Preferred knowledge for NP degree


I am considering starting a NP program and would like to know what classes would benefit me in the NP program. I have 4 yrs experience as a RN and specialize in mental health at this time. I have my BSN from a decent college, but I was wondering what classes I could retake or take that might benefit in a NP program. I am pretty proficient in sciences and physiology, but chemistry is my weak spot. Is there much chemistry in NP programs? I was thinking of taking some community college classes to jump start by pursuit of a NP degree. I appreciate all feed back, thank you.


32 Posts

Has 2 years experience.


I would say that the answer to your questions depends upon which school and program you choose. I am at The Ohio State University and the FNPs and PMHNPs take the same classes for the most part, with little deviation. I would not say that it requires anything more than a rudimentary understanding of chemistry (Ions, Acid/Base, Electronegativity, Reactive Oxygen Species/Free Radicals, and a little in the way of pharmacokinetics). With that being said, I certainly would not say that it is a "bad" idea to take chemistry if you feel that this is slight blind spot for you. I would strongly recommend taking a statistics course that worries less about crunching numbers, and focuses more on understanding concepts. Along those same lines, I would say that my biggest asset in the program thus far is knowing APA backwards and forwards. Whether you decide to take a writing class, or if you just read some research articles to get back into the "mood," I would say that would help immensely. If you are smart in the sciences, remember that it isn't enough to "get it," as you also have to show everyone else (professors) how proficient you are in them.

Best of luck, and let me know if I can help in anyway or be more specific in my response.

anh06005, MSN, APRN, NP

1 Article; 769 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac, Home Health, Primary Care. Has 6 years experience.

I think it depends on what NP program you will complete. Family? Adult? Mental health? Peds?

I did family and I will say I wish I remember more from micro (it would probably help learn antibiotic usage more quickly). Also any pharm, immunology, patho you can get. I did take advanced pharm and patho but those are a couple of things that the more I hear it/learn it the more I remember.

You can also do some self study instead of spending the money. Many say the "____ made ridiculously easy" book are great. I bought some on Amazon and the _____ can be patho, micro, pharm, cardiology, etc.

There are also some free courses you can take to refresh your memory from Coursera.

Lastly any nurse who knows some Spanish (or whatever language may be prevalent in your area) will have an edge on things in the long run.


261 Posts

Specializes in FNP.

Sounds like you're ready. The first few courses are the same, and transferable, to most schools. From what I could tell from my experience as well as asking many colleagues from other schools is that with enough effort the classes are easily doable. My advice to you is the same as was given to me; once committed to a curriculum, do whatever it takes. School is only for a season. Good luck with whatever you decide.


547 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

I am in a NP program, and all of the programs at my school require 3 common core classes (advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and advanced health assessment). If you know where you want to go, maybe you can take some classes non-matriculated such that when you enter the program the course load will be a tad bit lighter. If your employer offers tuition benefits then this makes it all the more worthwhile. There was a brief part of advanced pathophysiology that covered some chemistry, but otherwise make sure you're solid on your physiology and you should do fine.