If i have a bs degree in biology how can i become a RN?

Nurses General Nursing


Hi everyone,

So i just completed my freshman year with a major in biology, however I decided I want to become a nurse, but the school I go to does not offer a degree in nursing. What should I do, transfer even though i love the school or is it possible to become a RN with a degree in biology?

If anyone knows a solution please let me know!! thanks!!



37 Posts

most universities have an accelerated degree (BSN) program for those candidates who already possess a Bachelors degree even in another area, ( like agribusiness for example) check into it, I think you would be a shoo in with all of your background, you may even find nursing school boring :D


411 Posts

I think you might find that you love another school, just as well. IF you want to be a nurse, you need to go to nursing school (in some form). You have one year in, likely common pre requisites, look into transfer options. Why do 3 more years, pay all that money, and spend all that time ona degree that you don't want? If you're feeling confident in your decision, go for it! You're in great place for a transfer now.


37 Posts

Are you relatively young? Do you have pressing need to enter the job market soon?

These conditions may factor into your decision as well.

From personal experience, when taking any classes A&P or Chem's always take the version of the class that the lab is offered concurrently with, this will help ensure that your credits will transfer more readily ( though there is no guarantee). I am betting for the most part all of the classes that you are taking for a biology major will more than meet the requirements of nursing programs, the req's for nursing tend to be more like a survey class, and tend to not transfer as well.

Just keep those things in mind.

Good luck with school, hope you enjoy nursing whenever you decide to pursue it :loveya:


Specializes in Nurse Anesthetist.

Depending where you live, there are many schools that will transition you from a BS degree to a BSN in usually 1 hard core year. (12 full months). In Los Angeles, there is Mount St. Mary's College in Brentwood (near Santa Monica) or Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo, although I know the CSUCI is a very new program.


14,633 Posts

Depending where you live, there are many schools that will transition you from a BS degree to a BSN in usually 1 hard core year. (12 full months). In Los Angeles, there is Mount St. Mary's College in Brentwood (near Santa Monica) or Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo, although I know the CSUCI is a very new program.

The accelerated BSN programs are often v. expensive and v. competitive in addition to being v. demanding and grueling programs. The OP mentions that s/he is only now finishing her/his freshman year -- I'm not sure I see the point in putting the time and money into completing the biology degree and then going into a nursing program. If the OP is committed to going into nursing, that seems to me like an unneccesarily complicated and lengthy way to do it.

Of course, one of the best things about nursing as a career (IMHO) is that there are usually a few different paths to get to where you want to go. :) The "best" choice for each individual is a v. personal choice, involving a range of variables.

To the OP, it is not possible to become an RN with a biology degree without going back to (nursing) school. It seems to me that the issue for you at this point in the process is what the point is in finishing the bio degree if it's not going to help you get to your final goal (RN licensure). If you were a semester away from graduating with the bio degree, I would see that differently. But, this early in the bio degree, I don't see any logic or advantage in it.

Specializes in Nurse Anesthetist.

Sorry, I missed that she/he did not already have the bio degree. I agree with Elkpark.


22 Posts

If you know you absolutely want to become an RN then you should consider transfering to a school that offers a BSN. A Biology degree does not equal an RN. You will still have to complete pre-requisites prior to being accepted into an RN program (whether that's a 2-year or BSN program). You can see if the classes you've taken will transfer. Usually if you're in your Freshman year, you're doing a lot of general requirement classes to satisfy graduation requirements.

Good luck.


38 Posts

I agree that if you want to pursue RN degree, continuing with a bio degree is not the ideal option, but I also know that BSN programs in some areas of the country (if not across the country) are impacted in a major way. This means that it is very difficult (i.e. highly, highly competitive) to get accepted into these programs in a timely manner, or at all.

But there are other options to become a nurse besides getting a BSN from an entry level program.

I know many of my fellow pre-nursing peers who are continuing their bachelor's degree classes, such as general ed., while taking 1 req. per sem. to save time.

Choosing a major such as sociology, pschy, or health care admin. are all good options because they are not as intensive and you can focus on your reqs. while making progress on another degree.

This degree is like a "back-up" in case you can't get in an entry-level BSN program, which has, unfortuately, happened to many, many students that I know, including myself. Once you graduate with your bachelor's, you can apply to an entry-level MSN, or 2nd Bachelor degree.

Entry-level MSN are not as competitive, and not as impacted as BSN programs, making it a better option for many students.

You can also go to a 2-yr RN program (you can apply to this one once reqs are completed; you don't need a bachelor's).

I wish I had given myself this back-up, because it is very discouraging to find out how impacted these programs are and not know what to do next.

Now, I am completing my Bachelor's, and I am on a few wait lists (2-3yrs long)

By the time i finish my degree, my number will be up, and I will go get my RN! :)

If you really want to be an RN, I suggest taking your reqs now while you are doing your 1st 2 yrs of general ed. Also, you may find that a different major may make things easier on you while you take the pre-nursing classes.

Good luck and don't let this discourage you-it may be different in your area, but I just wanted to be honest about my experiences and the experiences of my fellow pre-nursing students. I hope this helps!


99 Posts

Specializes in ED/TELE.

I also have a BS in Biology and I'm currently in an LVN-RN step up program. I graduated over 10 years ago and have never put my degree to good use. My recommendation to you is to stay put for now - it may be too late to apply to anywhere else for the fall. Since you're already in school, go ahead and take the pre-req's you KNOW you'll need for nursing school, such as Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology. I'm assuming you got your General Bio and General Chem done your freshman year, so you should be all set to take A & P and Micro (a benefit to you since your school does not have a nursing program is that these classes will be easier to get into - a lot of times people have a difficult time just getting into the pre-req classes b/c they are in such high demand and fill up quickly). Look into nursing schools that you may be interested in and see what their other pre-req's are as far as general ed requirements (psych, math, English, etc) and start knocking those out, too. As long as you're already enrolled in a school, you might as well take the classes you know you'll need for a nursing degree. If you really want to pursue a career with a degree in Biology then you should finish, but it sounds as though you want to ditch Bio altogether and pursue Nursing. Take the classes you know you're going to need for nursing school and then start looking into the transfer process. Stay in school and knock out all your pre-req's and as much general Ed as you can while you're applying to Nursing schools. Best of luck to you.


2 Posts

Thank you all so much for your awesome advice, I decided that I am going to transfer next year to a school with a nursing program! Thank you again, you all really helped me!! :)



102 Posts

All excellent replies. I can't add much other than good luck!

You should be able to transfer the majority of your credits in no problem. Bio and pre-professional (I.e. pre-med, pre-dentistry) major science courses are (generally) considered more in depth than nursing courses. So you should have no problems transferring in your 1st year bio and chem for example. Entry level Microbiology is typically taken in the second semester at my university, so you may also have that as well. Generally speaking, you should be fine with that as well. Hopefully you took psychology and sociology as your electives. Psych and socio are usually required for nursing.

Nursing programs where I live also require Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, and Human Growth and Development. Typically Bio/Micro BSc students don't take these courses (even most pre-meds don't take A&P because it is not a requirement for our med schools, you learn advanced A&P for physicians as part of the program), although I did take Nutrition as it fit well into my program. My area of interest is how food proteins can/may trigger autoimmunity.

You may want to consider taking any of the above classes that you are lacking as summer electives before you get into nursing school.

Since each school's accelerated program is different, I can only give general advice.

I'm glad that you figured out what you wanted to do!

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