Pin Me

General Entrance Requirements for a Nursing Education

written by: Erik Hinrichsen•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 2/25/2011

This article explains the general entrance requirements for nursing education. It explains the specific requirements for all the different education options, which include Associate's degree, Bachelor's degree, and Master's degree.

  • slide 1 of 5

    As health costs around the world have soared, doctors have become ever more squeezed for time. Hospitals and other health care providers have rushed to fill in the gaps by hiring more nurses, which has created a surge in demand for educated nurses. Because of the increasing demand, good pay, and relatively short time in school, many people are interested in becoming nurses. Many people wonder what the general entrance requirements for nursing education schools are; there isn't just one answer, however. There are several different types of nursing degrees, all of which carry different educational requirements and lead to different nursing careers.

  • slide 2 of 5

    Requirements for Associate's Degree in Nursing

    There are many programs offering an Associate's degree in Nursing. These programs are usually 2 years long, and combine college-level coursework with more practical nursing education. Although some programs are focused on training towards becoming an LPN (licensed practical nurse), most focus on training RN's (Registered Nurses, the higher level).

    Gaining entrance into a nursing school can be difficult, as many people are interested in the career field. The programs can vary some from state to state depending on the licensing rules, but there are some general requirements. All programs require a high school diploma or the equivalent (such as a GED). In addition, some schools look at high school grades as well as scores on standardized tests like the SAT. The most competitive schools look at performance in classes such anatomy.

    Although course prerequisites can differ from school to school, most require students to have already taken classes in Anatomy/physiology, English, chemistry, microbiology, psychology, and at least algebra. In addition, students at many schools must pass drug and background tests in order to be admitted.

  • slide 3 of 5

    Requirements for Bachelor's Degree in Nursing

    The Bachelor's degree in nursing program combines undergraduate education with the nursing program, so that students graduate with a degree in Nursing. These programs generally train students to become RN's, though they must still pass the NCLEX-RN licensing test.

    Like any other college major, students must possess a high school diploma or the equivalent in order to study Nursing. Entrance to these programs is often highly competitive, and students usually need to take the SAT or ACT. In addition, foreign students are often required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) prior to admittance.

    The general entrance requirements for nursing education at the bachelor's level often include specific high school courses in addition to good grades and test scores. The most common coursework requirements are algebra, chemistry, biology, and geometry.

  • slide 4 of 5

    Requirements for a Master's Degree in Nursing

    Master's programs in nursing are the most competitive, as they train students for the best-paying nursing jobs. These jobs include family nurse practitioning and other advanced-level work. These programs are usually two years, though in some cases it may be possible to attend school part-time.

    As one might expect, the educational requirements for a Master's degree in nursing are more difficult than the other levels. All incoming students must have a bachelor's degree; in addition, they must already be licensed RN's (registered nurses). The test scores and GPA required for a Master's degree in Nursing can vary, but many schools do require students to take the GRE or other graduate school exam. High GPA and degree of health care experience also play a role in nursing school admissions.

    In addition to the usual course prerequisites, which students had to have taken to obtain their RN license in the first place, some schools may require students to take statistics and management.