What are Some Prerequisites to a Master’s in Nursing?

There are various prerequisites to a Master's in Nursing that must be completed before a student can start the program. The goal of satisfying these requirements is to help prepare the student for graduate program and put them in a position where they won't struggle with the nursing courses, which can be difficult at times. Here is a discussion of some of the prerequisite courses a nursing student might need and some actual admission requirements.

Related Resource: 50 Best Graduate Nursing Schools in America

Paths Towards a Master's in Nursing

Although individuals do not need a master degree in nursing to become a registered nurse (RN), they often choose this graduate degree if they wish to go into advanced practice according to Nurse Journal. If they do choose to go into advanced practice nursing, they may work as nurse practitioners, certified nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists or certified nurse midwives. There are several paths available to the candidate who aspires to earn a Master's in Nursing, many of which can be obtained through online education.

  • ADN to MSN – This program is for the student who is already a nurse but with an associate degree.
  • RN to MSN – This program is for the student who is already a Registered Nurse but not a bachelor degree graduate.
  • BSN to MSN – This program is for the student who has a bachelor degree in nursing.
  • BS to MSN (Direct Entry to MSN) – This program is for the student who holds a bachelor degree in a field other than nursing.
  • MSN – This program is for the student starting from scratch and pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing. This path is typically the most difficult but is chosen by someone who is not a nurse and has no degree but wants to earn the MSN. This is also the program for those interested in earning the master degree and working as advanced practice nurses.

Prerequisite Courses Required

Prerequisite courses are courses that usually must be completed before you can enter into a program, although the student may be allowed to complete some during the first semester of the program. Prerequisite courses for a Master's in Nursing degree program will vary but usually include the following:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Nutrition
  • Microbiology
  • Pathology
  • Statistics
  • Abnormal Psychology

Admission Requirements for the Master's in Nursing

The prerequisite courses that must be completed are to satisfy the program requirements. The school will also have its own specific requirements for admissions into the school. It's important to realize that both need to satisfied. Although they may vary from one school to another, here are the admission requirements most common at colleges and universities.

  • GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0 from an accredited school
  • GRE scores
  • Completed admissions application
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation (one professional and two academic)
  • Current resume
  • Test of English as a foreign language
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of current immunizations
  • Two application essays
  • Criminal background and drug screening clearance

Earning a Master of Science in Nursing puts the candidate in a position where he or she will have many career opportunities as well as the potential for excellent wages. Knowing what the prerequisites are prior to enrollment in the Master's in Nursing program will not only smooth the way for the student but will make it easier for the student to enroll in the courses and have them completed in the most efficient timeframe possible.

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