Prerequisites for Nursing

Not all nurses have the same types of qualifications. Some nurses hold an associate’s degree, some hold a bachelor’s degree and some hold a master’s degree. The types of prerequisites that each nurse has to fulfill varies from qualification to qualification.

Nursing Diploma

Hospitals sometimes have nursing schools. Students who complete the nursing school receive a diploma upon completion of the program. This is the least common route for students to become qualified to become nurses. Some nursing programs work with nearby schools and require that students take some prerequisite courses.

ADN (Associate’s Degree in Nursing)

An associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) is a degree program that does not take as long as that of a bachelor’s degree. It is also less expensive. All ADN programs require that nurses have supervised clinical experience in a hospital department. Students who wish to acquire an ADN should consider pursuing a program that awards a Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse certification. Some schools that offer the ADN will only admit students who have a certificate.

BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)

Overall, the BSN is the most useful degree for students who wish to become registered nurses. While students can become nurses in a shorter period of time through the associate degree program, they will have a harder time entering into supervisory roles, which generally pay more money. However, there are some hospitals that need nurses so much that they put ADNs in a leadership role. Students who wish to enroll in a program that provides a BSN will want to obtain a high GPA in high school and achieve a high score on the SAT. The higher the score, the better the college that the student will be able to enroll in. Once admitted into the school, students will need to take general education courses for the first two years before enrolling in nursing courses in the last two years. Many students who wish to become BSN nurses do so after completing an ADN.

MSN (Master of Science in Nursing)

For students who wish to broaden their credentials and achieve higher pay, the next step is to achieve a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). This requires that the student first obtain a BSN and an RN license. After obtaining a degree, all students need to do to become registered nurses is pass the national licensing examination. Afterward, the student must acquire clinical experience that serves as a prerequisite for enrollment into an MSN program. The MSN program usually takes 18 to 24 months to complete. The types of courses offered in a master’s degree program vary from school to school.