Pre-Nursing Degree Programs and Courses

Check out the curriculum and structure of pre-nursing degree programs, which prepare students with the prerequisite general education coursework for admission into BSN programs. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Pre-nursing degree programs are typically 2-year associate's degree programs that consist of general education courses and basic science and health courses. Most programs are designed to prepare students to transfer to 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs. While some programs may include nursing courses, most programs will not prepare you for licensure as a registered nurse (RN). If you're interested in becoming an RN before you complete a bachelor's degree program, you could enroll in an associate's degree program in nursing, and then transfer to an RN to BSN program.

Courses Statistics, problem solving, biology, chemistry and quantitative reasoning
Degrees Associate's degree programs; bachelor of science in nursing programs
Salary $70,000 per year (Median salary for registered nurses)*

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2017)

What Will I Need for Admissions into a Nursing Degree Program?

To gain admittance to a program, you will at least a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) credential. Additionally, you will need to show documentation of current immunizations and a health screening. You may also need to undergo a criminal and child abuse background check.

How Do Pre-Nursing Degree Programs Differ From Nursing Degree Programs?

Pre-nursing degree programs are generally designed to fulfill only the general education requirements of bachelor's degree programs; therefore, when you transfer to a bachelor's degree program, you'll focus only on your nursing studies. Unlike traditional nursing degree programs, pre-nursing programs don't include the clinical practicum, so you won't have the opportunity to practice nursing at a hospital or clinic until you enter your bachelor's degree program. General education courses have a strong emphasis on oral and written communications, as well as mathematics, including statistics, problem solving and quantitative reasoning.

What Kinds of Courses Will I Take?

Courses that will help prepare you for nursing practice include:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Nutritio
  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy/physiology
  • Diversity training
  • Medical terminology
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Collaborative learning
  • Research

What Careers Does a Program Prepare Me For?

After you complete your bachelor's degree program, you'll be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which would then lead to state licensure as an RN. After you gain some nursing experience, you could become certified in a nursing specialty, such as medical-surgical nursing or pediatrics. Completion of a bachelor's degree program would also qualify you to enroll in a master's degree program in nursing, in which you could train to be an advanced practice nurse (APN), such as a clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner.

What Is My Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, career opportunities for registered nurses are expected to grow in the coming years, with a 15% job growth rate expected for RNs from 2016-2026. In 2017, RNs earned a median salary of $70,000.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The George Washington University

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    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

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  • Kaplan University

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  • Regent University

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  • University of the Southwest

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    Popular programs at University of the Southwest:

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  • Brightwood College

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  • Capella University

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  • Colorado State University Global

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