If you think nursing may be the right career for you, it’s never too soon to think about what it will take to gain acceptance into a qualified nursing program. Whether you choose to go the online nursing program route, or attend a more traditional, face-to-face, bricks-and-mortar school, there are certain aspects of your education that you’ll need before you will be considered for acceptance.
Of course, the first step is to graduate from high school. If you have not already done so, or have dropped out of school, you’ll need to obtain your GED in order to qualify for acceptance into an entry-level program. Be aware, though, that some schools are highly selective, so grades, and certain courses, matter. Admissions personnel will likely review everything from your attendance, to how many nursing-related courses you’ve completed in high school (e.g. biology, health science, etc.). And they’ll be looking for better-then-average grades, especially in preparatory courses.
Some nursing students choose to pursue their two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), which qualifies them for entry-level jobs in nursing. Others may pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), which take up to four years to complete, and features a broader, deeper, more comprehensive medical and liberal arts curriculum. In either case, after earning the relevant degree, students will need to take the standardized National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to obtain their RN certification.
While specific prerequisites vary from school to school, in general, nursing programs are looking for evidence of a solid background in biological sciences. Typically, this includes at least some exposure to Anatomy and Physiology (two levels), and most often, a course in Microbiology. Other relevant courses, which may or may not be required (but invariably help you prepare for nursing school) include psychology (especially Human Development courses), chemistry, sociology, and algebra and/or statistics. You’ll also need to show that you’ve taken, and passed English.
Specific DCoN Prerequisites
To gain admission to a nursing program at Denver College of Nursing, you will need to provide a copy of your high school diploma or GED, or transcripts from another college. Note that prerequisite Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology courses must have been completed within the previous seven years to be considered valid.
ADN Prerequisites at DCoN
Among other criteria, admissions personnel check to see that you have maintained at least a cumulative 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale for the following prerequisite courses.
Anatomy & Physiology with labs: 8 semester credits
Intro to Algebra: 3 semester credits
English Composition: 3 semester credits
Human Growth & Development: 3 semester credits
RN to BSN Online Program
Nurses who have already earned an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), and have their RN license, may wish to enroll in DCoN’s online RN-to-BSN program. This program has been designed by nurses, for nurses, many of whom must continue working. The good news is that this program has no prerequisites, provided you have an ADN from an accredited institution and an unencumbered state license as a registered nurse!
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Completion Option
This program is designed for students who have already met prerequisites for the BSN completion program, including students who have earned a prior baccalaureate degree. This program also accepts students who have not obtained a prior baccalaureate. In that instance, applicants must show that they’ve completed various prerequisite courses, maintaining a cumulative 2.5 GPA in those courses.
Prerequisites for Applicants with No Prior Baccalaureate Degree:
Microbiology (3 semester credits)
Anatomy & Physiology with labs (8 credits)
Sciences (2 courses, one with lab; Pathophysiology not accepted) (6 credits)
Algebra (3 credits)
Statistics (3 credits)
Psychology (3 credits)
Human Growth & Development (3 credits)
Nutrition (3 credits)
English Composition (3 credits)
English (3 credits)