Can You Become a Nurse With a Biology Degree?

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Can you become a nurse with a biology degree? It’s definitely possible to transition from a bachelor’s in biology to nursing. Your first step is to find an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing or ABSN program, and then contact an admission advisor. You may need to complete some prerequisites before enrolling in the nursing school.

nurses looking at tablet

It’s not unusual for graduates to enter the workforce only to discover that they wished they’d chosen a different degree and career path. If you’re thinking about making the transition to a second career, you might consider pursuing nursing. Whether you’ve been in the workforce for just a few years or a few decades, it’s never too late to pursue your true passion.

Can you become a nurse with a biology degree? Absolutely! At Marian University, our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program can help you earn your nursing degree in as few as 16 months. Contact an admission advisor to learn more!

Marian ABSN student listening to patient's heartbeat

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Can You Become a Nurse With a Biology Degree?

Marian University’s ABSN program is designed to be accessible for students with any type of non-nursing education, whether that’s in biology, psychology, history, or any other field. In fact, transitioning from a bachelor’s in biology to nursing makes for a fairly seamless switch, since you’ll already have a strong background in math and science. Depending on exactly when you last took classes and depending on what those classes were, you may still need to complete one or more prerequisites. Your admission advisor will help you develop an academic plan to prepare for nursing school.

How to Become a Nurse With a Biology Degree

When thinking about how to become a nurse with a biology degree, it’s important to note that every learner has a unique set of circumstances. Your path toward a nursing degree might not be the same as that of another learner. However, it’s likely that you’ve already completed some of the prerequisites, such as microbiology and general and biological chemistry.

In addition, your biology degree has likely already helped you to think like a scientist. You probably already know some of the scientific terminology and processes and already have strong critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills. Those will help you as you work toward a BSN.

Choose the Right Nursing Program

nursing student using stethoscope on manikin

Once you’ve decided to transition from biology to nursing, the first step is to choose the right nursing program for you. Marian University’s ABSN program can allow you to graduate in as few as 16 months once you meet the prerequisites. This means you can enter the workforce much sooner than if you were to enroll in a four-year BSN program. Plus, Marian University offers considerable student support services to help you succeed.

Contact an admission advisor to get the ball rolling. It’s a good idea to have your unofficial transcripts in hand so that you can chat with your admission advisor about the classes that might count toward your requirements.

Meet the Prerequisites

In order to graduate with a BSN in as few as 16 months, Marian University applicants must first meet the prerequisites. If you need to take one or more classes to meet the requirements, you can take them through Marian University. The prerequisites are as follows:

  • Introductory Microbiology
  • Human Anatomy
  • General Human Physiology
  • Elements of General and Biological Chemistry
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Human Growth and Development
Marian ABSN students looking at paperwork in sim lab

Gain Some Real-World Experience

Although it’s not a requirement, gaining some real-world experience while you’re working on meeting the prerequisites is advisable. You won’t be able to work as a nurse just yet, of course, but there are plenty of entry-level positions you could pursue. For example, you might volunteer in a hospital or work as a medical administrative assistant part-time while you’re studying. This would give you an inside look at the healthcare environment and possibly give you a topic of conversation for your admissions essay.

Finalize Your Application Package

The next step in the admissions process is to complete your application package. Your admission advisor will help you determine exactly what you need to finalize your application to nursing school. For example, you’ll need official transcripts, your essay, and the application.

Person packing suitcase into the trunk of a car with text relocating for the Marian ABSN program

Thinking about relocating to attend Marian University? Get some food for thought here!

Graduate With Your Nursing Degree

If you’re admitted to nursing school, you’ll work through a rigorous curriculum of classes (many of which can be completed online), labs, and in-hospital clinical education (“clinicals”). Your instructors and preceptors will teach you everything you need to get started working as a nurse.

Since the ABSN program only takes a minimum of 16 months to complete, you can expect a pretty fast-paced schedule. During this time, it’s essential to practice good time management. You’ll need to set aside regular time for studying on most days of the week. It’s more effective to study for shorter bursts of time, rather than to try to fit in marathon study sessions on the weekends.

Pass the NCLEX-RN

marian student studying

Once you earn your BSN, you’ll still have one more hurdle to overcome before you become a nurse. You’ll need to pass the national licensure exam—the NCLEX-RN. This is a rigorous exam that tests both your nursing knowledge and your clinical judgment. You’ll need to spend lots of time studying for it, and you should begin preparing before you even graduate from the ABSN program.

Since the NCLEX emphasizes clinical judgment over nursing knowledge, rote memorization isn’t the key to passing it. Instead, try to do as many practice questions as you can. Commit to doing a few practice questions each day and take a few full-length practice exams.

Ready to Pursue a Nursing Career?

If you’re no longer interested in a career in biology or postgraduate study, but you still want to use your degree, pursuing an ABSN through Marian University to become a nurse may be a good path for you. Contact an admission advisor today to learn how you can go from a bachelor’s in biology to nursing.