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Program History

Since its inception, the nursing programs at Augsburg University have been committed to advancing health equity through using approaches grounded in transcultural nursing, social justice, and antiracist healthcare. In 1973, the Department of Nursing began by launching our Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) completion program to meet the education needs of nurses who were seeking a baccalaureate degree in nursing and were prepared at the diploma and associate degree levels. At that time, it was the only program in the state exclusively serving this population of nurses. Following the success of this first program, in 1999, the Master of Arts of Nursing in Transcultural Nursing was launched to prepare advanced practice nurses for population-focused practice in culturally diverse communities. The commitment to transcultural nursing demonstrated the department’s deep interest in social justice in caring for indigenous populations. The program quickly grew and incorporated a nursing leadership track with the Master’s degree curriculum.

In the fall of 2010, the post-Masters Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Transcultural Nursing was added to the programs available at Augsburg University. It is the only DNP program of its kind in the country. Then, in 2014, The BSN-Doctor of Nursing Practice Family Nurse Practitioner (DNP-FNP) track of study was offered, reflecting the Institute of Medicine (IOM) landmark report on The Future of Nursing. This report, initiated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, called for increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the workforce to 80% and doubling the number of nurses with doctoral degrees by 2020 (a goal that was exceeded). The primary focus of the DNP has been inspired by the increasing diversity of the US population and the university’s commitment to educating nursing leaders for service in their local communities while maintaining cognizance of being citizens of the world. The DNP program intentionally focuses on eliminating health inequities locally and within a global context.

The Certificate in Health Equity and Racist Justice was first offered in the fall of 2022, but it was created in response to the murder of George Floyd and Augsburg’s commitment to responding to the public health crisis of racism proclaimed by the Minnesota Department of Health and others. Faculty in the departments of nursing, physician assistant, and social work first banded together to create this certificate founded by the Office of the President. Over two years, the certificate grew, and more departments have become involved as the faculty model doing the work we are called to do as Auggies.

If you want to learn more about the history of the Department of Nursing at Augsburg University, we have a collection of oral histories and videos in our Lindell Library’s public repository, and we have written various articles on how this foundation has allowed us to become the unique program that we have continued to be.