• Nursing

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Nurses are hands-on health professionals who provide focused and highly personalized care, serving as advocates for patients, families, and communities. Nurses promote health, prevent disease and help patients cope with illness. They develop and manage nursing care plans, instruct patients and their families in proper care and help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health. They have a unique scope of practice and can practice independently, although they also collaborate with all members of the health care team to provide the care needed by each patient as an individual. The field has a wide range of career opportunities, ranging from entry-level practitioner to doctoral-level researcher.

    Although an entry-level nurse can find a job with a two/three-year Associate Degree in Nursing, there is a growing national movement to require all nurses to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. An increasing number of nursing schools are offering accelerated bachelor's and master's degree programs. There is also a growing number of RN-to-Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and MSN-to-doctoral programs, designed to meet the increasing demand for more highly skilled nurses in the workforce.

    Once you are a professional nurse, you might choose to focus on a particular specialty. There are numerous specialty options - each of which has its own education/certification requirements and related professional network or organization.

    Degree Programs in Nursing

    *Please note that Hamline University does not offer a degree program leading to nursing licensure. The goal of the information below is to show the various possibilities for attaining nursing licensure outside of Hamline University and the ways to prepare for application into these programs.

    You must have a registered nurse (RN) license to practice nursing. There are several approaches you can take to obtain an RN license:

    • Associate Degrees in Nursing programs from Community Colleges (two year programs, long waiting lists of prospective students, no special tests are required)
    • Bachelor's of Science Degrees in Nursing (BSN)
    • Traditional BSN programs are designed for people who do not have other Bachelor’s Degrees (two year programs, usually students apply at Junior level having completed prerequisite courses)
    • Accelerated programs are designed for people who already have BA/BS degrees in other areas (11 – 18 month fast-paced programs)
    • Master's Degrees in Nursing (MSN) programs are designed for students who completed BA/BS degrees take about three years and usually prepare students to acquire their nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist licenses. These programs are essentially graduate programs in nursing.

    Find out more information on the level of the programs and licensure.

    Admission Requirements


    Nursing programs differ widely in their prerequisite coursework requirements depending on the level of the program and the school. Students are advised to check the requirements for the program of their choice prior to starting their coursework. Here is a general list of prerequisite courses most common for BSN programs: 1 year of General Chemistry (with a lab), 1 year of Organic Chemistry (with a lab), 1 year of Human Anatomy and Physiology (with a lab), 1 semester of Intro Biology, Microbiology, Statistics, General Psychology, Lifespan Development, Human Nutrition, Intro to Sociology or Anthropology, and Freshman Writing.

    Relevant Tests

    No special testing is required for Associate Degrees in Nursing

    Many BSN programs require a TEAS - The Test of Essential Academic Skills. MSN programs usually require a GRE general test.

    Health Care Experience and Volunteering

    Most nursing programs require a minimum of 100 hours of health care experience, in a place where you can see nurses at work, before you can apply. Additionally, they will want to see community service and leadership experience.

    A letter of recommendation, preferably from a nurse, is required.

    Application Process

    Application to Nursing programs of various levels is managed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing through the Nursing’s Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS). This is a service that allows applicants to use a single online application and one set of materials to apply to multiple nursing programs at participating schools. Through NursingCAS, prospective nursing students may apply to diploma, associate degree, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs offered by participating schools. Nursing school applicants also have access to dedicated customer service support and guidance throughout the application process.

    Additional Resources