How to Complete Nursing Prerequisites

How to Complete Nursing Prerequisites

Nursing is your life’s calling — you just didn’t realize it right away. Or you did but chose a different path anyway. Whatever your reason, it’s never too late to follow your heart, whether that means changing majors or changing careers.

Also good news? A nursing degree is closer than you think thanks in part to your previous college experience. With Concordia University Texas’ Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track, you can graduate ready to sit for the NCLEX in as few as 16 months.

However, enrolling in nursing school can feel like a daunting process, especially figuring out how to complete nursing prerequisites. Not to worry — our dedicated admissions team is here to help, and it all begins with a phone call.

How to Complete Nursing Prerequisites and Get Accepted to ABSN@CTX in 5 Steps

Step 1: Talk to an Admissions Counselor

It’s easy to feel like a number when applying to many large universities. You research the requirements, submit what you hope are all the right things, and then you wait.

Fortunately, that’s not how it works at Concordia University Texas, where the first step to applying for our ABSN track is to talk to an admissions counselor. When you call, you’ll be assigned a dedicated counselor who will serve as your point of contact throughout the process.

During this initial call, you’ll talk about why you want to become a nurse and what you did before, as well as go over the requirements of the program in greater detail.

Step 2: Submit Your Unofficial Transcripts

After the call, you’ll send us your unofficial transcripts to be reviewed by your admissions counselor. He or she will verify that your coursework was completed at a regionally accredited institution of higher learning and fulfills equivalency requirements from our prerequisite list.

What do we mean by “fulfills equivalency requirements?” We’ll use the Chemistry I with Lab course requirement as an example.

“Different nursing schools often have different requirements for Chemistry, so I frequently get students who have not taken an exact equivalent to what we require,” says Serena Smith, an admissions counselor for the ABSN track. “The best way for a student to determine equivalent credits is to give us a call. We love to speak to students, and we are happy to evaluate transcripts.”

Step 3: Develop a Plan

Once your admissions counselor has looked over your unofficial transcripts, he or she will schedule a follow-up call to advise you on what previous courses may be transferrable, and then work with you to develop a plan for tackling any missing or insufficient prerequisites. Depending on your previous educational experience, these courses may include any of the following:

  • Eight ABSN track-specific prerequisites, which directly relate to the field of nursing and are required of all ABSN students
  • Four Concordia-distinctive courses, which are required of all CTX students and include a detailed study of the Old and New Testament
  • Seven Concordia Common Experience CORE courses, which are required for all ABSN track applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree or higher

Complete nursing prerequisites - person taking notes near laptopHowever, this is not to say that you’ll need to take all 19 prerequisite courses to get into our accelerated nursing track. As Serena says, “It is very uncommon that students have none of the CORE courses, as these are typically general education requirements for most regionally accredited institutions.”

Additionally, your previous college experience plays a big part. As is often the case, students with a previous Bachelor of Science degree tend to have more of the track-specific prerequisites than do Bachelor of Arts students. That’s because these courses are foundational to a number of science-related majors, not just nursing. It’s also possible that your past educational experience may position you to test out of certain courses. When you work with an admissions counselor to create your unique plan, he or she will consider all options to create a positive solution for you.

Science Prerequisites Explained

Unlike many nursing programs, which require you to have completed the relevant science credits within the past five to seven years, ABSN@CTX accepts science prereqs whenever you took them, so long as they meet the equivalency requirements and you passed them with at least a “C” grade while maintaining both cumulative and science GPAs of 3.0.

“The nice thing about the Concordia ABSN is that there’s not an expiration date on science prereqs, so students can have a microbiology class from 10 years ago and that can still count towards our program,” says Carley Leasure, the site director for Concordia University Texas’ ABSN track.

Because every student’s background is different, there’s no one right path to completing prereqs. How many prerequisites you plan to take at any one time depends on your comfort level and personal preferences. Also, while most prerequisites must be completed before enrollment in our Accelerated BSN track in Austin, Texas, three courses — Life and Leadership, Leadership Theory and Practice, and Medical Spanish for Healthcare Professionals — may be taken as corequisites while in nursing school.

“We have a very even split of students who do the leadership classes during and in advance of the ABSN track, but we generally advise our students to think very critically about their lifestyles and the requirements of nursing school before planning a corequisite,” Serena explains. “Nursing school is tough, and while we have tons of students who are successful taking corequisites, it is not going to be a fit for everyone!”

Step 4: Take Any Outstanding Prerequisite Courses

Once, you have a plan together, it’s time to take whatever prerequisites you’re missing. Keep in mind that, again, while there are a number of prerequisite requirements, it’s rare that an ABSN@CTX applicant doesn’t already meet some of them.

Most — if not all — of these courses can be completed in eight-week, online sessions offered through Concordia University. However, even if they aren’t offered online or you wish to take them elsewhere, your admissions counselor will help you find and apply for the right courses, and regularly check in on your progress.

“We do our utmost to help students find an option through Concordia first,” Serena says. “For students missing CORE classes, we offer many online in eight-week sessions, but because students in this situation are fewer and further in between, sometimes lack of demand does not allow us to offer one online. When that happens, we always have 16-week in-person courses.”

Step 5: Apply to ABSN@CTX

Once you have completed the prerequisite coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, you’re eligible to apply for our ABSN track. This includes submitting your transcripts, a personal essay explaining why you want to earn your BSN from Concordia, and three professional recommendations.

Once Accepted into Concordia’s ABSN Track

If accepted into our accelerated nursing track, you’ll also be required to take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS VI) within a year of starting, submit to criminal background and drug screens, and to complete any immunization and health participation requirements.

Ready to Put Your Passion for Caring into Practice?

Give us a call today, or fill out the form to have an admissions counselor call you, to find out if Concordia University Texas’ Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing track is right for you.

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