Saint Anselm College offers one of the most selective and respected nursing programs in New England, preparing its graduates to join the fast evolving world of nursing as compassionate caregivers and leaders in their profession.

We prepare nurses of the future with a Bachelor of Science nursing curriculum that not only offers hands on experience, but develops critical thinking, ethical decision making and effective communication skills.

With its foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, the program offers a humanistic approach to patient care. It provides the latest in simulation technology, as well as clinical experiences and preceptorship at leading hospitals in the region and the country.

When students graduate they are prepared to provide quality care to patients across the lifespan and in all health care settings. They are also prepared to adapt to advances in technology and health care, as well as help lead those changes as their careers develop.

At the completion of the program, the College holds a special event where senior nursing majors receive their Saint Anselm College nurse's pin. The pinning ceremony celebrates the seniors' completion of the highly respected and rigorous nursing program. The pin symbolizes our nurses' preparedness to serve as a compassionate caregiver.

Saint Anselm has 90-100 seats in the freshmen nursing class and receives more than 600 applications per year.

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  • Philosophy, Mission and Program Outcomes

    Mission Statement

    In keeping with the mission of Saint Anselm College and the Catholic, Benedictine tradition, the mission of the Department of Nursing is to educate the Saint Anselm student nurse to become a professional who can:

    •      think critically

    •      provide safe, high quality care based on the most current evidence

    •      utilize information technology

    •      practice holistically and collaboratively while caring for diverse individuals, families, communities and populations

    •      demonstrate leadership in a variety of settings

    •      engage in service to others

    •      pursue lifelong learning 


    The Saint Anselm College nursing program builds on the foundation of a liberal arts baccalaureate education and Christian/Catholic values and ethics. The Department of Nursing views nursing as a profession which utilizes both art and science in the provision of patient-centered care that is creative, goal-directed and evidence-based. The primary commitment of the nurse is to the health and well-being of the person and society.

    Program Outcomes

    Upon graduation from Saint Anselm College, nursing majors will be able to:

    1.      Integrate knowledge from the arts, sciences, humanities, and nursing to think critically and provide patient-centered care.

    2.     Promote quality and safety, reduce errors, and improve care while recognizing and analyzing how individuals, teams and systems are accountable.

    3.     Communicate in partnership with patients, and collaborate with colleagues and interdisciplinary teams to optimize health outcomes and enhance patient satisfaction.

    4.    Use information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision-making.

    5.     Evaluate and incorporate the best available evidence to make individualized practice decisions.

    6.    Develop an awareness of leadership concepts and delivers nursing care consistent with professional standards, Catholic/Christian values, and regulatory principles

  • Accreditation


    The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Saint Anselm College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

    Upon completion of the baccalaureate program the graduate is eligible to take the NCLEX-RN and qualify for entry-level nursing positions.

    The Department of Nursing is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National League for Nursing and approved by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing.

    Third-Party Comments for Re-Accreditation (PDF/72KB) »

  • Clinical Assignments
    • Clinical rotations begin sophomore year.
    • The nursing program provides clinical experiences in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, schools, and numerous community sites.
    • The student to instructor clinical ratio is 8:1 or less.
    • Students always participate in nursing lab prior to providing patient care in a clinical setting.
  • Academics and NCLEX

    Students begin taking nursing classes during their freshmen year with Intro to Professional Nursing. Each course prepares them to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the RN state licensing exam. The NCLEX pass rate for Saint Anselm graduates is consistently above the State and National average. The pass rate for the Class of 2018 was 100%.

    With a Saint Anselm's BS degree, nurses are prepared for entry-level positions in a variety of healthcare settings, as well as graduate programs. Graduates have gone on to practice in some of the best hospitals in the world and have risen to positions of leadership in hospital administration, nursing education, and the military.

  • Program History

    A Break with Tradition

    1950s Bring New Nursing Department and Women on Campus

    Nursing students and faculty at Saint Anselm CollegeThe following article by Valerie McKeon, Ph.D., RN. professor in the Nursing Department, traces the early history of nursing education at the College.

    Traditionally Saint Anselm enrolled only male students. That's the way the college began in 1889 and the way it would probably remain, or so it seemed. But in the late 1940s, there was a need for more nurses, and a number of studies had recommended placing the preparation of professional nurses in the mainstream of higher education (rather than in hospital-based programs).

    Several Saint Anselm people, including Father Bernard Holmes, O.S.B., the college's academic dean at the time, and Miss Ruth Bagley, who would be the first woman administrator at the College and the first chairperson of the new Nursing Department, had the foresight to change tradition and establish a program. Their vision and energy led to the development of a baccalaureate nursing program which has prepared over 2,500 nurses. Many of them have gone on to assume leadership roles in nursing service, education, administration, and research.

    In 1949, Saint Anselm College was 60 years old and experiencing a post-World War II increase in student enrollments. The majority were veterans and all 771 students were male. However, that same year the college began to offer courses for student nurses from a local nursing diploma program. Mary Durning Davis, the director of the Hillsborough County Hospital School of Nursing in nearby Goffstown, N.H., had asked if the college would offer on-campus courses in sociology, chemistry, and microbiology for the nursing students enrolled in the county school. The college agreed to offer this service for the improvement of nursing education. A group of nine students was the first to break the all-male tradition in 1949.

    In 1951, Ruth Bagley and Margaret Amsbury asked the college if it would offer professional nursing courses and establish a degree program at Saint Anselm for graduate registered nurses. Miss Bagley was then the director of nursing at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester, and Amsbury held the same position at the Veterans' Administration Hospital, also in Manchester.

    Since there was a pressing need for nurses, particularly for those with advanced educational preparation to serve in teaching, supervisory, and public health positions, the college decided to establish a program that would lead to a bachelor of science in nursing.

    The administration at first felt some trepidation in admitting females to the all-male college. However, since the nursing students would be day students rather than in residence on campus, the decision to break with tradition was a little less daunting.

    In 1952, the college inaugurated the degree program and Ruth Bagley became chairman of the Department of Nursing Education. She was only 31 when she took this challenging and pioneering assignment at a salary of $3,600 per year.

    With up to 60 credits allowed in advanced standing, a registered nurse who became a full-time student could complete the degree requirements in two years. Full-time students were charged $225 per semester for tuition, while part-time students were billed at a rate of $15 per semester hour.

    Shortly after the college established the program for registered nurses, Saint Anselm also decided to establish a basic (generic) four-year degree program. The college based this decision upon two major considerations. The first was the increasing desire of local young women to enter a collegiate nursing program. Secondly, the National League for Nursing (NLN)—the accrediting body—was questioning the practice of giving credit for hospital school of nursing courses that the college did not offer nor supervise, even though this was common practice at the time. The NLN preferred that RNs be admitted to a generic program. In 1953, Saint Anselm College established a four-year nursing program for high school graduates- the first in New Hampshire.

    The New Hampshire State Board of Nursing Education and Nurse Registration approved the basic baccalaureate program in nursing in April of 1953 and full approval came in July of 1957. In addition, the NLN fully accredited the program beginning in 1959. As of 2000, the program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

    Under Ruth Bagley's visionary leadership and with the continuing support of the Benedictine community, the Department of Nursing earned and would continue to command national recognition as a program with high academic and clinical standards. And, the nursing students became an integral part of Saint Anselm. So much so, that the final formal admittance of women in the fall of 1974 to all other courses of instruction was a natural and welcome change.

  • Epsilon Tau

    The Epsilon Tau chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing, was established at Saint Anselm College in 1982. According to Sigma Theta Tau International, The Honor Society of Nursing provides leadership and scholarsip in practice, education, and research to enhance the health of all people.

    We support the learning and professional development of our members, who strive to improve nursing care worldwide.


    President – Pamela Preston DNP, RN
    President Elect – Laurie Bennett PhD, RN
    VP- Carrie Macleod PhD, APRN-BC
    Treasurer – Amy Guthrie MS, RN
    Faculty Counselor SAC – Susan Kinney MS, RN
    Faculty Counselor – Rivier University – Amanda Carmichael MS, RN


    Senior nursing students who attain high scholastic standing, demonstrate leadership qualities, and show promise of continuing professional achievement are selected annually for membership by chapter members. Community leaders who have a baccalaureate degree and have demonstrated achievement in nursing are also nominated yearly for membership by chapter members.

    Membership Benefits

    Opportunities to participate in chapter activities and continuing education programs; subscription to the Journal of Nursing Scholarship and the Excellence Newsletter; opportunities to network with nurse leaders at society meetings and conferences; and access to the Registry of Nursing Research.

    Find More Information on the Honor Society of Nursing Web Site


    Epsilon Tau Honor Society
    c/o Amy Guthrie
    Saint Anselm College
    100 Saint Anselm Drive
    Manchester, NH 03102
    (603) 641-7080
    Fax: (603) 641-7377