University of Dubuque Nursing School Review

The University of Dubuque (UD), a small, Christian college, has been educating students since 1852. The university has four different colleges: The School of Business, the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Professional Programs, and the Theological Seminary.

As part of its School of Professional Programs, the University of Dubuque offers a prelicensure track for prospective nurses. The nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Iowa State Board of Nursing; the University of Dubuque itself is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The University of Dubuque’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program takes four years to complete, on a full-time basis. During the first two years, prospective BSN students complete the pre-nursing course of studies. They take general education requirements and nursing prerequisite courses, worth a total of sixty-three credits. After four semesters as pre-nursing students, they can enroll in the four-semester nursing course sequence.

This intense section of the curriculum includes sixty-three credits, of which fifty-four are for nursing courses. In order to address the needs of the area, the BSN curriculum has a special focus on caring for the aging and nursing in rural communities. The majority of the final semester of the program is devoted to a five-credit practicum, which takes place at a local healthcare facility. As a small school, the University of Dubuque considers it very important that the nursing classes and clinical rotations have a low student to faculty ratio, so that students can get the individual attention that they need. In the classroom, the average ratio is eight students per faculty member; in the clinical setting the ratio is four or five students per instructor. Students have two admission options for the BSN program.

They can either enter through the Competitive Admission Pathway or through the Early Admission Pathway. If they enter through the Competitive Admission Pathway, students complete the first two years of pre-nursing classes and then apply for a spot in the nursing course sequence, beginning in the fall of their third year. If a student applies through the Early Admission Pathway and is accepted, she can guarantee her spot in the nursing courses after she completes the first two years of prerequisite coursework.

The Early Admission Pathway is open to high school students who have a minimum score of 25 on the ACT, or a score of 1130 on the math and reading sections of the SAT, or a score of 1680 on all three sections of the SAT. Regardless of which admission path a student chooses, she must complete a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) course and be listed on the Iowa Registry of Direct Care Workers before she can begin the nursing coursework. After completing the BSN course sequence, a graduate can take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). If she passes this national test, she may look for a job as a Registered Nurse (RN), or continue on to graduate-level nursing coursework at another university.

University of Dubuque
2000 University Avenue
Dubuque, IA 52001

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