Forum Post: What Pre Reqs do I need for my RN, and can I do them online? I am currently a CNA and I want to further my education by becoming an RN. I want to see what I need to do in order to start this.
Thanks for your questions! They are excellent questions that many people have. Below is a comment section that you can correspond with me if you have any other comments or questions. I assume since you are already a CNA (certified nursing assistant) you have already graduated from high school? If you haven’t graduated yet, that is the very first step.
Before you apply to a nursing program you will need to ask yourself what type of nursing degree you want to earn. There are two ways to earn a registered nurse degree. One is through an associate’s degree program (ADN), and the other is through a bachelor’s degree program (BSN).
You are probably asking right now, “What is the difference?” An ADN takes 2 years to complete and a BSN takes 4 years to complete. Please see this article on the major differences between ADN and BSN degrees.
Generally, you will start out making the same amount of money and both degrees make you a RN, but hospitals are pushing for BSN nurses and advancing in your career is limited with only an ADN degree. So, if you plan on advancing in your career, I would go for the BSN.
After that you will want to apply to a university or community college in your area with a nursing program with either an ADN or BSN program. Here is a list of nursing programs by state (just find your state and see what universities or community colleges offer nursing program). Before you apply to a university you will have to have the following prerequisites completed:
- Taken the ACT/SAT exam (which ever one they require)
- Forward your high school transcript
- Submit an application applying to the university (which will include submitting an application fee)
Then after you get accepted you will need to meet with an adviser who will make sure you are taking the right classes before you apply to the nursing program. Typically, you won’t apply to the university’s nursing program until you have completed the required prerequisite courses.
The prerequisite courses in college generally are:
English Composition 1 & 2, Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2 (with a lab), History 1 & 2, elective courses, Humanities/Social Science, Microbiology, Fine Art, etc. (Note: every program is different in what they require but that should give you an idea).
I applied to nursing school during my sophomore year of college and was required to pass an entrance exam called HESI A2. So, that is another pre-requisite.
Now, regarding your question about it being online, yes, some of your pre-requisite courses will be online, but majority of your nursing courses will be on campus. However, you may have one or two nursing classes online. The reason for this is because you have to learn clinical skills and attend clinical rotations.
Then after you graduate from nursing school, you will have to take an exam called the NCLEX-RN. After you pass this you are licensed to work as a registered nurse.
Overall, that is an overview of what you can doing as a CNA to go on for a registered nurse degree. I highly recommend you check my YouTube videos (Nursing School Tips) because I go in depth in explaining this material. I specially have a video on the curriculum for an ADN degree & BSN degree (which include pre-requisite classes) that you may want to watch to help show you the difference in what is required.
Here is a link to those videos:
Amber, I hope this helped! I wish you much success in your nursing journey!