What to Expect from a Pre-Nursing Program

Pre-Nursing Program

If you are pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, chances are you’ll first have to go through two years of general education credits as part of a pre-nursing program. Not only does a pre-nursing program provide the scientific and mathematical base you need to be successful in nursing school, but it also serves as a sort of “gateway” to ensure that only students who are willing to work hard enter the program.

Getting Into a Pre-Nursing Program

Most pre-nursing programs require an application process similar to what you expect from any other college program. Good grades, community service, and employment history all go a long way in helping you to stand out, and you may need to take some of your core classes (like biology or chemistry) ahead of time. Testing might also apply, though many schools save this step for the transition from pre-nursing to the actual nursing program.

Pre-Nursing Courses

Once you have been accepted to the pre-nursing program, you’ll work closely with an advisor to select the appropriate classes (and in the appropriate order). In most cases, this will include some combination of:

  • Biology (with labs)
  • Chemistry (with labs)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Statistics
  • Nutrition
  • Human Development
  • Medical Ethics
  • Psychology
  • Anthropology

These are in addition to regular college-mandated courses related to communication, English, social studies, and math.

As you can tell from this list, there isn’t a whole lot of direct nursing education going on. That’s because pre-nursing is all about preparing you to succeed in nursing school, with a focus on a strong base of science that you can build on.

After Pre-Nursing is Done

Depending on the nursing school you choose, you might move immediately from pre-nursing to the nursing program, or you may be required to locate and apply for a nursing program at another facility (as is the case if your pre-nursing program is offered at a community college level).

Although you might not be required to get a straight 4.0 in all your pre-nursing coursework, it is a good idea to study hard and get high marks, as many schools base their nursing admissions process on transcripts from the pre-nursing program.



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