St. Olaf College | News

Pursuing a career in nursing and a passion for music

During her senior year in high school, Erica Rempert ’20 attended a health care career panel that piqued her interest in nursing.

So Rempert began looking for a college with an excellent nursing program — and one that would also enable her to continue pursuing her passion for music.

St. Olaf College was the perfect fit.

Erica Rempert preparing for a concert with the St. Olaf Orchestra

Rempert has played bass in the renowned St. Olaf Orchestra for all four of her years on the Hill, joining the ensemble for its tour of Norway last spring. She has also been a member of Chapel Choir for the last two years, is a member of the Swing Dance Club, and works as a peer educator in the college’s Wellness Center.

Erica Rempert in Norway

And, of course, she’s a member of the college’s highly successful nursing program.

About 165 Oles take nursing courses annually, and 24 majors graduate from the nursing program each spring. In 2017 and 2018, 100 percent of the graduating class passed the NCLEX licensing examination — only one other baccalaureate nursing program among 23 in Minnesota had the same success. Many St. Olaf nursing students had jobs well before commencement, and all were employed within six months of graduation.

Erica Rempert photographed in the nursing space

The St. Olaf Nursing Department also has a new 5,500 square foot facility that just opened last spring. The high-tech space features two simulation labs, a simulation control room, a multi-bed skills lab, and classrooms and debriefing rooms — features that the small cohort of nursing students have complete access to at St. Olaf.

“With this small class size, it makes it really easy to bond not only with your fellow nursing students, but also with the professors,” Rempert says, noting that the small, close-knit program also benefits students when they begin their hands-on clinical work in area hospitals. “Because we go in such small clinical groups and we’re all so close already, it gives me a lot of confidence to know that I’ll be able to go out into the world and become a good nurse.”