Bio Degree, then Nursing School?


So I'm 3 semesters away from graduating with a degree with biology, but I don't know if I should just quit and start a nursing program somewhere else. My dream is to become a nurse practitioner, but I don't know the steps to get there. Any advice?


51 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

What state are you in? I ask, because there are some what they call "direct entry" MSN programs that will lead to nurse practitioner certification.(Ohio State Comes to mind) These programs allow you to begin graduate nursing education without being a nurse. Please don't confuse degree with license. Regardless of where or what type of degree you've earned it's your license that allows you to work and hold the title of nurse and there is more than one way to get there.

I would finish the BS in Biology and then look at a direct entry program.

Another option would be to finish the Biology degree and then see about an accelerated second bachelors degree (BSN) OR find a two year ADN program and get your RN license, work for a year as a nurse and then pursue a MSN.

Is there a reason you're not looking at a Physician Assistant Program? A BS in Bio is probably the perfect undergraduate degree and depending on the state, there isn't much difference in the scope of practice between a PA and NP.


434 Posts

Agree with DPT133. You are so close to graduating now, it will take you at least a year to find and apply to a nursing school program anyway, plus there are undoubtedly prerequisites that you'd need to complete before starting either of those. I would complete your degree, but meanwhile find a direct entry MSN or a 2nd degree program that you want to attend. Find out the prerequisites and you can start working on them now while you are still an undergrad.

Has 9 years experience.

I have a BS in biology and completed an accelerated BSN program. I was able to complete it in 4 semesters (plus 2 summer sessions in between). Now, I am looking into an FNP program online. I would finish your bio degree if I were you and look for accelerated BSN programs or direct entry MSN like an above poster mentioned. Good luck!

zmansc, ASN, RN

867 Posts

Specializes in Emergency.

Like many of these questions there are alot of factors that must be taken into consideration. Finances, student loans, family situation, location and programs available there, etc. Each of those things could sway the "correct" answer in many different directions.

Certainly finishing your BS in biology would not be a bad thing, and would help if for no other reason because: Health care is based on biology (A&P, patho, pharmacology, etc) and it would show you and others that you finish what you start (there is alot to be said for the second one). Another reason to lean in that direction, is that if you were to choose a different career down the road, having that degree may be beneficial, where having a bunch of credits will not be. Although I would not advocate the PA route over NP, having that bio degree would allow you that option as well, or for that matter to consider medical school as an option. I'm going to assume you have researched all of those options as well, and have decided for whatever personal and professional reasons that you want NP.

There are several routes to becoming a NP from where you are at. As one poster mentioned there are programs for people with BS degrees, to get their RN in an accelerated format. In fact, one of the biggest confusions on this board is what is the path to NP or other APRN for me? The reason this is so confusing is there are so many different programs and each is designed for a person with a different background. In your case, I would lean away from an Associates degree program for your RN, as you will have more flexibility for the next step if you complete your BSN as a second bachelors degree. That would open up the vast majority of BSN-MSN or BSN-DNP programs to you for your NP education.

Unfortunately, your search for the ideal path for you is likely to be more difficult than it might be for other careers because there are so many possible paths for you to take. Fortunately, you have options! Good Luck in your quest.