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Nursing Prerequisites: What You Need to Know

If you’re reading this, odds are you are probably looking into an accelerated nursing program, like Concordia University Texas’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track, because you want to begin your nursing education right away. Before you can officially get started, you may need to complete some or all of the required nursing prerequisites. While our accelerated BSN track puts your 60 credits or non-nursing bachelor’s degree to work so you can earn your BSN quicker, there may be some courses you didn’t take that you’ll need for enrollment.

These courses are essential because they lay the foundation for everything you will do as a registered nurse. The prerequisites also introduce you to Concordia University’s mission and vision and help you feel more confident and comfortable with nursing fundamentals before embarking on your nursing school journey. That’s why we have the answers to the top questions potential students have about the ABSN prerequisites at Concordia University in Austin, Texas.

What Prerequisite Courses Do I Need to Complete?

The answer to this question depends on two things: the status of your previous academic history and how many transferable credits you have. Keep in mind that there is no expiration date on science prerequisites. This is a huge benefit that sets Concordia apart from other nursing schools. If you possess a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution, then you must satisfy the following prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or above:

  • Chemistry I with Lab
  • Microbiology with lab
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab
  • Nutrition
  • Intro to Statistics
  • Lifespan Development
  • Medical Spanish for Healthcare Professionals

If you do not hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and are applying to our ABSN track with the minimum transferable credits (60), then you will have to fulfill the Concordia Common Experience CORE courses, which include:

  • Academic Research and Writing
  • Fundamentals of Communication
  • Fine Arts
  • US History
  • Government
  • Introduction to Literature
  • Introduction to Psychology

All prospective ABSN students will also need to complete:

  • New Testament
  • Old Testament
  • Life and Leadership
  • Leadership Theory and Practice

How Will These ABSN Prerequisite Courses Help Prepare Me for Nursing School?

Our prerequisite courses play a pivotal role in your success as an accelerated BSN student at Concordia. For example, if you are a career changer who has been out of school for a few years, our prerequisite courses can help sharpen your study skills and perhaps introduce you to online learning. On the other hand, if you are fresh out of college and without a science background, all is not lost – the labs you complete during prerequisites teach you how to transfer knowledge from theory to actual practice.

Regardless of your educational background, here’s how a few prerequisite courses will help prepare you for nursing school.

Human Anatomy & Physiology

This course is very important for future nurses to take because it outlines the foundation for the work that nurses endure on a daily basis. During the course, you will learn the structure and function of the human body and the different systems it houses, including the integumentary system, reproductive system, skeletal system, cardiovascular system, and lymphatic system. It will prepare you to care for a patient internally and externally.


Much of what you learn in nursing school is based on statistics. The goal of this course is to teach students how to interpret data of all types. Whether it be analyzing vital statistics for patients, researching various nursing processes and procedures, or knowing what methods are most effective when administering medication.

Lifespan Development

Concordia’s Lifespan Development course is crucial to have on your plate because it introduces you to the study of human growth and development. It focuses on the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial aspect of development from conception to death. After taking this course, you will be equipped to demonstrate knowledge of development across the lifespan and apply this knowledge to nursing theory.

New Testament & Old Testament

Open to all ideas and religions, these faith-based courses introduce you to Concordia’s Christ-centered curriculum. “The benefit of taking these classes prior to starting the nursing curriculum is that they set the foundation for what Concordia is all about,” says Gary Dingus, ABSN admissions counselor. After all, it is our mission to develop your ability to serve as a Christian leader in a professional nursing practice.

“As a nurse, our students will need to know more than the logistics of placing an IV, or taking blood,” says Gary. “Given that most of our nurses are working in Texas, they will definitely encounter more than a few spiritual patients, and they need to know how to communicate with these patients, and comfort them in a language that the patient can understand.”

How Will My Admissions Counselor Help Me Along the Way?

Your admissions counselor will work with you to develop a personalized academic plan. The goal of this plan is to figure out which prerequisite courses you will need to successfully complete and when you will be eligible to start the ABSN track. Our Accelerated BSN track offers you three start dates per year in January, May, and August. Your admissions counselor will tell you exactly what your prerequisite course load will look like and may even recommend the order in which you should complete them.

Where Can I Complete My Prerequisites?

“Students are able to research their options on where to take the prerequisites,” says Kayla Clemons, ABSN admissions counselor. “Though, their easiest bet is taking them at Concordia. This way, we can better assist them and are able to access their classes and grades immediately for smoother transitions into each session.”

Through Concordia, students can complete their ABSN prerequisites online. This helps you understand the learning platform before beginning the track, giving you a head start. The course materials that you learn about are engaging and adapt to a variety of learning styles, including:

  • video
  • audio
  • PowerPoint
  • readings

As you complete prerequisites you can expect to participate in class presentations and discussion groups, complete labs, exercises, and quizzes, and watch, listen, and learn as instructors solve complex problems.

When Are Prerequisites Offered?

Prerequisite courses are offered in 8-week sessions. Prospective ABSN students can complete prerequisites the semester before their ABSN start date as standalone courses, or they can complete them at the same time as their ABSN track coursework. Keep in mind that if you choose to complete your prerequisites concurrently, they must be complete before the end of the third semester in the ABSN track.

How Can I Get Started?

Now that the main nursing prerequisite questions have been answered, it’s time to take action. You can start by sending your academic transcripts from all colleges or universities you’ve previously attended to:

Concordia University Texas
Office of Admissions Processing
1140 Concordia University Drive
Austin, TX 78626

Or, you can have the issuing institution send your transcripts to us directly electronically. From there, you can connect with our admissions team to determine if Concordia University’s ABSN track is the right fit for you.

Contact us today and find out if Concordia University’s Accelerated BSN track is the answer you have been searching for.

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