Share this

How Should Nursing Students Pick a Minor?


Published June 1, 2023 · 2 Min Read

Curious about how to choose a minor in nursing school? Explore the best minors for specific nursing specialities and discover how to pick the best minor for you.
How Should Nursing Students Pick a Minor?
Image Credit: SDI Productions / E+ / Getty Images
  • Minors in nursing school are not required but can help shape your education and career.
  • Minors are useful for nursing students considering specific settings, specialties, or postgraduate studies.
  • Choosing a minor wisely can expand your knowledge and your professional options.

Are you interested in choosing a nursing minor? Learn about possible minors in nursing school, including which ones can benefit your training and career journey.

A nursing degree is already challenging, so consider a minor program wisely. Remember that nursing school is the time to explore your options and choose opportunities that can help you grow academically and professionally.

Minors in Nursing School

While a minor is not necessary to graduate or become a nurse, the material you learn can expand your nursing knowledge. It's also a great way to explore your professional interests and learn about different fields.

Nursing Specialty Preparation

A minor can help you prepare for a specific nursing specialty or job function. For example, a minor in nutrition can prepare you to assist patients in developing and following healthy eating plans. This knowledge can be useful anywhere, but it may be especially useful in cardiology or endocrinology, where patients often have a high need for nutritional counseling.

Nursing Specialties & Minors
Nursing Specialty Minor(s)
Nursing Management Business Administration
Geriatric Nursing Gerontology or Nutrition
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Psychology or Sociology
Community Health Nursing Public Health or Health Science
Nursing Research Biology
Pediatric Nursing Child Development
Nursing Writing Communications or Journalism
Legal Nursing Criminal Justice or Political Science
Nurse Coaching Nutrition or Sociology
Nursing Informatics Computer Science

Extended Learning Opportunities

A minor can create opportunities for extended learning. During nursing school, you typically study one specialty per semester or quarter. If you choose a minor related to your desired nursing specialty, you can continue to learn about this field throughout your undergraduate program.

Some nursing schools offer special learning experiences as part of their minor programs. For example, at the University of Michigan's school of nursing, students can apply for the population health in a global context minor, which includes study-abroad opportunities and instruction on global health topics.

Keep in mind that you can choose a minor simply out of curiosity or interest. There's a good chance it will be valuable at some point. For instance, a sociology minor may not seem relevant to a medical-surgical nurse's job, but understanding human behavior will surely come in handy when interacting with patients, families, and colleagues.

Nevertheless, your career aspirations play a primary role as you decide on a minor in nursing school. Consider these five guidelines during your decision-making process.

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

5 Tips on Picking a Minor in Nursing School

Not sure what nursing minor to pick? Some minors help you learn more about a nursing specialty, while others expand your knowledge in a different field. Consider these pointers when making your decision.

1 | Broaden Your Knowledge

Knowledge is power: the more, the better. Many minors expose you to topics like epidemiology, international health, and public safety, which can help you to eventually choose a particular nursing specialty like nursing research or community health nursing.

2 | Prepare for Graduate School

If your goal is to further your nursing education and obtain a postgraduate degree, an undergraduate minor can help to prepare you for graduate school. For example, if you want to become a geriatric nurse practitioner, a minor in gerontology during your undergraduate studies can help prepare you for graduate studies.

3 | Fast-Track Your Nursing Career

A minor can increase your nursing expertise in a particular field, which can help you advance in your nursing career. The additional knowledge can give you an advantage over other candidates when job hunting or seeking a promotion.

4 | Learn More About Who You Want to Help

Do you hope to provide care to older patients? A minor in geriatrics could be the right move. Minors in global health can position you for work with international populations. A minor in nutrition can help you care more effectively for people with anything from cancer to heart disease.

Figure out where you want to be and who you want to help. Then work backward to find the minor that will put you in the best position to succeed.

5 | Increase Networking Opportunities

A minor related to your desired area of work can provide advancement opportunities through networking. In your minor courses, you will meet instructors and other students who can serve as resources, mentors, and points of contact for additional networking opportunities.

You may also be eligible for internships/externships through your minor program which can lead to even more networking opportunities.

mini logo

You might be interested in

Student Resources

Guide to Nursing Specializations and Concentrations


Updated November 18, 2022

check mark Reviewed by

Our Integrity Network is committed to delivering content that is objective and actionable. To that end, we have built a network of industry professionals across higher education to review our content and ensure we are providing the most helpful information to our readers.

Drawing on their firsthand industry expertise, our Integrity Network members serve as an additional step in our editing process, helping us confirm our content is accurate and up to date. These contributors:

  • Suggest changes to inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Provide specific, corrective feedback.
  • Identify critical information that writers may have missed.

Integrity Network members typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for as a side project. All Integrity Network members are paid members of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.

Explore our full list of Integrity Network members.


The 35 Best Specialty Career Choices for Nurses


Updated March 21, 2023


Registered Nursing Salaries by State


Updated March 23, 2023 · 2 Min Read is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.