My daughter wants to become a nurse. She is a freshman in high school now. I am trying to convince her that she needs to take her sciences more seriously if she wants to get into nursing school. What types of pre-requisite courses are needed for people who want to become a nurse? Thank you for your help, Miranda
Your daughter is choosing a career that has a lot of potential and by the time she is ready for nursing school, we will need more nurses. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics says the need for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses will grow between 21 and 22 percent between 2008 and 2018.
If your daughter knows she wants to go to nursing school when she is at the beginning of her high school career, she has a head start. It's great because she has plenty of time to be sure she wants to become a nurse and to take the right courses to prepare her for nursing school.
There are courses that students must have passed in order to graduate from high school, but there are specific nursing school prerequisites to attend college or university. The most common ones include the following, although each school has its own set rules and requirements for admission of nursing students:
- Biology: Anatomy and Physiology, levels one and two
- Chemistry: basic chemistry is usually all that is required
- Microbiology: may or may not be required, depending on if it is offered in the nursing program
- Nutrition: basic nutrition is an important part of nursing school
- Statistics: some schools accept other math courses instead of statistics
- Sociology: some schools combine psychology and sociology, so be sure that the course will be recognized
- Ethics: not necessary for all schools, but some consider this an important part of an overall general education that prepares students for nursing.
Some courses are done as part of a prenursing program, if that is available at the nursing school your daughter is interested in attending.
Different Levels of Nursing School
While those prerequisites are common to most schools, which level of nursing school your daughter would like to attend makes a difference as well. Nursing students accepted into an LPN program are required to have a high school diploma. The courses they follow in the LPN program will provide them with the basics they need for their nursing studies.
Students Who Donât Have Nursing School Prerequisites
Not all is lost if your daughter chooses to follow other courses in high school other than ones that will get her into nursing school. She may choose to follow a different path before setting on nursing. In that case, donât worry. She can get the prerequisites she needs at a community college or in one of the pre-nursing programs mentioned above.
If your daughter chooses to study in another area in college and then switch to nursing, she may be able to transfer some of her study credits to the nursing program, depending on the courses she passed, her grades, and the nursing school admissions requirements.