The two-year pre-nursing degree program provides students with the educational foundation to transfer into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the junior level. Coursework requirements for the first two years at nursing schools may vary, so pre-nursing degree programs are typically designed to meet the requirements for targeted nursing schools, usually within the same region as the college offering the associate degree.
Pre-nursing programs require incoming students to have a high school degree or GED. High school chemistry, biology and math courses may also be required for enrollment. Depending on the school, admission requirements may also include a standardized college admissions test, such as ACT, or stipulate minimum high school grades
Pre-Nursing Degree Program
Pre-nursing degree programs include general education courses required for a bachelor's degree at a nursing school and science courses necessary to prepare students for the BSN. Because nurses come into contact with diverse populations, often in stressful circumstances, the pre-nursing curriculum includes psychology and humanities courses intended to cultivate strong interpersonal and communication skills. The curriculum typically includes coursework in:
- English composition
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that registered nurse positions are expected to increase by 7% from 2019 through 2029 (www.bls.gov); an aging population, advances in medical treatments and an emphasis on preventative care will all contribute to this faster-than-average job growth. The median annual wage for registered nurses was $75,330 as of May 2020, according to the BLS.
Students earning an associate's degree in pre-nursing typically continue their education by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After completing a BSN program, students must complete the state licensure exam for registered nurses before beginning work as a registered nurse. Registered nurses who wish to advance their career may go back to school to earn a master's degree for nurse practitioners or healthcare administration.
Students wanting to purse a career as a registered nurse have the option to enroll in a pre-nursing degree program and complete the first two years of their training at a community college. Often times, graduates of these programs transfer into a partnered BSN program at a four-year university.