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Prerequisites for Nursing Programs

It is important to know the prerequisites for nursing programs if an individual is interested in pursuing a career in the nursing field. This is because LPNs, while legally licensed to work as health care providers, have less educational attainment and therefore less opportunities for career advancement. Therefore, a lot of LPNs continue their studies in order to advance to the next level, but before they do, they need to complete the prerequisites for nursing programs.

The prerequisites tend to differ depending on the school and program you enroll in, so it is important to check first and do your research. However, there are basic prerequisites that are consistent amongst all accredited schools. For instance, at least a highschool diploma or a GED is required. Additionally, the student needs to complete a certain amount of supervised clinical practice during the course of the programs.


Nursing programs also need individuals to complete courses in the following:

1. Medical Terminology – where students learn medical terminology, as well as their uses and pronunciations and how they are used in the field.

2. Anatomy and Physiology – is where the students learn the development, structure, and functions of all major body systems.

3. Microbiology – where microorganisms are studied, especially terms of how they relate to diseases and healthcare.

4. Adult Health Nursing – this course teaches and trains students in the skills related to caring for adults, since nurses will most likely deal with adults and the elderly in a hospital or home care setting. Topics will include pain management, care planning, and team building.

5. Foundations of Nursing Care – this is where students are taught the basics of nursing care, delving into topics such as health assessment, physical examination, therapeutic communication, and other topics.

6. Pharmacology – this course focuses on educating students about medication, including their safe administration, their effects, their dosage calculation, and the monitoring.

Aside from the above, some nursing programs also require courses in Anatomy and Microbiology as prerequisites. Additionally, various documentation and typical requirements are also considered prerequisites, such as CPR certification, drug screening, physical exam, criminal background check, proof of immunization, entrance exam, and an admission interview.

Course credits gained from an LP program can also help shorten the duration when pursuing future advancement as an RN. Depending on the school you finished your LPN program, the courses you have completed don’t need to be taken again.


There are certain universities or nursing schools that would require a certain GWA or General Weighted Average. Different schools have different standards. However, it is important to consider that some of these universities or nursing schools also take into consideration your High School GWA or GED rating. If you have already completed an LPN, some universities would put some weight on your LPN degree but would still consider your High School GWA.

Recommendation Letters

Also prepare recommendation letters from your former teachers and/or employers if you have put your LPN degree in practice.