What courses can you expect to take in nursing school? It all depends on the degree path you choose and your area of specialization. The requirements for an associate degree in nursing will differ from requirements for a bachelor of science in the same field. However, most programs share many common courses. Let's explore 10 common courses you can expect to take in nursing school.
Introduction to Psychology
An Introduction to Psychology course introduces you to the study of mental behavior and the study of psychological processes. Subjects such as research methodology, neuroscience, memory, emotional development, personality, therapeutic treatment, social psychology, and psychological disorders are covered within this course. Although this is a theory-based class, there can be projects focused on determining causes and treatments for specific disorders.
Physiology studies the function and malfunction of the human body, with a focus on how the body responds to health challenges. This course explores molecular and cell biology, genetics, organ and brain functions, and hormonal influence on behavior. Students learn how to assess the functioning of human systems and how to diagnose and treat disease.
Nursing Fundamentals includes a broad range of information involving the practical side of nursing and what is required of you. It will usually include discussions, demonstrations and lab work for simulations, and hands-on experience. Assessing disorders, determining treatments, teaching nursing, health promotion, and medical record keeping are all covered within this course. There is also a focus of safety practices, critical thinking, and cultural diversity within the nursing world.
Basic Microbiology courses are often included in RN degree work because it explains the cause of many human diseases. Some of the subject matter covered within this course involves the immune system, medication and how it reacts with the body, host-parasites, culturing, antibiotic identification, and biochemical testing.
This introduction to the human body and organ functions examines body parts at the cellular level, along with skeletal, muscular, nervous, and sensory systems. Clinical examples and laboratory work helps you understand how body systems maintain homeostatic environments and the ways diseases and pathogens disrupt normal structure and function.
Psychology and Mental Health
Mental Health is a huge section of nursing in nearly any field of work, and the course covers a variety of issues facing patients today. Illnesses that affect both children and adults are covered, along with concepts relating to mental health such as neurobiology and psychosocial theories. Students are usually encouraged to partake in a practical period during this program in which a mental health facility is viewed.
Pharmacology is an important part of a registered nurses job, so much of this course is dedicated to safety and administering medications among patients. There is also information on interventions, maintenance, and restoration, along with adverse effects that drugs can have on patients and how to treat this issue.
BSN programs usually include a Leadership Management course. Leadership Management covers systems leadership, patient safety, and management within the nursing field. Budgeting finances, scheduling staff, managing nursing departments, controlling quality, delegating tasks, and managing risk are all covered within this course. You will also learn about ethics and legal roles within the nursing industry.
Ethics in Nursing
Ethics courses work to enhance ethical thinking within the nursing field for decision making on questionable circumstances and biomedical issues. Professionalism, codes of conduct, technology, confidentiality, abuse, and refusal of treatments are all discussed within this course. You will usually participate in projects or case studies to form perspectives, practice concepts, and research case law.
Community and Environmental Nursing
This course covers the health within a population or community as seen within public health and global environments. Epidemiology is often discussed, and students may be asked to reach out to community health organizations for more practical experience in health promotion, disease management, family health care, and social justice.
What about nursing prerequisites?
In addition to your core RN courses, you'll also need to take a series of foundational classes known as "prerequisites" or "general education" courses. These classes cover subjects such as math, history, writing, and more, and are typically taken before you get to your core material.
Nursing prerequisites can take up to two years to complete for a BSN. But thanks to a system called credit by exam, nursing students who want to earn prerequisite credits at an accelerated pace can opt to test out of these college courses. By taking a proficiency test, you can avoid taking an entire semester-long class while still earning the same credits.
Not sure which classes you need and when? A custom RN Bridge Plan maps out everything you need for your nursing degree, including the right school, core classes, and opportunities to test out.
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