Nursing program receives approval from Iowa Board of Nursing

The Iowa Board of Nursing unanimously granted full approval for Northwestern College to admit students to its new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (BSN) March 2. The board approved the program after reviewing a detailed report addressing issues such as need for the program, budgetary and administrative support, curriculum, educational resources and services, clinical resources and support, faculty qualifications, and implementation plans and timeline.

Northwestern’s nursing courses will begin next fall, and the first class will graduate in the spring of 2009.

“We’re excited that Northwestern will be able to play a significant role in helping to fill the vital need for BSN-educated nurses,” says Dr. Ruth Daumer, chairperson of Northwestern’s nursing department. “Not only is there a serious worldwide nursing shortage, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that by the year 2010, two-thirds of all nurses hold a BSN or a higher degree in nursing. Currently, only 15 percent of nurses in western Iowa hold such a degree.

“Over the past five years, we have had a significant number of requests from our alumni, prospective students, our clinical partners and the public for Northwestern to offer a BSN program,” says Daumer. “We now are among only three colleges in western Iowa that offer a four-year BSN.”

The mission of Northwestern’s nursing program, says Daumer, is “to promote shalom (health, wholeness and peace from a biblical perspective), hope and healing by developing practitioners who are committed to continuing Jesus’ healing ministry and who advocate for social justice, healthy environments and healthy communities.” It is based on a biblical framework of health and healing as described in Matthew 25:35–40 and supported by other accounts of Jesus’ healing ministry, she says.

Northwestern’s nursing program includes a freshman-year seminar to help prospective nursing students explore their calling to the health care professions. It concludes with a senior seminar to help students reflect on their nursing education as they formulate a final thesis that explores infusing their nursing career with shalom. Other features include consistent integration of a biblical worldview, more than 800 hours of clinical experience in a broad variety of settings, multiple service-learning opportunities each year, a new state-of-the-art nursing arts laboratory and a required cross-cultural nursing missions course.

“Dr. Daumer has done an exceptional job of developing a unique program that reflects Northwestern’s mission and identity as a Christian liberal arts college,” says President Bruce Murphy. “I am confident that graduates of the program will be professionally competent nurses who think critically, understand widely and love deeply in response to God’s call to serve.”

More information about the program is available at

Northwestern plans to seek accreditation of its nursing program from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The accrediting agency will complete a site visit and conduct a full review of Northwestern’s BSN program in the fall of 2008. With this timeline, full accreditation can be in place prior to the graduation of the first class of nurses in the spring of 2009, which is standard nursing program development procedure.

For more information on Northwestern’s BSN program, contact the admissions office, 1-800-747-4757 or, or Dr. Ruth Daumer in the nursing department at 712-707-7086 or