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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.

Fall 2021 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 high demand because our undergraduate nursing program focuses on science, hands-on learning, and compassion for others’ care. Clarke is consistently one of the best in Iowa due to our holistic approach to nursing and patient care and 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 state-of-the-art simulation lab, nursing students can earn critical experience in a real-life setting. Also, our 10-table, medical school-quality cadaver lab offers the opportunity to learn with the best resources. First-year students are exposed to various nursing specialties and learn how to provide necessary everyday skills through hands-on experience with a high fidelity simulator.

[ninja-popup ID=63914]Clarke University nursing school major Lilliana Cruz getting hands on nursing expererience in Dubuque, Iowa


Clarke University Nursing degree student getting real world application of learning

Three years of 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.

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 visit our campus.

“Our only recommendation is that you send us more Clarke nursing graduates. They are the best-prepared nurses we have hired and 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 will 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.

Program Outcomes

  • 95% percent of Clarke BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) graduates have job offers before 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%.

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 — Emphasis is on the promotion of health for individuals, families, communities. 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, Clarke students are 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

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 work and home demands. 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, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

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

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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
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

Nursing Study Abroad

Study Abroad

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 and can take on new and unexpected situations because of the far reach of Clarke’s BSN degree.

Clarke University's Biology Degree Program is housed in the Marie Miske Center for Science Inquiry

Facilities & Equipment

Clarke’s nursing program utilizes the Marie Miske Center for Science Inquiry that features a 10-table cadaver lab, high fidelity simulator, and designed to seamlessly integrate lecture and lab areas while fostering a collaborative, hands-on learning environment. The building also features informal gathering spaces to enhance collaboration, creating an atmosphere where you can easily move from a casual study group to a research project in an advanced lab.

Clarke University student Ricky enhanced his college experience by participating in many Clarke University clubs and activities.

The Clarke Compass

Through your Clarke experience in the nursing program, you will be involved in many different activities to guide you on your college journey. By your senior year, you will have a résumé of all your awesome involvements packaged and ready for your first interview.

Clarke university nursing school program works closely with Iowa medical establishment in the training of nurses


Nursing students complete a clinical internship in their senior year to include a minimum of 120 hours in a one-on-one contract with a nurse.

Group of Clarke Business Schoool students while studying abroad in Ecuador

Clubs & Organizations

Life at Clarke is living traditions, being proud, participating in the campus community, and being an active member of our greater community. The Clarke Association of Nursing Students (CANS) is actively involved in community service projects, informational sessions, and networking opportunities.

Careers in Nursing at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa.

Careers in Nursing

What can I do with a degree in this major?

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!

Josh Meier

Josh Meier

Nursing '21

The health care field is something I have always had a passion for. I chose nursing because of the flexibility, reward, and opportunities that come with it. I really enjoy this field because we have the ability to make sure patients receive the care they need and help those who can’t help themselves.

7 %
Job growth

Percent that employment of registered nurses is projected to grow from 2019 to 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Faster than the average for all occupations.

73,300 $

The 2019 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

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