3 Reasons Prerequisites for Nursing Are Important

NDMU ABSN student learning from a professor with text "Prerequisites for nursing"

Prerequisites for nursing are more than just another requirement to be fulfilled. These courses provide you with vital skills that will carry over to your nursing education and to your career.

That’s why Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Accelerated Second-Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing program has six carefully chosen prerequisite courses. We want to help make you well-prepared for anything you encounter in your nursing courses and help you enter your education feeling confident.

Prerequisites prepare you to jump into your nursing program with a solid understanding of foundational concepts, allowing you to put your best foot forward. Here are three reasons prerequisites are worthwhile:

1. Prerequisites give you a leg up

Whether you’ve been out of school for a few years, or maybe you just need time to adjust to using a new platform, the prerequisite courses you’ll take for the Notre Dame of Maryland University Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN program give you the opportunity to jump back into online modules and hybrid learning. These courses will help acclimate you to a school schedule of completing assignments and meeting deadlines. Think of it as dipping your toe into the hustle and bustle of nursing school. You get to control the pace at which you complete these courses, too—you get five years to complete them so you can be sure it’s not too overwhelming right off the bat. This experience will also give you a head start on knowing what to expect from your nursing workload and how to manage it. 

2. Prerequisites give you a well-rounded background

Prerequisite courses for NDMU’s ABSN program are designed to give you a diverse background and approach to nursing. We want you to be secure in your education before you even start your nursing program, and these six courses are designed to do just that. These prerequisite courses will help you sharpen your analyzing, critical-thinking and multi-step processing skills, preparing you to be a well-rounded nurse.

3. Prerequisites lay a solid foundation for your nursing future

Each nursing school prerequisite course centers around skills that your nursing education will build on. You’ll learn basic theories that will help you better understand lessons later in your program and give you the knowledge to put your best foot forward. To become eligible to enroll in NDMU’s ABSN program, in addition to meeting the other qualifications for our program, the six required prerequisites include:

  • MAT 215: Basic Statistics             
  • CHM 108: Survey of General, Organic & Biochemistry     
  • BIO 253: Microbiology  
  • BIO 201: Anatomy & Physiology I             
  • BIO 202: Anatomy & Physiology II            
  • PHL 330: Ethics 

Each of these courses offers unique insight into your nursing education, and each one has an advantage you’ll leverage later in your schooling. Let’s go through each one and discuss why it’s valuable to your future as a nurse.

Importance of Statistics

Statistics is based on the ability to collect and analyze numerical data to understand proportions as a whole from those in a representative sample. It also focuses on honing the skills of organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data.

In nursing, all these skills come into play, and often. Nurses can use statistics on everything from patient charts to understanding emerging research and trends to better treat their patients.

According to a recent study, nurses can use statistics to pinpoint patterns in vital signs and symptoms in their patients and be able to better respond to the medical status they display.

Nurses can also use skills learned in a statistics course to process data to determine when medications should be distributed to patients and evaluate studies that analyze the efficacy of treatments and intervention methods. A handle on statistics can empower you later in your career to help change policies, improve procedures, and understand the evolving health care field.

Being able to understand and dissect nursing research and advances within the profession will help make you the best nurse you can be. Statistics is a huge part of nursing and by getting a solid grip on the study in your prerequisite course, you’ll be able to enter your program confident in your ability to understand qualitative data.

Nursing textbook

Importance of Biochemistry

Biochemistry combines elements of both chemistry and biology (hence the name) and studies each area’s impact on matter. Biochemists generally study the biochemical reactions that are present at the molecular level in living organisms.

In the health care field, we use biochemistry to better understand health and disease.

Biochemistry offers several building blocks that are essential to your education as a nurse, including:

  • chemical components and processes of the human body
  • nutrition and mineral metabolism
  • molecular genetics
  • heredity and genomics

Understanding the chemical process of the human body can help you determine how to better treat patients and empathize with what exactly is happening to them.

Importance of Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms. In this course, you’ll learn about the functions and makeup of bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi and protozoa. From ensuring effective sterilization to collecting samples for tests, microbiology plays a large role in the everyday duties of a nurse. For a nurse, this field of study comes into play in several different areas. Understanding how certain bacteria grow and spread can help you mitigate or eliminate them in a health care setting.

Understanding how viruses work is especially important in the era of COVID-19, as learning about how to properly reduce the spread of the virus is vital.

A foundation in microbiology can also inform procedures in the medical field including keeping things sterile, collecting swabs, and providing quality care.

Importance of Anatomy and Physiology

Some outlets say that anatomy and physiology in nursing school is usually the nursing class that determines if nursing is right for an individual. While the course can be challenging, it’s vital to nursing.

Anatomy and physiology is an in-depth dive into the functions and elements of the human body. You’ll learn about the integumentary system, reproductive system, skeletal system, cardiovascular system, and lymphatic system as well as how all systems within the human body collaborate to function properly.

By understanding how all these systems ideally work, you’ll be able to identify when they aren’t functioning properly and how that affects your patient.

Importance of Ethics

When caring for patients, ethics are especially important. From providing fair and equitable care to making the right call as a snap response, a solid ethical background can make or break a nurse.

One recent study describes ethics as: “moral principles that govern how the person or a group will behave or conduct themselves. The focus pertains to the right and wrong of actions and encompasses the decision-making process of determining the ultimate consequences of those actions.”

In this course, you will learn about the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics and how to practice integrity as a nurse.

nursing student studying with textbook

Become a Nurse Sooner Than You Think

If you’re not sure which (if any) prerequisite courses you’d need to complete to qualify for ABSN program eligibility, contact our admissions team to help you make that determination. Your assigned admissions counselor can review your academic history and unofficial transcripts from your previous degree program to help you make an ABSN prerequisite completion plan that aligns with your target start date in NDMU’s Accelerated BSN program.