Clarkson College Nursing Program Review

Clarkson College idea was conceived by Bishop Robert Clarkson towards the end of the 1800s.He had wanted to establish a nursing school in Omaha. After his death in 1884, his visionary idea was taken-up by his wife who helped complete a women’s nursing school in Omaha Good Samaritan Hospital in 1888. As part of the hospital, the school operated as Bishop Clarkson Memorial School of Nursing.

Due to financial challenges, the college closed down in the 1950s but re-opened in 1960 as Clarkson College following donations. After re-opening, the college became a co-ed college by admitting the first male students in 1969. Currently, Clarkson College offers various health-related study programs besides nursing.

Nursing at Clarkson College

As a dedicated health college, Clarkson College (CC) has so much to offer to prospective student nurses. Programs range from the diploma in practical nursing to masters level nursing programs and post-masters certificates.  The college also has cooperation with Grace University to allow students to take two degrees as will be explained below. The Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in nursing tracks at Clarkson are fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and also approved by the Nebraska Board of Nursing. Additionally, there is a Nurse Anesthesia master level track that is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Clarkson is also an approved provider of several Nurse Refresher courses. More details on each program are given below:

Practical Nursing

For candidates looking forward to start their nursing careers as practical nurses, Clarkson College has this opportunity for them. The Practical Nursing Diploma program takes two years of six semesters to complete through a part-time study plan only. The program also accepts Certified Nursing Assistants who want to advance their nursing skills.

Students are prepared to take the NCLEX-PN exam to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) besides graduating with a transferable diploma in practical nursing.  49 semester credits are required for this eligibility. Graduates of this program are welcome to continue in Clarkson College and earn a baccalaureate degree through the LPN to BSN Program.


Licensed Practical Nurses who want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree are welcome to have the transition at Clarkson College. This is an on-campus track that can be completed on either a full time or part time basis.  Candidates must have active and unencumbered LPN licenses for any state in the country. The LPN to BSN advanced placement requires students to complete 2 transition courses of 3 credit hours each upon which they receive 13 nursing semester credits. To earn the BSN from Clarkson, students must complete 40, 21 and 69 general education, support and nursing major credits respectively. Some of these are covered in the advanced placement status and through application for credit validation. Completion of the program enables students to apply to write the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses (RN)


Registered nurses who wish to take their education level a notch higher can pursue the very flexible and accelerated RN to BSN program at Clarkson College.  The right candidates must hold active RN licenses and must have transferable credits from their associate degree program. Student enrolled to this program receive 43 nursing semester credits towards the 130 credits required for the BSN either by direct completion of coursework or through validation. Other general education and support credits may be received through validation of the associate degree credits.

Students are required to take 3 BSN transition courses for them to be allowed to take other nursing major courses. It is also allowed for students to request validation of 1 level 400 nursing course and its equivalent clinical course to earn the student an extra 4 credit hours. RNs can choose to complete their coursework on either a full-time or part-time basis.  For both options, courses can be completed either online or onsite depending on the flexibility need of the student. Clinical experience may also be earned at a student’s place of choice preferably their place of work after the faculty at Clarkson College approves such a setting.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The Bachelor of Science in nursing at Clarkson College is an entry-level program designed for pre-licensure students; otherwise, other classes of students may look at the two advanced placement options. The program requires students to take the NLCEX-RN exam for initial licensure as registered nurses. It is a traditional 4-year full time program requiring 130 credits to complete: 40, 21 and 69 credits in general education, support and nursing major courses respectively.

Gateway to Success Minority Nursing Scholarship

Minority candidates for this program may benefit from the Gateway to Success Minority Nursing Scholarship.  The beneficiaries of this scholarship program receive $10,000 annually towards offsetting their tuition fees at Clarkson College.  The funds are awarded for the four years of study provided the student remains in good standing in academic excellence. Beneficiaries are also entitled an additional $5,000 after completing a summer internship program each year at The Nebraska Medical Center.

Grace University Co-op

This joint program between Clarkson and Grace University enables students to graduate with two degrees on a dual enrollment basis. Students under this program undertake nursing studies at Clarkson and biblical studies at Grace University. At the end of both programs, students graduate with Biblical Studies and BSN degrees from the respective schools. Students in the practical nursing program are also welcome for this dual degree program.


The RN to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program gives a chance to highly ambitious registered nurses to complete a master of science in nursing degree without the repetitive work of both the Bachelor and masters level curriculums. The program is ideal for busy RNs who want to have an individualized plan of study. As such, students can complete their coursework via online mode and very minimal one-on-one instructions with the faculty. Candidates of the RN to MSN program are those interested in taking any of the following 4 master specialty options:

  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Health Care Administration
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

However, students are also free to exit the program at BSN level

Those who choose any of the 2 nurse practitioner options must be ready for on-site instruction for selected clinical courses otherwise; other courses and the other 2 tracks can be completed entirely online. Before taking the MSN level courses, students must complete the required BSN courses i.e. the courses for both levels are not taken in tandem.

Master of Science in Nursing

The traditional Master of Science in nursing program calls for BSN prepared students who might be interested in any of the 4 listed specialty options above in addition to a Nurse Anesthesia option. The courses are offered entirely online with minimal on-site competency validation visits.  Students who choose the Health care administration and education option may transfer up-to 9 credits from other schools. However, the nurse practitioner options do not accept any credit transfers.

Nurse Anesthesia Option

The nurse anesthesia option has a slightly different and engaging curriculum. The program is also not offered online like is the case with the other MSN tracks at Clarkson. Students can choose from two study plans as outlined below:

Full time: This study plan requires students to complete 12-months didactic period after which they proceed to an 18-month clinical experience phase, totaling to 30months of full time commitment.

Extended Track: This option enables student to take their didactic courses in an extended period of 24 months of lesser course load followed by a progression into an 18 months clinical phase.

Post MSN Certificates

The post MSN certificate programs are designed for MSN-prepared students who want to become certified in the following areas:

  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Health Care Administration
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

The courses are offered online with a few on-site instructions for students taking the nurse practitioner options.

Professional Development

Clarkson has been approved by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to offer the following professional development and lifelong courses:

  • Nurse Refresher course
  • Nurse Aide Course
  • Basic & Advanced Life support Courses
  • Infection Prevention Course
  • Medication Aide Course
  • Abuse and Neglect Course

Clarkson College
101 S. 42 Street, Omaha,
NE 68131