What Are the Prerequisites for Nursing | 2023 Guide

There are some prerequisites for nursing school before you can apply. It is important to verify with each school what courses you will need to complete to be admitted to a particular program.

What are the Prerequisites for Nursing School?

You will need to take prerequisite classes before applying to nursing programs. These courses prepare you as a student for the rigorous didactics of nursing school.

These prerequisites for nursing school are designed to ensure that a student is ready to take the required courses in nursing school. These prerequisites serve as a bridge between nursing-specific material and general education college courses. You will need a good understanding of your learning style to succeed in nursing school.

Six Reasons Nursing Schools Require Prerequisites

Here are six reasons you must complete prerequisites to be eligible for nursing school.

To show your basic understanding of this material:

Prerequisites in nursing give you a foundation for teaching new information and allowing you to review what you’ve already learned. You will be better equipped to handle the academic part of nursing programs if you have taken certain prerequisite courses.

This will Ensure that you can Take the Science Courses.

Nursing programs want to see that you can keep up with the material, as stated above. Prerequisite courses are required for admission to nursing school. This allows the program to assess your academic abilities in a more limited capacity. Nursing is science-based, so you must have some basic knowledge.

To be able to Jump into Advanced Concepts.

The programs would take longer if they started from the beginning and could not fully utilize the professor’s knowledge. The foundation allows for faster, more in-depth learning.

To Ensure You are Enjoying the Material Being Taught

A nursing program will teach various scientific concepts and hold you to high-performance standards. Nursing programs require you to complete prerequisites to be able to exclude those who don’t have the commitment to science-based education and scientific thinking required to succeed.

To Compare your GPA with other Applicants.

This is one way that programs can fully assess an applicant during the application process. You might find a completely different student accepted to the nursing program if you compare GPAs without considering nursing prerequisites.

Prerequisites for nursing programs have been designed to ensure that the workload is compared equally. Nursing school requires several science-based and lab-based prerequisites. A GPA based on only someone who has taken all elective courses wouldn’t be fair. These guidelines will help you determine which prerequisite courses are required.

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You can Prove your Dedication and Determination to the Healthcare Industry by:

The healthcare industry is different than other science degrees, as we have already stated. You can see who is fully committed to the field by having your applicants take several prerequisite classes before you accept. This will allow you to determine who is a true scholar and who will excel in the profession.

Are All Nursing Schools Require the Same Prerequisites

A national standard would be ideal for the courses required of nursing students. Every school will have a different curriculum because there is no national standard.

It turns out that different schools have different prerequisites depending on the courses they need. We hope this article will help you save time researching prerequisites for your nursing program.

We not only provide you with list containing the most common prerequisite courses for nursing, but we will also give you an overview of prerequisites for top nursing schools across the country to help you understand how requirements can vary from one school to the next.

You will see that different schools have different prerequisites depending on the courses they require. Nursing school prerequisites are required to provide a solid foundation for general education and learning.

Limited courses and credits are available, so that each program may have different requirements. No matter what courses you need, you’ll be able to succeed in nursing school.

Is it really Difficult to Complete Nursing Prerequisites?

Although it can be difficult to meet the prerequisites for nursing school, they are not impossible. The answer to this question is subjective. As we’ve discussed, it comes down to learning style and how well you know yourself. You have many resources available through both your school and online instructors.

Your learning style and learning style will determine how well you learn and comprehend. Prerequisite courses for nursing school may be time-consuming depending on the subject matter and credits. Still, they should be viewed as an educational experience beneficial in the long term.

You will need to take prerequisite classes to be eligible for nursing school. Before you apply to the programs, make sure that it is something that interests you. Prerequisite courses are a great way to learn as much as you can about nursing so that it will be easier once you start your chosen program.

What and Where should you Complete Prerequisite Courses Required for Nursing School?

You have many options to fulfill your nursing school prerequisites. You can take most prerequisites for nursing school within your major at a university or a community college. You don’t need a bachelor’s degree in science if you feel you must go back and take most prerequisite courses for nursing school.

Post-baccalaureate programs are also available to streamline the process and offer accelerated programs that will quickly get you into the workforce.

What is average time it takes to complete all nursing school prerequisites?

If you’re a first-time student at college and know that nursing school is right for you, you must complete the undergraduate prerequisites. This 4-year program includes the required time to complete the bachelor’s degree in nursing.

If you’re considering multiple schools that require different courses, or if your first degree was not science-based, time considerations can be a concern. You may be able to take a semester to complete all required nursing prerequisites.

While some nursing schools allow you to accept pending credits, not all will, this is something that you should consider when planning your study program. All of this depends on the overall process and any additional experience. This process can take several semesters or even multiple years, depending on how much you dedicate to it.

The time required to complete prerequisites for nursing school depends on each individual. Some returning students choose to complete prerequisites individually while working and saving money, which can take up to several years. Others may be able to complete all prerequisites for nursing school within a single semester.


Below is a list of 15 common prerequisite courses for nurses that you will need to complete before entering any nursing program. We’ve briefly explained each course and how they can assist you in your career as a nurse.

American Government

American Government is a common general education course that all college graduates must take. It is also a prerequisite class for nursing school. This course focuses on the inner workings and functions of the U.S. government at all levels of authority.

It summarizes the information that citizens should know about their government. This is to protect and serve them.

Future nurses can gain an understanding of the American government by studying it as a prerequisite for nursing school. This course enables interaction between politics, the healthcare system, and other stakeholders. Although most American government courses don’t go into much detail about the healthcare system, it is great point for anyone interested in learning more.

American Public Policy

A course in American public policy examines the implementation of laws. The American public policy course examines how laws are implemented in America.

It affects nearly every aspect of our daily lives, from economic conditions to taxes you pay to the social problems we face. This is a brief overview of the system and how it works today. Many public policy topics are important in today’s news, including climate change and abortion laws.

For nursing school, American public policy is necessary. This allows healthcare professionals to have an introduction to the topic before they move into the real world. Healthcare professionals can learn how public policy works to make healthcare better.


Biology covers many areas of study and is a broad field. Biology includes studies of the environment, the human body, medicine, and marine biology. It is, in essence, the study of living organisms and their movements throughout their lives.

You will need to take several biology courses to become a nurse student. Many of these courses will be covered below. These courses are intended to provide a foundation for understanding the human body and how it functions.

Chemistry Lecture & Lab

Chemistry is the study and analysis of all matter and all its elements. This branch of science examines elements’ atomic structure and role in forming all kinds of matter. Chemistry studies the relationships between molecular particles. If the laws of nature aren’t followed, it can lead to dangerous consequences.

Because nursing students must know the chemistry and makeup of the human body, chemistry is a prerequisite course for entering nursing school. Future nurses must be able to understand and apply basic chemistry to ensure that medications and procedures are understood and appropriate to patients’ needs.


The ethics courses aim to help individuals understand the moral principles that guide their daily lives and make decisions.

Medicine plays an integral part in ethics every day. Because ethics plays an important role in medicine, nurses must take this course as part of their nursing program requirements. Before you can work with patients in a clinical setting, you must understand ethics.

General Psychology

General psychology provides an overview of human mind and how it influences our behavior and habits. This will give you an overview of functions of the unconscious and conscious minds and how they can affect human behavior and change.

It is important to understand why and how people behave because you will be dealing with patients directly. The nursing staff spends a lot of time helping patients make behavioral changes that will lead to long-term goals. A basic understanding of psychology can help nurses be more successful.

Human Anatomy with Lab

Another prerequisite for nursing school is anatomy. This is the science and study of the structures that make up our bodies. This course explains in greater detail the various systems that make up the human body, including the skeletal, muscular, and vascular systems and each individual organ.

Because it provides a foundation for safe patient care, this course is required for nurses. A solid knowledge of basic anatomy is essential for nurses. They are responsible for patient safety. Future nurses will be able to learn the common and scientific names of each muscle in the body. This will help them better understand this part of the body.

Human Growth & Development (Lifespan).

Human Growth and Development throughout one’s life is an all-encompassing course. It breaks down milestones and major life events in a slow and easy-to-understand way. This course will guide you through life cycles, from conception to death, and every area in between. While the course focuses on mental and physical health, there is also a consideration for special populations and individuals with disabilities.

The prerequisites for nursing school include human growth and development. This course provides future nurses with a foundation of knowledge and understanding of the evolution of aging throughout our lives.

This course will help you to expand your knowledge about caring for patients, regardless of age or developmental stage. Nursing school will require you to identify what is normal and not, regardless of how old the patient is.

With the lab, Human Physiology

The study of physiology is an essential prerequisite for entry to nursing school. It focuses on the functions of the human body, which are typically broken down and organized into body systems.

Learn about the roles and connections of individual systems. You will be required to complete a lab section as part of the human biology course. This section will allow you to perform experiments that illustrate various body functions.

It will be easier to apply your knowledge to all areas of nursing school if you understand the various functions of the human body. An introduction to the body’s various systems can help nurses understand how medications work and what could happen when they become ill.


Basic algebra or higher is the most common math required before you can start any nursing program. Some programs may require students to take statistics courses, but this depends on your specific program.

To become a nurse, basic math and algebra skills are necessary. You will need to calculate and administer the right medication doses to patients.

Microbiology Lecture & Lab

Microbiology courses focus on the interaction and pathogenic mechanisms that microorganisms can cause. To help you understand the role they play in our health, you will be able to learn about different structures, functions, and alterations of bacteria and viruses. You will also learn about sanitation and its effects on society, both in a medical setting and with food preparation.

Because of its direct impact on the well-being and health of ill patients, microbiology is a prerequisite for nursing school. You will perform exact medical procedures in the microbiology laboratory.


Nutrition comprises many elements, including the food we eat and the psychological, social, and physical factors that affect our food intake. Basic nutrition courses provide information about macro- and micronutrients and how they affect the human body.

Knowing how to help others make healthy decisions is a key part of nursing school. Exercise and diet have shown to influence health of others. This course will help you understand how your diet can be modified in a medical capacity. This course will help you prepare for the expectations you will face in nursing school.


Pathophysiology, another prerequisite for nursing school, studies the components of the human body that are specific to each disease process. This course will cover etiology, symptoms, prognosis, and possible complications that could arise from untreated diseases. Learn about medical terminology and see the connection between emotion and the body.

This course will give you a foundational understanding of the human body and how psychological issues can impact your physical health. You will understand the deeper meaning behind the condition of the patients you treat by having a solid understanding of pathophysiology.

This course provides an excellent overview of various diseases and allows you to dive into the individual systems of your body.


Another prerequisite for nursing school is the standard introduction to sociology course. It covers a range of topics about how people behave, why different values are held, and the consequences of these differences on one’s daily life.

You may have some flexibility in choosing which sociology course to take. While some nursing programs will accept all sociology courses, others may only accept certain courses. For more information, we recommend looking into specific programs you are interested in applying for.

Understanding sociology concepts and their effects on others can help you in nursing school. It can also greatly impact your future career as a nurse.

It is as simple as it sounds. This course covers important events in American history and various topics, including politics and economics. These courses are usually from colonial times through the present.

Because the United States plays an important role in our healthcare system, U.S. History is a prerequisite for nursing school. We have come to this point because of policies and economic circumstances. This course will help you understand healthcare’s realities and the differences between state regulations.