help! confused about the nursing school process


I will be a freshman in college this fall and am trying to decide which colleges to apply to based upon their major choices. I am currently looking into majoring in Nursing and minoring in Child Development. Not many schools I come across have both of these fields. So my questions are: Can you become an RN in 4 years and do you have to major in nursing? Or could you major in biology or biomedical sciences or something and become a nurse or would you need to go to nursing school? What do you recommend? Sorry for all the questions. I don't know any nurses so I am kind of lost at this point. :) ANY info/recommendations would help tremendously.

Thanks :D


54 Posts

Nursing has a strict 120 credit hours that are something like 63 hours nursing classes and 57 hours nursing pre-reqs, or somewhere around there. You really don't have a say in the pre-reqs except for like one or two "electives". But usually those electives would be pre-reqs to the pre-reqs, for example, I had to take human biology to then be able to take the required science courses. You wouldn't be able to "minor" in anything, unless you wanted to have a completely seperate degree, like an associates in something, and then an associates in nursing or bachelors in nursing.


121 Posts

Berea College in Kentucky has a great Nursing program and Child development program. A lot of those courses overlap with the exception of the nursing courses. I graduated from there 10 years ago.


1 Article; 317 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

You will need to be a pre-nursing major at most colleges, do well (nothing below a B) in those pre-requisites, and then apply to that schools nursing school. I do not recommend taking on a minor while working toward a BSN in nursing; your plate is already full enough. Good luck and hope you enjoy college life.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Nursing is not a 'major' like other fields of study. Pre-nursing is a major, but Nursing is a 'program'. Although there are a set of criteria that have to be met in order to be eligible for taking the licensure exam (NCLEX), each school approaches it slightly differently in how the subject matter is divided into different courses, and how they set up the clinical experiences. So, although each school may have a course called 'fundamentals of nursing', the actual course content may be very different. This means that the clinical component (program) for nursing education is not interchangeable between schools.

At 4-year schools, you have to re-apply for acceptance to their nursing program even though you have just completed all your pre-requisites at the same school. There's no such thing as an automatic acceptance to the nursing program. And once you begin a 'program', you have to finish it or you'll probably have to start all over somewhere else.

A typical nursing program is all-encompassing and time consuming than it appears, especially for clinical practicum which requires a lot of prep work outside of the published hours of attendance.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

Each school is unique. So, for everything stated in the responses above, there are exceptions. Those folks were just telling you what it is like at THEIR school -- at other schools, it might be different.

For example: At some schools, you can have a minor. At my local university, many students fulfill the requirements for a minor by taking most of their electives in the same field. And yes, they still graduate in 4 years. Other schools have set their requirements for their nursing major so strictly that a minor is impossible unless you stay an extra semester or more.

At some universities, you are accepted into the nursing program as a freshman -- right out of high school. You then spend all 4 years as a nursing major. My local university accepts students into the sophomore year. They take pre-requisites in their freshman year and apply in the spring to begin their sophomore year in the fall as nursing majors. Other schools accept students into their nursing majors (or programs) in their junior year -- after having taken 2 years of pre-requisites.

So ... your only solution is to explore the schools that interest you. Browse their websites, etc. to get a general idea of their options and requirements. Then contact them with any questions and to be sure you understand their specific requirements correctly. Then you make your decision as to the best one(s) for you -- and apply.

Good luck to you!