Nursing A.S. Degree (Traditional)

Why Choose Nursing A.S. Degree (Traditional) at CLC?

  • Program nationally accredited by Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA)
  • Central Lakes College Program of the year in 2019
  • 7 full-time faculty with over 150 years of combined nursing experience in all areas
  • 2013 MnSCU Educator of the Year, Darci Goeden, teaching full-time in the program
  • Traditional Nursing Program that allows students to achieve an Associate’s Degree in Nursing in 4 semesters
  • Articulation agreements with 4-year colleges, creating a smooth transition into a BSN program

About the Program

The Traditional Nursing Program includes 64 credits from both core nursing curriculum and general education requirements. General education requirements can be completed before entering the program or taken concurrently throughout the program. The Traditional Nursing Program begins on the Brainerd campus in both the Fall and Spring.  Nursing coursework includes classroom learning, simulation experience in the lab, and applying skills in various healthcare settings.

Admission requirements include: applying to Central Lakes College as well as applying to the nursing program. Students must also take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) test. Priority deadlines for applications are February 1st for a Fall Semester start and July 1st for a Spring Semester start; however, applications will be accepted until the program is at capacity.   Students will be ranked by their TEAS score and notified of their admission status within the month following the priority deadline.  Get an insider’s look into our classroom through this Lakeland News story

CNEA accredited logo

Program Information

NURSING A.S. DEGREE (Traditional)
Program Course Requirements

Semester One
CHEM 1407** Life Science Chemistry (4 cr)
ENGL 1410 Composition I (4 cr)
NURS 1540 Professional Nursing Fundamentals (3 cr)
NURS 1541 Professional Nursing Fundamentals Lab (2 cr)
NURS 1542*** Medication Administration Concepts (1 cr)
PSYC 2421 General Psychology (4 cr)
Total – 18 credits

Semester Two
BIOL 2467* Anatomy and Physiology I (4 cr)
ENGL 1411* Composition II (4 cr)
NURS 1544* Professional Nursing Concepts I (4 cr)
NURS 1545* Professional Nursing Practicum I (2 cr)
PHIL 2422 Medical Ethics (3 cr)
Total – 17 credits

Semester Three
BIOL 2468* Anatomy and Physiology II (4 cr)
NURS 2540* Professional Nursing Concepts II (6 cr)
NURS 2541* Professional Nursing Practicum II (3 cr)
NURS 2542* Advanced Skills for the Professional Nurse (1 cr)
Total – 14 credits

Semester Four
BIOL 2457* Microbiology (4 cr)
NURS 2545* Professional Nursing Concepts III (6 cr)
NURS 2546* Professional Nursing Practicum III (3 cr)
NURS 2547* Professional Nursing Leadership (2 cr)
Total – 15 credits

*Denotes Prerequisites
**The following CHEM courses may be substituted: 1410, 1414, 1424, 2472, or 2473
***NURS 2522 may be substituted for NURS 1542.

Career Description: Registered nurses (RNs) work to promote health, prevent disease, and help clients cope with illness. They are advocates and health educators for clients, families, and communities. When providing direct client care they observe, assess, and record symptoms, responses, and progress of clients; assist physicians during examinations, treatments, and surgeries; administer medications; and assist in convalescence and rehabilitation. RNs develop and manage nursing care plans and must possess critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Program Information: The Associates Degree (AD) Nursing Program at Central Lakes College is a traditional nursing program designed to educate and prepare individuals to take the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs. The program is four semesters long or two academic school years.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

Client Centered Care (NLN Human Flourishing)
The Associate Degree Nursing graduate advocates for individual clients in providing compassionate and culturally competent care through therapeutic communication and holistic assessments based on respect for clients’ preferences, values, and needs.

Nursing Judgment
The Associate Degree Nursing graduate applies the nursing process, evidence based decision making, and prioritization to develop a plan of care that ensures safe, quality treatment and health promotion for clients, families, and the community.

Professional Identity
The Associate Degree Nursing graduate practices professional nursing in an ethical and legal manner, including case management of clients, which demonstrates leadership, teamwork, delegation, collaboration, and life-long learning.

Quality Improvement (NLN Spirit of Inquiry)
The Associate Degree Nursing graduate contributes to continuous quality improvement by developing policies and procedures that incorporate evidence based practice while effectively using resources and technology to achieve optimal client outcomes.

Special Program Requirements:

  • NSGA 1110 Nursing Assistant Course OR 75 hour Minnesota Department of Health Nursing Assistant.
  • This program has a special application process. This includes completion of a CLC application and the College Entrance Test (CET). Also, a traditional nursing application must be completed along with the TEAS Test. Please contact the admissions department for information or to apply to the program.
  • Students must apply each semester that they are seeking acceptance to the AD Nursing Program. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. First review of applicants will be completed with a priority deadline of February 1st for the Fall start and with a priority dealines of July 1st for a Spring start. Applicants will continue to be reviewed and accepted up until the start of the semester if space is available in the program.
  • Background study: Any person who has direct contact with patients and residents at health care facilities licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health must have a criminal background check completed. Results of the study are to be on file in the department of nursing before students begin their clinical experiences. Any student who does not pass the criminal background check will not be permitted to participate in clinical experiences, thereby rendering the individual ineligible to progress in the AD Nursing Program.Students should direct questions and appeals to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Licensing Division, 444 Lafayette Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155-3842. Phone: (651) 296-3971. Web address:
  • Permission from Facility Health Partners for site clinical participation
  • Immunization documentation requirements
  • Mandatory orientation session

In addition to the program requirements listed, students must meet the following conditions in order to progress or graduate:

  1. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: The cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be at least 2.0.
  2. Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College.
  3. The student must achieve a B- or better in all Nursing (NURS) courses.
  4. The student must also achieve a C or better and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in the following 4 courses: BIOL 2467, CHEM 1407, ENGL 1411, and PSYC 2421.
  5. With the exception of courses listed in #4 above, the student must achieve a C or better in all remaining required general education courses.




Accreditation: This program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The AD Nursing Program is seeking national accreditation.

Admissions: Admission to the Nursing sequence is competitive and based on TEAS test score.

Transfer Opportunities: Broader career opportunities are available for RNs with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. The counseling department has transfer guides for baccalaureate nursing programs at other colleges. Admission requirements and course equivalencies may vary. This program has articulation agreements with the following MnSCU institutions: Bemidji State University, Metro State University, Minnesota State University – Mankato, Minnesota State University – Moorhead, St. Cloud State University, Winona State University.

Career Opportunities: RNs make up the largest number of health care professionals in the United States. Currently there are 2.6 million RN jobs in the nation with an expected job growth rate of 22%, accounting for a more rapid growth rate than the national average for all other professions. The median salary for RNs is $62,450. Information about RN jobs in Minnesota may be found at:

Meet our Team

cheryl austin

Cheryl Austin

Nursing Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8147
Brainerd W251
photo unavailable

Cynthia Dionysius

AD Nursing Faculty
Phone: 218-855-8150
Brainerd W223
darci goeden

Darci Goeden

Nursing Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8108
Brainerd W253
tara karels

Tara Karels

Nursing Director
Phone: 218-855-8125
Brainerd W258
Jill Lechner

Jill Lechner

Nursing Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8113
Brainerd W255
vickie obrien

Vickie OBrien

Nursing Instructor
Phone: 218-894-5309
Staples 212C
peggy rider

Peggy Rider

Nursing Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8107
Brainerd W252

Julie Woitalla

Nursing Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8168
Dual W254

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:

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