Nursing in Liberal Arts?

  1. Hi! I'm an international student who just graduated from high school.I have my mind set on becoming a nurse but before I do that I want to explore different fields to see what might also interest me. I didn't get to explore much when I was in high school. At first I was thinking of going to a liberal arts and declearing my major only in my junior year like most students do. If I find a course that interests me, I was thinking of taking that path instead (eg. International relations, Languages). However, the liberal arts I've been looking up (eg. Colegate, Amherst) don't have nursing programs. So my question is, are there any liberal arts with nursing programs? I want to study in northeastern US. If so, can you tell me? And if there aren't, are liberal arts elective classes available in universities with nursing programs? Do I have to declear my major in my first year?

    I know I can just get a degree in liberal arts first then do nursing but I come from a middle class family. I want to get a bachelor degree in 4 years with minimum amoutn of money spent. So the liberal arts-then-nursing route is out of my options. So do they give financial aids/ scholarships to international students at nursing schools? Is the visa hard to get? I am lost and desperate so I would really appreciate it if you can provide me with answers. Thank you so much!
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    About Difuz

    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 5


  3. by   llg
    Many universities with nursing programs encourage/require their nurisng students to take Liberal Arts courses as part of their Bachelor of Science degree programs. Typically, the first 2 years of university education include a wide range of courses -- with some specific courses required to prepare for the student for the nursing courses later -- and some courses chosen as "electives" by the student to round out their education. Then in the last 2 years of the program, the student focuses on nursing coursework and clinical practicums. In some schools, you can even "double major," getting degrees in 2 different fields simultaneosly, though that may require taking a couple of extra courses and really cut back your personal time.

    At some universities, the student is accepted into the nursing as a freshman (1st year student). At other schools, the student takes the first year or two of classes and then applies to be accepted into the nursing major.

    I suggest you start visiting the websites of colleges and universities within your chosen geographic region and follow the links to look at the classes taken by their nursing students. Visit lots of websites to give you a feel for the various types of programs out there. One of the characteristics about the American nursing education system is that there a LOT of variation from school to school. That's why I recommend looking at several to get a sense of the overall landscape before focusing in on just a few schools to possibly attend.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Difuz
    Oh. Thank you for your answers! So does that mean I will have to declear my major in my first year? Do I still have the choice of changing paths in case I find something else that interests me? Would I lose my scholarships/financialaids/grants if I change?
  5. by   Jennie.K
    My school is a liberal arts school but it is in TX. They have an amazing nursing program! The way it is set up, you have to know you want to do nursing when you go in because of all the prereqs. We do have to take a certain amount a credits from each academic discipline, but they want specific courses taken. After your first three semesters, you apply for the nursing program which is 5 semesters long.

    Most nursing programs have a year to a year and a half of prereqs. I decided to purse nursing when I was 33 credits in. After my 33 credits, I have to take two semesters of prereqs (29 credits) then I can start the program.

    Hope that helps! Good luck to you!
  6. by   Jennie.K
    Also, an arts degree usually requires a language and 1 or 2 science course. A science degree requires all science and no foreign language. That is where I lost credits because I was pursing a BA in English and Political Science. I took Spanish instead of science courses.
  7. by   Difuz
    Thank you very much for your information and sorry for the late reply! Also, I just wanted to know, is it better to go to schools where you can directly get into the program in the first year or to go to schools where you have to apply for the program in your sophmore year?
  8. by   llg
    One type of school is not better than another. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types.

    The disadvantage of going to a program that makes you take a year or two of prerequisites before you apply to the nursing major is that you might not get accepted into the nursing major when the time comes. You would then have to look around for another nursing program to apply to -- and that would take a while to go through that application process and a different school might want you to take a couple of different prerequisties before admitting you. It could easily add another 6 months or year to your overall course of study and cost you money to do that.

    For the above reason, I would personally prefer to go to a school where I could get accepted into the nursing major from the beginning and not have to worry it. If you change your mind about nursing, you can always change your major. But those programs are not as common -- and a lot of people go to the type of program where they have to do the 2-stage application process in which they take their prereq's and then apply to the nursing major later.
  9. by   KelRN215
    There are plenty of liberal arts universities in the Northeastern US that have nursing programs. For a BSN degree, you have to complete the same (or a very similar) core curriculum that all students in the university have to complete. I went to college in Boston and I had to take Philosophy, Theology, English, History, Social Sciences, Fine Arts as part of my education. The only core requirements nursing students were exempted from were the Foreign Language requirement (but I took several classes anyway) and the Cultural Diversity requirement, because it is assumed that this is met through the Community Health clinical (I also met this requirement with many of my other core classes and electives). I didn't have a math requirement because it was waived due to my scores on the AB and BC AP Calculus exams but the average nursing student has the same Math core requirement that all students have. Nursing students also (obviously) have more science requirements- 2 semesters of A&P with lab, 1 semester of Chemistry with lab and 1 semester of Microbiology with lab.

    Changing majors into or out of nursing isn't as easy as it is with other majors. For example, the above mentioned science courses are the "core" science classes for nursing students but none of them fulfilled the core requirement for students in any other school at my university. The program starts 1st semester freshman year with A&P and chem and second semester is A&P 2 and your first nursing seminar, so if you don't enter the program until sophomore year, you're 4 classes behind. It's possible to do, but it may require taking summer classes or extending school for an extra semester to get everything in.
  10. by   Difuz
    Ahh alright. It's clear now. Can you give me the names of some liberal arts with nursing programs in northeastern US? I tried looking them up but couldn't find any.
  11. by   KelRN215
    List of liberal arts colleges in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There are also plenty of schools not on that list because they're officially "universities" but they still have the liberal arts focus.
  12. by   chuckster
    Quote from KelRN215
    List of liberal arts colleges in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There are also plenty of schools not on that list because they're officially "universities" but they still have the liberal arts focus.
    Mu undergrad alma mater, Temple University, is a true university (that is, made up of a number of colleges & schools, e. g., School of Business, College of Liberal Arts, School of Medicine and Dentistry, etc). Temple now has a liberal studies core curriculum that is required of all students, whether you are an Engineering, Business or Liberal Arts major. Many other universities have adopted a similar approach, the thought is that there is a core of classes (English, history, language, social sciences, etc) that all students need in order to be well-rounded.
  13. by   kcmylorn
    My 4 year program was Liberal arts in a very cold Erie Pa- Gannon University and then I went on to a hospital school of nursing. The BSN program require 120 cr to graduate. Like others have posted- the first 2 years were all liberal arts courses- art, psychology, sociology,english, foreign language with chemistry, Anatomy and physiology, microbiology, Statistics and even a logic course
    I like to credit my liberal arts backround for my outspokenness- something nursing has never gotton used to in me even after 32years. I just can't be a conformist and go with the flow.
  14. by   Difuz
    Thank you all for your help! I actually know a friend who got into Temple. I'll look into schools now. Again, thank you so much!