In order to qualify for accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), also now know as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), nursing schools must adhere to certain curriculum standards.
In addition to nursing classes, these curriculum standards include classes in the sciences, math, and liberal arts.
Below are a few schools that may be accepting applicants into a nursing program.
As these general education classes provide the basis for the nursing classes and clinical rotations, most schools require prospective students to complete them as prerequisites, before applying to the nursing program. This practice has the advantage of “weeding out” prospective students who are not fully committed to the nursing profession, as well as forcing students to space out intense classes. This course progression is very common, as it sets a nursing student up for success in his program.
However, some schools do offer nursing courses and general education courses simultaneously. Students who enroll in these schools do not need to complete any prerequisites.
Practical Nursing Certificate (LPN) Programs Without Prerequisites
Capital Area Career Center in Springfield, Illinois, through its School of Practical Nursing, accepts students who possess a high school diploma or GED into its nine-month practical nursing certificate program. Also in Illinois, Heartland Community College offers a Practical Nursing program that does not have prerequisites. The program does require some general education classes, which students can opt to complete simultaneously with the nursing classes.
In Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Fayette County Career and Technical Institute offers a year-long Practical Nursing Program without prerequisites. The Practical Nursing program at the College of Central Florida does not require prerequisites; incoming students only need a high school diploma or GED. The year-long Practical Nursing certificate program on the Community College of Baltimore’s Dundalk campus does not have any prerequisites, although students are strongly advised to take some, if not all, the general education courses before beginning. In the southwestern portion of the country, the College of Southern Nevada offers a four-semester Practical Nursing program, called the 50-credit, No Prerequisite Track Curriculum.
Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Programs Without Prerequisites
Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois offers a four-semester Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program without prerequisites, as long as the student does not need to take any developmental classes. Although the college encourages students to take general education courses before beginning the nursing courses, students do have the option of taking both general education and nursing courses simultaneously.
In Hickory, North Carolina, Catawba Community College offers a five-semester ADN program; the program has no prerequisites as long as the incoming student has completed high school biology and chemistry. In the western part of the country, Dakota Wesleyan University in South Dakota offers a two-year Associate of Arts in Nursing degree that does not require prerequisite classes. A student in this program does have to take general education classes; the program includes two summer semesters in addition to the traditional fall and spring semesters in order to accommodate these classes. In Crown Point and Fort Wayne, Indiana, St. Francis University offers a four-semester ADN program without prerequisites, provided that the incoming student does not need developmental classes and has taken high school chemistry. In Sioux City, Iowa, students can enroll in St. Luke’s College’s five-semester Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program without completing any prerequisites.
Diploma Nursing Programs Without Prerequisites
Hospital-based diploma nursing programs are less likely to require prerequisites than bachelor’s programs. As hospital-based programs were the traditional way of training new nurses in the past, these programs generally have a long history (often over 100 years old) and are mostly found in the eastern half of the county. In Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh Shadyside School of Nursing offers a twenty-two-month-long diploma program that combines general education and nursing courses.
St. Joseph School of Nursing in North Providence, Rhode Island cooperates with Rhode Island College to offer a diploma nursing program that takes three years to complete. As long as a student has completed a high school chemistry class, the program does not have prerequisites. In Jersey City, New Jersey, students can complete both a diploma in nursing and an Associate of Science degree through Christ Hospital School of Nursing and Hudson County Community College. Students do not need to take any prerequisite courses other than the standard high school classes before beginning the cooperative program. Graham Hospital School of Nursing in Canton, Illinois does not require any prerequisites for its three-year diploma nursing program, as long as the applicant has completed the standard high school curriculum.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Programs Without Prerequisites
Most traditional, four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs require students to enter the college or university as pre-nursing students, and spend one to two years completing general education requirements and nursing prerequisites before enrolling in nursing classes. Some BSN programs, however, do have built-in prerequisites. West Coast University, which is dedicated to healthcare education, has a BSN program that requires just a high school diploma or GED. According to the program documents, “Other courses, training, and experience are optional and may enable students to receive transfer credit or have the ability to receive course credit by ‘testing out’ in specific subjects.”
West Coast University’s program is available in Dallas, Texas, and Los Angeles and Anaheim, California. Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois also has a BSN program without prerequisites. While the school has a strong emphasis on the liberal arts and has a substantial core requirement, students enter the school of nursing at the beginning of their freshman year. There is no separate admission process for the nursing school, and students spend their four years at Illinois Wesleyan University completing both liberal arts and nursing courses simultaneously.
In scenic Newport, Rhode Island, Salve Regina University offers a four-year pre-licensure BSN program that combines general education and nursing classes. Students on this track are accepted simultaneously to the university and the nursing department, and take their first nursing course in their first semester. In Cleveland, the Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University boasts that clinical rotations begin in the very first semester of the BSN program. Incoming freshmen do not need to complete any prerequisites, other than the standard high school courses, and can begin the nursing program right away. In Indiana, the University of Evansville accepts high school seniors directly into its school of nursing; these students do not need to complete any prerequisites before beginning the coursework required for the BSN degree.