Typical pre-nursing courses include science classes such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, biology and nutrition, as well as more general coursework in psychology, mathematics, statistics and sociology. Pre-nursing programs are typically two years long and prepare students to enter a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the junior level. Students are required to be high school graduates or have passed the GED in order to enter a pre-nursing program.
Students may not require a full two years to complete a pre-nursing program depending on their academic background. A student with a bachelor's degree in English, for example, may place out of many arts and humanities courses.
Many community colleges offer pre-nursing courses. Online course are also available, but typically include a clinical component requiring hands-on experience. Some typical course offered online are anatomy, microbiology, nutrition, human physiology and biostatistics.
Pre-nursing programs may serve a number of purposes. Some students with a degree in a non-nursing area may need to take certain courses to enter the field of nursing. Other pre-nursing programs are geared toward individuals who wish to enroll in a licensed practical nurse program. Registered nurses may need to take required courses before beginning a master's program in nursing.
After receiving a bachelor's degree in nursing, students must complete a state licensing exam before beginning work as a registered nurse.