Getting into Nursing School: Requirements and Prerequisites

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If you’re thinking about becoming a nurse, getting into nursing school is your first step. We go over all the nursing school requirements and prerequisite courses you’ll need to be accepted into Xavier’s ABSN program and even offer a few pieces of advice for incoming students.

Student studying and writing in notebook

If you’ve decided to take the leap and attend a nursing program, you’ve probably been researching nursing school requirements. While there are several things you need to consider when getting into nursing school, we will break it down for you so you’re familiar with nursing school requirements.

In simple terms, you need to consider two things to get into nursing school. The first is any admission requirements for your program of choice and the second is the prerequisites the program deems necessary for success. While we can’t speak for every institution, here’s what you need to get into our 16-month ABSN program here at Xavier University.

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See what you can do to increase your chances of getting into nursing school.

Admission Requirements

While every nursing school has different ABSN admission requirements, students applying to any program will need to 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 B in each science prerequisite course
  • A minimum grade of C in the statistics prerequisite course

Note that because our program requires a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, many of our ABSN students are career-changers. This means that our cohorts typically are very diverse when it comes to our students’ past experiences, worldviews, and ages, so don’t worry if you think you’re too old to change careers. You’re never too old to chase your dreams, and you’ll likely not be the only non-traditional student in your cohort. This level of diversity can potentially add to your educational experience and help you become a more well-rounded nurse, as you’ll be able to better understand how your patients’ past experiences have shaped who they are.

Five nurses standing together outside

Learn more about factors you should consider when choosing nursing as a second career.

ABSN Prerequisites

The other thing you need to consider during your admissions process is prerequisite courses. Unlike many nursing schools, we only require four prerequisites 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 or two courses at a time. Otherwise, you might stretch yourself too thin and fail to meet the minimum grade requirement for a course.

xavier absn student reading course material

On the other hand, if your previous bachelor’s degree was more science-focused, like biology, then you may have some overlap between your previous education and our prerequisites. Be sure to speak with an admission counselor about transferring some of those courses. Make note, however, that it is not a guarantee that all your courses will transfer, especially if these courses were completed eight or more years before your start date.

If you find that you need to complete one or more of these prerequisite courses, you’ll have the option of completing them online through Xavier University. Not only does this option offer peace of mind knowing your credits will transfer, but it may also give you an opportunity to become familiar with our online learning platform, which you’ll use during your online courses in the ABSN program.

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and the drive to become a nurse, our ABSN program can fast-track your career. Download our ABSN Program 101 Guide to help you successfully navigate the accelerated path to nursing.

Why Do Nursing Schools Have Admission Requirements?

At first glance, getting into nursing school can seem a bit overwhelming considering all the eligibility requirements and prerequisites. However, those requirements to get into nursing school aren’t designed to make your life difficult. They are put in place to prepare our students to succeed in our program. Because of the accelerated nature of our ABSN program, our curriculum is fast-paced despite covering some difficult topics. By meeting the eligibility requirements, you’re showing the admissions team that you’re capable of completing college-level coursework and will do well in the program.

Additionally, prerequisite courses ensure that everyone enters the program with the same level of understanding of some basic scientific and mathematical principles that we will build on in subsequent courses. Even if you have no previous experience in the sciences or healthcare, prerequisites will set you up for success in nursing school.

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Learn more about why we require prerequisites and how they can help you get through nursing school.

Graduating from Nursing School

While our nursing school requirements can be a challenge, the work doesn’t stop there. Once enrolled in our ABSN program, you’ll need to commit to succeeding in your courses. Nursing school is one of the toughest academic paths you can take. Many nursing graduates will tell you it was the hardest thing they have 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.

While it’s not one of the requirements to get into nursing school, preparing for this rigor before classes start is not a bad idea. You can do this by getting in the habit of waking up at the same time each day and getting a planner to start organizing your due dates, exams, and other events. We also recommend establishing a self-care routine to ensure you’re staying healthy during your time in nursing school. While this will be a challenging journey, preparing yourself before you begin nursing school can make a world of difference.

xavier absn student listening in stethoscope

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.

Ready to Get into Nursing School?

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, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio.

Xavier ABSN simulation lab

ABSN 101 Guide

Download our ABSN 101 Guide to help you successfully navigate the accelerated path to nursing.