Nursing Prerequisites

Nursing Prerequisites

By Brenne Meirowitz, B.A., M.S., M.A.

Whether you are enrolling in a higher education program for the first time, returning to school, transferring from one community college to another, or moving onto university, there are certain nursing prerequisites that must be completed in order to obtain your nursing degree. Although each college or university has their own set of course prerequisites, it is safe to say that almost all of them will require that a nursing candidate satisfactorily compete courses in:

  • Anatomy and Physiology (6-8 credits)
  • Chemistry (4 credits)
  • Microbiology (4 credits)
  • Nutrition (3 credits)
  • Statistics (3 credits)
  • Sociology (3 credits)
  • Psychology (3 credits)

Some colleges or universities will however, allow certain courses to be substituted for others such as Economics, Psychology, or some type of Math class in exchange for Statistics. Most schools will also accept at least a minimum number of transfer credits from another accredited school, but it is your responsibility, as the student, to make sure those courses meet your new school’s nursing prerequisites.

The key is to avoid unnecessary obstacles and delays by planning your course of study with your guidance counselor, particularly one who is familiar with your program track – especially the nursing prerequisites. I’ve heard it said all too often by students that they were prohibiting from graduating as expected because, they overlooked a certain class or did not interpret a course’s description correctly. The unfortunate result was that they were required to spend the summer making up the courses that they had overlooked. And, they were the fortunate ones!

During the summer, most colleges and universities offer a limited amount of courses, and if the missing course is not offered in the summer, students often have to wait until the Fall or even Spring semester to fulfill the missing class. In such a situation, it would be wise for a student to consult with his or her guidance counselor to see whether a similar course or courses at another college or university would fulfill the missing nursing prerequisites.

Alternatively, many universities and colleges now offer online LPN Nursing classes, so it may be worth presenting this option to your guidance counselor. In either case, your guidance counselor or program director will have to give you written permission to attend an outside school in order for the class to count toward the missing nursing prerequisites. This includes schools that are in the same city or state system, such as (State University of New York) SUNY at Stony Brook or Albany – formal written permission is always required in order for the course to count towards your program.