Bachelor of Science in Nursing

If you are energized by helping others and want each person to experience their best, and healthiest life, in our nursing program you can gain the skills and confidence to impact healthcare and the lives you will touch.

Our graduates work at Mayo Clinic Health System, Baylor University, Rush University Medical Center, Genesis Health System, UnityPoint, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Loyola University Medical Center.

BSN Fact Sheet (pdf)
Accelerated BSN Fact Sheet (pdf)

Ambrose Advantages

  • Small Classes, High Level of Support
  • Hands-On Learning
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities
  • Faculty With More Than 300 Years of Combined Nursing Experience

students with mannequin

nursing students sitting

professor and student

The way we approach nursing students and healthcare sets the example of what it means to be deeply person-focused. We'll be partners throughout your education because we share your care, compassion, and drive to do what's best for those we serve. At SAU, become a highly skilled, ethical nurse who empowers each person in their healthcare goals.

See Our Nursing Program Fact Sheet (pdf)

Bee the Difference

We make an impact on campus and in the community. In 2018, more than 600 students took part in Bee the Difference Day and helped 120 campus neighbors get their yards ready for winter. It is work, fun – and so rewarding.

More Information on the Nursing Program

What will I learn?

Our curriculum places special emphasis on innovation, evidence-based practice, whole person caring, service, social justice, professional trends, and biomedical ethics.

Early in your studies, you learn physical examination techniques, communication skills, health assessment, development of interventions, and evaluation of patient outcomes. You will learn to use advanced electronic data and patient record data management systems.

You will experience real health care environments through clinical rotations in obstetrics, pediatrics, medical-surgical, mental health, and community health. In your last year of the program, you'll complete a semester-long preceptorship in your area of interest. You can practice in acute care and community settings.

We want you to succeed in nursing, so standardized testing prep is part of the curriculum. Students complete competency exams throughout the program to determine their knowledge and readiness for the NCLEX nursing licensure exam.

How can I supplement my classroom learning?
  • Get involved! You can participate in a range of service-learning projects, from flu immunizations clinics to community health fairs.
  • Join the St. Ambrose Student Nursing Association. Our members organize, represent, and mentor students preparing for initial licensure as registered nurses and those enrolled in baccalaureate completion programs.
  • Gain a better sense of world health issues and other cultures. Study abroad in Australia, Ecuador, England, Ireland, New Zealand, or other countries. Click here to search our programs. 
  • Work in a nursing setting. This will boost your communication, organization, and early professional development.
  • Network at statewide student nursing conventions and interview with potential employers.
  • Consider the Peace Corps. SAU offers Peace Corps Prep, a program that makes you a stronger candidate for volunteer positions within the Peace Corps or other service programs. Most students can earn the certificate – awarded by the Peace Corps – without taking extra courses. Click here to learn more or talk to your faculty advisor.
Study Abroad

You've heard people say it before: "College will be the greatest time of your life!" With Study Abroad, you can add even more to your college years.

You can study in another country in a semester-long or short-term study abroad program (with a few offered during spring and winterim breaks). No matter the duration, these trips deepen your professional education while earning credit toward graduation.

There are also opportunities through an exchange program, an overseas internship, or volunteering. The limits for Study Abroad are only ones you set for yourself! SAU students have studied in Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, Korea, United Kingdom, Spain, Ecuador, Japan, Germany, Peru, Cyprus, Croatia, Belize, Canada, Chile, and more.

SAU students returning from their Study Abroad locations talk about their time away as life-changing - personally, emotionally, culturally, and academically. Click here to search our Study Abroad programs, and for general information click here.

Where will I learn?

SAU offers the best BSN program in the Midwest, and our deep commitment to your education is readily apparent in our classroom facilities and our community connections.

The Nursing Department is located in the Center for Health Sciences Education on the Genesis Medical Center West campus. Our state-of-the-art simulation and hospital lab allow students to safely practice and rehearse skills before working with real patients. If you have an RN license, you will take 100% of your classes online. If you have a four-year degree, you may be eligible for the BSN Accelerated program and take accelerated classes toward your BSN.

You also get to practice in excellent facilities in the Quad Cities and several major hospitals and healthcare providers in the area, giving you a range of clinical placement options. Mayra Vasquez ‘19 completed her 160-hour preceptorship in the burn unit at the University of Iowa Hospital. Read about her experience.

We also seek opportunities to work with students in allied health professions such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and physician assistant studies.

Our nursing program faculty have 300+ years of combined professional experience they want to share. And, they will challenge, encourage and support you. Read what some of our December 2018 graduates have to say about the program: Reina Gladon and Joo Hee Kim and Sangita Thapa.

Our BSN program is just one of the health science programs offered by the SAU College of Health and Human Services.

What is Early Decision Placement?

If you are a high-achieving high school student considering earning your BSN at St. Ambrose, why not secure your place in the program? You must meet specific criteria and there is a deadline for applications, but it's a great opportunity. Learn more and complete your application today.

If you don't qualify for Early Decision Placement, don't worry, there is still plenty of time. The majority of our students apply to the Nursing program their sophomore year after they have completed some general education requirements.

Get answers to other program questions on the Nursing Frequently Asked Questions page.

What are some potential career outcomes?

BSN graduates work in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, mental health organizations, and public health departments. Careers include staff nursing, advanced practice nursing, home health nursing, travel nursing, private duty nursing, research, telehealth, nursing education, emergency relief, military nursing, forensic nursing, quality assurance, and case management.

SAU can help you launch your career through our robust Career Center. Each year, the Career Center hosts an annual health sciences career fair to help you find summer internships and jobs. And, there are resume, interview, and cover letter workshops throughout the year.

What have alumni of this program done?

Cam Alvarez '19, BSN, is an ER nurse at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois. Read this story about his Ambrosian education and experience. 

Reina Glandon '18, BSN, is a pediatric-specialized in-home care nurse, traveling to Eastern Iowa areas such as North Liberty, Coralville, and Iowa City.

Megan Van Hoorn '14, RN, BSN, works in Oak Lawn, Illinois, at the Advocate Children's Hospital.

Courtney Davis '06 MSN, RN, BSN is a faculty member at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Adam Haut '08 was recognized by the College of Health and Human Services for his deep dedication to the nursing profession and to the university. Read this story.

Degree Requirements

BIOL 101 Principles of Biology
BIOL 211 Introductory Microbiology
BIOL 230 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BIOL 232 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
CHEM 103 Principles of Chemistry
PHIL 310/THEO 319 Biomedical Ethics
PSYC 105 Introductory Psychology
PSYC 212 Life-Span Developmental Psychology
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning for the Sciences

Required Nursing Courses:
NURS 305 Introduction to Nursing Concepts 
NURS 315 Nursing Process I Across the Lifespan
NURS 325 Applied Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
NURS 335 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
NURS 350 Applied Learning Experiences I
NURS 360 Introduction to Theoretical Concepts
NURS 365 Nursing Process II Across the Lifespan
NURS 370 Applied Learning Experiences II
NURS 375 Pathophysiology/Pharmacology
NURS 380 Nursing Concepts of Mental Health
NURS 395 Clinical Application II
NURS 410 Concepts of Population Health
NURS 415 Nursing Process III Across the Lifespan 
NURS 425 Applied Nursing Experiences III
NURS 435 Concepts of Children and Women's Health
NURS 440 Evidence-Based Practice
NURS 445 Clinical Application III
NURS 460 Concepts of Applied Nursing Care
NURS 465 Concepts of Chronicity
NURS 475 Leadership and Contemporary Issues 
NURS 485 Professional Nursing Capstone
NURS 495 Advanced Nursing Practicum

Click here to read Nursing course descriptions

Already have a non-nursing degree? You might be interested in our Accelerated BSN Program.

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

This plan assumes the student has taken three years of foreign language in high school.

Year One

ENGL 101 English Composition 3 COMM Oral Comm 3
MATH 171 Elementary Functions 3 THEO/PHIL 100-200 level 3
PSYC 105 Intro to Psychology 3 SOC 101 Intro to Sociology 3
BIOL 101 Principles of Biology+Lab 4 CHEM 103 Principles of Chemistry+Lab 4
NSS 101 New Student Seminar 1 PHIL or THEO 3
IL 101 Information Literacy 1
KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1
Total 16 16

Year Two

STAT 213 Statistics 3 PSYC 212 Life Span Development 3
BIOL 230 Human Anatomy & Physiology+Lab 4 BIOL 232 Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology II+Lab 4
BIOL 211 Microbiology+Lab 4 Humanities Literature/Film 3
Creative Arts 3 PHIL or THEO 3
Humanities Elective Historical/Cultural 3 KIN Activity 1
CNA: Take at Community College PHIL 310 Biomedical Ethics/THEO Bioethics and Healthcare 3
Total 17 Total 17

Year Three

NURS 305 Introduction to Contemporary Nursing 3 NURS 360 Introduction to Theoretical Concepts 3
NURS 315 Nursing Process I Across the Lifespan 3 NURS 365 Nursing Process II Across the Lifespan 4
NURS 325 Applied Health Assessment Across the Lifespan 3 NURS 370 Applied Learning Experiences II 2
NURS 335 Pathophysiology/Pharmacology 4 NURS 375 Pathophysiology/Pharmacology II 3
NURS 350 Applied Learning Experiences I 2 NURS 380 Nursing Concepts of Mental Health 3
3 NURS 395 Clinical Application II              2
Total 15 Total 17

Year Four

NURS 410 Concepts of Population Health 3 NURS 460 Concepts of Applied Nursing Care 3
NURS 415 Nursing Process III Across the Lifespan 3 NURS 465 Concepts of Chronicity 3
NURS 425 Applied Learning Experiences III 2 NURS 475 Leadership & Contemporary Issues 3
NURS 435 Concepts of Children & Women's Health 3 WI-NURS 485 Professional Nursing Capstone 3
WI-NURS 440 Evidence-Based Practice 3 NURS 495 Advanced Nursing Practicum 3
NURS 445 Clinical Application III 2
Total 16 Total 15

WI=writing intensive

Download a current Plan of Study

Faculty and Staff

Katie Browning, DNP, Asst. Professor and Chair

Kathy Andresen, DNP, Assoc. Professor
Jenny Atzen, DNP, Clinical Asst. Professor
Kara Baker, Office Administrator
Kari Crowder, MSN, Clinical Instructor
Katrina DeToye, MSN, Clinical Instructor
Stacy Eckley, Office Assistant
Deb Frankie-Lasher, Advisor/Recruiter
Ann Garton, MSN, Clinical Assoc. Professor
Danielle Hoffman, DNP, Asst. Professor
Kathy Kilen, MA, Clinical Assoc. Professor
Lynnette Kruse, Clinical Instructor
Beth Laubenthal, MS, Clinical Assoc. Professor
Amy McCormick, DNP, Asst. Professor
Juleann Miller, PhD, Professor
Heather Scott, MSN, Clinical Instructor
Kurt Sturmer, DNP, Asst. Professor


Scholarships and Grants

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below. For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

There are several SAU endowed scholarships for nursing students. Inquire with the Financial Aid Office about applying for one or more. You may also find information about nursing scholarships at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$@{Trustee-Scholarship-18-19}/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$@{Academic-Scholarship-18-19}/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$@{University-Grant-18-19}/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) awards millions of dollars annually to student-athletes at more than 250 colleges and universities. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2020-21 academic year. 

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.


Phi Theta Kappa
Criteria: awarded to all Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society members transferring from a community college
Award: $15,500


Transfer Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on GPA
Awards (non-Iowa residents):
3.5-4.00 GPA $15,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $14,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $13,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $11,000 

Awards (Iowa residents):
3.5-4.00 GPA $13,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $12,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $11,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $10,000 

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000 per year (on campus); $500/year (off campus)

Dual Admission Scholarships
Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 maximum

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: Ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required. Additional aid available by application
Award: $1,000/year (on campus); $500/year (off campus)

Federal and State Aid

Iowa Tuition Grant
Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: $6,000

Federal Pell Grant
Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $6,195 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Award Terms

FAFSA forms must be filed every year.

  • To be considered for an Iowa Tuition Grant, the filing deadline is July 1.
  • The St. Ambrose priority deadline is March 15 for some institutional funds. 
  • The Financial Aid Office has the right to adjust your award at any time due to changes in your financial, academic, enrollment, or housing status. 
  • Awards offered from State and Federal programs are contingent upon legislative allocation of funds and maximum limits allowed.
  • You must report any assistance you receive from outside sources – including assistance from your employer – to the Financial Aid Office.

Institutional Aid

Undergraduate level students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester to receive Institutional money. All students, undergraduate or graduate, must be enrolled at least half-time per semester to be eligible for student loans. (Half-time for Undergraduate level = 6 credits; Graduate level = 5 credits)

There is no institutional aid for summer sessions. Federal Loans may be available if you are enrolled at least 1/2 time.

You are eligible for institutional financial aid for up to eight semesters, including semesters taken at other schools, before or after time spent at the university (i.e. if you transfer in as a junior, you will receive 4 semesters of institutional aid; or you attended St. Ambrose, left to attend another school, and then returned). This means that if you continue into a fifth year of classes, you will not be eligible for any institutional funds you may have received previously. (Institutional funds are those awarded by the university, not state, federal, or outside based scholarships or grants.)


All financial aid awards, including loans, are disbursed in two disbursements: one for the fall term and one for the spring term. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. Once the loan funds have been applied to your account and if you have awards in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. Any other questions regarding your financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Work Study

If you are receiving assistance under the work study program, you must understand that the amount shown on your award letter is the amount we expect you to earn during one academic year if you work all your allotted hours. Any additional earnings must be approved by your department supervisor and taken into consideration in your financial award package.

Endowed Scholarships

Part of the financial aid funds that St. Ambrose awards come from monies provided through the generous support of St. Ambrose University benefactors. Most endowed scholarships are meant to provide financial support for St. Ambrose University's academic and need based awards. Due to this, in some cases you may see a portion of your Academic Scholarship, for example, being replaced by a named endowed scholarship. The total dollar amount you receive between the two awards, however, will remain unchanged.

Recipients are chosen based on the criteria established by the donor, which include, but are not limited to: major, class rank, GPA, performance in a fine art, or residency. You may be contacted by the Advancement Office to write a thank you letter to the donor.

What happens if I withdraw or need to drop a class?

  • If you drop a class, it may affect the amount of aid you can receive. It is very important to visit your Financial Aid counselor if you are planning on dropping a class.
  • If you are going to withdraw completely from all your classes, your financial aid awards will be prorated according to the amount of time you were actually enrolled. It is possible that you may end up owing the University for a portion of your expenses incurred.
  • More information regarding this policy is available in the University catalog.
  • Please contact your Financial Aid counselor if you are considering dropping classes or withdrawing from the University.

Brandy Jurevitz ’19 BSN

Brandy knows a good nurse focuses on the patient, and the family, too. She gained that perspective during several volunteer positions and a preceptorship at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, where she now works as a general pediatric nurse. "Those experiences made me a better nurse. I not only take care of patients, but I also see how it is impacting the whole family and I try to take care of them as well," Brandy said. Going beyond was a value reflected in her SAU education. "I love the nursing program at SAU. Education is on a personal level and every professor makes you feel special and important, that you are smart and will be an amazing nurse.”

Read Brandy's Story
Marceline Kougbani-Sebou Mobile Cutout Marceline Kougbani-Sebou Headshot

Marceline Kougbani-Sebou, MSN, FNP-BC

Bachelor of Science in Nursing,Class of 2016

Marceline is committed to serving, and we are, too. Our nursing program taught her to provide a higher level of care, and the spark to go a step beyond. We provide a holistic education that empowers you to achieve your goals, so you can support patients in achieving their goals, too. Personal care and compassion. It's what we, and Marceline, provide in health care.

See My Story

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 29 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!