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So confused, help me out please. Pre-nursing

Hello all, I am new here. I saw this forum continuously pop up when I googled a question related to nursing so i decided to join!

I start school at a community college this fall, Borough of Manhattan Community College. My plan is to attend this college, do really good and then transfer to a 4 year university. My interest is nursing but my confusion sets in here: when I begin school, I will take all of my pre-Reqs? Correct?

after I am finishvwith that.. Do I apply for the nursing program? Or do I not since my plan is to transfer and receive a BSN? Is that possible? I'm really lost.

1. After I finished my pre-Reqs, can I attain an associates degree with out entering the nursing program?

im Not sure if my question is worded correctly but I hope someone understands

any tips or advice will be greatly appreciated.

Yes, my friend and I both did pre-req at a community college then we transferred to a university's nursing program. I did not get my associates but she did... I will find out how she did that without going into the community college nursing program.

How did you transfer with out an associates?

Its not transferring, once you get the credits you need you just apply to a University/program that offers a degree in nursing.

Oh ok I never knew that :/. So I don't have to enter this extremely competitive nursing program if I'm going to end up applying for a university? And do you know how many credits? And approximately how long it will take? I know it isn't like high school where it takes 4 years for 40 credits

MrChicagoRN, RN

Has 30 years experience. Specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care.

A community college can be used to earn pre-reqs, co-reqs, or electives before transferring to a 4 year college. Some earn the AA or AS degree, some just transfer credits. If you want to be eligible to actually become a nurse, you need to enter into an actual program (ADN or BSN).

if you want to enter nursing as a BSN, you don't need to enter the CC nursing program, just earn the necessary credits for transfer. The counselors at the college can give you all the details.

Thank you. And the counselors didn't give me much information

I did not need to get associate degree... All I did was do all the pre-req courses the university wanted with the GPA they wanted. The university told me exactly what courses to take and off course the GPA

I think nursing programs are competitive whether you go the CC route (ADN) or university (BSN). They are in my area, at least.

"I've saved some sunlight if you should ever need a place away from darkness where your mind can feed." - Rod McKuen

I figured that. But I didn't want to "waste my time" (should I call it that?) going into that program if I planned to persue another school

If you know what universities you are interested in, their counselors, or sometimes even links on their websites, should tell you what the required prerequisites are. Here in AZ, quite a few of the universities have a transfer guide for the larger community colleges to say which of the CC courses count for completion of the prerequisite course. If the university, or universities, that you are interested in, are close to you, it's worth paying a visit to the admissions department to meet with an advisor so that you make sure you're taking the appropriate courses. I completed all of my prerequisites at a CC and then applied to a university BSN program for nursing school


Has 8 years experience.

The community college in my area has an Associate in Pre-Nursing program. It's not nursing school, it's all the prerequisites needed for transferring to a University to enter a BSN program. Maybe your school or another nearby has something similar?

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in Emergency Department.

If you're absolutely set on entering a particular Bachelors program, look at what they require for prerequisites, not only for graduation but for entry to their program. You may find that by taking as much as you can at a community college, you may be able to enter the program of your choice and only have to complete the program coursework and perhaps a couple other courses, to complete your education and earn your Bachelors. If you're not so dead-set on a particular program, remember that most programs have very similar requirements/prerequisites, so you won't be taking too many "extra courses" just to meet a given program's entry requirements. Because the wait to enter a single program can be quite lengthy, I usually suggest/counsel that you should keep a sharp eye on all the programs in the area that will give you the degree you need (probably BSN given your post) and as you become qualified to apply to them, start doing so and keep at it being mindful of application cut-off dates and any other application instructions you'll need to follow. The reason I say this is because being able to follow the application process rules is part of the process too.

Since you're very likely in the New York area, you'll find that you likely need a BSN to be competitive in the job hunt as an RN.

You'll also need to have a very solid grasp of English, Science, and Math. This is because before you begin your application to a program, you'll have to take an assessment test. This test essentially shows programs how good of a handle you have on the basics and therefore, your readiness to enter the program and complete it successfully. Fortunately you won't likely have to take that test until you're just about ready to apply, so you can use your time to get very good at the basics and maximize your assessment test scores.

Something else you'll find about this site: we won't usually spoon-feed you the answers or rationales. We do tend to be kind of blunt about things because, well, that's the way we are. We do really want you to learn the material and we do want you to succeed, even if it's not ultimately in Nursing (we're biased though... ;) ) and usually someone will generally try to point you in the direction you need to go, though it's up to you to do the work.

I hope this helps and you find yourself on the road that will eventually reach your goals! Good luck!


Has 3 years experience. Specializes in Hospice.

My school (community college) has transfer programs for your BSN after you get your ADN. I am planning on getting my BSN but I am in the ADN program now, (much cheaper and since I pay out of pocket, that matters). That way, I will be working as an RN while finishing my BSN.

BeachsideRN, ASN

Has 2 years experience. Specializes in NICU.

When I was applying to schools what I did was put all the pre requisites and application deadlines, gpa requirements etc for each school into an excel spreadsheet. That way they were all in one easy to find place. As I completed the pre reqs I placed my grade in the appropriate box and tracked my gpa. Once prereqs were finished (or close) I started my applications.

It has probably been covered here already but no you do not need an ASsociates to transfer (though you may have enough credits for a generic associates once prereqs are finished)

Great replies by everyone so far, just thought I'd add my two cents. Just be careful about taking prerequisite courses. I do know most CC work with universities and specific programs, but some do not so much. Even though some required classes may have the same title or look the same, some universities may not accept that transfer credit and require you to take theirs. Just really ask a lot of questions but I have not heard of this being a huge issue with a lot of people. I only had an issue with one class. Good luck OP!

Also double check if the four year universities in your area even accept transfer students for their nursing programs. Because Nursing schools in my area are so impacted, they only allow students from their own student body to apply to their nursing programs, so you have to transfer in as an undergraduate, take at least a semester of classes, and then apply.

pmabraham, BSN, RN

Has 3 years experience. Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care.

Good day:

In our area, a number of the four year colleges/universities have transfer agreements with the local community colleges. A number of them have dual enrollment programs as well where some of the classes that normally would not transfer are allowed to transfer. Call around and see what's available in your area.

Thank you.

Some states offer a community college starting point with the bridge to a BSN program at a University. In other words if you start in your hometown community college at the Associates Nursing level and complete that you are ready to move into the Bachelors level via online with a drive to the University once a month (an example). The benefit of doing it this way is: 1. no issues with credits transferring because that has been worked out between the CC and the University program folks. 2. You earn your associates, are eligible to take NCLEX. 3. You save time and money because you don't have to reapply at a 4year, send transcripts, take entry tests, test out of anythng, spend time waiting to know what courses transfer. I hope this helps!

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

You do not have to go into the nursing program at your CC if you don't want to. I'm going to CC right now to get my pre-reqs done, because it is far cheaper (about 1/3 the cost) to take my pre-reqs there than at university. Once I've completed the pre-reqs for the programs I'm interested in (3 different universities with nursing programs) I plan on applying for admission to those universities and transferring my credits over.

If you have an idea of which school or schools you'd like to do your BSN at, take a look at what pre-reqs they require and if they have a transfer guide listed. Both my CC and the universities I'm looking at have a transfer guide with how credits from one school count at the other school, this has been very helpful in planning out which courses to take. If you can't find it on your own, ask an adviser for help.

Good luck!


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