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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
MSC Southeast

Nursing Skills Guide

Recommended high school level background courses

  • English composition
  • Reading comprehension
  • Public speaking
  • Algebra I and II, advanced math
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Research methods
  • Advanced science
  • Health
  • Safety and first aid
  • Fitness, nutrition
  • Human development
  • Psychology
  • Computer applications
  • Nursing assistant
  • CPR

Basic skills in the program and on the job

Technical learning

Nurses work in hospitals and clinics and work directly with patients of all ages and in all clinical settings, including surgery and trauma. Nurses require good visual acuity, good use of body mechanics to position patients, good communication and people skills. In addition, critical thinking skills, the ability and desire to work in an evolving health care environment, as well as motivation to develop and maintain professionalism and high ethical behaviors are important.

Successful students demonstrate an aptitude for science and a desire to work with people and technology in a clinical health care setting. The learning that takes place at Southeast Technical and at its affiliated clinical settings provides these opportunities.


Students in this program must learn the importance of medical terminology and the use of the professional jargons used in the clinical (hospital) setting. It is essential that students are able to read and understand technical information presented in college textbooks and in classroom handouts. Students must be able to follow written procedures presented in the school laboratory and clinical setting. Students are required to read and understand supplemental readings presented in Web (Internet) based courseware and through online and print based radiologic science magazines and journals.


Written and verbal communications are important in the nursing program. All students in the A.S. degree will take at least one 2000 level English course. Students will complete written and oral presentations in the classroom settings. Nursing students must able to communicate well in oral form with classmates, instructors, health care personnel, patients and their family members. In the workplace, nursing professionals must effectively use the professional jargon and medical terminology and effective communications with health care personnel, patients and their family.


Good mathematic abilities are needed in nursing. High school courses in algebra, geometry and physics will help the student succeed in this program. All students in the A.S. degree will take at least one 2000 level mathematics course. A college physics course would be helpful. The application of mathematics is important for the understanding of patient care and problem solving.


A good understanding of computers, the Internet and computer applications is important for success in the nursing program. The student should feel confident in his or her abilities to use software to complete instructional tasks. The student will take multiple courses during the program using computer learning resources. Some courses are delivered in an online format. Proficiency in computer applications is important to be successful in the school and professional clinical setting. Nursing professionals chart electronically and must be able to effectively work with computer workstations.


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RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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