Nursing School Prerequisites Checklist

Are you considering a career in nursing? By now, you have already decided that a career in healing, a career in helping and caring for others, is the right path for you. You may have an idea of where you want to go in the nursing field, but before you can move forward, you must obtain a nursing degree.

Whether you are graduating high school or in the process of earning a college degree, working in the healthcare field or simply looking for a change in your career, your next step will be to apply to an accredited nursing school.

Applying to nursing school sounds simple, but there are several steps that make up the application and enrollment process. There are certain classes you must pass before entering nursing school. There are specific certifications you must obtain. There are several nursing school prerequisites that you might not have thought about before. But don’t let these get in your way.

With the right preparation and understanding of what comes next, your path to nursing school will come with complete clarity. As a leading nursing college in Connecticut, Goodwin College can help you prepare for this journey into a thriving, compassionate, and in-demand field. From physical exams to required coursework, the following checklist outlines the most essential nursing school prerequisites. Just check off the boxes and you will be ready for Goodwin’s (and most other) nursing schools!

□ Apply to the College of Your Choice

Many schools now require that you first go through the normal college application process, and meet the general college admissions requirements, before applying to their dedicated nursing program. This is true of Goodwin College, where applicants must first apply to our career-focused college before moving into their nursing specialization.

Prospective Goodwin students can apply online or in person. An admissions counselor can meet with you to personally walk you through the steps towards your nursing degree. If you want to get a better feel for our nursing program before applying, we recommend attending one of our regular nursing information session.

On top of the college application, you will also be required to fill out an application specific to nursing school. If you are transferring from another institution, your college transcripts will be required, as well, to see if any previous credits can be applied. In most colleges, you can only submit your nursing school application once you pass the required coursework.

□ Fulfill the Nursing School Prerequisite Coursework

Once accepted into your college of choice, you will need to complete the relevant coursework that is required of your school’s nursing program. While nursing school requirements will vary depending on your state and desired institution, the coursework needed to get into a nursing program is very similar across the board. At most nursing schools, including Goodwin College in Connecticut, the required prerequisite nursing courses include:

  • A general college-level English course, such as ENG 101
  • A general college-level course in Mathematics (this will also fulfill the Math competency general education graduation requirement that is mandatory at most colleges)
  • A college-level course in chemistry, such as CHEM 101 or equivalent
  • College-level courses in biology that include a laboratory or clinical component
  • College-level courses in Anatomy & Physiology, completed within five years of applying to nursing school (A&P is required to take the nursing school prerequisite examinations)
  • Microbiology is another course that is strongly encouraged among students applying to nursing school, though is not always an official nursing school prerequisite

□ Keep Your Grades Up

At Goodwin, aspiring nursing students must complete the required college coursework with at least a C-C+ grade (minimum grade requirement differs course to course). Like most nursing schools, Goodwin also requires that applicants maintain a minimum GPA of 2.7 in their college courses, as well as pass advanced A&P coursework to be considered for admission.

□ Take the Necessary Examinations

Students applying to nursing school must first complete the test of essential academic skills (TEAS). This exam covers subjects that you studied in high school, such as reading, math, science, and English. It can help to purchase a study guide and take practice tests before the TEAS exam, just to brush up on your knowledge, get a strong score, and increase your chances of getting into nursing school.

You’ll also be required to take the NLN exam. The NLN (National League of Nursing) examination is used for pre-admission into many nursing programs across the country. Unlike most nursing colleges, however, Goodwin administers this exam three times a year (in January, May, and September) – and nursing students are accepted three times a year. Students must be enrolled in A&P II in order to register for this pre-entrance exam.

□ Earn the Prerequisite Healthcare Certifications

All nursing schools require that students become certified in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) before entering a nursing program. You can earn this through the American Heart Association or the Red Cross, and must maintain certification throughout your nursing program.

□ Complete the Required Background Checks and Screenings

One of the most common nursing school prerequisites is that students undergo a background check and drug screening. At Goodwin College, your tuition will cover the cost of both. The tests will ensure that each prospective nurse is qualified for a clinical, patient care setting, and confirm if there are any results that might get in the way of licensure down the road.

In addition, students are typically asked to submit a medical examination report by a physician, which details their physical and emotional health. This is also the chance to receive any necessary immunizations before the start of your nursing program.

If you’ve checked off all the boxes on this list, you are well on your way to an education and future in nursing. To learn more about Goodwin’s nursing school prerequisites, or to explore our many nursing degree options, please visit or call 800-889-3282 today.