Nursing School Requirements: From Start To Finish

Nursing school requirements from beginning to end.

Nursing school requirements are essentially twofold. There’s a set of requisites for starting nursing school and another for finishing. And while we can’t speak for every institution, here’s what you need to get into and graduate from our 16-month ABSN program.

Getting into Nursing School

While every nursing school has different ABSN admission requirements, the students applying to these programs must meet certain academic criteria. After all, ABSN programs are for individuals who already have a non-nursing undergraduate education.

The eligibility requirements for our ABSN program are:

  • A non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.7
  • A minimum grade of C in each prerequisite course
  • A minimum cumulative prerequisite GPA of 2.7

It’s worth noting that great nurses are more than just numbers on a transcript, which is why we take a more holistic approach to our admission process. Let’s say, for example, you’re concerned about having a low GPA for nursing school from a cumulative standpoint. You may still be eligible for our ABSN program if you earned a GPA of at least 3.3 in your natural science courses.

ABSN Prerequisites

Unlike many nursing schools, we only have four prerequisite requirements for our ABSN program. These courses, which you can complete online through our university, are:

  • Microbiology
  • Human Anatomy or Anatomy & Physiology I
  • Human Physiology or Anatomy & Physiology II
  • Statistics

It’s worth mentioning that if you come from a non-science background, these prerequisites might be a bit challenging. So, if you struggle in these areas, consider focusing on one course at a time. Otherwise, you might stretch yourself too thin and fail to meet the minimum grade requirement for a course.

Graduating from Nursing School

While our nursing school requirements are one thing, the requisites to succeed once enrolled in our ABSN program are another. Nursing school, in general, is one of the toughest academic paths you can take. Pretty much any nursing graduate will tell you it was the hardest thing he or she has ever done—but totally worth it.

To successfully complete our accelerated nursing program, you’ll need to:

  • Spend up to 60 hours a week on your education.
  • Be OK with putting certain aspects of your life on hold.
  • Prioritize, stay organized, and always plan ahead.
  • Touch base with your professors on a regular basis.
  • Take full advantage of our academic success coach.
  • Lean on other students in your cohort for support.
  • Maintain a self-care routine and take study breaks.

Point To Ponder

While having good time management and organization skills will serve you well in nursing school, they’ll also help you function effectively on the job. The ability to prioritize and reprioritize your workload (not to mention multitask) will make a big difference in your professional day-to-day life.

Speaking from Experience

See what these four ABSN program graduates had to say about their nursing school experience.

“It’s all about time management. It’s not going to be easy, because it’s not supposed to be easy. You’re earning a BSN in 16 months. There’s a lot of information thrown at you really quickly, so you have to stay on top of things and stay organized.” -Brianna, 2018 ABSN Program Graduate

“As we got to know each other, we definitely grew as a family because we knew we were all going through the exact same thing. If someone was struggling with something, someone else was there to pick them up.” -Lauren, 2018 ABSN Program Graduate

“The faculty want you to succeed. They’re not trying to set you up for failure—that wouldn’t be good for the program. The professors were accessible and good at facilitating successful clinical experiences.” -Greg, 2018 ABSN Program Graduate

“Get ready to hit the ground running from day one. It’s very fast-paced. But know that the faculty and staff are there for you. You have all the resources you need to be successful.” -Erin, 2018 ABSN Program Graduate

Bonus Advice for Entering The Profession

Given the interprofessional nature of health care, you’ll want to develop an aptitude for collaboration and networking while in nursing school. Why? Because it can open doors for you after graduation (maybe even before you earn your degree).

According to Brianna, who’s now a registered nurse working in women’s health, it’s in your best interest to put yourself out there during your clinicals. She recommends talking to as many people as you can, from clinical educators to floor nurses to nurse managers. “It’s all about making a good impression when you’re in clinicals,” she said.

By developing strong relationships during your clinicals, you could potentially land a job with one of our clinical partners. And Lauren is proof of that. During her role transition experience, which took place in an oncology unit at a local hospital, the manager and educator asked her to sit down with them, resulting in an informal interview and a job offer the next day.

Lauren in Xavier ABSN lab

“While I was there, I made sure that I was on the ball. I was doing my assessments on time, charting correctly, distributing medication properly, and educating the patient. I did everything to show that I was interested in oncology and could do the job as a new nurse,” Lauren said. “A lot of new nurses go straight into a medical-surgical or rehab unit. New nurses don’t usually start off in a specialty area.”

As an ABSN student, your role transition experience occurs during the fourth and final semester of the program. While we can’t guarantee placement at a certain facility, we try our best to accommodate your preferences.

Ready or Not?

If you meet our nursing school requirements and believe you have what it takes to succeed in our ABSN program, talk to an admission counselor today! We offer three program start dates a year at each of our site locations in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.

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