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Character of Nursing

Are you called to be a nurse? Applicants should have a character of integrity - worthy of the public's trust. Additionally, applicants should have a teachable spirit, positive communication skills, compassion valuing all people, effective critical thinking skills, work well with others, and be responsible and detail-oriented in their work. Nurses need emotional stability and spiritual resilience to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses. The faculty desire to produce nurses with Christ-like character and wisdom to lead in their ministry of healing. If you are interested in attending a Christian college with an excellent reputation for whole-person education, College of the Ozarks nursing program may be for you!

The Armstrong McDonald School of Nursing

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and holds Full Approval Status from the Missouri State Board of Nursing (MSBN). The charter class began nursing courses in August, 2007, after Initial Approval Status was granted from the MSBN. The charter class graduated in May 2010.

Nursing students with an interest in military service should refer to the Military Science section of the College Catalog.

C of O’s BSN program

College of the Ozarks, in its long tradition of excellence, offers a traditional, four-year professional Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. After acceptance to the College and completion of at least one year of Nursing program prerequisites, the student may apply to the Nursing major. Prior to acceptance to the BSN degree program, a series of academic and physical assessments and an interview are required, including a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and a preferred ACT composite score of 21.

Nursing courses are offered in sequence over a six-semester plan. Clinical courses include instruction by expert nursing educators in the areas of maternity, pediatrics, adult health, geriatrics, simulation, mental health, community health, and leadership.

Clinical settings in the beautiful Ozark Mountains range from rural to metropolitan. During the last semester of the program, students engage in a preceptorship course where they work one-on-one with a Registered Nurse (RN) caring for a typical patient caseload. Additionally, through our Christian nursing school, students will be prepared for success on the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®) and for graduate study. Job placement in nursing remains excellent.




More new jobs are expected to be created for RNs than for any other occupation.

  • Nursing is a very challenging and rewarding profession! Registered Nurses (RNs) constitute the largest healthcare occupation, with over three million jobs. The demand for nurses (RNs) has never been greater.
  • By the year 2020, there will be an estimated shortage of 800,000 nurses.

RNs work primarily in hospitals and can choose specialties such as surgery, emergency, maternity, pediatrics, intensive care, mental health, and medical (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.). Additionally, nurses work in offices, long-term care (nursing homes and assisted living centers), home health, schools of nursing, public health, occupational health, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, research, travel, military, and other exciting areas/settings.

The Federal Health Resources and Services Administration is calling for baccalaureate preparation for at least two-thirds of the RN workforce. The BSN nurse has the greatest employment flexibility of any entry-level RN (AACN, 2002). Higher levels of nursing education are linked with lower patient mortality rates, fewer errors, and greater job satisfaction among RNs (Bartels, 2006; IOM, 2010).

Bachelor’s prepared RNs can advance to master’s and doctoral degrees, including nurse educators, nurse practitioners, nurse attorneys, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists (CRNA) .

Nationally, RN’s can earn from $41,000 to more than $60,000 annually, depending on experience, region of the country, and employment setting.

Many employers offer flexible work schedules (8, 10, or 12 hour shifts) and educational and healthcare benefits. With so many varied and challenging positions and opportunities for continued professional growth, it is easy to see why nursing is truly one of the most rewarding and fulfilling professions available.

There are numerous career opportunities available for nurses through the United States.

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Mission and Philosophy of the Department


  • The mission of the Department of Nursing is to present a Christ-centered, Biblically-based, character-driven nursing education program while preparing qualified individuals for a spiritual role as a professional nurse providing service to Christ and humankind.

The philosophy of the Department of Nursing is based on a sound foundation of Christian principles, the liberal arts, and understanding of civic and patriotic responsibilities, promoting a strong work ethic. The B.S.N. program is grounded in the concepts of Truth (Biblical worldview), character, critical thinking, creating a nourishing environment (CNE), and reflects the tenets of Florence Nightingale, the visionary founder of professional nursing. There is an emphasis on holistic patient-centered care through creating a nourishing environment to foster the patient's healing journey.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

   Upon graduation, the BSN graduate will be prepared to:

  1. Practice a Biblical worldview of nursing.  (CofO Christian)
  2. Demonstrate character traits necessary for sustained integrity, accountability, a teachable spirit, and professional scholarship. (CofO Christian; AACN 8)
  3. Utilize the nursing process to demonstrate professional communication and critical thinking skills while providing safe, holistic, and high-quality patient-centered care. (CofO Academic; AACN 1, 2 & 6)
  4. Practice culturally competent care to individuals and populations within the legal, ethical, and moral framework of nursing.  (CofO Cultural; AACN 8 & 9)
  5. Utilize nursing roles for interprofessional collaboration in health promotion and disease management, promoting a nourishing environment for healing based on the tenets of Nightingale. (CofO Vocational; AACN 6 & 7) 
  6. Improve quality of health care delivery using intelligent leadership, information management strategies, and healthcare resources inherent in professional nursing practice.  (CofO Patriotic; AACN 4 & 5)
  7. Integrate research and evidence-based policy and practice to design nursing care for individuals, families, groups, and populations across the lifespan. (CofO Academic; AACN 3)

Nursing is an art;
and if it is to be made an art,
it requires as exclusive a devotion,
as hard a preparation,
as any painter's or sculptor's work;

for what is the having to do with
dead canvas or cold marble,
compared with having to do with
the living body
--the temple of God's spirit?

It is one of the Fine Arts;
I had almost said
the finest of the Fine Arts.
              --Florence Nightingale

All rights reserved, Florence Nightingale Museum, London.

Updated September, 2019

Historical photo of Florence Nightingale

Courtesy of Florence Nightingale Museum, London.