At left, the dome in the Hanson Hall of Science; at right, students with Dr. Dara Wegman-Geedey, pre-nursing academic advisor.
- About the program
- What students say
Nurses with a liberal arts background have a more holistic approach to treating patients. Their broad academic education gives them greater depth of understanding across cultures and disciplines, plus skills in critical thinking, communication and problem-solving.
Understanding “the whole person” — not just being just a technically trained nurse — is important to helping improve patients’ health and well-being. These better patient outcomes lead to greater responsibility and higher-paying positions for nurses with a four-year bachelor of arts (BA) degree.
Besides study across the liberal arts, a BA from Augustana includes more science study than a typical four-year BSN (bachelor of science in nursing), and includes much of the same coursework and laboratory experience taken by pre-meds and students preparing for other advanced health-care degrees.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.
The Augustana nursing program is not a graduation major, so a departmental major must be completed if the student intends to graduate with a bachelor of arts degree. The choice of graduation major is not critical for acceptance by a school of nursing, but the majority of students matriculating in advanced nursing programs have a major in the biological sciences or psychology.
After graduating with a BA from Augustana, nursing students pursuing the RN may gain technical training through one of two routes: a 15-month “accelerated” BSN (the ABSN) or a two-year direct-entry master of science in nursing (MSN). After the first year of either one of these programs, students are prepared to take the National Council Licensure Exam for RNs.
Augustana has a dual degree BA/BSN articulation agreement with nearby Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences. This means the Augustana BA and Trinity ABSN overlap, with students taking their first nursing course during the summer before their senior year at Augustana.
Trinity College has a state-of-the-art teaching lab and guaranteed clinical placements for nurses. With 1,158 clinical hours in a variety of settings, compared with an average of 700 clinical hours at other nursing schools, Trinity’s students get more hands-on practice.
Jennifer Prazak ’11, biology/pre-nursing, oncology nurse at St. Alexius Medical Center, Hoffman Estates, Ill.:
"Augustana College taught me my work ethic. In my first year out of Augustana, I, along with my best friend Molly Clennon, completed a 12-month accelerated bachelor of science in nursing degree at Saint Louis University, and it was our Augie experience that prepared us for the rigorous course load and set us up for success in the field of nursing."
Mindy Mappin ’09, biology/pre-nursing ER nurse in Steamboat Springs, Colo.:
"I did an accelerated bachelor's program at Regis University in Denver after finishing at Augustana. I’ve been a traveling nurse for two years after Denver, and am now settling down in the mountains! I felt extremely prepared for my accelerated program... The beautiful thing about Augustana is that it teaches you how to study and learn, so when I was hit with cramming another bachelor’s program into 11 months, it wasn’t all that overwhelming. I just had to buckle down and continue to do what I had already been taught. Plus, I didn’t have to take any extra prerequisites, because I had such a well-rounded education."
Kiley Peters ’09, biology/pre-nursing, registered nurse on pediatric Crisis Stabilization Unit, Jefferson Hills, Colo.:
"Augustana prepared me very well for the accelerated BSN program that I completed at Saint Louis University. I did not have to fulfill any other prerequisites past my biology major; the more demanding courses/labs at Augustana prepared me for days of studying and clinical; and the well-rounded education I received at Augustana made transitioning into nursing very easy. I am now about to graduate from Saint Louis University as a family psychiatric nurse practitioner, and I owe a lot of my educational “upbringing” to Augustana."
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