Courses Needed to Be a Registered Nurse

Apr 25, 2020

A prospective registered nurse (RN) can earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing. Read on for descriptions of common RN courses, along with some basic information about RN programs.

View Popular Schools

Essential Information

RN courses are most often taken in an associate's or bachelor's degree program in nursing. While both types of programs prepare students to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and get licensed to work as an RN, bachelor's programs could lead to additional career opportunities in teaching, research, and management.

Aspiring RNs usually take a set of pre-nursing courses like anatomy and physiology, psychology, and microbiology. Students also gain hands-on clinical experience at the basic, intermediate, and advanced levels throughout their program.

Other common concepts explored in a nursing program include:

  • Patient care techniques
  • Medical assessments
  • Phlebotomy
  • Lifespan development

Medical-Surgical Nursing

Now let's look at a few nursing courses in more detail. A medical-surgical nursing course provides broad study in all aspects of nursing practice for adult patients. Coursework covers treatment of disorders in all major systems of the body, including respiratory, neurological, musculoskeletal, and renal disorders. Students also learn procedures for caring for patients undergoing surgery.

Pharmacology & Health Promotion

A pharmacology course familiarizes nursing students with the drugs and medications they'll encounter during their work. These drugs include those used to prevent or treat illness and those used in diagnostics. Students learn about drug classifications and effects, as well as methods of administration.

A registered nurse's role is not only to treat patients but also to promote wellness through healthier living. A health promotion class provides information on nutrition and disease prevention that registered nurses can pass on to patients and their families. It also includes information tailored to the needs of particular groups, such as the elderly, children, and the permanently disabled.

Mental Health Nursing

Patients with psychiatric disorders or mental illness also require unique nursing care. Students in a mental health nursing course learn to diagnose issues in mental health patients and develop both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment plans. Psychiatric patients may be found in hospitals, community care centers, and mental health institutions, and coursework addresses the role of nursing care in each.

Maternity Nursing

A maternity-nursing course focuses on care for the whole family through the entire childbearing process. Topics include women's health, reproductive health, and care for pregnant and postpartum patients. Students are trained in care for high-risk and complicated pregnancies.

Nursing Management

Registered nurses must often direct and supervise other medical staff. A nursing management course helps students develop leadership and interpersonal skills while learning to delegate responsibility, balance workload, and resolve conflicts. The class also explains the organizational structure of hospitals and other healthcare facilities, addressing issues that can affect an organization, such as budgeting and staff changes.

Next: View Schools
Created with Sketch. Link to this page

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?