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Grand Valley State University    
2015-2016 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Sep 19, 2018
2015-2016 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Kirkhof College of Nursing

Dean: McCurren; Interim Associate Dean, Graduate Programs: Burritt; Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs: Winter; Associate Dean for Nursing Research and Faculty Development: Coviak.



The mission of the Kirkhof College of Nursing is to provide quality nursing education to a diverse population of students. The Kirkhof College of Nursing strives to improve the well-being of people through leadership in nursing education, professional practice and scholarship.

Kirkhof Legacy

The Kirkhof College of Nursing was named in recognition of Russel Kirkhof, a self-taught electrician. His avid interest in finding solutions to manufacturing problems through the application of electricity developed into an international business enterprise. His life paralleled the American dream of becoming a self-made millionaire through the virtues of hard work, talent, and personal determination. Kirkhof was a humble man who conducted his life without fanfare and he was happiest when he was working with his hands. Today, his life story serves as an inspiration to others in making meaningful contributions to their communities. KCON embodies the values espoused by Kirkhof through professional education that teaches the importance of making significant contributions as nurses to surrounding communities and society-at-large .

Program Information

Bachelor of Science in nursing, B.S.N.; a B.S.N. for students with degrees in other disciplines; B.S.N. completion for registered nurses; Master of Science in nursing, M.S.N.; and the Doctor of Nursing Practice, D.N.P.


All nursing degree programs offered by Grand Valley State University Kirkhof College of Nursing (KCON) are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( The baccalaureate program is also approved by the Michigan State Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 30018, Lansing, MI 48909; Telephone: (517) 335-0918. KCON is recognized for outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service. KCON is located in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Graduates of the KCON Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (B.S.N.) program are prepared to take the National Council Licensure Examination RN (NCLEX-RN) to obtain licensure to practice as a registered nurse. Students completing the advanced generalist Masters of Science in nursing (M.S.N.) degree will be eligible for and encouraged to sit for national certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader. PostB.S.N. students pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree are prepared for national primary care specialty certification in either pediatrics or adult-gerontology. PostM.S.N. students who do not hold a current national advanced practice certification in a clinical specialty must complete the didactic and clinical courses that will qualify them to sit for national primary care specialty certification in a selected population (pediatrics or adult gerontology). Students completing the D.N.P. Health Systems Leadership track will be eligible for and encouraged to sit for national certification as a nurse executive.

Undergraduate Admissions

Students admitted to the university as or nursing majors must complete a secondary application for the upper division clinical courses. Admission of students to the undergraduate nursing program is highly competitive. Information regarding undergraduate admissions is outlined under the Academic Program section for Nursing. For questions or clarification, please call the Kirkhof College of Nursing Office of Student Services at (616) 331-7160.

Graduate Admissions

Information regarding graduate admissions is outlined under the academic program section for Nursing. For questions or clarification, please call the Kirkhof College of Nursing at (616) 331-7160.

Student Services

The mission of the Kirkhof College of Nursing Office of Student Services (OSS) is to recognize individuality and establish collaborative partnerships with students. To do this, OSS advisors engage in intentional and holistic advising through proactive outreach toward students seeking a nursing degree at GVSU. They strive to promote diversity and foster student connections within KCON, GVSU, the broader community, and the nursing profession. The OSS provides a wide range of services to support undergraduate nursing students, including: degree planning in consideration of general education and major or minor requirements, as well as development and review of degree progress plans to promote academic success. Undergraduate students are assigned to a professional advisor once they declare nursing as their intended major. In addition to undergraduate student advising, the OSS offers advising specific to prospective and current KCON graduate nursing students in need of academic advisement and guidance related to the M.S.N. and D.N.P. programs. For individual and group appointments, students may call the Kirkhof College of Nursing Office of Student Services at (616) 331-7160.

Student Organizations

The Kirkhof College of Nursing is proud to hold the All College Membership status within the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA). All students are strongly encouraged to actively participate in the Grand Valley State University chapter of the NSNA during the clinical portion of the curriculum. The benefits of joining the SNA include opportunities for leadership, networking, and volunteering in your community. Additional information about the SNA is available at

Students taking prerequisite courses are encouraged to join the Prenursing Association (PNA). This organization is also student run and is open to all prenursing students. The benefits of membership include leadership, networking, social connections, and opportunities to learn more about the nursing profession. Additional information about PNA is available through the Student Life Office.

The Graduate Student Organization is a university-wide student organization dedicated to GVSU graduate students. Its goals include intellectual, professional, and social development while fostering interprofessional communication, collaboration and community. Because this organization represents all graduate students, M.S.N. and D.N.P. students are encouraged to participate. The annual meeting schedule is posted on the GSA Blackboard site in September of each year. 

Honors Organizations

Membership in Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Honor Society of Nursing is offered to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students who demonstrate academic excellence. The mission of STTI is advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. The Kappa Epsilon Chapter-at-Large is comprised of four nursing programs: Grand Valley State University, Calvin College, Ferris State University, and Hope College.


Numerous scholarship opportunities are available to undergraduate and graduate nursing students. Information regarding specific scholarships is available through the Kirkhof College of Nursing website at and the Grand Valley State University Office of Financial Aid website at

Graduate Assistantships

The Kirkhof College of Nursing employs graduate students in full and part-time assistantships to support student engagement in faculty scholarship, teaching, and academic activities. Assistantships provide tuition and stipend support for graduate education. For more information, please contact KCON at (616) 331-3558.