Nursing (RN-BSN)
apply online
request information


As Director of Nursing, I welcome you to Siena Nursing! We believe that Nursing is an art and a science, and we live the philosophy and mission of Siena Nursing every day!  I want to answer questions you may have. In the program descriptions we try to answer some of the typical questions students ask about our program. We will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have! 

Thank you!


Sue Idczak, PhD, RN
Director of Nursing
Siena Heights University

The Siena Heights University Nursing Program is respectful of the dignity and worth of all people. SHU nurses are prepared to provide high-quality nursing care in ever-changing health care systems. Based upon a liberal arts foundation, the faculty and students collaborate in a dynamic teaching and learning environment that embraces caring, diversity and creativity.

FAST FACTSiena Nursing is approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing and by the Higher Learning Commission for the North Central Association. 

The baccalaureate at Siena Heights University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

  • RN-BSN Program
  • Meet the Faculty
  • Career Opportunities
  • The Making of a Siena Nurse-That's the Siena Effect
  • SHU Nursing Earns National Innovation Award

Learn more about the RN-BSN program and its requirements

Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN-BSN Program

Registered Nurses who want to apply to the SHU RN-to-BSN degree completion program:

1. You must hold an unencumbered license to practice nursing in Michigan or Ohio.

2.  Thirty (30) credit hours of coursework is required to complete the BSN: 
   • 6 courses in nursing coursework – 24 hours of nursing (each course is 4 credit hours) 
   • 1 course in Religious Studies or Philosophy (3 credit hours)
   • 1 course in Liberal Arts Studies  – a senior seminar course (3 credit hours)

3.  Nursing courses are across three semesters. Each semester one course is completely online, and one course is in a traditional classroom. The other six hours are either online or traditional classroom but must be Siena Heights courses

4.  Other required courses: You may or may not have completed these courses in your ADN program:
   • English Composition – 6 hours (two 3-hour courses ) 
   • Math Competency – we recommend Statistics to prepare you for graduate nursing education

5.  You can complete your BSN in three semesters and a summer or across four traditional semesters.

6.  Siena Nursing is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Any other questions, please contact the Nursing Division at 517-264-7131.

About Siena Nursing

As a Catholic institution in that Dominican tradition, we believe in the dignity and worth of every human being. That philosophy is embedded into every aspect of SHU’s Nursing Program. When designing our RN to BSN degree program, we listened to what working nurses told us they needed. That means the courses are practical and relevant to today’s health care professional. Students can tie their personal professional experience into the coursework. Classes such as Ethical, Cultural and Spiritual Nursing Practice and Leadership and Heath Care Organizations have a strong thread of ethics, leadership and knowledge of health care systems woven into them.


About the RN–BSN program

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Completion for Registered Nurses (RN-BSN program) was designed for licensed RNs to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Students admitted to the RN-BSN program must have graduated from a Siena Heights Nursing approved program — either a two-year associate degree nursing program or a diploma degree hospital-based program.

Meet the Nursing program faculty members.

Idczak, Sue

Idczak, Sue

Director of Nursing517-264-7211
Kusisto, Kelli

Kusisto, Kelli

Assistant Professor of Nursing517-264-7213
Dowell, Lori

Dowell, Lori

Assistant Professor of Nursing517-264-7241
Howatt, Karen

Howatt, Karen

Instructor of Nursing517-264-7245
Klima, Lynn

Klima, Lynn

Instructor of Nursing517-264-7246
Emery, Cathleen

Emery, Cathleen

Instructor of Nursing517-264-7242
Wachtel, Cynthia

Wachtel, Cynthia

Instructor of Nursing517-264-7244
Dean, Jean Ann

Dean, Jean Ann

Instructor of Nursing517-264-7243
Will, Linette

Will, Linette

Assistant Professor of Nursing517-264-7217

Learn about the career opportunities you can have with a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing.

A career in Nursing presents nothing but endless opportunities! Nurses work in various kinds of health care settings and utilize nursing knowledge in interacting with people in various health situations. Nurses and patients interact in the moment. Nursing is an art and a science.

To understand what nurses do, read the following definition of nursing by the American Nurses’ Association:

“Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.”
– ANA’s Nursing's Social Policy Statement, Second Edition, 2003

Current positions in nursing are available in most any health care setting. Positions for nurses will continue to be needed as people in the U.S. continue to age, and in particular, as nurses themselves age and retire!

Consider nursing as a major if you like people; are a good critical thinker; like the sciences; and can interact with people when they are in compromised health situations.

Siena Heights University’s nursing program was the recipient of the Innovations in Professional Nursing Education Award from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

SHU earned the honor in the Small Schools category. The awards program recognizes the outstanding work of AACN member schools to re-envision traditional models for nursing education and lead programmatic change. Innovation awards, including monetary prize of $1,000, are given annually in four institutional categories: Small Schools; Academic Health Center (AHC); Private Schools without an AHC; and Public Schools without an AHC.

According to Dr. Sue Idczak, SHU’s director of nursing, the program was honored for a unique series of live training simulations conducted in 2013-14 that involved students from nursing, theater and social work programs. Under the faculty’s guidance and supervision, specific scenarios involving the care of older adults were recreated.

“Inter-professional education is becoming such a big thing,” said Idczak, who credited SHU Assistant Professor of Nursing Kelli Kusisto for the creation and development of the simulations. “It really brought liberal arts into the nursing field.”

Kusisto, whose specialty is teaching gerontology courses, got the idea after attending a nursing conference that addressed improving the care of older adults.

“I had to come up with a project that would advance the whole concept,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to work with other disciplines around campus. I thought, ‘What if we used theater students to be our patients, and social work student could collaborate with our nursing students?’ ”

Using a National League of Nurses simulation, Kusisto worked with SHU nursing, theater and social work faculty for more than a year before the simulations were implemented. After researching and studying their patient’s condition, groups of approximately 8-10 students went through an “authentic experience,” Kusisto said. Nursing students were charged with transitioning patients from an acute care facility to a rehabilitation center, working with social work students.

“We didn’t make the patients look old, but it came off as if they were really old,” she said of the roles theater students played as patients and family members. “They had a specific role to play out.”

The simulations were so successful Idczak said SHU’s nursing program is developing a “Simulation and Clinical Reasoning” course that will be available in the fall 2016 semester.

“Kelli’s creativity in nursing has stimulated other faculty,” Idczak said. “This is part of what liberal arts and critical thinking is all about.”

SHU will receive the award during the AACN's fall meeting Oct. 26 in Washington, D.C.

Additional Info


  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing


  • Nursing

Department Contact(s):

  • Edwards, Julie M.RN to BSN Program Recruiter; Director of MCCC Programs; Monroe Campus734-384-4133


Meet Siena

Faculty & Staff

Cynthia Wachtel

Cynthia Wachtel

Instructor of Nursing


Amy Francoeur '09

Amy Francoeur '09

RN to BSN graduate; Hospice Regional Director, Great Lakes Caring
Contact Us at (800) 521-0009.
Siena Heights University Main Campus. 1247 E. Siena Heights Dr. Adrian, MI 49221.