Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing

Peoria, IL

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, owned by the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, is affiliated with and located on the campus of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center (OSFSFMC) in Peoria, Illinois. The college is a private, non-profit, specialized nursing college offering upper division undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.

The College of Nursing is the only Catholic college of nursing in the Peoria Diocese. OSF Saint Francis is one of the largest Catholic health care facilities in the United States and the second largest employer in Peoria. The tri-county area, including Peoria, has a population of approximately 365,000. Peoria is known for its leading downstate health care facilities.


  • Prepare the graduate to practice professional nursing in a variety of roles and health care settings
  • Provide the essential foundation for graduate study in nursing
  • Foster the commitment to personal and professional growth and accountability.

The Core Values: 

  • Personal and Professional Development (includes learning, caring, leadership, and personal worth and dignity)
  • Service (includes integrity, responsibility, and accountability)
  • Quality (includes excellence)
  • Agility (includes being future focused and forward thinking).

The College's Strategic Plan provides the strategic direction and vision for the College. Beginning in 2007, the College's Strategic Plan was integrated with AQIP activities to create a more effective and efficient planning process. The combination is intended to eliminate redundant activities and remove gaps in the planning process. Through the transition, the College sustained current levels of accomplishment and gained focus by relating further goals to the five areas of the strategic plan. The areas of focus for the strategic initiatives of the College are:

  • Quality Education
  • Growth
  • Community of Caregivers
  • Service Excellence
  • Financial Stewardship

The College's Mission, philosophy, values, and strategic plan lead the College as it continues "the Tradition of Excellence in Nursing Education.


The College which had its beginnings as St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing was organized in 1905, for Sisters only. The School's diploma program was approved by the State of Illinois in 1915, and opened to lay students in 1918. The School maintained continuous State approval of the diploma program. In 1950, the School received accreditation of the diploma program from the National League for Nursing (NLN), which continued through graduation of the last class in 1987. From 1905 through 1987, approximately 3400 students graduated from the diploma program.

The College of Nursing was established in November 1985 with approval of the baccalaureate program by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations. The College enrolled its first students as juniors in August 1986. The first class graduated in May 1988. The College has graduated 2279 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students as of December 2013.

In March 2000, the College received approval from the OSF Healthcare Systems Board of Directors to develop and implement a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. In May 2001, the College received approval from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) to offer a MSN program. In June 2001, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA) approved the program. In February 2004, the Graduate Program was accredited by the NCA and in fall 2004, the Graduate Program received initial accreditation by NLNAC. The first class graduated in May 2004, and there have been a total of 174 graduates as of December 2013. The College also offers Post Graduate Certificates in select MSN program options.

In 2009, the College continued its growth and excellence in education. With approval from the OSF Healthcare Systems Board, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, and the National League for Accrediting Commission, the College enrolled its first students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) option for advanced practice nurses. In 2013, the College added the DNP Leadership option. The first students in the program graduated in 2012. As of December 2013, there have been five students who have graduated from the program.