Top Nursing Prerequisites to Take Online

Top Nursing Prerequisites to Take Online

7 minute read

Nursing can be a rewarding career — nurses are on the front lines of healthcare and should be calm, steady, knowledgeable, caring, and able to focus in a quick-paced environment.  Acquiring your associate’s degree in nursing typically takes 2 years of college. You can save time and money by fulfilling common nursing prerequisites online. These are courses that cover many of the general education requirements at most schools as well as basic science and health courses you’ll need for your nursing degree.  Let’s take a look at why you should consider fulfilling your prerequisites online, as well as what classes StraighterLine offers that can help you on your nursing career path.

Why Take Your Nursing Prerequisites Online?

Whether you know you’re ready for nursing school or just want to test the waters and see if nursing is right for you, fulfilling nursing prerequisites online is a great way to save time, money, and learn at your own pace.

1. Decide if Nursing is the Right Path in a Low-Risk Environment

Online classes are more affordable than most college classes and they allow you to go at your own pace. With StraighterLine, you can take a class as many times as you need to pass. And, if you decide not to pursue nursing school, you’ve just saved both time and money.

2. Pay Less for Your Required Courses & Degree

The average cost for a single class at a college nursing program is $500. Compare that to StraighterLine’s courses, which start at $79 per course plus our $99 monthly membership. The more classes you take online, the more you save – without sacrificing academic quality!

3. Prepare for Success in Your Nursing Program

Online courses give you the freedom to take your nursing prerequisites online so you can gain a solid understanding before ever setting foot inside a classroom. From day one of your chosen nursing program, you’ll already have a good foundation for your future career.

4. Transfer Course Credits to Your School

The credits you earn with StraighterLine are guaranteed to transfer to over 150 of our partner colleges. And if your chosen school isn’t on our partner list, you can still transfer credit through the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service to thousands of other programs.

What Prerequisites Do You Need for Your Nursing Degree?

Most nursing schools have variations on the same set of prerequisite courses for nursing students. This is because nursing itself requires several sets of skills, no matter which nursing career path you choose. Nurses need to have a thorough understanding of biology, human anatomy, medical “lingo,” and communication.  Be sure to check your chosen school’s curriculum to find out what online prerequisites for nursing you can take ahead of time. Here are some of the most common nursing prerequisites – and general education requirements – you can take on your own with StraighterLine:

English Composition

Most colleges and universities require English Composition, no matter what your major. For nursing students, taking this class will help you develop clear and solid communication skills, including grammar, critical thinking, and sharing research. With StraighterLine, you can take both English Comp I and English Comp II to fulfill those requirements.


Biology is another common general ed class for most college majors. It’s especially helpful for those seeking a career path in health-related fields like nursing. To help you get ahead, StraighterLine offers these online prerequisites for nursing students:


Chemistry is another science course common in nursing programs. It’s the study of atoms, molecules, and chemicals, including how they all work together. Nurses need a solid understanding of the microscopic processes that take place in the different systems of the human body. StraighterLine has Chemistry I and the coordinating Lab to help you fulfill this requirement.

Anatomy & Physiology

As a future nurse, you’ll need a solid understanding of human anatomy and physiology. An overwhelming majority of nursing programs require these classes. With an anatomy and physiology course, you’ll learn the different systems of the human body (muscular, skeletal, etc.), as well as how diseases and injuries affect those systems. Labs give you the hands-on experience you need to put theory into practice. Stay ahead of the curve with four StraighterLine offerings:


Pharmacology is the study of drugs and medicine, something every nurse needs to know. How do certain drugs interact with the human body? How do drugs interact with other drugs? What are the common side effects of certain drugs? What happens if someone takes too much? Those are just some of the questions nurses should be able to answer quickly and accurately. StraighterLine’s Pharmacology course gives you the thorough knowledge you need for your nursing career.

Nutrition & Wellness

There’s more to healthcare than medicine. Part of a nurse’s job is to make sure their patients eat right and take good care of themselves during every stage of life. Nurses help educate patients on foods that can help them when they’re sick and foods that should be avoided due to certain medications or conditions. Nurses also help educate patients on movement and exercise, including how to stay safe and avoid injuries. That’s why StraighterLine offers these two courses: Introduction to Nutrition and Personal Fitness & Wellness.

Medical Terminology

Healthcare and medicine have their own “languages.” And nurses need to be fluent in terms relating to diseases, medications, symptoms, and other med-speak. Not only will you need to understand what colleagues tell you, but you’ll also need to use the proper names and terms when explaining conditions to patients, speaking with doctors, writing reports, and more. For nursing students, this means enrolling in StraighterLine’s Medical Terminology course, which will quickly get you up to speed.


Psychology gives nurses an overview of the human psyche. It includes brain development, how behavior changes with age and/or certain injuries and illnesses, therapeutic treatments for psychological disorders, how the psyche and body interact, and a lot more. It’s why StraighterLine offers an Intro to Psychology course online. In addition, our Life-Span Development course provides an overview of human growth and development, teaching prospective nurses about physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development across the human life-cycle from birth to death.

Ready to Explore a Nursing Career with StraighterLine?

If you are looking to pay less for your online prerequisites for nursing, you should consider enrolling in a StraighterLine course. Courses start at $79 with our $99 membership. Start today, enroll immediately -- and go at your own pace. StraighterLine has the classes you need to get started on a rewarding career path. Our courses are designed with your needs in mind to be affordable and foundational. Take each course at your own pace, and take several at a time with our monthly membership. When you’re done, your credits are guaranteed to transfer to over 150 partner schools. Get a head start on your nursing career with StraighterLine’s online courses today!  

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