Suggested Preparatory Courses
If you are a high school student thinking seriously about a career in nursing, you should talk with your high school guidance/career counselor. These professionals are prepared to assist students in developing a plan of study that will meet typical nation-wide requirements for colleges and universities.
The typical course of high school studies for careers in nursing includes:
- English: 4 years (verbal and written communication skills as well as reading comprehension are essential);
- Math: 2-4 years (medication administration and chemistry require a knowledge of algebra);
- Science: 2-4 years (chemistry and biology are both required courses in college-based nursing curriculums; if you have a chance to take anatomy and physiology in high school, do it!)
- Computer science: basic knowledge of computers is required computers are used in a variety of ways in health care delivery;
- Social studies: 3-4 years (psychology is essential; sociology, history, government, and economics are recommended to prepare for the general education requirements of most colleges and universities)
- Foreign language - 2 years (as the cultural mix of society changes, language skills such as Spanish are becoming more critical in the nursing profession);
- Health studies - 1-2 years (basic knowledge of health care/maintenance principles are helpful).
If you already have a good idea or know which college or university you want to attend, contact that admission office and the school of nursing for more specific high school requirement guidelines. Your high school counselor can help you locate the contact information or you can go to Choosing a Nursing Program.
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