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Wants online nursing school with no pre-reqs

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I'm 18 years old and what I'm about to say was nevertheless in my plans. I want to become a nurse, to help fight this pandemic. I have a GED, well I'm trying to get my GED, I have yet to hear from a job I applied from but as soon as I can I'll have my GED. I saw this one girl in high-school, it was my freshman year, and she had graduated and that same year I saw her post a picture that she was starting her job as a nurse for a hospital.

So, I've been trying to find something VERY similar to what she did; but it seems like the first place I applied to they told me that I would need to go to their school for 2-4 years then I could attend their nursing school. I guess my question to you is; where can I find an online nursing school that won't want me to go to school 2-4 years first?

Dear Wants to be a Nurse,

It's commendable you want to help fight the pandemic.

I'm sorry to break it to you, but, yes, you do have to take general education classes before you can attend nursing school. They are called pre-requisites, they typically take 2 years to complete, and there is no way around them.

They include English, Statistics, sociology, Chemistry, and more. But there are other options.

If you choose to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) instead of a registered nurse (RN), you do not have to take as many pre-requisites, and the nursing program is shorter. Career-wise, though, LPNs/LVNs have far fewer opportunities than RNs.

As far on online programs, nursing programs require you to fullfill clinical hours in hospital settings. It's possible you may find a program that offers some distance learning, but it is definitely on-site for clinical rotations.

What you could also do in the interim is look for certified nursing assistant (CNA) or patient care assistant (PCT) training. That training is much shorter, often 4-12 weeks. That way, you could work in a hospital sooner and gain some exposure.

Hope this helps, and good luck with your GED.

Nurse Beth