Program Overview

Gustavus Nursing Program

The nursing curriculum is designed for students to progress in the major from simple to complex. For example, the curriculum begins with courses that will focus on basic nursing assessment skills, become familiar with the nursing process and scope of practice, and have clinical experiences that focus on the health variance of one patient. Students will progress in the major to eventually care for multiple patients, with multiple complexities. The definition of patient will progress from the individual patient in an acute care setting to “community” (world) as the patient. Therefore, it is essential for students to pass the nursing courses in the order of progression that has been established. 

First Year and Sophomore Year

The first two years at Gustavus provide a foundation in the liberal arts. In addition, students complete nursing prerequisite courses to prepare them for entry into the Nursing program. All students interested in nursing are invited to seek advising assistance from the nursing faculty. Students should consult with the Nursing Department Chair or the Administrative Assistant as soon as possible to express an interest in the completion of a nursing major. Enrollment in the program is limited and admission is competitive; therefore, early consultation, preferably in the First Year, is recommended.

Junior Year

Nursing courses begin in the fall of junior year. Nursing courses during the first and second semester of the program emphasize health assessment and fundamental nursing skills. Clinical learning experiences occur with patients in acute care settings, particularly medical-surgical areas. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the co-requisite nursing course Research and Ethics in the Health Sciences during their junior year.

Senior Year

During the fall semester, students engage in classroom and clinical experiences related to specialty areas of nursing: public health, pediatrics, and maternal newborn. Courses and clinical learning experiences in the spring semester focus on psychiatric nursing, advanced medical surgical nursing, and transitioning into professional nursing practice. In addition to caring for patients in clinical learning experiences and critical care simulations, students are able to develop their leadership and management skills as well as strengthen their research abilities.