A group of nursing student sitting around a table discussing nursing prerequisites.

Are Nursing Prerequisites Hard?

Nursing prerequisites can be challenging for many students due to their demanding nature and the complex concepts they cover. However, with the right mindset and strategies, you can overcome these challenges and succeed in your nursing journey.

What are Nursing Prerequisites?

Nursing prerequisites are the courses and requirements that you must complete before entering a nursing program. These prerequisites usually include science subjects such as biology, chemistry, and anatomy, as well as general education courses like English and math. They are designed to provide you with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for a successful nursing career.

Why do Some People Find Nursing Prerequisites Challenging?

Several factors contribute to the perceived difficulty of nursing prerequisites:

  1. Complex Concepts: Nursing prerequisites often involve complex scientific concepts that can be challenging to grasp initially. Subjects like anatomy and physiology require a deep understanding of the human body and its functions.
  2. Time Commitment: Nursing prerequisites can be time-consuming, especially when combined with other responsibilities such as work or family. Finding a balance between studying and other commitments can be a challenge.
  3. Heavy Workload: Nursing prerequisites typically have a heavy workload, requiring you to juggle multiple courses simultaneously. This can be overwhelming, and staying organized becomes crucial.
  4. Fast-paced Learning: Nursing prerequisites are usually taught in a fast-paced manner to cover a wide range of topics. This can make it challenging to absorb and retain information effectively.

Factors that can Affect the Difficulty of Nursing Prerequisites

The difficulty of nursing prerequisites can vary depending on several factors, including:

  1. Prior Knowledge: Your background knowledge in science subjects can significantly influence the difficulty of nursing prerequisites. If you have a strong foundation in biology or chemistry, you may find certain courses easier to understand.
  2. Teaching Methods: The teaching methods used by instructors can impact your learning experience. Some instructors may employ creative teaching techniques that make complex concepts more accessible, while others may have a more traditional approach.
  3. Study Environment: The environment in which you study can greatly affect your ability to focus and comprehend the material. A quiet and organized study space can enhance your productivity and make the learning process easier.

Overcoming the Challenges in Nursing Prerequisites

To overcome the challenges associated with nursing prerequisites, it is essential to adopt effective study habits, seek help when needed, and find a balance between life, work, and study.

Adopting Effective Study Habits

Developing effective study habits can significantly improve your performance in nursing prerequisites. Here are some tips to help you study more efficiently:

  • Create a Study Schedule: Plan dedicated study times and stick to them. Breaking your study sessions into smaller, manageable chunks can make it easier to absorb and retain information.
  • Take Effective Notes: Take detailed notes during lectures and review them regularly. Summarize the main points and highlight key concepts to reinforce your understanding.
  • Utilize Different Study Techniques: Experiment with different study techniques, such as flashcards, mind maps, or practice quizzes. Find the method that works best for you and adapt it to your learning style.

Seeking Help and Utilizing Resources

Don’t hesitate to seek help when you’re struggling with nursing prerequisites. Utilize available resources and support systems to enhance your understanding and overcome obstacles:

  • Ask Questions: If you have doubts or need clarification, don’t hesitate to ask your instructors or classmates for help. They can provide valuable insights and explanations that can enhance your learning experience.
  • Utilize Tutoring Services: Many nursing programs offer tutoring services where you can receive one-on-one assistance from experienced tutors. Take advantage of these resources to strengthen your understanding of challenging topics.
  • Join Study Groups: Collaborating with your peers in study groups can be beneficial. Explaining concepts to others can deepen your understanding, and you can learn from their perspectives as well.

Balancing Life, Work, and Study

Balancing your life, work, and study commitments is crucial to succeeding in nursing prerequisites. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy balance:

  • Prioritize and Manage Your Time: Identify your priorities and allocate time accordingly. Create a schedule that allows you to dedicate sufficient time to studying while also making time for work, family, and self-care.
  • Practice Self-Care: Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is essential during the challenging period of nursing prerequisites. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, and engage in activities that help you relax and recharge.
  • Delegate and Seek Support: If possible, delegate some of your responsibilities to others. Seek support from family and friends who can help you with tasks outside of your studies. It’s important to have a strong support system that understands and encourages your goals.

Tips to Succeed in Nursing Prerequisites

While nursing prerequisites may be challenging, there are several tips that can help you succeed in these courses and lay a strong foundation for your nursing career.

Staying Motivated and Focused

Maintaining motivation and focus throughout your nursing prerequisites is essential for success. Here are some strategies to stay motivated:

  • Set Goals: Set specific goals for each course and break them down into smaller milestones. Celebrate your achievements along the way to keep your motivation high.
  • Visualize Your Future: Imagine yourself as a successful nurse, making a difference in the lives of patients. Visualizing your future can help you stay motivated during challenging moments.
  • Find Supportive Peers: Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are also pursuing a nursing career. Share your experiences, challenges, and successes with them. Their support and encouragement can keep you motivated.

Developing a Strong Foundation in Science Subjects

Establishing a strong foundation in science subjects is crucial for nursing prerequisites. Here are some strategies to excel in these courses:

  • Review Basic Concepts: Before diving into nursing prerequisites, review basic concepts in biology, chemistry, and anatomy. Brushing up on these foundational subjects will make it easier to understand complex nursing topics.
  • Seek Extra Practice: Look for additional resources, such as textbooks, online tutorials, and practice quizzes, to reinforce your understanding of science subjects. The more you practice, the better you will become at applying your knowledge.
  • Form Study Groups: Collaborate with classmates to study science subjects together. Discussing difficult concepts and teaching each other can improve your understanding and retention of the material.

Making Use of Practical Experience

Practical experience is essential for understanding nursing concepts and applying them in real-life situations. Here’s how you can make the most of practical experience during nursing prerequisites:

  • Clinical Placements: Take advantage of any clinical placements or internships offered during your nursing prerequisites. These opportunities allow you to observe and participate in real healthcare settings, providing valuable hands-on experience.
  • Volunteer or Shadow: If clinical placements are not available, consider volunteering or shadowing healthcare professionals in your community. This can give you exposure to the nursing field and help you understand the practical aspects of patient care.
  • Reflect and Learn: After each practical experience, take the time to reflect on what you have learned and how it relates to the concepts you are studying. This reflective practice can deepen your understanding and help you apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Advice for Future Nursing Students

  • Stay motivated and focused on your goals. Remind yourself of why you chose nursing and the positive impact you can make in patients’ lives.
  • Take advantage of available resources and support systems. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed, whether it’s from instructors, tutors, or classmates.
  • Develop effective study habits and find study techniques that work best for you. Experiment with different methods until you find what helps you retain information the most.
  • Prioritize self-care and maintain a healthy work-life-study balance. Take breaks, engage in activities you enjoy, and prioritize your mental and physical well-being.
  • Embrace the practical experience opportunities provided during your prerequisites. These experiences will enhance your understanding of nursing concepts and help you apply them in real-life situations.
  • Remember that challenges are a normal part of the nursing journey. Stay resilient, believe in yourself, and never give up on your dreams of becoming a nurse.

In conclusion, nursing prerequisites can be challenging, but with the right mindset, effective study habits, and support, you can overcome these challenges and succeed in your nursing journey. Remember to stay motivated, develop a strong foundation in science subjects, make use of practical experience, and seek advice and support when needed. With determination and perseverance, you can excel in nursing prerequisites and lay a strong foundation for a rewarding nursing career.


Q: How can I manage my time effectively while studying nursing prerequisites?
To manage your time effectively while studying nursing prerequisites, create a study schedule and stick to it. Break your study sessions into smaller, manageable chunks and prioritize your tasks. Avoid procrastination and utilize time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique to stay focused and productive.

Q: Are there any online resources available to help me with nursing prerequisites?
Yes, there are plenty of online resources available to help you with nursing prerequisites. Websites like Khan Academy, Quizlet, and Crash Course offer free educational videos, practice quizzes, and study guides on various nursing prerequisite subjects. You can also find online forums and discussion boards where you can connect with other nursing students for support and guidance.

Q: How can I improve my study skills for nursing prerequisites?
To improve your study skills for nursing prerequisites, try different techniques such as active reading, summarizing information in your own words, and teaching the material to someone else. Utilize mnemonic devices, flashcards, and practice quizzes to reinforce your understanding and retention of the material. Additionally, seek feedback from your instructors or peers to identify areas for improvement and adjust your study strategies accordingly.

Q: Is it possible to work part-time while completing nursing prerequisites?
Yes, it is possible to work part-time while completing nursing prerequisites. However, it is important to find a balance between work and study to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Prioritize your time, communicate your needs with your employer, and consider reducing your work hours if needed. Utilize effective time management strategies and seek support from your employer, friends, and family to help you manage both work and study commitments.

Q: Are there any scholarships or financial aid available for nursing prerequisites?
Yes, there are scholarships and financial aid options available for nursing prerequisites. Research and explore scholarship opportunities specific to nursing students, such as those offered by nursing associations, hospitals, and foundations. Additionally, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. Contact your school’s financial aid office to learn about other potential financial assistance options.

Q: How can I stay organized and manage the heavy workload of nursing prerequisites?
Staying organized and managing the heavy workload of nursing prerequisites is crucial. Utilize tools such as planners, calendars, or mobile apps to track assignments, due dates, and study sessions. Break down tasks into smaller, manageable steps and prioritize your workload. Set realistic goals and avoid overcommitting yourself. Create a study schedule and allocate dedicated time for each course. Regularly review your progress and adjust your plan as needed.

Q: Are there any study tips specifically for anatomy and physiology courses in nursing prerequisites?
Focus on understanding the underlying concepts rather than memorizing facts. Utilize visual aids such as anatomical models, diagrams, and interactive apps to enhance your understanding. Break down complex topics into smaller, more manageable sections and review them regularly. Practice labeling diagrams, drawing concept maps, and explaining the material in your own words to reinforce your knowledge.