Those who are looking to begin a career in the field of nursing must go through a process in order to earn their licence and begin work as a registered nurse.
The first step towards become a registered nurse actually begins in highschool.
Most RN college programs require students to have either their Diploma or GED before allowing them to take the prerequisites and apply for the nursing program.
For current high school students it’s a good idea to look into taking courses that are directly related to the rn program, which you can find by talking to a guidance counselor at a college or university you are interested in attending and asking them, which courses they would recommend you take so that you can quickly and easily transition into the nursing program when the time comes.
In some cases you may even be able to knock out a prerequisite or two.
Upon earning your Diploma or GED the next step towards become a registered nurse is to look for and apply to a college or university that offers a 2 – 4 year nursing program and take the necessary prerequisites required for getting into the nursing program.
Each school differs in terms of which prerequisites are required for getting into the program, however some of the most common prerequisite courses students are asked to take include English 101, Introduction to Psychology, Psychology 101, Introduction to Sociology, Sociology 101 and Anatomy & Physiology I & II among a number of other prerequisite courses (keep in mind that students may be required to take 4 – 6 of these courses before gaining acceptance into the nursing program).
List of common prerequisites that are required by colleges/universities offering RN programs:
- English 101
- Anatomy & Physiology I & II
- Intro to Psychology or Psychology 101
- Intro to Sociology or Sociology 101
Some colleges and/or universities may also require or substitute the following courses as prerequisites for the nursing program:
- English composition I & II
- General Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Introduction to Sociology
- Fundamentals of speech
In many cases students are required to take a combination of 4 – 6 prerequisite courses chosen by the college or university before being accepted into the program.
Students must also maintain a certain GPA average which also varies by college.
Some colleges may allow students with a GPA of 2.7 to enter the nursing program while others only accept students who have a 3.5 GPA or higher.
Competition often plays a big role in determining the set GPA for students looking to enter the program.
The more competitive the school is the higher the requirements and since most schools are unable to accept every student who is interested in the program they often end up choosing students who have the highest GPA and show the most dedication towards earning their degree and beginning a career as a registered nurse.
The best option for students who want to take part in the RN program is to sit down with a guidance counselor and see what requirements they have to complete in order to have the best chances of getting into the program.
For instance one college may have a GPA requirement of 3.4 however because competition is so high and spots are so limited they may end up only accepting students who have a GPA of 3.7 or higher.
Even if a student meets the minimum requirements there is no guarantee that he/she will be accepted, so it’s always a good idea to find out what is (truly) required in order to have the best chance of getting into the program.
Upon completion of the prerequisites and maintaining the required GPA the final step is waiting for acceptance into the program.
Students who are ambitious about entering the program may also want to take additional courses before they begin their studies in the nursing program, and maybe knock out a few of the classes they would have been required to take once they begin the program.
Some of these course may include:
- Child Development
- English II
- Human Growth & Development
- General Bio