Prerequisites for Nursing School: What You Need to Know

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You likely must complete a set of prerequisites for nursing school, no matter where you apply. These vary from program to program, but at Xavier University you must take microbiology, anatomy, physiology, and statistics. An important requirement for nursing school, they provide the baseline knowledge you’ll need to succeed.

student in classroom setting

Every university requires a similar set of prerequisites for nursing school. Here at Xavier University, our 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program has four prerequisite course requirements, which is a huge advantage for second-degree students eager to transition into nursing. It’s important to note that a non-nursing bachelor’s degree along with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 are among the requirements for nursing school in Xavier’s ABSN program.

Do you have to take prerequisites for nursing? The short answer is yes. While we only have four ABSN prerequisites, these courses are challenging and critical for nursing career preparedness. That’s exactly why we have four targeted ABSN program prerequisites:

  • Microbiology
  • Human Anatomy or Anatomy & Physiology I (with lab)
  • Human Physiology or Anatomy & Physiology II
  • Statistics

These courses are a great way to gauge how well you’ll do in nursing school. For the most part, students who ace these prerequisites tend to be the most successful in our ABSN program. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these areas informs the practice of nursing and set you up for success in the Xavier ABSN program.

What are prerequisites for nursing school?

Nursing prerequisites offer much more than checking a box on your list of ABSN requirements. These four courses curated by Xavier University provide you with vital tools and information that will not only aid you in your nursing education but also help you in your career.

These courses help ensure you have the preliminary knowledge required to undertake professional nursing study. In other words, you’ll be able to hit the ground running on your first day in the program.

nurses standing in a hospital

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Why do you have to take prerequisites for nursing?

As part of the Xavier ABSN program enrollment process, you must satisfy four prerequisites. Why? Prerequisites prepare you to immerse yourself into your nursing program with a strong understanding of foundational concepts, allowing you to put your best foot forward.

Here are some benefits of prerequisite courses that you may not have considered:

  • If you’ve been out of school for a bit, or need some time to adjust to using a new eLearning platform, the prerequisite courses you’ll take allow you to get a feel for online modules and hybrid learning, allowing you to enter your nursing courses confidently.
  • These courses will also help acclimate you to a schedule of submitting assignments and meeting deadlines — you’ll learn what to expect from your nursing workload and how to manage it.
  • These prerequisite courses will focus on your analyzing, critical thinking, and multi-step processing skills, setting you up for success as a well-rounded nurse.

What prerequisites do I need to take for Xavier’s ABSN program?

Here are the prerequisites necessary for Xavier’s ABSN program:

Nursing PrerequisitesMinimum Grade RequirementCredits
Human Anatomy or Anatomy & Physiology I (with lab)B4
Human Physiology or Anatomy & Physiology IIB4

Prerequisites must have been completed within eight years of your ABSN program start date.

Xavier ABSN student working with sim manikin

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Let’s talk about why each of these prerequisites is important and what role they will play in your nursing future.

Microbiology in Nursing

An important branch of science, microbiology is the study of microbes and how these tiny, living things influence our daily lives. Through microbiology, we can track the positive and negative outcomes of a microbe’s work.

Nurses need to have a deep understanding of microbiology because they use their knowledge of microbes in various ways, from the proper disposal of biomedical waste to the examination of smears for bacterial contamination. Nurses also use microbiology to see how a patient responds to treatment. A solid understanding of microbiology can also support knowing the best procedures in the medical field such as: keeping things sterile, collecting swabs, and providing quality care.

Anatomy and Physiology in Nursing

xavier absn student reading textbook

While anatomy is the study of the structures associated with the human body, physiology is the study of how these structures function. Exploring the human body in its balanced state, anatomy and physiology are the cornerstones for nearly every health care profession. With an understanding of how the healthy body works, we can identify and treat disease.

Responsible for bringing the human body back to its balanced state, nurses rely on anatomy and physiology to determine the best course of action when caring for a specific patient. By understanding the complexities of how all systems within the human body work together to function properly, you’ll be well-suited to identify when they aren’t functioning correctly and how that affects your patient.

Statistics in Nursing

Statistics is the science of learning from data, which includes finding ways to organize, summarize, and describe quantifiable data, as well as creating methods for drawing conclusions and generalizing upon them.

When it comes to nursing, RNs use statistics on a routine basis, from studying disease patterns in patients to determining the time interval for when a patient should take prescribed medicine. Nurses also use statistics to calculate the average number of patient examinations per day, week, month, or year, which allows them to predict when health consultation is at its peak.

xavier absn student grabbing supplies

How can I complete my prerequisites?

When you’re ready to dive into your prerequisites for nursing school, we make it convenient for you to do so by offering these courses online through our university. By choosing Xavier to complete your prerequisites, you may qualify for provisional admission into the ABSN program.

If you prefer to complete your prerequisites at another school, it’s important to have your admission counselor vet the courses to make sure they satisfy our requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions about nursing school prerequisites

Are you still not sure which prerequisites to take, or what other requirements for nursing school you need? Here are some frequently asked questions about prerequisites for nursing school.

What happens if I completed my prerequisites a long time ago?

Keep in mind that if you’ve already completed one or more of these prerequisite courses, you must have done so within eight years of entering the program and earned the appropriate required grades. It’s worth talking to one of our admission counselors to make sure your past college credits are eligible for transfer.

What other qualifications do I need to apply for nursing school?

To qualify for the Xavier accelerated nursing program, you must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree in addition to earning a grade of B or better in each science prerequisite course, C or better in statistics, and maintaining an overall cumulative GPA of 2.7.

Ready to Get Started?

Contact our admissions team to put your nursing school prerequisite plan in place or to learn more about Xavier University’s 16-month ABSN program in Ohio.