Nursing can be a fulfilling career as you help take care of patients and earn a steady income. The road to becoming a nurse involves both education and training. Before you can enroll in a nursing school and start your nursing career, you need to have the basic requirements and skills to get into nursing school. A pre-nursing program is the first step toward a career in nursing. This is your guide to pre-nursing programs so that you can get into nursing school and pursue your career goals.
What is a nurse?
You can eventually choose to be one of many different types of nurses, from a registered nurse to a nurse practitioner or even a nursing anesthesiologist. Overall, a career in nursing involves taking care of patients. You have many duties as a nurse, including collecting patient history, using medical equipment to check vital patient information, educate patients on treatments, and give medicine. Nurses are often responsible for helping patients understand and psychologically process their diagnoses.
In order to become a nurse, you have to experience a lot of training and education to be able to understand different disorders and treatments and how to provide patient care.
What is a pre-nursing program?
Pre-nursing programs provide you with the basic courses you need to apply to a nursing program upon graduation. It can also include an applied component to help improve your practical experience with nursing and increase your chance of getting into nursing school.
Colleges offer a pre-nursing program most often as a two-year associate degree. Some pre-nursing programs are for people who already have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline so that they lack the basic requirements for nursing school. Other programs are for those without any college education and serve as a gateway to a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Why do a pre-nursing program?
The nursing school application process is extremely competitive, and many people who apply do not gain entry. A pre-nursing program lets you build your resume, gain career and nursing school application advice, and fulfill required educational requirements. Nursing schools also demand that you enter the program with specific educational backgrounds. This means nursing schools want you to already have a basic understanding of the human body.
Nursing school is for professional training. The courses you take in nursing school focus on your role as a nurse. Taking a pre-nursing program allows you to have the educational background to understand the terminology in your nursing courses. There are many different options of formats, including online programs, in-person programs, and more.
What does a pre-nursing program entail?
Every pre-nursing program is different, but each one focuses on science and math in order to give you the skills to understand how the human body works and to make sure you have the basic skills to compute the amount of medicine to give a patient. You develop your individual schedule with your advisor while working within the guidelines of your pre-nursing program.
Common courses can include different types of biology or chemistry, an applied math course, anatomy, and even psychology. Know that your school might also have general education requirements that you must fulfill to graduate, such as courses in the social sciences or humanities. Although you choose courses from basic requirements, try to pick courses that would be especially helpful given the type of nurse and area in which you plan to practice. Check with the nursing school to which you plan on applying in order to know exactly what you should take.
In addition to courses, some schools provide or even require internships or professional development opportunities. Internships for pre-nursing programs usually involve shadowing a nurse in a clinic or hospital. Remember to take advantage of these experiences, if offered, because the applied experience can help your application to nursing school. If your school does not offer assistance in finding a nursing internship, use this time to get a job on your own within the healthcare field, such as a certified nursing assistant.
Consider using your time in a pre-nursing program as a way to cultivate your skills for nursing school if that is your ultimate goal. Even if you decide against a nursing school, it is still important to gain these skills to do well in your pre-nursing program. Utilizing the resources at your college and through your pre-nursing studies department to learn how to be productive through time management and understanding how you learn best.
Keep your grades high to help you get into nursing school. Maintain a good relationship with professors and your advisor so that you can use them for references either for nursing school or the job market.
What do you do after a pre-nursing program?
The primary goal of many pre-nursing programs is to provide you with the tools and background to successfully apply to a nursing school. While specific requirements vary for each nursing school, you can expect to need top grades, recommendations, and essays for your application.
Your pre-nursing program can work with you to help you with any documentation you need from your school.
If you choose not to pursue nursing school after your program, you do have alternative career paths to choose from that are still in the medical field. You could choose to work as an aide to help nurses in basic duties. Other people decide to go into direct home health and provide care to the disabled or the elderly.
Nurses are in high demand with employers, and nursing is a promising career in terms of employment opportunities, wages, and career stability. Becoming a nurse requires a lot of hard work and education. If you apply yourself through a pre-nursing program, you can gain both the educational requirements and study habits to do well in your career.