What Are the Different Types of Nursing School Prerequisites?

Nicole Long
Nicole Long

Nursing schools require candidates to have specific qualifications before being accepted into a training program. Typically, nursing school prerequisites require that candidates obtain a specific amount of education before admittance. Other conditions often include the ability to become certified as a nurse, a desire to help others, and the ability to communicate effectively.

Interested students can pursue several different types of nursing degrees. Generally, the options are either an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in nursing. Candidates should pay specific attention not only to the nursing school prerequisites associated with a specific nursing school, but also the future career possibilities that could follow successful completion of the chosen degree path.

A minimum of a high school education, or equivalent, is one of the main nursing school prerequisites for those interested in entering this field. Admission to nursing school is typically highly competitive, so demonstrated success in relevant coursework is essential. High achievement in courses based on mathematics and the sciences, such as biology, anatomy, and physiology, can provide admissions counselors with a good idea of a candidate’s ability to handle the rigors of a nursing program. Though the basic admittance standards are usually uniform, some advanced nursing programs — such as a master’s degree program — may require previous nursing education for admittance.

While certification typically depends upon the successful completion of a nursing exam after graduation, many schools try to ensure that candidates meet the basic requirements common to most professional nursing certifications before admittance. This includes the ability to pass a criminal background check and a drug test. Candidates usually have to indicate that they have never been convicted of a felony crime before being accepted into a nursing program.

Other nursing school prerequisites are based on the candidate’s ability to succeed in the profession. This includes the demonstrated ability to care for others and a mental capacity to handle the emotional requirements of the job. Candidates should be able to handle stress and maintain composure during emergencies.

The ability to communicate effectively is another of the most common nursing school prerequisites. Having excellent communication skills is not only a necessity for students to complete their studies, it is an essential part of interacting with other health care professionals and patients while working as a nurse. Therefore, proficiency in both oral and written communication is needed to succeed.

Nursing school prerequisites can also focus on a candidate’s physical ability to do the job. For instance, nurses are often required to work long hours and remain on their feet for extended periods of time. In addition, nurses must be physically able to move patients as needed.

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