Accelerated BSN too many pre-reqs!


I am looking into accelerated BSN programs, and even though they are supposedly for anyone holding *any type* of Bachelor's degree, the science pre-reqs are overwhelming!! (My BA is in Sociology which did not require a series of hard science classes.)

I would happily overload myself taking these pre-reqs all at once at a community college, but most of the pre-reqs build on one another (i.e. BIO 101 needed for Anatomy & Physiology 1, which is needed for Anatomy & Physiology 2, etc.). Some of the programs even require weird classes like Nutrition or Computer Science in their list of pre-reqs! :mad:

Please help!

Anyone know of any accelerated BSN programs out there with reasonable/not many pre-reqs? Or even the option to take some of them during the program?

Thanks so much! :inlove:


449 Posts

Specializes in Trauma, Orthopedics.

All nursing programs will require hard science prereqs. There is no getting around bio, a&p, chem, micro, etc. They ARE reasonable in that they are things you need. The only difference from program to program will probably be the amount of chem you need (1 vs. 2 semesters). Nutrition will never go away either.

If you want it bad enough, you'll do it. If you don't want to do the hard science, the medical field is not for you.


897 Posts

Specializes in Behavioral Health. Has 1 years experience.

Well... any program worth attending is going to require an A&P series, microbiology, lifespan psychology, nutrition, and probably a few mixed nuts like statistics, genetics, etc. It's not like any of those are unimportant to being a nurse. They don't require them for fun. You need them.

Nutrition isn't a weird class to take. As a bedside nurse you're going to spend a lot of time interacting with people regarding food and nutrition: CHF patients, tube feed patients, TPN patients, diabetic patients, renal patients... they all have specific dietary needs that require you have a basic knowledge of nutrition. Since education is part of our job, you have to understand it in order to explain it.

Honestly, I don't know why a program would want you to take a computer science course, but everything else you mentioned is pretty much the basics of what we do every single day at work. So... off the top of my head... no, I don't know of any programs that don't require you to know the basics. I know the local ABSN allows you to start the program if you've completed all of the courses by the end of the quarter before, while you're waiting for grades to post.

featherzRN, MSN

1,012 Posts

Specializes in Outpatient/Clinic, ClinDoc. Has 30 years experience.

I agree with the others. Those are all classes required for a BS in nursing, with the possible exception of the compsci class (but I could make a case for that as well). If you had a BS in Biology or something, the BSN would be a lot more 'accelerated', but with a BA you will most likely find those requirements for ALL nursing programs.

Has 13 years experience.

You can always call around to different online BSN programs like WGU and see what they require. I know some allow you to take classes as you go along, but most if not all are going to require a ton of science classes.

Has 16 years experience.

I think the real problem is exactly what you stated: the pre-reqs are fine but it's the classes that you need to take to even be admitted into the pre-reqs that are the issue. I quickly discovered that taking my pre-reqs at a community college will be basically impossible. Four year schools are way more lenient (at least in my experience). I never took high school bio or chem but I had no problem registering for my college level science courses in a 4 year school. I did have to take a college level intro bio class as a pre-req to a&p but that was the worst of it.

I recently applied to the University of Rochester ABPNN and they seem to have the most reasonable pre-req load. They require a&p, micro, nutrition, stats, and development psych. I have also applied to SUNY Brockport's accelerated program but they also require a chem class. I tried to look in to taking it at a community college but as you said, I would need a pre-req to even get into the chem class I need. However, if I take the class I need at Brockport I have no problem registering for it. I know that taking these classes at a 4 year school is more expensive but it might be worth it in the long run.

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.
You can always call around to different online BSN programs like WGU and see what they require. I know some allow you to take classes as you go along, but most if not all are going to require a ton of science classes.

But online programs are not entry to practice, they are RN to BSN The op needs an entry to practice ABSN. Unless op lives in UT, TX, FL, IN then may be eligible for the hybrid entry to practice BSN at WGU

Specializes in NICU. Has 1 years experience.

There are programs like the Johns Hopkins BSN that allow you to take the prerequisites online--but I would be very careful. Johns Hopkins takes online prereqs but many schools require an in-person lab with it.

And just to throw in my 2 cents, while yes there are a lot of prerequisites to get through, you WILL use them in nursing and will continue to use the knowledge throughout your career.

I too had a Bachelor's Degree (Psychology) and never took the hard sciences. But I was determined to do well, had the motivation to finish in as little time as possible, and ended up finishing all my sciences in two semesters (Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Microbiology, Nutrition). It was incredibly tough but I knew what my goal was, and stuck with it. Now I am lucky enough to be starting an ABSN in January.

You have the rest of your life to work if nursing is your career path--why rush through school. :)

Good luck.

Has 21 years experience.

These are all typical pre-requisites for even an associates in nursing degree. I'm thinking the computer course is most likely a computer competency type course that most if not all nursing schools are required to include in their program due to the increasing use of computers in the nursing field (most charts and meds are computerized, at least in an acute care setting). The program that I had to take was actually online and the first half of it was how to use a computer and the internet (yeah, ironic that it was offered online) and the other half was how to use microsoft office applications. It was almost a duplicate of my high school computer class with the exception of the addition of social media (not around when I was in high school so I learned about FaceBook etc. lol).

I would not advise doing this, but some colleges will allow you to take some of the science pre-requisites together if the department director allows it (an example would be A+P II with microbiology). Whether or not they will approve it is up to them and they will likely be looking at your overall GPA and an A in A+P I if they do grant the request. You will want to understand these courses because your nursing courses will build off information that you learn in them.

BeachsideRN, ASN

1,722 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 9 years experience.

It's only accelerated in the sense that you finish the NURSING/clinical portion of the program faster than the traditional route. Not the whole 4 years. Since your bachelors is non nursing without those courses you may find it more cost effective to pursue a traditional BSN or ADN. However the pre reqs are not unreasonable and would be required either way.

BeachsideRN, ASN

1,722 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 9 years experience.

And neither nutrition nor computer science are "weird". You must understand metabolism and nutrition requirements to understand how the lack or excess thereof can cause physiological problems. And typically the comp sci requirement is comp literacy which ensures you understand basic computer knowledge such as how to use the Internet for scholarly research, word processing and data analysis programs such as excel