Take the Prerequisites
Beth Anderson, RN
If you elect to go the BSN or ADN route, here is a list of the prerequisites you most likely will be required to take:
- General Biology
- General Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Developmental Psychology
- English Composition
- Multicultural Studies
- General Education
This list is not comprehensive, but it will certainly give you an idea of where to start. Expect to find some variations depending on where you will be applying. You can take these courses at your local community college or at an online school, so the process of taking them can be affordable and convenient. Explore your options.
The most important and possibly the most challenging course you will take will be Anatomy and Physiology. In this class you will learn the basics of the human body: how it works, and all its parts. You will also develop a sense of what kind of study skills you will need to get through nursing school, so it is advisable to take this course very seriously. It’s going to be the framework that your nursing knowledge is built upon. Remember that when you are memorizing the names of all 206 bones—there’s a reason for it.
Some advice on getting through the rest of the classes: Try to find ways that you will apply the course to your future nursing career. For example, Microbiology can be challenging, but in this class you’re going to learn about organisms that affect your every day life as a nurse who works in a hospital.
You may ask yourself, “Why do I need to take statistics?” In nursing school you will spend a considerable amount of time with research studies. Once you’ve mastered the art of statistics you will have a much better grasp of what these studies contribute to nursing. In contemporary nursing there is a big trend towards “evidence-based practice,” and it means applying nursing research to what you do at the bedside.