New Graduate Spotlight: Breanna Lindquist

Breanna Lindquist
Breanna Lindquist

Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award winner

Breanna “Bre” Lindquist, 22, of Big Lake, Minnesota, is a 2017 graduate of the Practical Nursing program at Dakota County Technical College. Bre was recognized with this year’s Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award. Each year DCTC honors exemplary graduates in memory of the college’s first president, Dave Schroeder, who served from 1970–1999. Students are nominated by faculty and staff for their involvement in college initiatives and activities, academic performance and service to the community.

Bre graduated from Buffalo High School in 2013 and went on to earn her Associate of Arts (A.A.) with Emphasis in Communication from Normandale Community College. She found that earning her A.A. helped her a lot in her practical nursing studies. During her time at Normandale, Bre participated in a service-learning experience at St. Croix Hospice that guided her toward a career in health care.

“I fell in love with the patients,” Bre said. “You really do make a difference when you provide the best possible service and care. Getting to know each patient as a person is what makes the career path so special.”

Bre earned two scholarships as a student at DCTC:
  • Allied Health Scholarship | $1,000
  • DCTC New Student Scholarship | $1,000

Breanna already has a job lined up as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. She’ll be starting in the hospital’s Spine Unit this July.

“Most nursing students have those moments when they wonder if they are really cut out for this career,” Bre said. “The Practical Nursing faculty understand this and are amazingly supportive. I remember how much trouble I had when I was first learning how to take blood pressure. My instructor, Allison Gregory, was very reassuring and patient. She was ready to have me practice a million times until I got it right. Now I’m a pro at taking blood pressure. Allison made sure I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.”

NCLEX-PN® exam pass rate at DCTC

The National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses, better known as the NCLEX-PN exam, is administered in our state by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. The Practical Nursing program at DCTC posted a first-time success rate of 100 percent from January to April, 2017.

Often referred to as the Boards or State Boards, the NCLEX-PN exam has one purpose: Determining if it is safe for practical nursing graduates to begin practice as entry-level LPNs.

During her preparation for the Boards, Bre Lindquist scored 97 percent on her pre-NCLEX-PN practice exam.

More about the Practical Nursing program…

Brenda Arneson, director of nursing at DCTC, reported that the Practical Nursing program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and is pursuing pre-accreditation candidacy status from the National Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NCSBN).

“Our program is a great option for many students,” Brenda said. “The diploma outcome is ideal for students who want to get into the nursing field, but don’t have a lot of time and want to get working as a nurse as soon as possible.”

Brenda added that the Practical Nursing program is three semesters long with the last two semesters focused on nursing courses. The program features a fall and spring cohort each year.

“Students tend to really bond and support one another due to nature of the program,” Brenda said. “Learning is very hands-on in labs and clinical settings. Our graduates are greatly sought after in a variety of health care facilities. I get frequent phone calls and emails from employers across the Twin Cities metro area seeking to hire DCTC students. Several of our students who earned their diplomas in May were already hired before graduating and taking their NCLEX-PN licensure exam. It is very rewarding as the director of nursing and a nursing instructor to witness the accomplishments of these future nurses.”

Licensed Practical Nurses

Provide basic nursing care under the direction of doctors and registered nurses.

Above the statewide median of $18.88/hour


Median: $20.68/hour
High: $23.09/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $21.73/hour
High: $23.58/hour


This career is currently in very high demand and is seeing very high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate is 11.3 percent, or well above the statewide average. There will be a need for about 7,200 new Licensed Practical Nurses to meet market demand between 2014–2024. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

— Minnesota State CAREERwise Education

More about Breanna…

Brenda noted that Breanna Lindquist proved herself an exceptional student who exemplified true leadership in the Practical Nursing program.

“As a student in our program, Bre was always positive and supportive of her fellow classmates, providing them with resources and tools to help them be successful,” Brenda said. “Working with Breanna has been such a pleasure. She will make a wonderful nurse—and I am confident she will touch many lives in a positive manner.”

Her selection as a 2017 recipient of the Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award¹ came as a surprise to Breanna. “Getting the award doesn’t feel real,” she said. “There are so many wonderful and deserving students at the college. DCTC has given me such an incredible foundation. I will carry the experience with me throughout my career. A million years thank you!”

In her free time, Bre enjoys reading dramatic novels and biographies. She just got engaged to be married in April. Her fiancé, Devon, is a senior at the University of Minnesota majoring in mathematics and pursuing a career in risk management and economics.

Bre’s own career goals are centered on becoming a registered nurse (RN) after gaining experience as an LPN. She is looking at earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) via the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) at Normandale. Her long-range aim is to become a nurse practitioner (NP). Bre resides in Cottage Grove, Minnesota.

¹ Cheryl Brogger, a DCTC graduate, Class of 2017, was also recognized with the 2017 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Award. Former Student Senate president and member of the 2017 All-Minnesota Academic Team, Cheryl will be featured in an upcoming DCTC News story.

To learn more about Breanna, please read the following excerpt from the nomination letter submitted by Renee LeMieux, one of Bre’s Practical Nursing instructors.

Breanna Lindquist

Breanna Lindquist graduated May 2017 with her diploma from the Practical Nursing program at Dakota County Technical College. Bre has a larger-than-life personality that she brings to all her classes and labs. She is an engaging, enthusiastic learner and accepts her fellow nursing students with an open mind and generous heart.

Breanna holds very high standards for her academic progress and has a 4.0 GPA. When she does get a question wrong on a test, she often seeks out her instructor to determine where her thought process went awry. She reports that she studies “all the time” even when standing in line at the grocery store.

As a new student at DCTC, Bre took the initiative to start a Facebook page for her Practical Nursing cohort so she and her peers could support each other, including asking for help with coursework or requesting rides to clinicals. The Facebook connection has been extremely helpful for students on the same journey who wish to collaborate and build a lasting bond.

Renee LeMieux and Bre Lindquist

Renee LeMieux and Bre Lindquist

Breanna’s positive personality is contagious; her academic success is driven by the belief that learning is a gift and something no one can take away from her. She belongs to Phi Theta Kappa and assists with various PTK functions to promote membership. She has also participated in various service and volunteer activities.

As a Practical Nursing student, she designed three effectual documents to help fellow students organize and schedule assignments, tests and quizzes. Organization is one of Breanna’s signature talents. Her clinical instructor selected her as a cohort student representative, a role requiring an exceptionally motivated, organized and articulate individual who is eager to learn.

To date, Bre has logged more than 500 hours of volunteerism in her community for a number of organizations, including America Reads and Counts, International Kids and Parents Club, St. Croix Hospice, Second Harvest Heartland, Good in the Hood and Fruit of the Vine.

Breanna’s vibrant, positive, can-do attitude is a windfall for everyone she meets. If she notices a classmate struggling, she reaches out and let’s that person know they are not alone a very rigorous program. Having someone like Bre in your corner makes all the difference. Breanna Lindquist is not only an excellent student, she is a kind and compassionate human being.

Courtesy of Renee LeMieux, Practical Nursing Faculty

Breanna Q & A

Bre Lindquist

Bre Lindquist

What has been your toughest challenge in life?
I’m a first-generation college student. Figuring out the ropes on your own can be a big thing.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Earning my Practical Nursing diploma at DCTC.

Three words that describe you as a person:


What person has influenced you the most in life?
My communication instructor at Normandale, Jim Frankenfeld, was a big influence. During my first semester in college when I had my doubts, he told me something I will always remember: “You belong here. You’re here for a reason. You have a path and it’s just starting.”

What is your favorite pastime?
I love volunteer work. I originally wanted to be an elementary school teacher before I switched to nursing. Most recently, I’ve been volunteering at an elementary school program in Bloomington.

Bre Lindquist | 21 Answers

  1. CheetahFavorite season: Fall
  2. Favorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.): Trees
  3. Favorite sport or physical activity: Swimming
  4. Your national bird if you could have one: Northern cardinal
  5. Place you would most like to visit: Montana
  6. Favorite holiday: Valentine’s Day
  7. Your national mammal if you could have one: Cheetah
  8. Favorite actor or actress: Leonardo di Caprio
  9. Favorite band: Ocean Park Standoff
  10. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “There are just too many positives for life to ever keep you down.”
  11. Coolest thing in the world: People helping other people.
  12. Scariest thing in the world: Clowns
  13. Favorite all-time TV show: The Office
  14. Favorite all-time movie: Blood Diamond
  15. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Become a nurse practitioner (NP)
  16. Most precious material possession: My angel keychain given to me by a family I helped with respite care.
  17. malala yousafzai First thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: Meals for every hungry person in Minnesota
  18. Dream occupation: Nurse practitioner (NP)
  19. Person you would most like to meet: Malala Yousafzai
  20. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Tying a special knot for everyday use.
  21. Humankind’s greatest challenge: Getting past each other’s differences.
To learn more about Practical Nursing at DCTC, contact:

Brenda Arneson
Practical Nursing Director and Faculty

Bre Lindquist

Practical Nursing Information Sessions

Register today for a Practical Nursing Information Session. Dates include June 15, July 20 and August 17, 2017. All sessions begin at 5 p.m.


Application Deadline Extended

The application deadline for the Practical Nursing program has been extended to July 1, 2017.