Prerequisites for Nursing Degrees

prerequisites for nursingThe medical profession of nursing is a rapidly growing field. Nursing has a large role in the medical field as it is the front lines of patient medical care. Nurses assist doctors in various medical establishments and provide hands on patient care according to the doctors’ orders as well as help patients in daily personal care tasks. Specific nursing positions in medical facilities depend upon the level of education obtained. At many schools, whether a traditional brick and mortar institution or one of the top online RN to BSN programs, there are a variety of prerequisites for nursing degrees before students can join the nursing program.

The nursing levels are LPN (licensed practical nurse), RN (registered nurse), BSN (bachelor of science nurse) and MSN (master of science nurse). The differences between all of these is in the levels of education required.

What Are the Prerequisites for Nursing Degrees?

The prerequisites for nursing degrees vary depending upon the level of degree sought. However, all nursing degrees–including programs such as the ones at Indiana University, Western Governor’s University online and Georgetown University require a high school diploma or GED and several health screenings before the student can pursue a degree in the field. To that end, prospective nursing students must finish high school or obtain a GED and apply to their college of choice. Some college nursing programs take students right out of high school while others want prospective nursing program students to complete general education requirements first. Some schools want to see how the student performs in college level coursework before admitting them to the nursing program.

There are various levels with differing prerequisites for nursing degrees:

LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse): This is the fastest track to beginning a job in the nursing field, as the education requirements typically take only about one year to complete. The LPN must work under both a doctor and a registered nurse, thus limiting the position options. Many LPNs continue to pursue a higher level degree while working in the field.

RN (Registered Nurse): Requires a college level education of 2-4 years. If the nursing student plans to further their nursing education into graduate programs, the four year degree program is the route to take. Once the degree is obtained, nursing students must pass the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination) to be licensed to work as a nurse. RNs work in a variety of medical facilities under the supervision of a doctor. From hospitals and clinics to nursing homes and home health care agencies, RN positions are widespread.

BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing): Obtaining a BSN enables the nurse to work in many different areas of the field. This is the preferred degree level for many health establishments. BSNs provide patient care and they can also branch out into consulting, education and administration.

MSN (Master of Science in Nursing): A post graduate level of RN, this degree opens many doors for positions in nurse education, management and administration.

Nursing is a challenging yet rewarding career choice, providing a service in caring for patients and educating society in how live a healthy life.  Students interesting in pursuing a career in this field are wise to first educate themselves about the prerequisites for nursing degrees.