The Basics

Preparing to be a nurse does not happen overnight. Most people know that it is important to have strong grades, but just as important is gaining experience to develop the skills, knowledge, and maturity necessary to be an effective healthcare provider. As with others on a healthcare team, a nurse’s decisions and actions affect human life and well-being. Nurses must pay attention to detail, have high ethical standards, communicate well with patients and other healthcare providers, maintain reliable records, and be knowledgeable about existing and new treatment techniques to ensure each patient has optimal care.

Knowledge of Self and Profession

Throughout the application process, you will need to demonstrate knowledge of yourself (values, goals, motivations, strengths, weaknesses), an understanding of the profession, and a commitment to become a nurse. You must clearly articulate your readiness to enter the profession as a result of first-hand experience in the field. There should be evidence in your application that you are committed to service and helping others. You must demonstrate your ability to work on a team, to lead, and to communicate with people with different backgrounds, values, and perspectives from your own.

Major and GPA

And finally, there is no “best major” for pre-nursing students. You can choose ANY major and be successful in your application to nursing school. Admissions personnel will review your GPA from a variety of perspectives…cumulative GPA, science/math GPA, prerequisite GPA. Choose a major that you will enjoy and allows you to successfully complete the required and recommended courses while also gaining experience outside the classroom. Consider a major that will provide many career options, recognizing that students commonly change majors and career plans multiple times as they learn about themselves and their career options.

Prerequisite Courses

Category Prerequisite Area Minimum Recommendation Course Numbers
Biological Sciences Anatomy & Physiology 2 Lectures and 2 Labs MCB 244/MCB 245 MCB246/MCB247
Microbiology 1 Lecture and 1 Lab MCB 100 or MCB 300
Physical Sciences Chemistry 1 Lecture and 1 Lab CHEM 102/CHEM 103
Organic Chemistry 1 Lecture and 1 Lab CHEM 104/ CHEM 105 (fulfills Organic Chemistry requirement for UIC’s Nursing Program. If additional Nursing programs require Organic Chemistry, contact the programs to determine what course(s) you should complete.)
Mathematics/Statistics Statistics 1 Lecture STAT 100 or PSYC 235 or CHLH 244
Social/Behavioral Sciences Psychology 1 Lecture PSYC 100
Sociology 1 Lecture SOC 100
Human Growth & Development 1 Lecture HDFS 105
Additional Requirements Nutrition 1 Lecture and 1 Lab FSHN 120
Varies by Program ------------ May include: English composition, speech, ethics, philosophy