and other FAQ for Pre-Nursing Students
Are you interested in going into the medical field, but the thought of a graduate degree (or more) seems like too big of a commitment? Are you interested in a wide range of job opportunities and career trajectories within healthcare? Are you eager to change lives, help others, and develop meaningful relationships with your patients?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then we’ve got good news for you. You don’t have to spend years in medical school to pursue a career as a Registered Nurse (RN).
Today, we will look at how you can pursue a nursing career as early as your undergraduate studies. We’ll explain exactly what a pre-nursing program is as well as answer other frequently asked questions (FAQs).
What is Pre-Nursing?
A pre-nursing program is often the first step in becoming a nurse. This preparatory program offers students the opportunity to complete the basic foundation courses required for nursing school. These courses are typically general education courses in the sciences, such as psychology and anatomy.
Pre-nursing programs prepare students for enrollment in entry-level nursing programs such as a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN). By allowing students to experience the nursing field before fully committing to a four-year degree, pre-nursing programs are a great way to determine if a career as a nurse is right for you. Pre-nursing programs also help students meet the basic prerequisites needed for nursing school, accelerating their pathway towards a nursing degree.
What are the required courses for the Pre-Nursing track?
While every university and college has different pre-nursing courses and requirements, most pre-nursing programs will have students take general classes in humanities and mathematics, as well as both natural and social sciences.
At the University of Bridgeport, our pre-nursing students take the following general education courses in their freshman year:
In the fall semester:
- English Composition
- Introduction to Psychology
- Freshman Seminar
- Introduction to College Algebra and Statistics
- Anatomy and Physiology I (with onsite lab)
And in the spring semester:
- Anatomy and Physiology II (with onsite lab)
- Lifespan Developmental Psychology
- Principles of Sociology
- Introductory Chemistry (with onsite lab)
This equates to a total of 16 credits in the fall semester and 17 credits in the spring semester.
Why should I pursue a Pre-Nursing program?
A pre-nursing program will qualify you to apply for – and to succeed in – nursing school. Pre-nursing students take prerequisite, general education courses that make them eligible to enter traditional BSN programs.
Additionally, pre-nursing programs:
- Prepare pre-nursing students for the application process for nursing programs
- Develop academic skills and learning habits needed for nursing programs
- Prepare students through courses that advance their professional potential
- Support career aspirations in the nursing profession
As described above, pre-nursing is a preparatory program designed to help meet the admissions requirements needed for nursing school. If you decide to become a pre-nursing student, be sure you do your research on prospective nursing programs to ensure that you are taking the prerequisite courses you need for the program(s) you are interested in.
If I complete my undergraduate degree at UB, can I apply to the ABSN program?
Yes, in fact, UB’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program – one of the best accelerated nursing programs in CT – is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. This means our ABSN program is perfect for students with bachelor degrees in other disciplines.
UB’s ABSN program incorporates the previous, non-nursing bachelor’s level course education and experience, allowing students to earn a BSN degree at a faster pace. In fifteen months, students complete 56 credits in nursing and apply 65 credits from their previous bachelor’s degree to earn the BSN.
How long does the Pre-Nursing program take to complete?
The length and time it takes to complete a pre-nursing program differs depending on the college or university as well as the student.
Here at the University of Bridgeport, students complete their pre-nursing coursework in one year.
After taking 33 general education courses in their freshman year, pre-nursing students will begin the traditional BSN program in their sophomore year.
What degree is associated with the Pre-Nursing track?
We get this question a lot, and for good reason. While there is no official degree associated with the pre-nursing track alone, the pre-nursing program leads UB students towards a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. The pre-nursing program constitutes their freshman year in the BSN program, while the career-oriented, nursing-specific courses begin in their sophomore year.
The pre-nursing program is also a gateway to other health-related majors, including Biology and Health Sciences. Since pre-nursing students have taken basic medical school prerequisites, they can enter any bachelor’s degree in related areas of study. They may also look at related graduate and postgraduate programs—such as the Doctor of Chiropractic, Master’s in Public Health, or Master’s in Nutrition—after completion of their bachelor’s degree program.
Pre-nursing classes are designed to provide prospective BSN students with the skills and tools needed to succeed in their nursing program and in the nursing profession.