What classes should you take in high school if you plan on going to nursing school? That’s a common question we’re asked by aspiring nurses who are still in high school. It’s never too early to start preparing for nursing school, and in this article, I’ll give you some tips on how you can prepare right now.
Before we get started, I’ll just say that it’s always a good idea to make an appointment with your school’s guidance counselor to discuss your future plans. He or she will work to ensure that you’re taking all of the classes you need to take to prepare you for your nursing school journey. He or she will also ensure that you take necessary exams such as the ACT or SAT.
High School Classes that Prepare Students for Nursing School
First, you need to ensure that you’re on the “college path.” Many high schools will have two different paths, each with different class requirements: the college path and the technical path. Since you will be going to college to complete a degree (ADN or BSN), you need to choose the college path. This will ensure that you take all of the necessary math and science classes, and you won’t have to take any “remedial” courses once you get to college.
Next, you want to take as many sciences courses that you can. Most will be required anyway, but take courses like biology, chemistry, and any other sciences courses. Most colleges or technical schools will require those same courses to be taken at the college level. By taking them in high school, you will familiarize yourself with some of those important concepts.
You should also take any type of health science courses offered at your high school. While every high school may offer different courses (or call them by different names), here is a list of courses you’ll want to take (if offered):
- Medical terminology
- Anatomy and Physiology (may be called Human Anatomy)
- First Aid
- Health science
- Child development
- and any other health-related courses
Aside from those courses, many students find it helpful to take courses such as speech or communications. This will enable students to improve communication skills.
Foreign language courses are also very important. In some areas (such as Florida), there is a high population of individuals who speak another language (Spanish, for example). In this case, it would be wise for students to take foreign language courses to enable them to communicate more effectively with patients.
Additional Tips for High School Students
In addition to the taking the courses mentioned above, there are three other recommendations I’d make for high school students:
- Consider joining a nursing club or student health organization, such as HOSA. This will allow you to network with other students, and it will look great on a future resume or nursing school application.
- Take any college prerequisite courses that you can while you’re in high school. Many senior high school students take some of the college core classes while they’re still in high school, and many colleges and high schools work together to help students do this. For example, you may be able to take English courses, math courses, and other similar courses while you’re still in high school.
- Consider taking CLEP exams to test out of courses you’d otherwise have to take in college. Most colleges or technical schools accept CLEP exam scores. When you pass a CLEP exam on a given subject (literature, math, science, etc.), you won’t have to take the course in college. You’ll get full credit on your college transcript, but you won’t have to take the actual class. This saves time and money.
In conclusion, there are many ways that students can prepare for nursing school while they’re still in high school. By taking the proper courses, joining health organizations, and taking CLEP exams or prerequisite courses, you’ll be destined for success!