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What classes should I take senior year of hs to prepare for a career in nursing/healthcare


Hi everybody,

Allow me to introduce myself! I am currently a junior at a reputed high school in the Bay Area, and I am interested in being a nurse. My top choice for my college major is nursing, but if that does not work out, I am also interested in nutrition (dietician/school teacher) or health science (health teacher). We have to pick our classes for senior year, and I want to pick the best classes possible in order to prepare myself for these majors.

Here is the form we get: 2

applesxoranges, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER.

Does the nursing careers class get you a nursing assistant certification?

mindofmidwifery, ADN

Specializes in ICU Stepdown.

You should definitely take AP biology, AP stats, and AP psychology. You said yourself, these are prerequisites to nursing and it would be very beneficial for you to get those out of the way if you were to test well enough for them to count as college credit. Nursing careers if you can, of course, and if you had to sacrifice a class I would choose statistics. Biology is generally a prerequisite for microbiology, college level anatomy/physiology, chemistry (if your future college requires a college level chemistry course), pathophysiology, organic chemistry, etc. So that would be amazing if you could skip it in your actual college career and start on the next level science courses.

I have already taken 4 years of Spanish up to AP Spanish Language, Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy/Physiology, AP English Language and Composition, and math up to PreCalculus.

I really want to choose the perfect classes. We only are allowed to choose 6 periods. Since English and History are a graduation requirement, I will definitely be taking one English class (not sure which one) and Civics/Econ for history. I also have not taken an art class yet, so I will be taking chamber choir. I love to sing and an art class is a graduation requirement.

That leaves me with 3 spaces. I am torn between...

- AP Statistics (this would be my math, and I heard statistics is a prereq for nursing)

- AP Biology (Very good preparation for nursing and all of the other majors)

- Physics (I'm not sure this is needed for a healthcare major, but my mom wants me to take it to expand my options. It's not a super hard class but I don't know, not that into physics)

- AP Spanish Literature (I know this is not super useful for healthcare, but my friends will be taking this class and I love the teacher. It's a very difficult class though, so I don't know if it's worth it)

- Nursing Careers 2 period class (Obviously this should be a top choice, but it's an EXTREMELY competitive class to get into as it is super impacted, and this would mean I would either have to give up math or science... Not sure if that is a good idea)

- Sports Medicine (Sounds fun and useful, but is just an elective class and not a core science class)

- AP Psychology (It's a light AP at my school, and it is also a nursing prereq)

- Biotechnology (My anatomy teacher has said it is super useful for science majors since this class is all labs. It's like lab components in college. I am not super great with labs, so I am considering taking this class to get good at them since I will be needing them a lot in the future.)

I'm gong to avoid the knee-jerk response and take a contrarian view. This student has already evidenced great academic competence. If I were in an admissions department I'd take somebody who took a highly-competitive course on Nursing Careers in a heartbeat, if only to relieve myself of the boring (and crazy-making) procession of young people who "always wanted to be a nurse/want to care so much for people/passssssionnnnnnate/etc" in favor of somebody who actually took the time to learn more about the profession before darkening my door. (Believe me, admissions officers know about the high schools in their catchment area, so if this is a hard class to get into it will make a difference). (I don't know what "super impacted" means.)

If you're that good in Spanish already, you're in a good position to read all the great Spanish literature you want to on your own time. Join the Spanish Club in college if you want Spanish enrichment.

I'd find out whether the nursing program wants you to have taken high school statistics or will require you to take college statistics. If college, BONUS! You can take it there, perhaps even at a JC in the summer before you start in the fall. You've already taken precalc, which puts you way ahead of most applicants in terms of math already.

Likewise take a pass on psychology and AP biology, because you'll probably have to take those in college too.

Right now, you can focus on the classes it's unlikely your competition will take AND that you wouldn't be able to take in college OR that are required at the college level anyway. Diversify. Show some (more) love of learning and risk taking.

So if the nursing careers class counts for two, and you have one more slot to fill, I'd take physics. Why? Because again, a rigorous lab science will put you above your competition for admission and it will also give you a good grounding in the scientific method/critical thinking which you can then generalize to where you'll need it most in college and life: nursing.

If I misunderstood you and you have two slots to fill after the nursing careers option, then make them physics and biotech, because you wouldn't believe the silly questions we get here from people who have no idea how their technology works or why it's in use, and you'll be way past that.

You look like you could have a great career ahead of you (and kudos is due you for your overall literacy and writing skills). (For the rest of you, yes, kudos is a singular word). Let us know what you do, and stay in touch.