Nursing is one of those rare careers that rewards you on a regular basis with not only excellent pay, but with the sense of worth that comes from knowing that you’ve made a positive impact in someone else’s life. And earning a master’s in nursing allows you to take your career even further. Graduate level degrees let you assume better positions, make an even larger impact on the lives of others, and earn better salaries.
But this is common knowledge, and as a result the number of students who have decided that continuing their education and earning a master’s degree has grown significantly over the last several years. Now admissions to graduate level nursing programs are more competitive than ever before, and securing admission can be difficult. There are plenty of ways to stand out and improve your odds of acceptance into a school, but before concerning yourself with them you need to begin with the basics. Simply put, you need to know what the prerequisites for getting your masters in nursing actually are.
The specific prerequisites will vary from school to school, and aren’t always simply about what classes you’ve completed. The critical prerequisites are usually the same no matter where you apply, and it’s good to know just what they are so that you can ensure you have them under your belt with the application process begins.
Most of the main prerequisites will already be completed by anyone who holds a nursing undergraduate degree.
Simply put, no nurse can provide quality care without understand just how the body is put together. Anatomy classes are one of the most important prerequisites that you can complete and will be required by virtually every master’s degree nursing program offered today. It’s a standard class and one that you should complete early in your education.
#2 General Chemistry
Similarly, chemistry is something that all nurses should have at least a basic level. Nurses handle a lot of different duties, and understanding the basics of general chemistry will be absolutely vital for success in the field.
This is the final specific class to be included on this list, and it’s also important. Not all schools will require statistics, but most of the more respected ones will certainly require it or at least give a strong preference to those who have completed a statistics class. The nature of the field involves dealing with numbers and statistics, making this an important class.
#4 Undergraduate Degree
This is generally a culmination of the above classes and more, but it’s listed here because no major Masters of Nursing Program will accept students who don’t hold a solid undergraduate degree in their field. Additionally, as mentioned above earning an undergraduate degree will almost guarantee that a student has completed all of the basic prerequisite courses needed to enroll in a solid Master’s degree program. It should go without saying that a good GPA is also a must during your undergraduate studies.
#5 GRE Scores
Students applying to master’s level nursing programs will need to submit their standardized test scores in order to let colleges know that they’re serious and skilled in their field. The GRE is generally the test that admission boards will ask for. It’s important to note that GRE, CLEP, or any other standardized test scores will not be allowed as a substitution for any other requisites, no matter how high the scores may be.
These are just five of the most critical prerequisites for getting your masters in nursing. Your undergraduate degree is probably the single most important of them, but it’s important that you check with the specifics of admission requirements to ensure that during your studies you did complete all prerequisite courses for the program. Additionally, remember that volunteer or on the job experience may be a requirement but even when it isn’t required, it’s still looked on with much favoritism by admission boards. Always acquire as much experience as possible in order to help ensure that your application is accepted and that you get to move your career forward towards a brighter future.