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

Required:
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

FallCREDITSSpringCREDITS
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

FallCREDITSSpringCREDITS
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

FallCREDITSSpringCREDITS
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

FallCREDITSSpringCREDITS
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

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
Lynnette Kruse, Clinical Instructor
Beth Laubenthal, MS, Clinical Assoc. Professor
Amy McCormick, DNP, Asst. Professor
Juleann Miller, PhD, Professor
Heather Scott, MSN, Clinical Instructor
Katie Sleaford, MSN, Clinical Instructor
Shelley Spector, DNP, Asst. Professor
Kurt Sturmer, DNP, Asst. Professor

Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate Scholarships

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). The SAU school code is 001889.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics, contact the Admissions Office so we can help be sure you're getting what you need. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

First-Year Scholarships

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

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores*.

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies, for up to four years, as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and remain a full-time student. 

FOR STUDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

On Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Ambrose Advantage Scholarships
Criteria: Iowa resident, Pell Grant eligible, 2020 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.8, admitted to SAU and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15
Award: Full Tuition

Trustee Scholarships
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship

Presidential Scholarships
Criteria: minimum unweighted 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT or 1310 SAT score
Award: $22,500/year

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $14,000-$20,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
$12,000/year

On Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required. Additional aid available.
Award: $1,000/year on campus


FOR STUDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Off Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $12,000-$15,000/year (Iowa resident) or $13,000-16,000/year (non-Iowa resident)

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $10,000/year

Off-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required. Additional aid available.
Award: $500/year


*While St. Ambrose University has a Test-Optional admissions policy, standardized test scores are required for admission to specific programs and eligibility for top academic scholarships.

International Student Scholarships

At SAU, our international students can qualify for university scholarships and grants based on academic achievement, merit, and their performance and abilities in fine arts and athletics.

Below, you'll find a quick summary of financial awards, and we continually look for ways to make an Ambrosian education even more affordable and attainable. Recently, we began offering athletic scholarships for Marching Band and Esports.

If you have any questions or want to apply, please contact the International Student Admissions office. 

Institutional Scholarships (2020-21)
There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students are automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria, although some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible.

Academic Scholarship – $14,000-$20,000/year

Athletic Scholarships
We have many international student-athletes who are contributing and growing their skills as valued team players. As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes. The amount varies and is based on performance and ability. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody the value of developing both the mind and body.

To qualify for an athletic scholarship you must 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 playNAIA.org

To learn more about all of our athletic teams and opportunities – including Esports – click here

Fine Arts Scholarships

These scholarships are based on your performance and ability in art, music, or theatre, and you may qualify for the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required. Contact the Admissions office to apply or for more information. 

See below to learn more about outside scholarships and we encourage you to begin your search early.

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.

Scholarships

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

OR

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

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes.

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 playNAIA.org

With more than 29 varsity athletic teams and state-of-the-art facilities in which to play them, the Fighting Bees of SAU are bold contenders on any field. Watch this video

Fine Arts Scholarships

How do I qualify for a fine arts scholarship? 
Scholarships are awarded based on performance and ability in art, music and theatre. Review the various requirements below:

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


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
Molly Gabaldo Cutout - Mobile Version Molly Gabaldo Cutout

Molly Gabaldo

Bachelor of Science in Nursing,ER Nurse, University of Chicago Medical Center​,Class of 2014


As an Ambrosian, Molly learned how she could make a difference in the lives of her peers, her community, and the world. Today, those lessons continue to define her views, and most importantly, her actions.

See My Story

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual visit options.