Smoother transitions for education in nursing

The Maverick Nursing Program has a new partnership. 

The Maverick Advance Plan ensures a seamless transition from an Associate of Science in Nursing degree from a community college to a bachelor’s nursing education at Minnesota State.

The plan includes joint advising for students in community colleges from both MSU advisors and community college advisors. Students work with advising professionals to ensure they meet the requirements and stay on track to transition to the next step in their educational career.

“The goal of the program is to help make that transfer process from the two-year to the four-year go more smoothly for students so that they know exactly what they need to do to complete their bachelor’s degree,” said Marie Stolemaker, RN to BS Completion Program Advisor.

Stolemaker says advisors keep track of program completion for students in different community colleges.

“We have come up with an advising document for each school that we have a partnership with, and it outlines for the students what general education curriculum they are likely missing when they go through that program so that students know what additional courses they would have to take,” Stolemaker said.

According to Stolemaker, all students in the community college nursing program have access to the Maverick Advance Plan. Advisors, faculty members and program coordinators share the plan information with the community college students.

RN-BS Completion Program Director Laura Schwarz said students are acquainted with advisors from MSU before they graduate from their two-year program.

“We are planning to do three Zoom visits between this week and next week to talk to their students so they get to know us before they even graduate,” said Schwarz. “Students can ask us questions, and we get to know their faculty and advisor a little bit, too, so it is friendly.”

“I am regularly scheduling appointments and answering phone calls or emails from all the prospective students or leaders at a community college,” said Stolemaker.

Everyone enrolled in associate nursing program at community college can use services within Maverick Advance Plan.

“So basically, it’s anybody that is at the college, completing their program, those who have completed the program but haven’t started yet, or students that are enrolled,” said Schwarz. “So we have all across the board from still being in their Associate Degree program to being in our program.”

Schwarz says the South Central Community College was the first partner for Maverick Advanced Plan.

“We reached out to them, and they liked that idea since their students are already coming here,” said Schwarz. “Then it just snowballed to other colleges and community college associate degree programs.” 

According to Schwarz, students in Maverick Advance Plan are guaranteed admission to MSU as long as they pass the NCLEX examination, are registered nurses and have a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Schwarz said the program is flexible, friendly and designed for registered nurses. After completing a bachelor’s degree, students can continue with a master’s program at MSU.

“We now have a master’s program, and our students can go directly onto that. With dual enrollment in the final semester, if they want to,” said Schwarz. “We hope people will continue their education beyond the bachelor’s degree and go on to Master’s or higher.”

Write to Amalia Sharaf at

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.