Nurses perform basic duties that include treating patients under a doctor's orders, educating patients and providing advice and emotional support to a patient's family members. Nurses record patients' medical histories and symptoms, help perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, administer medications, and help with patient rehabilitation after they leave primary medical care. There are many specializations in nursing, generally based on type of treatment or specialty. For example, nurses may work in pediatrics, emergency medicine, cardiac care, and others. Most nursing programs prefer that students have a Bachelor's degree, which can be in any major, or be specifically a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Nurse practitioners have an advanced nursing degree, roughly equivalent to a Master's degree in other disciplines. Nurse practitioners can maintain their own practice, prescribe drugs, and do work similar to that of a Physician Assistant.
Pre-Requisite Course Work
RN/BSN programs and Accelerated RN/BSN Programs
There are two ways to attain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and become a Registered Nurse (RN). You can take two years of prerequisite courses, then transfer to a BSN/RN program to finish a BSN/RN, or you can finish a Bachelor's degree then enter an "accelerated BSN" program with required prerequisite courses. Upon completion of the BSN, you would have both a Bachelor's degree in the major of your choice from Fort Lewis College, as well as a BSN.
- Human Anatomy (Bio 233 and lab)
- Human Physiology (Bio 234 and lab)
- Microbiology (Bio 208 and lab; this course has other bio prerequisites) or Introduction to Microbiology (PH 208)
- Statistics (Math 132)
- General Chemistry (Chem 150, 151 and associated labs)
- College Algebra (Math 113)
- Introduction to Sociology (Soc 100)
- Introduction to Psychology (Psych 157)
- Lifespan and Human Development (Psych 254)
- Cultural Anthropology (Anth 210)
- English composition (Comp 250, 350)
- Nutrition (ES 353)
Application Procedure & Timeline
Each nursing school has its own deadline for application submission. Many have deadlines in February/March for entry into the fall class, and September deadlines for classes that begin in January. Be sure to check with the schools you are applying to for their particular application deadline. Applications all require official college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and often personal statements about your desire to become a nurse.