Inspiring tomorrow’s healers.

To be a nurse is a calling. For every bit of nursing knowledge and technical expertise, it also takes compassion and a devotion to improving the lives of others. At Marian, we know. We’ve been educating and training some of the area’s best nurses for more than 100 years.

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The Program

Your experience in Marian’s nursing program will be characterized by the same excellence, hands-on learning, personalized support, and exceptional instruction that has earned us such an esteemed reputation over the decades. A hallmark of the program is the integration of Marian’s liberal arts core with our innovative curriculum and professional preparation.

For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.

Sample Course Plan:
Download Sample Course Plan

General Education Program: 46-49 credits of University requirements including School of Nursing and Health Professions course requirements (55-58 credits):

An introductory biology course for non-majors. The relationship between structure and function is emphasized at the cellular and organismic levels. A survey of taxonomy and classification, cell biology, plant biology, human physiology and ecology is provided. (May be taken as “lecture only” or concurrently with BIO 150.)


A systemic structure/function approach to the study of the human body that provides the background required for further study in applied physiology. Anatomy and physiology of integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, reproductive, respiratory, endocrine, and urinary systems will be studied. The laboratory parallels and reinforces lecture concepts through the use of models, histological studies, physiological exercises, and dissection of biological samples. This is a hybrid class; most lectures will be online. The face-to-face portion will include laboratory exercises, lecture review, case studies, and assessments.

A comprehensive course in which students learn the structural characteristics and biological activities of bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoans and helminths. Particular emphasis is placed on those organisms which cause disease in humans and on the nature of the immune response in humans. A strong background in bio-logy and understanding of Krebs cycle, transcription and translation is required. (Students may not take both BIO 210 and BIO 311 for credit.)


CHE 001 Preparatory Chemistry, or high school chemistry; MAT 001 Basic Algebra, or appropriate math placement test score

An introductory course for non-science majors. This course provides a basic knowledge of chemistry and its application to everyday life with special focus to biological and medical applications. With laboratory.

This course develops intercultural communication competence through an exploration of cultures. Using a broad definition of culture which includes norms, values, beliefs, art, music and literature, students examine the world as a place of dynamic change and cultural interaction, increasing their need for intercultural sensitivity generally. Through both theory and personal experience, students examine how the various components of communication are affected by and interface with the intercultural experience. Service learning is a component of this course.


A course designed specifically for those concerned with ethical problems facing medical professional and generally for anyone with an interest in the relation of ethics to bio-medical issues. The course examines the nature of ethics and morality, the variety of ethical theories and normative ethical principles, and the practice of applying such concepts to specific cases and issues within the bio-medical sciences. Topics covered include issues in the professional-patient relationship, termination of life, reproductive rights and technologies, and allocation and public policy.

A survey of the changes which occur during the entire lifespan as people develop: physical, motor, cognitive, moral, and social-emotional. Developmental theory and research data are critically considered. Application of existing knowledge about the variables which affect the course of development is emphasized.


MAT 001 Basic Algebra, Appropriate math placement test score or MAT 001 with grade of C or higher

An interdisciplinary introduction to the basic principles of data analysis with an emphasis on application. Students are expected to apply these principles to data analysis in their respective areas of study. The applied focus is on the computerized application of summary statistics, one/two/multi-sample tests, linear models, association tests, randomness/normality tests, time series comparison, quality control charts and probability distributions as used across a variety of community and organizational settings. Other techniques may be added as appropriate for specific disciplines.

62 credits:

This course will introduce foundational concepts and skills in the form of nursing health promotion strategies to facilitate individual and group wellness and safety across the lifespan. The development of disease states and methods to prevent or decrease risk factors will be discussed. Emphasis is on the role of the professional nurse in planning and implementing nursing care, effective teaching, and interventional behaviors for individuals and families. Emphasis will be placed on normal growth and developmental changes across the lifespan addressing health promotion, wellness, and safety concerns in the care of patients.

This course focuses on acquiring and expanding knowledge, skills, and attitudes of basic concepts and principles in pharmacology and drug classifications to include metabolism, action, use, adverse effects and treatment implications. Topics include the roles and responsibilities of the health care professional in the legal, ethical, safe, and effective medication administration.

This course provides the knowledge of health history taking, physical assessment, and documentation. The student will acquire needed skills to conduct a comprehensive health assessment including the physical, psychological, social, functional and environmental aspects of health. Integrated in this is the collection and analysis of data which are essential in planning safe and effective care. Effective communication, assessment, and documentation will be practiced in the laboratory setting. The student will become familiar with the techniques of physical assessment consisting of inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation. Emphasis is placed on health assessment as a systematic and organized examination that will provide accurate data from which to form valid nursing diagnoses and plans of care.

This course focuses on the conceptual analysis of health problems, diagnoses, and interventions related to the acquisition and expansion of knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained in previous courses related to holistic care of individuals and families affected by selected disorders across the life continuum.

This course focuses on the growth of typical and adaptive psychosocial health behaviors across the lifespan and the most common mental health problems associated with children, adolescents, adults, and older adults exploring the mental and emotional difficulties and developmental needs that everyone faces. Specific attention is given to therapeutic communication techniques dealing with individuals and families across the lifespan. This course includes both clinical and service-learning components.

This course explores the structure of health care policy, organization of health care delivery systems, health care financing, and their inter-relationships. Emphasis is placed on nursing’s and other selected health professionals’ role impact on the health care environment.

This interdisciplinary course focuses on the use of scientific research as a basis for understanding and improving clinical practice. Topics include differentiation between various forms of written communication, utilizing former research to support a position and/or develop new research proposals, organizing and writing research papers, and producing visual aids for oral presentations. Emphasis in this course is on the critical review of research studies and their applications for evidenced-based clinical practice. This is a writing intensive course.

This course focuses on the conceptual analysis of health problems, diagnoses, and interventions related to the acquisition and expansion of knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained in previous courses related to holistic care of individuals and families affected by selected disorders across the life continuum.

This course focuses on core concepts, skills, and tools that define the health care informatics field, including the examination of health information technologies to promote safety, improve quality and foster consumer centered care and efficiency.


This course focuses on the systematic analysis of health problems, diagnoses, and interventions related to the acquisition and expansion of knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained in previous courses related to holistic care of individuals and families affected by selected disorders across the life continuum.


This course differentiates leadership and followership and emphasizes major behavior patterns that effective leaders use to influence followers, including various leadership models. Topics include what effective leaders really do and how leaders can diagnose and modify situations to make their leadership a more positive and productive endeavor within the health care field.


This course focuses on acquiring knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to population focused care. Concepts of population based health promotion and disease prevention will be explored. Through the use of community needs assessments and National Health Care Objectives (Healthy People 2020), patient centered care is applied to aggregates established by geopolitical boundaries.



This course focuses on the systematic analysis of health problems, diagnoses, and interventions related to the acquisition and expansion of knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained in previous courses related to holistic care of individuals and families affected by critical illness across the life continuum.


This course is a focused review of content pertinent to the NCLEX-RN® test plan based on group performance on a standardized comprehensive predictor exam. Emphasis is also placed on student progress on the individualized focused review.


This course focuses on integration and application of the knowledge, skills and attitudes gained throughout the curriculum. The emphasis is on clinical competency and demonstration of the graduate learning outcomes in an area of student interest.

This course examines the Wisconsin Statutes and Administrative Codes that guide helping professionals in their practice with clientele. Attention is directed toward assisting the helping professional recognize the legal duties and responsibilities within their professional lives. Particular emphasis is placed on the children code, mental health/developmental disabilities, protective services, care records, mandatory reporting, abuse, domestic violence, and professional conduct.

8 health care focused elective credits

The Marian University Nursing Programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This accreditation is based on four standards which measure the Nursing Programs’ ability to achieve the mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the programs. The extent to which the Nursing Programs achieve the mission, goals, and outcomes determines the quality of the educational program and preparation of students to enter the profession of nursing.

Standard I: Program Quality – Mission and Governance

The mission, goals, and expected program outcomes are congruent with those of the parent institution, reflect professional nursing standards and guidelines, and consider the needs and expectations of the community of interest. Policies of the parent institution and nursing program clearly support the program’s mission, goals, and expected outcomes. The faculty and students of the program are involved in the governance of the program and in the ongoing efforts to improve program quality.

Standard II: Program Quality – Institutional Commitment and Resources

The parent institution demonstrates ongoing commitment to and support for the nursing program. The institution makes resources available to enable the program to achieve its mission, goals, and expected outcomes. The faculty, as a resource of the program, enable the achievement of the mission, goals, and expected program outcomes.

Standard III: Program Quality – Curriculum and Teaching-Learning Practices

The curriculum is developed in accordance with the program’s mission, goals, and expected student outcomes. The curriculum reflects professional nursing standards and guidelines and the needs and expectations of the community of interest. Teaching-learning practices are congruent with expected student outcomes. The environment for teaching-learning fosters achievement of expected student outcomes.

Standard IV: Program Effectiveness – Assessment and Achievement of Program Outcomes

The program is effective in fulfilling its mission and goals as evidenced by achieving expected program outcomes. Program outcomes include student outcomes, faculty outcomes, and other outcomes identified by the program. Data on program effectiveness are used to foster ongoing program improvement.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2013). Standards for accreditation of baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs. Washington, D.C.: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education


The mission and philosophy of the Marian University nursing programs serve as a foundation for the development of baccalaureate nursing program goals, which are to:

  • Provide a curriculum, which combines the foundation of liberal arts and biopsychosoocial sciences with baccalaureate level nursing concepts.
  • Provide a curriculum, which fosters professional growth, professional development, and a commitment to life-long learning at the baccalaureate level.
  • Provide a curriculum that fosters strong critical thinking and decision-making skills for the baccalaureate level nurse with in the nursing, teaching-learning, research, and leadership processes.
  • Foster compassion and respect for people from diverse cultures and the belief that each person has the right to participate in the fullness of life to the greatest extent possible.

Learning Outcomes

  • Partner with the patient to plan, provide and evaluate compassionate and coordinated care with respect for patient preferences, values and needs (Patient Centered Care, Critical Thinking, Socially Responsible Action);
  • Integrate information and technology for the purpose of communication, knowledge management and clinical decision support (Informatics, Knowledge Acquisition);
  • Participate in the quality improvement process to optimize achievement of patient outcomes (Quality Improvement, Critical Thinking);
  • Provide and analyze patient care in an effort to minimize risk to patients and providers (Safety, Critical Thinking, Socially Responsible Action);
  • Integrate best current evidence for the practice of effective nursing care and achievement of optimal outcomes (Evidence-based Practice, Critical Thinking);
  • Collaborate with members of the health care team, inclusive of the patient and system, to provide holistic care (Teamwork and Collaboration, Global Perspectives);
  • Utilize the critical thinking process in utilization of nursing judgment to make timely and appropriate healthcare decisions to address patient, system, and community needs; and
  • Demonstrate leadership and system thinking skills in their professional practice.

The nursing program is designed to deliver the best possible preparation for the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN®), and that’s exactly what it does. As a graduate of the program, you’ll be educationally and experientially prepared for success on the NCLEX-RN® and for a fulfilling career in a wide range of professional health care settings, in a field that the U.S. Department of Labor projects will grow by 26 percent through the year 2020.

2014 calendar year NCLEX pass rate: 82%
2015 calendar year NCLEX pass rate: 74% for first time testers, 88.9% for all testers
2016 calendar year NCLEX pass rate: 76.25% for first time testers, 95.2% for all testers


The Nursing Programs offered by the Marian University School of Nursing and Health Professions are approved by the
State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, Board of Nursing and are fully accredited through 2024 by:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
One DuPont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 887-6791

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The field of nursing has had a special place in the heart of Marian University since our founding. Here, you’ll find a faculty of accomplished health care professionals who bring decades of experience and a passion for teaching that’s hard to match. You’ll find enhanced offerings like our Master of Science in Nursing programs, in which you can specialize as a nurse educator or family nurse practitioner. These are just a few reasons why health care employers throughout the region look to Marian for nurses who are inspired to succeed.

Baccalaureate in Nursing Degree Programs (BSN)

Students gain applied knowledge for competent nursing care and develop a profound appreciation for the importance of nursing research as the stronghold of evidence-based practice.

Pre-licensure BSN Program

The pre-licensure undergraduate program prepares beginning students for professional nursing while completing coursework in liberal arts, biopsychosocial sciences and nursing. This program is designed so that a student may complete the curriculum in eight semesters (four years). Degree completion may take longer if progression requirements are not met in a timely fashion. Students progress to nursing coursework after completion of three semesters of general education course work. New cohorts begin in the fall and spring semesters of each year. Graduates are eligible to write the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®).

Admission Criteria for Pre-Licensure BSN Nursing Majors

Traditional freshmen may declare the nursing major if the student demonstrates completion of a college preparatory curriculum in high school that includes a minimum of:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English (4 semesters), and
  • Math (2 semesters including Algebra).

Transfer students may declare the nursing major if progression criteria as outlined below are met.

Profression Criteria for Pre-Licensure BSN Nursing Majors

Criteria for-Progression to Sophomore-Level Nursing Course Work

Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (CGPA) calculated on a minimum of 46 college-level credits. The 46 college-level credits must include the following courses or equivalents with a minimum grade of “C” (2.0) or better.

  • PSY 105 Human Growth and Development
  • ENG 105 Expository Writing
  • ENG 106 Argumentative and Research Writing

Minimum 2.5 math/science GPA calculated on all required math and/or science courses completed at Marian University or another institution (*courses must have been completed within the last 7 years).

  • BIO 100 Life Systems
  • BIO 205 Anatomy & Physiology*
  • BIO 210 Microbiology*
  • CHE 103 General, Organic & Biochemistry*
  • PSY 210 Statistical Techniques for Research Data Analysis
  • Completion of standardized admission assessment exam.
  • Submission of criminal background check and health and safety requirements.
  • An Interview may be required.

Criteria for progression to junior and senior level nursing coursework:

  • Maintain a 2.750 Cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale) based on all credits earned at Marian University.
  • Earn at least a C grade (2.0) in all required nursing courses.
  • Completion of required competency testing and evaluations.
  • Completion of Medication Safety Competency exams meeting the required minimum standard.
  • Completion of an annual nursing student in-service in preparation for clinical.
  • Maintain up-to-date and accurate health and safety records as outlined in the Health and Safety Policy.

Failure to meet any requirement by the stated deadline will impact progression and anticipated graduation date.

Alumni story - Hailey Wisner

Hailey Wisner is a 2012 graduate of Marian’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Watch to learn more about her Marian experience!


Nursing - walking in prayer icon

Learning goes beyond the classroom at Marian University, as several students used their medical knowledge to serve in Nicaragua and South Africa. Click here to read more.

Dr. Linda Matheson, RN
Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions 

Dr. Katie Hughes, DNP 
Assistant Professor
Undergraduate Department Chair

Christine Laurent, MSN
Associate Professor

Rachel Loduha, MSN
Assistant Professor

Devon Lor, MSN
Assistant Professor

Jayme Nagle, MSN
Assistant Professor

Nancy Noble, MSN
Associate Professor

Cheryl Passel, Ph.D
Assistant Professor

KiErrin Phillips, MSN
Assistant Professor

Karen Roberts, MSN
Associate Professor

Anne Rosploch, MSN
Assistant Professor

Breana Sutfin, MSN
Assistant Professor

Randi Arneson, MSN
Assistant Professor



Apply Now

As a student in the nursing program, every day will present opportunities to learn and to grow. You’ll benefit from extensive hands-on training at the Center for Health Professions—our nursing resource and simulation facility—as well as experience in a variety of real-world clinical settings that’s incorporated into the program. The Marian University Student Nurses Association will present you with opportunities to meet with national leaders in the field, participate in service projects and attend nursing conventions across the country.

Marian University Admission Office