History of Nursing

History of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Nursing Consortium (MINC)

The Minnesota Intercollegiate Nursing Consortium is the combined nursing program of Gustavus Adolphus College and St. Olaf College. Both are colleges of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and share many honors and national recognitions for academic excellence. The nursing programs of the governing institutions share a similar history. Gustavus Adolphus College established their nursing program in 1956 and graduated the first class in 1960. The St. Olaf College nursing program began in 1952, graduating its first class in 1956. Together the two nursing programs have nearly twenty-seven hundred alumni located throughout the nation and in several foreign countries. Graduates are in leadership positions in nursing administration, education, nursing associations and boards as well as in business and law.

MINC is a unique example of cooperation in higher education. Two independently established NLN accredited nursing programs, each with a long history and governed by private, religious, liberal arts Phi Beta Kappa institutions, looked seriously at the shifting and dwindling resources for nursing education. After careful reflection on the mission statements of the colleges, the nursing philosophy, and the beliefs about nursing and education for the future, the educational institutions decided to initiate changes in the structure of the programs and offer a combined nursing programs commencing in 1986.

Originally, there were three member colleges in the consortium, the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul; Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter; and St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. In February 1991, the College of St. Catherine gave notice that they would withdraw from the consortium and re-establish an independent program beginning fall 1991. Gustavus Adolphus and St. Olaf Colleges continued as member colleges of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Nursing Consortium and graduated the first class from the two-member nursing consortium in 1993.

The undergraduate nursing program leading to the bachelor of arts degree with a major in nursing is offered to students on both campuses. The major is comprised of ten courses (with an eleven course value) and is sequenced over four semesters in the junior and senior years.

Accreditation of the independent nursing programs of Gustavus Adolphus College and St. Olaf College was initially granted by the National League for Nursing (NLN) to both colleges in 1961. Thereafter, the NLN continually accredited each program. The most recent accreditation was granted to MINC in 1990. A progress report was submitted to the NLN in 1992 addressing the question of how changes in the membership of the consortium affected the criteria for accreditation. The report was accepted by the Board of Review for Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs.

In December 1997, MINC submitted an application and was granted preliminary approval from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Following site visits in 1998, accreditation was granted by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commision (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 1999.