Hey! I'm a fellow brit too! I was born in Stoke-on-Trent haha
I was totally confused when I started college here in the states, it's so different compared to home, so I'll try and shed some light.
1: what are the requirements to get into college for Nursing? I.e are there any exams I need to take prior to get into the school?
Okay, so because I got my GED in the USA (high school equivalent certificate; it just made things 'easier' for me), I had to take the COMPASS test when I applied to my local community college to get my prerequisites out of the way. The college you apply to will be able to direct you in this area and help set up the test etc. so try not to fret! Advisers have a wealth of information regarding starting the academic process, so definitely visit with one if you can. If you don't have your GED here, you might have to take a different test - these tests aren't really difficult, but they do help in getting a 'baseline'; using the results they'll be able to see if you need any support classes.
2: is 'Nursing School' the same as college? Or do you complete two years of pre-reqs at college and then apply for 'Nursing School', using the third and fourth years of study to focus solely on Nursing studies?
So this can be confusing but really it's just different terminology for the same thing. People will use the phrase "Nursing School" when they're actively taking Nursing program specific classes at a college or technical school. I've bolded the correct part in the quote
Some people will do their whole 4 years at the same institute, I split mine between 2 years of community college, and 2 years of specialized college (my wallet hates me for it).
For a 4 year program, 2 years of these will be spent doing prerequisites, and the other 2 years are spent in "nursing school" doing your nursing specific classes. Usually, people must finish prerequisites and apply to a nursing program to finish the last 2 years. It can be really competitive, so it's important to get good grades in the first 2 years when you're doing prerequisite (general education) classes.
It's really important to take note of how much schooling costs, too; it can get expensive, so be sure to check out places such as community colleges to get those prerequisites out of the way first. Education really is an investment here in the US, but for nursing, the debt one may accrue is worth it. The financial department at the college you wish to attend may be able to help you on this front!
I hope this helps!