The Importance of Prerequisites for an Accelerated Nursing Program

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Why are prerequisites for an accelerated nursing program important? Prerequisites are basic classes you must complete before starting your nursing program. Learn why they are important, which ones you need, and how they will help you in nursing school and your future nursing career.

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You recently decided to become a registered nurse; now what? Before you think about enrolling in an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program like the one offered through Madonna University, you will need to understand how prerequisites for an accelerated nursing program work and which ones you will need. Read on to determine what your prerequisite course load will look like, why they’re important, and how they’ll prepare you for your nursing school journey with Madonna University’s Accelerated BSN program.

What are Prerequisites?

While Madonna’s Accelerated BSN program puts your non-nursing bachelor’s degree or 60 or more college credits to work so you can become a registered nurse sooner, there might be some courses with subject material not covered by your first degree that you’ll need to take before you can enroll. These prerequisite courses not only help ensure you have the primary knowledge required to undertake professional nursing study, but they will also set the tone for your 16-month nursing education.

Why are Prerequisites Important?

Prerequisites are vital because they introduce you to Madonna University’s mission and vision, while helping you feel more comfortable and confident with the subject matter covered by our ABSN curriculum. They give you the basis of knowledge that prepares you for what you will learn during the nursing program.

Prerequisites for an accelerated nursing program set you up for success with a well-rounded education that prepares you for the rigorous coursework and schedule of the program. Whether you just graduated or have been out of school for a few years, prerequisites will help you get back on track with a study schedule and introduce you to Madonna’s learning system.

Madonna ABSN students sitting in classroom

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How Many Prerequisite Courses Do I Need to Complete?

At maximum, there are 13 prerequisites you must complete as part of the nursing program admission process. However, the number of outstanding academic prerequisites depends on your academic history and which credits will transfer. Whether you have to complete all of the necessary prerequisites or just a few, at the end of the day it’s important to remember that these courses lay the foundation for everything you will encounter in nursing school.

What Prerequisite Courses Do I Need to Complete?

If you have 60 college credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or institution, you must complete the following prerequisites with a passing grade of C or higher:

  • Microbiology
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • Pathophysiology
  • Intro to Life Chemistry
  • Probability & Statistics
  • General Nutrition for the Health Professional
  • Therapeutic Nutrition for the Health Professional
  • Intro to Psychology
  • Lifespan Development Psychology
  • Intro to Sociology
  • College Composition
  • College Composition II

If you already completed some of the science-based prerequisites as an undergraduate, you must have done so within the past seven years. Otherwise, they are considered expired. To make sure your past college credits are eligible for transfer, you’ll want to connect with one of Madonna’s admissions representatives.

Madonna nursing student reading a textbook

When you’re ready to begin your prerequisites for nursing school, Madonna makes it accessible for you to do so by offering the courses online. While it’s not required you take your nursing prerequisites through Madonna University, doing so will best prepare you for the rigorous ABSN program.

Taking prerequisites through Madonna allows your admissions representative to better assist you and gives you immediate access to your classes and grades for a smoother transition into the Accelerated BSN program.

Let’s explore how certain prerequisite courses will help you in your nursing education.


Pathophysiology gives you the knowledge to test, diagnose, and treat illnesses. You must understand these steps because not every patient with whom you come in contact is going to understand the depths of their disease or why doctors are running certain tests on them. As you care for patients in clinical rotations, understanding pathophysiology can help you fulfill your role more effectively.

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Chemistry helps you understand the elements that make up the world you live in. In the Accelerated BSN program, this is very important because as a nurse, you will administer medications to patients, which will require you to know how they react with symptoms, as well as which medications complement each other, and which will revert when taken together. You will also need to understand how electrolytes affect the body and when they are needed.

Anatomy & Physiology

These two courses go hand-in-hand and outline the foundation for the work that you will do on a daily basis. They are designed to help you understand the structure and function of the human body and the different systems it contains, including the reproductive system, skeletal system, heart, limbic system, integumentary system, and more.

You will need these courses to comprehend how to take proper care of your patient. The body must stay in a balanced condition to operate. If unbalanced, it is your job to work with the doctors and other support staff to find out how to recover the body’s stability. This will require you to think critically when your patient needs proper care.

Madonna nursing student sitting and reading a textbook

Begin Working Toward Your Nursing Career

These courses are the foundation for the understanding of nursing science and nursing methods. Prerequisites for an accelerated nursing program help by giving you the knowledge of essential concepts related to a patient’s health. Success in courses like pathophysiology, chemistry, and anatomy & physiology will give you a better understanding of the nursing process.

Contact our admissions team to put your nursing school prerequisite plan into action or to learn more about Madonna University’s ABSN program in metro-Detroit.