MSC SE’s associate of science in nursing program approved by the Minnesota State Board of Nursing


Minnesota State College Southeast is proud to announce that the college’s new associate of science in nursing (ASN) degree was approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing on August 6, 2020.

The five-semester program will prepare successful graduates to take the NCLEX-RN(r) exam and become registered nurses. Students seeking an associate degree in nursing may begin college as soon as fall semester 2020.

“The approval of the associate of science in nursing marks a great moment in the history of Minnesota State College Southeast,” said Dr. Larry Lundblad, MSC Southeast interim president. “We are excited to be providing students with the associate option that gets them into the field after five semesters. Our nursing faculty and administrators are to be commended on the outstanding job in putting together a program that meets the needs of today’s employers and students.”

The new program builds on the success of the college’s ACEN-accredited practical nursing diploma. “The associate of science in nursing allows us to not only meet a need for registered nurses in southeastern Minnesota, but provides another career pathway for students with family-sustaining wages,” said MSC Southeast Vice President of Academic Affairs Chad Dull. “This double benefit is key to our mission of supporting our students and the communities we live in.”

According to MSC Southeast Associate Dean of Nursing Janine Mason, “Launching the associate of science in nursing has been a college-wide effort with high levels of commitment from administration, faculty, and staff. Our clinical partners are equally committed to the success of our students and the program.”

Built from the ground up

MSC Southeast has created completely new curriculum, developed new clinical learning experiences, and set high standards for admission and graduation. In addition, the college has invested in a complete partnership with ATI, a nationally renowned provider of nursing education, to integrate student learning supports and high tech virtual simulation experiences.

Students may begin as early as fall 2020 at MSC Southeast as health science broad field majors. They will take two semesters of college-level general education courses prior to beginning nursing courses, including biology, anatomy/physiology, chemistry, psychology, English, and communications.

They will then apply for entry into the ASN program and continue with general education coursework while their applications are under review by the college’s nursing department. Once admitted, they will take three additional semesters of nursing coursework at MSC Southeast, including clinical experiences in regional hospitals and care facilities.

Graduates will be prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN(r) board exams and become registered nurses. They will also be offered the opportunity to continue their education and earn their bachelor of science in nursing through Winona State University.

“Advisors from WSU will follow our students along in their journey, providing support and guidance along the way,” said Jennifer Eccles, former dean of health sciences at MSC Southeast who is now system director for nursing initiatives at the Minnesota State HealthForce Center for Excellence. “Our partnership aims to increase the number of Bachelors-prepared nurses across the region.”

The college will apply for initial candidacy for national accreditation of the ASN program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), with a vision to complete accreditation prior to graduation of the first cohort of students.

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