What to Expect: Taking Nursing Prerequisites Online Through MAP

Each blog post is dated and contains accurate information as of that date. Certain information may have changed since the blog post publication date. If you would like to confirm the current accuracy of blog information, please visit our ABSN overview page or contact admissions at (866) 892-6463.

Jumpstart your nursing degree with Marian University.

Eric Swickard has a bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience working for an engineering firm, but always wanted to work in a field that helps people.

So last year he decided to change paths to nursing, and enroll in Marian University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program to make it happen.

He learned he’d need to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling, but he didn’t want to take time off work to do so. Lucky for him, Marian University offers a way for working adults to take nursing prerequisites online: Marian’s Adult Programs (MAP), which offers a variety of degrees, and, classes in addition to nursing.

MAP offers the convenience and flexibility for second-degree students to complete our ABSN program prerequisite requirements while continuing to work full-time.

“I liked the way it was set up, that it was online,” Eric says. “As an adult learner, I didn’t want to spend time on a college campus. MAP allowed me to study the way I wanted on my own time.”

Eric started taking nursing prerequisites online through MAP in February 2017 and started in our ABSN program the following August, with an expected graduation date of December 2018. Below, we detail how MAP works and how Eric got from point A to point B so quickly.

Why MAP?

Eric chose to take his nursing prerequisites online through MAP because he could continue working while completing the courses needed to apply to the accelerated BSN program — and finish them quickly.

What else makes MAP a great option? It offers:

  • Accredited prerequisite classes taught 100 percent online by Leighton School of Nursing faculty and Marian University adjunct faculty credentialed in their fields of study.
  • Five-week course options available nine times a year.
  • Eight-week course options available six times a year.
  • Engaging coursework: video, audio, PowerPoint, readings, discussion boards, and interactive labs.
  • A held spot in our nursing school (if you meet the necessary grade and GPA requirements).

Nursing prerequisites MAP offers

The fact that MAP offers all the prerequisite courses needed to get into our program and that those credits transfer seamlessly with the Leighton School of Nursing was another reason Eric decided to take nursing prerequisites online through MAP.

All MAP classes are more than essential — they’re critical to what I do now as an ABSN student.

-Eric Swickard

MAP offers the following nursing prerequisites (you must pass all before entering our ABSN program):

Science Courses:

BIO 225: Anatomy
BIO 214: Microbiology
BIO 226: Physiology
CHE 100: Chemistry

General Education Courses:
THL 200 level or above or THL 105: Moral Issues/Intro to Theology
PSY 220: Human Growth & Development

Suggested, but not required to take before admission:

PSY 205: Statistical Methods
PSY 230: Abnormal Psychology
THL 200 level or above or THL 105: Moral Issues/Intro to Theology

Admissions and enrollment process

For bachelor’s degree holders planning to enroll in our ABSN program like Eric, your journey to register in MAP prerequisite courses begins with an ongoing conversation with one of our admissions advisors.

During this process, an advisor can help you:

- Apply for admittance to Marian University as a pre-nursing student (which you must do before you’re eligible to enroll in prerequisites). This requires sending your official transcripts for a complete registrar’s evaluation.

- Set up a post-advising call or in-person meeting to discuss the prerequisites you still need to complete and how to register for those (assuming you’re admitted as a pre-nursing student after the registrar’s evaluation of your transcript).

- Create an academic plan for completing them by your target start date in the ABSN program.

In general, you can expect to learn of your acceptance to Marian University as a pre-nursing student seven to 10 business days after you send your official transcripts to the registrar’s office, says Marian University ABSN admissions advisor Angela Bailey.

“From there, once enrolled as a pre-nursing student, you’re eligible to enroll in MAP. You don’t have to submit any extra applications to sign up for prerequisite courses,” she says.

The speedy admissions process and high level of personalized attention early on further sold Eric on MAP.

“I wasn’t getting the information I needed while researching nursing schools, but my experience with Marian was the opposite. I was paired with a great advisor who would call weekly to check in on things. He was invested in my success in getting into MAP,” he says.

Taking nursing prerequisite courses online

Marian University allows students to take up to 18 credits per semester, which on MAP’s accelerated timeline is equivalent to two eight-week sessions or three five-week terms. Angela and our other ABSN admissions advisors will work with you to determine the best academic plan based on your individual academic history and personal situation.

“If a student needed every prerequisite, they would have to complete them over at least two semesters,” she says. “But, I’m very cognizant of the type of student they are. I don’t want to put students in multiple classes while they’re working full-time because that’s just not setting them up for success.”


Marian nursing student studying

As a pre-nursing student enrolled in MAP, you can expect to:

  • Read and complete homework assignments
  • Take part in class presentations
  • Watch, listen, and learn as instructors solve problems
  • Practice what you learn in virtual, interactive labs
  • Participate in discussion groups
  • Take non-proctored exams online

You’ll access all components for nursing prerequisite courses offered through MAP through the same online learning platform you’ll use once you become a student in our ABSN program. There, you can view course syllabi, modules, and discussion posts as well as take exams.

Per the recommendation of his admissions advisor, Eric took two nursing prerequisite classes at a time, which he says felt manageable given he worked 40 hours a week. He completed the majority of his coursework in his condo after work every night, spending on average 15 to 20 hours a week studying.

All MAP classes are more than essential — they’re critical to what I do now as an ABSN student.

-Eric Swickard


Just like the lecture-based portion of your nursing prerequisite courses, you’ll also complete all lab-based courses online. No lab kits are required, although in some cases you may have to purchase access codes to complete them.

In the anatomy course, for example, you’ll watch demonstration videos and complete interactive lab review activities, then take some of your exams based off what you learned on your own computer.

If you need help

Just because the program is online doesn’t make MAP courses any less difficult than a course taught in a traditional classroom setting. Due to the nature of the material, it typically doesn’t get easier as the semester progresses. You’re packing in a whole semester’s worth of information in a shorter period, so if you’re struggling with a course concept, don’t ignore it.

While you can always reach out to your instructor with any questions, Marian University offers free peer tutoring resources, available to all students enrolled in MAP. Eric emailed his professors if he ever had questions, and budgeted his time to make sure he had time to take each course module.

He admits working full-time and going through MAP wasn’t always easy, but he would recommend it to anyone committed to getting into accelerated nursing school.

“It’s very challenging, but if you put in the time and the work you can hit the benchmark,” he says.

Are you ready to shift gears and become a nurse? Learn how you can complete you nursing prerequisites online through MAP and enroll in our accelerated BSN program. Contact an admissions advisor today!