Prerequisite Coursework for ABSN Programs

When considering an accelerated path to earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), understanding the prerequisites is crucial for a successful application. Accelerated BSN (ABSN) programs offer a fast track for individuals looking to transition into nursing who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. However, before applying, prospective students must meet specific requirements, including completing prerequisite courses that provide the foundational knowledge needed to succeed in nursing school. This article will provide a detailed overview of the essential prerequisites you need before applying to an ABSN program, ensuring you are well-prepared and eligible for this accelerated path.


Prerequisite Coursework for ABSN Programs

ABSN programs are designed to build upon a foundational knowledge base that supports the rigorous nursing curriculum. As such, certain prerequisite courses must be completed at a fully accredited college or university to ensure you have the necessary background. These courses are critical for your success in the program and your future career as a nurse. A typical ABSN program, like that at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, requires the following ABSN prerequisite courses, and all of these courses are offered online by the MGH Institute:

  • Chemistry (no lab required): Acceptable courses include Basic Chemistry, Intro to Chemistry, or Intro to Chemistry for Health Professions. These courses lay the groundwork for understanding the chemical principles relevant to biological processes and pharmacology in nursing.
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2 (no lab required): Alternatively, completing separate courses in Human Anatomy (no lab) and Human Physiology (no lab) is also acceptable. These courses provide a comprehensive understanding of the human body's structure and function, which is paramount for science courses in nursing school, like pathophysiology.
  • Human Growth & Development (Developmental Psychology): The course must cover the entire lifespan, including physical, cognitive, and emotional development. This understanding helps nurses provide age-appropriate care and understand the developmental stages of their patients.
  • Microbiology (no lab required): It is essential that the course includes content on microbes, as understanding microbiology is crucial for infection control,understanding the spread of diseases, and the effects of disease and pharmacologic treatments at the cellular level.
  • Human Nutrition: Courses focused on exercise, sport, or weight control do not meet this requirement. A solid foundation in nutrition is necessary for nurses to provide comprehensive dietary advice and support to patients for various health conditions.
  • Statistics: The course must include inferential statistics, providing students with the skills to analyze and interpret data critically, a crucial aspect of evidence-based practice in nursing.


Academic Standards and Timing

To ensure that students are adequately prepared for the accelerated pace and complexity of the ABSN program, there are specific academic standards and timing requirements for the prerequisite coursework:

  • Minimum Grade Requirement: At MGH Institute, all prerequisite coursework must be completed with a minimum letter grade of C+ or higher. This standard ensures you understand the foundational subjects built on in the nursing program.
  • Currency of Coursework: Prerequisite courses must have been completed within the last seven years from the time of anticipated matriculation. This requirement ensures the knowledge base is current, given the fast-paced advancements in the healthcare field. At the MGH Institute , applicants with extenuating circumstances may apply for a waiver of the 7-year policy.
  • Coursework in Progress: Applicants may have prerequisite coursework planned or in process at the time of application. However, no more than two outstanding prerequisites are allowed at the time your application is submitted. This flexibility accommodates those who are transitioning from another career path or completing their prerequisites while applying. All prerequisites must be completed at the start of the program.


Preparing for Your ABSN Application

Meeting the ABSN prerequisite courses is the first step toward your nursing career. Here are some tips to ensure you are well-prepared for your application:

  • Plan Ahead: Start planning your prerequisite coursework early, especially if you are balancing other commitments. This plan includes considering the timing of your courses to meet the currency requirement.
  • Choose Accredited Institutions: Ensure that the college or university where you complete your prerequisites is fully accredited. Accreditation is a mark of quality and is crucial for your courses to be recognized by ABSN programs.
  • Keep Track of Deadlines: Be mindful of application deadlines for your desired ABSN program and plan your coursework accordingly. Late applications or incomplete prerequisite coursework can delay your entry into the program.
  • Consider Your Overall Application: While meeting the ABSN prerequisite requirements is a condition of acceptance, remember that your overall application, including your GPA, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and life experiences, will play a significant role in the admissions process.

Completing ABSN requirements, including the completion of specific ABSN prerequisite courses, is a crucial step for prospective students. By understanding and meticulously planning for these prerequisites, you can ensure a smooth application process to accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs. Preparation is key to not only meeting the ABSN prerequisite courses but also succeeding in this challenging accelerated pathway to becoming nurse.