What Are the Nursing School Prerequisites, and Why Are They Important?

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Nursing school prerequisites ensure students entering an accelerated nursing program have a strong foundational knowledge. While the exact nursing school prerequisites depend on where you apply, you’ll find most of them focus on the sciences. These courses teach you the biology and chemistry principles that you’ll need in nursing school.

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While progressing on your nursing school journey, you may have encountered nursing school prerequisites as a standard requirement for accelerated programs. So, what are the prerequisites for nursing school, and why are they important?

Prerequisites allow students in accelerated programs like the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Felician University to graduate in as few as 16 or 18 months. Our seven prerequisites give students a strong science foundation before beginning their nursing-specific studies.

Read on to see what prerequisites are, why they’re important, and which courses you’ll need to take before starting Felician’s ABSN program.

What Are Nursing School Prerequisites?

Completing prerequisite courses is often an admissions requirement before starting an academic program. Students generally don’t need prerequisites before starting a traditional four-year nursing program. However, prerequisites will come into play if you’re looking to enter an accelerated nursing program.

Completing a series of foundational prerequisite courses before starting accelerated nursing school means you’ll be able to jump right into the nursing curriculum and graduate sooner, in as few as 16 months at Felician. Which nursing school prerequisites you need to take depends on what program you apply to and your past educational background, but expect them to be mostly in the life sciences.

Felician nursing student sitting at desk with textbooks

Why Are Nursing School Prerequisites Important?

The value of nursing prerequisites cannot be overstated. These courses prepare you for nursing school success in the following ways:

1. They Prepare You for the Rigor of a Nursing Curriculum

Nursing school prerequisites can be challenging. Completing them prepares you mentally for what’s to come in nursing school. The nursing curriculum is intense—even more so when completed at an accelerated pace. Passing all the prerequisites proves you have what it takes to succeed in nursing school courses.

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Is nursing school hard? See what to expect in the Accelerated BSN program.

2. They Ensure Students Have a Strong Foundation

Some students may have a marketing or history background, while others majored in physics or biology. Nursing schools want all students to enter the program with a common knowledge base. That’s where prerequisites come in. These courses put you on a level playing field with the others in your cohort.

3. They Provide a Science Background

Most nursing school prerequisites focus on the sciences. That’s because nursing education stems from the life sciences, so having prior knowledge in the field is beneficial. For example, before you can understand hypertension treatment, it’s key to understand cardiac physiology, which you’ll learn in anatomy and physiology.

Felician ABSN student holding laptop

Curious how to prepare for nursing school? Here are eight ways you can get ready.

What Are the Prerequisites for Nursing School at Felician?

You’ll take seven prerequisite courses before starting the ABSN program at Felician. You can take these at Felician or another accredited college. To confirm your credits will transfer, speak with your Felician admissions counselor before enrolling in prerequisite courses.

BIO 202 Microbiology (w/lab)*4
BIO 205 Anatomy and Physiology I (w/lab)*4
BIO 206 Anatomy and Physiology II (w/lab)*4
BIO 307 Pathophysiology*3
CHEM 105 Principles of Chemistry*4
MATH 122 Statistics I3
PSYC 105 Lifespan Development3
*Must be completed within 10 years of your program start date.


In microbiology, you’ll learn about bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. These organisms play a major role in human health and are the root of infectious diseases. Therefore, understanding microbiology will help you grasp infection treatment and prevention.

Anatomy and Physiology

Nurses need to understand the structures of the human body and how they work. Anatomy will teach you to identify the body's various bones, muscles, arteries, nerves, and organs. Physiology will teach you about the body’s systems, such as the cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal systems.

Felician nursing student using blood pressure cuff on sim manikin


While physiology is the study of how the human body works when it’s healthy, pathophysiology looks at how diseases function. You’ll learn about how conditions like heart disease and strokes develop and their impact on the body.


Studying chemical reactions is instrumental in preparation for nursing school. In nursing, you’ll administer medications to patients, and understanding the fundamentals of chemistry can help you understand the science behind those treatments.


Knowing how to interpret statistics is key before you start nursing school because it will teach you how to interpret data and evaluate research. Healthcare is constantly in flux, so you must stay informed about new data and research as it’s released.

Lifespan Development

Nurses care for patients across their lifespans. In lifespan development, you’ll come to understand how the human body and mind change throughout life. Learning this development process will help you effectively care for infants, children, adults, and seniors.

Begin Your Nursing Education at Felician!

Are you ready to take the next step toward the nursing career of your dreams? Felician offers two nursing program options in New Jersey, the 16-month Hybrid ABSN and the 18-month On-Ground ABSN. These programs incorporate nursing coursework (completed online for the hybrid program and in person for the on-ground program), hands-on labs, and clinical rotations.

Felician ABSN student smiling in lab

Wondering whether to choose online or traditional nursing coursework? Use our guide to help you decide the right path for you.

We offer three start dates each year for the Hybrid ABSN and one for the On-Ground ABSN. You may be eligible for the accelerated nursing program if you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 60 non-nursing college credits.

Contact our admissions counselors today to learn more about Felician’s ABSN program!