The University of Dubuque nursing major is designed around a 21st century curriculum devoted to meeting the demands of 21st century health care. UD’s program prepares nurses with a baccalaureate degree and focuses on the development of core competencies. Clinical experiences in specialty care are highlighted to meet the demands of employers, while rotations in rural health provide support to under-served populations in the tri-state area.

What You Will Learn

The nursing curriculum is based on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Crossing the Quality Chasm (2001) report, with its focus on ensuring quality health care, and the IOM’s Health Professions Education (2003) report, which defined the 5 core competencies required for all health professionals practicing in the 21st century health care environment:

  • Providing patient-centered care
  • Working in interdisciplinary teams
  • Employing evidence-based practice
  • Applying quality improvement
  • Utilizing informatics

Program of Study

A University of Dubuque nursing degree focuses the first two years of study on classes in the humanities, social sciences, basic sciences, technology, communication, math, and nutrition. During the final two years, the curriculum focuses on the nursing sciences and emphasis moves from the classroom to health facilities.

UD Nursing Professional Licensure Disclosure

The BSN program at the University of Dubuque prepares students to sit for the national NCLEX-RN examination for licensure to become a Registered Nurse (RN). To the best of our knowledge, the educational requirements for UD’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing essentially meet the same foundational academic conditions for licensure in all 50 states. Some states have specified requirements beyond these basic academic conditions for licensure. The NCLEX-RN is a national exam so you can be licensed in all 50 states, but each state may have specific additional requirements before issuing a license; examples of these are: 7 clock hours of AIDS training before issuing a license (Washington), Child Abuse Reporting and Infection Control training (New York), passage of a Nursing Jurisprudence Exam (Texas), etc. Prospective nursing students are encouraged to explore the licensure requirements of states in which they might be interested in pursuing licensure after graduation.

What Our Students Do

The University of Dubuque Nursing Program allows students the opportunity to explore and learn in a wide variety of care settings, including hospital inpatient care, long-term care, community settings, a respite care camp for disabled children and adults, public schools, and many other environments. In the senior capstone course, students are paired with a practicing nurse for a 144-hour preceptorship in which they learn how to transition from the student role to the role of the professional nurse.

Where Our Graduates Go

University of Dubuque nursing graduates often move directly into the healthcare field. Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur for a number of reasons, including an increased emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for healthcare services from the baby-boom population, as they live longer and more active lives.

News from the Department

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at the University of Dubuque is proud of our excellent NCLEX pass rates. Pass rate information for all Iowa nursing programs is available on the Iowa Board of Nursing website.

The baccalaureate program at the University of Dubuque is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202.887.6791.

Nursing - Program of Study

The Mission of the University of Dubuque Nursing Program is to educate nurses to provide the highest quality of care within the context of the diverse, dynamic, and challenging health care environments of the 21st century.

Nursing Admission - 2020 Brochure

The courses below are a program sample of what students may encounter. Students will meet with their advisers to develop a personal educational program to plan their elective course choices, internships, undergraduate research, and other educational opportunities and experiences.

Year One

Fall Semester
WVS 101: World View Seminar I (3)
ENG 101: Composition and Rhetoric (3)
PSY 110: Intro to Psychology (3)
UDMA 112: College Algebra (3)
Personal/Financial Stewardship Gen Ed (3)
Physical Activity Gen Ed (1)

Spring Semester
WVS 201: World View Seminar II (3)
RES 104: Research Writing (3)
CHM 105: Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, & Biochemistry (4)
COM 101: Speech Communication (3)
Environmental Stewardship Gen Ed (3)

Year Two

Fall Semester
SOC 111: Intro to Sociology (3)
BIO 205: Nutritional Physiology (3)
BIO 314: Microbiology (4)
BIO 211: Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
Wellness Gen Ed (2)

Spring Semester
PSY 119: Life Span Development (3)
NRS 230: Introduction to Statistics (3)
NRS 201: Intro to Nursing (3)
BIO 212: Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
Literature Gen Ed (3)

Year Three

Fall Semester
NRS 303: Pathophysiology and Applied Pharmacology (6)
NRS 310: Basic Concepts and Skills in Nursing: Assessment and Lab (2)
NRS 311: Basic Concepts and Skills in Nursing: Nursing Interventions and Lab (2)
NRS 305: Nursing Care of the Older Adult: Health Care Management Issues (2)
NRS 305P: Nursing Care of the Older Adult: Health Care Management Issues Practicum (1)
History/Philosophy/Politics Gen Ed (3)

Spring Semester
NRS 307: Nursing Care of the Adult Population I (4)
NRS 307P: Nursing Care of the Adult Population I: Practicum (4)
NRS 308: Care of the Child-Bearing, Child-Rearing, and Pediatric Populations (5)
NRS 308P: Care of the Child-Bearing, Child-Rearing, and Pediatric Populations: Practicum (2)

May Term
NRS 306: Nursing Care at the End of the Continuum (3)

Year Four

Fall Semester
NRS 415: Nursing Care of the Adult Population II (3)
NRS 415P: Nursing Care of the Adult Population II: Practicum (1)
NRS 309: Mental Health: Pathophysiology and Health Care Team Management(4)
NRS 309P: Care of the Patient with Mental Illness: Practicum (1)
NRS 403: Care of the Client Across the Age Continuum within the Context of Community (3)
NRS 403P: Care of the Client Across the Age Continuum within the Context of Community: Practicum(2)
Fine & Performing Arts Gen Ed (3)

Spring Semester
NRS 401: Health Care Research (3)
NRS 402: Leadership and Management in Nursing & Health Care (3)
NRS 404: 21st Century Issues in Nursing & Health Care: Health Care Systems, Economics, and Politics (2)
NRS 495P: Senior Internship Practicum (Senior Seminar/Capstone) (5)
Judeo-Christian Traditions Gen Ed (3)

Neil MacNaughton (2018)


Neil S. MacNaughton

Nursing Department Head
Professor of Nursing
PhD, University of Iowa
MA, University of Iowa
BSN, Graceland University

Phone: 563.589.3701
Office: 304B University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3572

Linda Hanson (2019)


Linda Hanson

Associate Professor of Nursing
MSEd, Capella University
MSN, Allen College

Phone: 563.589.3434
Office: 304A University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3572

Lisa Kragenbrink (2018)


Lisa Kragenbrink

Assistant Professor of Nursing
MSN, Clarke University
BSN, University of Iowa

Phone: 563.589.3573
Office: 309B University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3572



Jackie Meyer

Professor of Nursing
PhD, Villanova University
MSN, University of Iowa
BSN, Clarke University

Phone: 563.589.3403
Office: 304D University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3572

Jill Mulford (2018)


Jill Mulford

Assistant Professor of Nursing
MSN, Kaplan University
BSN, Coe College

Phone: 563.589.3249
Office: 304C University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3572

Beth Neyen (2018)


Beth Neyen

Assistant Professor of Nursing
MSN, Clarke University
BSN, Clarke University

Phone: 563.589.3789
Office: 309C University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3572

Rebecca Ohnesorge (2018)


Rebecca Ohnesorge

Administrative Assistant, Nursing Department

Phone: 563.589.3500
Office: 304 University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3572

Kristine Steinbeck (2018)


Kristine Steinbeck

Assistant Professor of Nursing
MSN, Walden University
BSN, Valparaiso University

Phone: 563.589.3740
Office: 309D University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3572

No Picture


Brianna Spehle

Adjunct Nursing Faculty                                   
MSN, Concordia University


No Picture


Leigh Stoewer

Adjunct Nursing Faculty
BSN, Clarke University



Careers in Nursing

Nursing is a profession filled with limitless personal and professional rewards, and is one of the most flexible professions around. University of Dubuque BSN graduates can choose from a vast array of specialties when they begin their careers. Some nurses specialize in a particular segment of the population; for example, pediatric nurses specialize in children's health, and there are also nurses who focus their careers on women's health, or elder care (geriatrics). Nurses may also choose to focus their work and skillset within a particular medical specialty, such as surgery, gastroenterology, OB/GYN, or any other medical specialty. Alternatively, graduates may choose a nursing career based on the location; for example, you may choose to be a school nurse, flight nurse, hospice nurse, or hospital-based nurse. Additionally, you may choose to be a nurse who works in the Emergency Room (ER), Operating Room (OR) or Neonatology Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The opportunities and choices are plentiful.

BSN Opportunities

The nurse with a baccalaureate degree is prepared to practice in all health care settings - including critical care, outpatient care, public health, and mental health. Accordingly, the BSN nurse is well qualified to deliver care in private homes, outpatient centers, and neighborhood clinics.  Demand in these areas is expanding as hospitals focus increasingly on acute care. Additionally, health care is consistently moving beyond the hospital to more primary and preventive services throughout the community.

Post-graduate Opportunities

The program provides the educational and experiential base not only for entry-level professional practice but also as the platform on which to build a career through graduate-level study for roles as advanced practice nurses, such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical specialists, nurse administrators, researchers, and educators. The University of Dubuque Nursing Program encourages all graduates to strive for higher levels of education. Through this program, graduates can enhance their knowledge and skills while learning to provide quality care to a wide variety of patient populations.


Successful Outcomes

Kellie (Oppold) Steffen - 250x250
Kellie (Oppold) Steffen BSN, RN
Bachelor of Science in Nursing '13

Throughout my four years at the University of Dubuque, I learned how to be a compassionate and articulate nurse. I was consistently encouraged and motivated by the nursing faculty. After graduating with a bachelor of science in nursing in 2011, I was able to combine the knowledge and skills that I had gained and apply them to take state nursing boards and become a registered nurse at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Within two years of becoming a nurse, I was chosen to represent my unit on a shared governance committee and have volunteered as a preceptor to senior nursing students. The challenging, competitive, and encouraging atmosphere that the University of Dubuque offered me has shaped how I encourage and challenge my students, my fellow nurses, and most importantly, my patients. I am confident that the fundamental skills, leadership qualities, and knowledge that were incorporated during my experience at UD will endure throughout my nursing career.

Successful Outcomes

Hannah (Steffen) Porcic - 250x250
Hannah (Steffen) Porcic BSN, RN
Bachelor of Science in Nursing '10

I graduated from the University of Dubuque in 2010 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing. I started working in healthcare at the age of 15 as a nursing assistant, and thanks to my undergraduate education, I am now the director of nursing at an ambulatory surgery center.  The education I received from the University of Dubuque molded me into the leader I am today. Professors helped me strive for success and instilled in me the importance of providing compassionate care for patients. The program is comprised of knowledgeable professors, advanced technology, and a strong curriculum to guide students into becoming successful nurses in all specialties.