Best Pre Nursing Degree 2024

January 26, 2024 | Admin

Pre-Nursing Degree
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What is a Pre Nursing degree?  A Pre Nursing Degree is an associate degree in nursing that fulfills requirements for students to apply for a BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) program.  BSN programs take four year to complete, start to finish, but those with a Pre Nursing Degree will cut that time in half by two years and they will jump immediately into the core courses of nursing.  Many community colleges across the country offer pre nursing degree programs.  The demand for nurses continues to grow every year, with that demand comes multiple opportunities within the field, career stability, and earning potential.

What Does a Pre Nursing Program Offer?

First students will earn a pre-nursing associate degree upon completion of the program.  Most programs at community colleges cover the same courses including anatomy, chemistry, nutrition, microbiology, and nursing practices.  These courses provide a foundational knowledge of medical terminology as well as skills that practicing nurses will need.  These programs will cover the prerequisite courses of the BSN degree.

Students will have a choice between earning their pre-nursing degree on a campus of a community college or online.  It is important to note that there may become required practicum that needs to be completed for graduation. Students attending on-campus will typically attend full-time either during day classes or evening/weekend classes.  Those that attend on campus will generally fulfill the practicum on campus or in clinics partnered with the community college.  Students that attend online will be able to have a more flexible schedule that allows for other obligations to be met while they earn their pre-nursing degree online.  The practicum is generally arranged through the community college or a local clinic that is approved by the program for students to complete the degree.  Since nursing is a hands-on profession it is imperative that pre-nursing students gain the necessary skills to be successful in their career.

Some programs may offer areas for students to specialize in while they are earning their pre-nursing degree so they can continue a specialized nursing course in their BSN program.  Examples of this would be students specializing in gerontology, pediatrics, nutrition, medical terminology, midwifery, etc. If earning a nursing degree with a specialization is what you desire be sure to do the research to know what schools offer the program of interest both in pre-nursing as well as in the BSN program.

Online Nursing Program Expectations

Most curricula are very similar from one school to another as it is set by the accrediting organizations CCNE or ACEN.  Students must attend a program that is recognized and accredited by one of these two agencies if they plan to earn a BSN degree.  If they earn a pre nursing degree from a program/school that is not accredited other colleges and employers will not accept it.  Every accredited program will require courses in chemistry, anatomy, microbiology, and nursing practices.  Many programs will also offer electives that allow students to begin specializing in a particular area of nursing.  These are mentioned below.

Required Courses

Anatomy: This is an introductory course of human physiology and anatomy where students learn the function of cells, the skeletal system, muscular, system, and nervous system.  Students may take some classes that teach about common diseases as well.

Microbiology:  In these courses students will study life at a microscopic level as they study microorganisms.  Students will be taught the basics of bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and eukaryotic cells.

Human Development:  These courses will allow students to learn about growth and development of the human body across the lifespan.  Students will place a large emphasis on theory and research in these courses as they study the cognitive, physical, and social milestones of human beings throughout their life.

Nutrition:  Students will learn about the basics of nutrition, diet, dietary needs, sources, intake levels, and the function that main nutrients have in the body.

Biostatistics:  A class designed for collecting, reading, and reporting data focused on living organisms.

Options for Specialization

Gerontology: This specialty focuses on working with the elderly in a variety of healthcare settings.  As the average age and life expectancy continue to rise, so does the need for excellent nurses that are knowledgeable in this area.  Students will focus on diseased and amaldies that are more particular to the elderly.  Some particular areas that are often studied are dementia and diabetes.

Orthopedics: Orthopedic nurses focus their study on the musculoskeletal issues that can have an impact on muscles, joints, and bones.  Maladies often studied at greater length are arthritis and osteoporosis.  They will learn skills in treatment and methods of educating patients.

Midwifery:  This concentration includes conception through birth and the first six weeks of an infant’s life.  Midwives will assist expectant mothers through gestation, birth, and the first six weeks after the baby is born.  Coursework for this includes natal health, the birthing process, and mother and infant wellness.

Pediatrics: This concentration focuses on nursing with children ages birth to 18 years old.  Students will study growth and development milestones in children as well as common maladies in children.  They will work primarily with pediatricians and will need to have a knowledge of pediatric medical terms as well.

Rank School Location
1Holmes Community CollegeGoodman, Mississippi
2Georgia Military CollegeMilledgeville, Georgia
3Allen County Community CollegeIola, Kansas
4Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community CollegeHayward, Wisconsin
5Missouri Baptist University OnlineSt. Louis, Missouri

Pre-Nursing Degree Online Programs


Holmes Community College

  • Goodman, Mississippi
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

Holmes Community College operates five campuses and online courses to accommodate the many students across Mississippi. Holmes Community College offers one of the strongest online pre-nursing licensure programs in the nation. This program includes a set of general studies as well as courses particular to the pre-nursing licensure program. Most students can complete the entire program in two years if they enroll in courses full-time. Tuition costs remain the same for on-campus, online, resident, and non-resident, making this one of the most affordable online pre-nursing programs available. Online coursework is offered by synchronously and asynchronously.

School Overview

Tuition: $3,410
Accredited: Yes
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Georgia Military College

  • Milledgeville, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 32%

Georgia Military College focuses primarily on the liberal arts but also offers a great online pre nursing licensure program. In this associate degree program students can either earn an associate of arts in nursing or an associate of science in nursing. Each will require students to complete a set of general education requirements as well as a set of pre nursing requirements. These degrees will typically take students two years to complete the program. Once enrolled students can choose to either attend asynchronous online or they can do a blended format for the pre nursing degree.

School Overview

Tuition: $13,671 For Degree
Accredited: Yes
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Allen County Community College

  • Iola, Kansas
  • Graduation Rate: 49%

Allen County Community College operates two physical campuses in Kansas as well as a robust online distance learning program. Having built up an accredited and engaging online curriculum, students can now earn a pre-nursing degree online and be prepared to transfer to a four-year college to earn a BSN smoothly. The pre-nursing program at Allen County Community College requires fewer general education courses in favor of more robust pre-nursing courses to adequately prepare students for a career in nursing. Desiring to assist graduates Allen County COmmunity College holds transfer agreements with many colleges in Kansas.

School Overview

Tuition: $3,080
Accredited: Yes
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Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College

  • Hayward, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 82%

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College primarily serves the indigenous people based in the upper midwest and Canada but welcomes all students regardless of their background, especially in their robust online programs. LCOOCC has one of the nation’s top online pre-nursing licensure programs. Students will take pre-nursing courses such as microbiology, nutrition, anatomy, and more to ensure they complete the courses necessary to transfer to a BSN program. Students will also complete general education requirements. To complete the entire online pre-nursing degree, students will need to take courses full-time for four semesters which puts them at completing the program in two years. This particular program is a blended model with part being taken online and part on campus.

School Overview

Tuition: $4,590
Accredited: Yes
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Missouri Baptist University Online

  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Graduation Rate: 61%

Those seeking to earn a pre-nursing associate degree online will find a high quality accredited program from Missouri Baptist University Online. Students will be able to complete all the curriculum online including the labs to earn the degree. Students will learn how to effectively communicate patient data, manage care, mitigate error, and support clinical judgment and evidence-based nursing practice. Students can use the degree as a springboard to the BSN program or they can access numerous entry-level positions within the nursing field in various settings.

School Overview

Tuition: $445 Per Semester Hour
Accredited: CCNE
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Marian University

  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
Marian University graphic with adult college student

Marian University offers fully online nursing prerequisites for students planning to apply to nursing school. Marian’s Adult Programs’ online nursing prereq courses provide students the added advantage of delivery in accelerated five-week term and eight-week sessions. Students enjoy the flexibility of scheduling classes around their family and work obligations with 12 start dates a year and may take up to two classes at a time. Faculty members and highly credentialed professionals provide students with the tools they need to enter nursing school, preparing them for the challenges ahead. Many students in the online nursing prereqs program continue on to apply to Marian’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program. Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), while Marian’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

School Overview

Tuition: Contact School
Accredited: Yes
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Amarillo College

  • Amarillo, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 26%

At Amarillo College students will complete all of the requirements for an ADN and complete all of the prerequisite courses that are required to enroll in a BSN program should they choose to transfer to a four-year college upon graduation. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare services they will be required to provide help to them to enter the field of nursing confident and competent in their role as a care provider. Students of the ADN program will not complete any of their required clinical hours as part of the ADN, those will need to be completed as part of their BSN.

School Overview

Tuition: $112 Per Semester Hour (In-District) $305 (Out of State)
Accredited: Yes
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Miami Dade College

  • Miami, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

At Miami Dade College students are able to enroll in an online associate of science in pre-nursing. This degree will not allow students to work in the nursing industry, it will, however, prepare them to be admitted to a four-year college to earn their BSN. Students will complete all of their general courses as well as required pre-nursing courses in science and anatomy that will enable them to be admitted to quality BSN programs. This is a pathway program that guarantees students to be admitted in one of the state’s four-year colleges for the BSN program. Students may also be eligible for scholarships.

School Overview

Tuition: $7,093 Entire Program
Accredited: Yes
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Pierce College

  • Lakewood, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 19%

Pierce College provides an ADN program that will prepare graduates to analyze and synthesize information in order to make informed decisions. Graduates are also able to demonstrate knowledge of diverse cultures and ideas through their nursing experience. With the articulation agreements between Pierce College and many of the four year colleges that provide BSN degrees, students can transfer seamlessly. Students choosing their pathway to earn their BSN will enroll in the ADN program and show competencies prior to transferring to a BSN program. Students do not have to transfer if they choose to only hold a ADN degree.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,7772 Per Semester
Accredited: Yes
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Careers Outlook For Pre-Nursing Degrees

Perhaps not everyone desires to transfer immediately to a BSN program once they complete the pre-nursing degree, there are career opportunities for those individuals as well.

EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)

An EMT provides emergency medical care for people outside of a hospital or clinic.  They are typically first responders that will take vitals, apply splints, apply bandages, perform CPR, and take general assessments of a patient’s health.  They will usually be assisting a paramedic on the scene.  To become certified as an EMT, they will need to complete a non-degree program.

Nursing Assistant

A nursing assistant or nurse aid will often provide patient care under the direction of a registered nurse.  They can assess the common maladies and sicknesses of patients.  They are employed in a variety of settings from nursing homes to schools, to long-term care facilities to hospice. Most employers will also require a separate education program, many will pay for this training.

Monitor Technician

Just like it sounds these professionals will work in a medical facility overseeing the monitors of patients.  They will communicate if there is a change in the monitors that are used in assessing patients.  Most can receive on-site training although some might require the competition of an EKG interpretation course.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

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