Prospective Students

How to Apply

Students who wish to apply for direct admission to the nursing program must first apply for admission to St. Olaf College via the Common Application or Coalition Application.  Please visit the Admissions Application page for more information.

Students intending to major in nursing at the time of application to St. Olaf may be considered for direct admission. You must complete the Nursing Application, which includes two additional essays, at the same time you submit an application to the college.

Direct admission finalists will be contacted directly by the nursing department to schedule an interview. Students that did not apply or were not selected for direct admission may apply to the nursing major during the fall of the sophomore year.

Should I apply Direct Admission or Regular Admission?

Direct admission requires a couple of additional steps that occur when you apply to St. Olaf.  If granted direct admission (and you maintain the required cumulative and pre-requisite GPA and other criteria), you begin nursing classes in the second semester of your second year.  Direct admission in no way binds you to your choice – at St. Olaf we are committed to helping you identify your passion.  If you discover it is something outside of nursing, we will help you find that path.

Why choose nursing at St. Olaf College?

  • The St. Olaf Nursing Program meets the requirements of all 50 states to be eligible for licensure.
  • The residential college experience while preparing as a professional nurse allows for a balanced college life with participation in all extracurricular activities offered by the college.
  • We are a small program that fosters a personal connection between students and professors.
  • Professors teach across the curriculum, including clinical experiences, simulation, lab and classroom.
  • Research opportunities.
  • Cadaver labs in science courses.
  • New simulation center – you can read more about the learning space here.
  • St. Olaf Nursing Program graduates, “Ole Nurses”, are sought after and quickly become leaders in the healthcare field.  100% of our graduates who are seeking jobs have offers of employment prior to graduation.  Many graduates, after working summer internships after their junior year in the major, secure positions that are waiting for them upon graduation.
  • We offer a wide range of opportunities for clinical experiences, internships, and networking.  Examples include several healthcare agencies across the Twin Cities, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and rural hospitals and clinics in Rice and Steele County.

Why Bachelor of Arts and not Bachelor of Science?

A Bachelor of Arts simply offers you more of the arts, not less of the sciences.  You are still taking all of the required courses of a Bachelor of Science degree.  With the addition of the arts, you are preparing yourself to be a nurse who can think deeply and critically about the complex needs of the patients a nurse serves.


Please ask.  As a graduate of the nursing program at St. Olaf, a faculty member, and now department chair, I know the program well.  Email me at  If you would like to schedule a virtual meeting or phone call, include your available dates and times (please identify the time zone you are in) in your email to me and we will schedule an appointment.

Best wishes on your important journey to find a college fit!

With healthy regards,

Dr. Susan Huehn, PhD, RN
Nursing Department Chair

2020 Median Pay for Registered Nurses:  $75,330 annually
Job Outlook, 2020-2030:  9% job growth