6 Requirements to Get Into Nursing School

Each blog post is dated and contains accurate information as of that date. Certain information may have changed since the blog post publication date. If you would like to confirm the current accuracy of blog information, please visit our ABSN overview page or contact admissions at (866) 664-9033.

NDMU nursing student wearing blue scrubs

If you’re interested in becoming a nurse, you might be looking for a program where your previous college credits can be applied toward your nursing education. Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program helps students like you do just that, even if you have no prior health care experience.

Nursing school requirements vary based on the institution, but Notre Dame’s ABSN program offers a streamlined approach that gets you through the application process and into your nursing courses on an accelerated, 15 month timeline.

In fact, we’ve boiled down the nursing school admissions process to just six requirements. To be eligible to enroll in our ABSN program, you must first meet Notre Dame’s accelerated nursing requirements, which are outlined below.

1. Non-Nursing Bachelor’s Degree

Whether your previous degree is in English, biology, or anything in between, our program is designed to leverage your previous experience toward a career as a nurse much sooner than a traditional program.

To be eligible for the ABSN program, your previous degree must have been completed with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. We understand that you’re eager to start your nursing journey, and we can help you launch your career — all in as few as 15 months.

2. ABSN Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite courses lay the foundation on which you will build your nursing career. They’ll serve to prepare you for key nursing concepts and familiarize you with our intuitive online learning platform.

We’ll go over these courses in more detail later in this blog, but for now it’s important we mention that you’ll need to complete 22 credit hours of prerequisites while earning the minimum grade requirements.

3. ABSN Program Application

Connect with one of our admissions counselors to walk through the application process for the ABSN program. They’ll assist you with identifying a realistic start date and verifying that you have all the documents and materials that are required to apply.

4. Current Resume and Personal Essay

Your personal essay should cover who you are, and why you want to become a nurse. This is your chance to set yourself apart from other applicants and show why you’re a good fit for the Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU).

5. Test of Essential Academic Skills

The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) is often taken by students preparing to enter the health sciences field. You’ll need a minimum composite score of 65% on the exam to meet the requirements of NDMU’s ABSN program.

ABSN student notebook with class notes

The exam assesses your capabilities in four major areas, including reading, math, science, and English and language usage.

The exam can take up to 3.5 hours and contains about 170 questions, which includes 20 pretest practice questions that do not count toward your overall score.

We recommend studying for this test prior to taking it. There are several resources available online to prepare, including flashcards and practice tests.

It is important to note that students applying for ABSN program admission are exempt from the TEAS requirement if they have completed 30 or more college transfer credits, have not repeated any required courses, and have a transfer GPA of 3.3 or above.

Additionally, if you’ve already taken the TEAS within one year of applying to the ABSN program, you may submit your previous score rather than re-testing.

6. Two Recommendation Letters

A good recommendation letter will detail your relationship with the writer, discuss your character and the work you’ve completed, and share why the recommender believes you are a great fit for the Notre Dame ABSN program.

These letters can be from previous professors, advisors, supervisors, or coworkers.

7. Prerequisites for Nursing School

To be prepared for the course content in our Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, you must first complete six ABSN prerequisite courses. These courses aim to bolster your current knowledge and bridge the gap between your previous degree and your ABSN coursework. You must complete these courses prior to starting your nursing program.

NDMU nursing student studying with nursing textbook

The six prerequisite courses include:

• Basic statistics
• Survey of general, organic, and biochemistry
• Microbiology
• Anatomy and physiology I
• Anatomy and physiology II
• Ethics

Every student’s educational background is different, so if you’re unsure which (if any) prerequisite courses you’ll need to complete in order to qualify for the ABSN program, you can count on our admissions team to help you identify which requirements you’ll need to satisfy.

They’ll review your academic history and unofficial transcripts from your previous degree program before helping you form a prerequisite plan.

Talk to an Admissions Counselor

If you’re ready to meet all of the above requirements and are interested in learning more about our full-time, accelerated nursing program, it’s time to contact one of our admissions counselors.

ABSN student standing in hallway

Your assigned admissions counselor will help you complete the next steps on your path to becoming a nurse and starting a career giving life-changing care to those who need it.

For more information about our ABSN requirements and prerequisites, fill out our online form to reach out to our admissions counselors.