conference for personnel. The roles of leader, manager, and coordinator are emphasized. Clinical experiences focus on providing nursing care to groups of adults with complex health problems. Prerequisite: Nursing 336.

398 Independent Research

Does not count toward the major.