Facebook LinkedIn PinterestRSS Instagram Twitter Vine careerplus-badges careerplus-degree Created with Sketch. careerplus-employers Created with Sketch. careerplus-faq Created with Sketch. careerplus-individuals Created with Sketch. careerplus-local-experts Created with Sketch. careerplus-pricing careerplus-registration Created with Sketch. careerplus-responsive Created with Sketch. careerplus-self-paced Created with Sketch. careerplus-stackable Created with Sketch.

Welcome to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experience — supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

Spring 2020 Return to Campus Information
COVID-19 Communication


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

For Clarke University nursing school students, nursing is not just a career — it’s a passion, a gift, and an adventure, all rolled into one. The need for highly qualified nurses prepared via nursing school at the baccalaureate level (BSN degree) has never been greater. Clarke nursing school graduates with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) are in especially high demand because our undergraduate nursing program focuses on science, hands-on learning, and compassion for the care of others. The nursing school at Clarke is consistently one of the best in Iowa due to our holistic approach to nursing and patient care, as well as our preparation of nursing students for real-world physician, hospital, and clinic working environments. Clarke nursing students gain three full years of hands-on clinical experiences during the program. In our new state-of-the-art simulation lab, nursing students are able to earn critical experience in a real-life setting. Clarke nursing students work with a 10-table, medical school-quality cadaver lab that gives them an opportunity to learn with the best resources. First-year students are exposed to various nursing specialties and learn how a nurse provides basic everyday skills through hands-on experience with a high fidelity simulator.

Clarke University Nursing degree student getting real world application of learning

Clarke nursing school study abroad program

In addition, Clarke nursing students have taken service-learning trips to Peru, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic to learn about health care and education outside of the United States. These travel abroad experiences are pivotal for a nursing major because they frame a more well-rounded outlook. Nursing students learn to care for individuals in many different circumstances coming from diverse demographics. Not only are Clarke’s nursing students able to function in a local hospital, but they are also able to take on new and unexpected situations because of the far reach of Clarke’s BSN degree.

Achieve your nursing goals

Whether you are driven to earn an RN, BSN, or wish to specialize your focus in an area such as nurse practitioner, Clarke University will help you achieve your nursing education goals. Our nursing school graduates are in high demand across the country in health maintenance organizations, hospitals, clinics, sub-acute, long-term and outpatient care facilities, and community health agencies. If you have a passion for nursing and caring for others and a drive to succeed, consider taking a trip to beautiful Dubuque, Iowa, and pay our campus a visit.

“Our only recommendation is that you send us more Clarke nursing graduates. They are the best-prepared nurses we have hired and are able to step into the position ahead of the rest because of their hands-on experience in real hospital settings.”

– Professional nurse from Mercy Medical Center

Clarke University Nursing degree students in class

Program Details

The nursing school curriculum at Clarke University emphasizes caring as the integrating concept in promoting, maintaining, and restoring the health of communities, families, and individuals across the lifespan. You’ll be guided through your BSN path by faculty mentors who are excellent teachers with both teaching preparation and practical experience in the major areas of nursing.

Three years clinical practice
As a Clarke University nursing student, you will have three years of hands-on clinical experience, including operating rooms, emergency rooms, diabetic and dialysis centers, cardiac catheter labs, cardiac rehabilitation, and oncology. Outside the classroom, Clarke nursing students work with area health care organizations such as Unity Point Health/Finley Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, Hospice of Dubuque, and Regional Cancer Centers. No more than eight nursing students are allowed in each clinical group, allowing for excellent one-on-one instruction between Clarke Nursing faculty and nursing students. You’ll learn medical procedures and clinical decision-making skills through high-fidelity simulations and clinical practice. Clarke nursing students have access to a 10-table medical-school quality cadaver lab, providing you with the opportunity to learn with the best resources.

Classes that make an Impact
Here is a sampling of the types of classes you’ll explore as a Clarke nursing student:

  • COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE — Planning and application of the nursing process for the family in the context of the community are integral parts of the course.
  • CARE OF CHILDBEARING FAMILIES — You will learn about childbearing families from pregnancy, delivery, to postpartum care. From normal to high-risk situations, the students will be put to the test!
  • PRINCIPLES OF PHARMACOLOGY — You will discuss the role of drugs in restoring health, preventing illness, and enhancing life, providing exposure to pharmacologic and nursing concepts.


Classes You'll Take

Admission to Clarke University

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Apply to Clarke today to begin your journey.

Program Outcomes

95% percent of Clarke BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) graduates have job offers prior to graduation.

90% of employers rate Clarke Nursing students higher than graduates from other nursing schools.

RN Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RNR) Pass Rates: For the May 2017 BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) graduating class, of those who tested in the first six months after graduation, the pass rate was 88%. The overall pass rate for the 2017 graduating class was 96%.

Doctor of Nursing Practice
Many of our Clarke Nursing students choose to continue their education through our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, which can take as little as three years. Our nationally recognized program offers you the flexibility to continue your nursing education while keeping up with the demands of work and home. DNP classes are hybrid, meeting face-to-face the first and third Thursdays of each month. Cohorts are limited to 20 students. Doctor of Nursing Practice students will complete 1,000 clinical hours specific to their concentration.

DNP concentrations include:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Health Leadership Practice
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Undergraduate Nursing Handbook

Atrium Interior

Meet Our Faculty

When our nursing graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them as health care providers, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member in Clarke University’s nursing department requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your nursing professors will know your name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Molly Kuhle, Ph.D.

Molly Kuhle, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Nursing

I want students to enjoy the process of learning. We too many times focus on outcomes and objectives instead of the journey toward understanding.

Keith Tackett, MSN

Keith Tackett, MSN

Instructor of Nursing and Health

I provide students with a positive atmosphere where they gain an improved comfort level and confidence in caring for patients in the medical/surgical clinical setting.

Kristin Tiernan, MSN

I hope that I help my students develop or expound on their passion for nursing. I want them to feel and see what an impact they will have on their patients.

Patricia Pearce, Ph.D.

Patricia Pearce, Ph.D.

Interim Chair and Professor of Nursing

Education is a transformational experience and students are my colleagues in that experience, joining in new adventures and setting the stage for lifelong learning and service to others.

Patricia Veneziano, MSN

I want to provide a partnership between the learner and the teacher in each class that brings challenges, knowledge, and enjoyment to my teaching environment.

Getting ready to take notes in a Clarke University English Class
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Lauren Trojnar

Lauren Trojnar

Nursing '19

It was so exciting being fit for scrubs! I plan to be a pediatric nurse. I love working with children.

Ellie Ament

Ellie Ament

Nursing '16

My Clarke experience was amazing. I was selected for a competitive externship at Mayo Clinic working in hematology/oncology the summer of my junior year. After that, I was subsequently offered a job there before I even graduated!

Katie Gudenkauf

Katie Gudenkauf

Nursing '15, DNP '18

Clarke taught me to be a leader in nursing, and when someone needs help, wherever you are, you step in and take action.

15 %
Job growth

Percent that employment of registered nurses is projected to grow from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

71,730 $

The 2018 median pay for registered nurses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

100 %
Community service

All senior nursing students provide community health services to vulnerable populations in the Dubuque area.


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Clarke University is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Clarke University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Nursing for Yourself

Atrium Interior