Course Recommendations: Nursing

Students who will graduate from UVM with a non-nursing degree but who wish to become registered nurses (RNs), clinical nurse leaders (CNLs), or nurse practitioners (NPs) can prepare for application to accelerated (direct entry) nursing programs by completing common prerequisite courses. These prerequisites are similar for all accelerated programs, whether they are bachelors, masters, or doctoral programs in nursing. Community college courses are also acceptable.

In addition to completing prerequisite coursework, candidates should seek out direct patient care experience prior to application. Some roles (e.g., licensed nursing assistant or certified nursing assistant) require completion of a formal training program and allow for increased patient responsibility.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) provides information about accelerated nursing education and maintains a database of accredited programs. The AACN also has resources to learn about the Clinical Nurse Leader role, whose aim to address and improve the quality of patient care outcomes.  The American Nurse Association (ANA) describes the various nursing roles and identifies the nurse practitioner (NP) specialty track options. These resources may help you determine which career pathway best fits your goals, interests, and skills. UVM’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a direct-entry Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program for applicants seeking to become primary care nurse practitioners. The first 3 semesters of program, as with all direct-entry/accelerated nursing programs, lead to eligibility to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Once RN licensure is obtained, candidates can work as registered nurses while they are completing the remaining years of their program.


A full year of anatomy and physiology and one course in microbiology are required by most accelerated nursing programs.

  • Anatomy & Physiology 1&2: ANPS 1190 & 1200
  • Microbiology & Pathogenesis: MMG 1650
    • Note: MMG 1650 may not be open to non- nursing students. An equivalent course can be taken at a community college; for those who meet the prerequisites, an alternative higher-level course is Microbiol & Infectious Disease: MMG 2010


One semester of general chemistry is required by all schools. Very few programs require coursework in organic chemistry. Many schools (but not all) will accept chemistry courses designed for non-science majors (e.g., Outline: General Chem w/lab: CHEM 1100).


One semester of statistics is required by all schools. Any statistics course is acceptable, including STAT 1110 STAT 1410, or a major-specific statistics course required for your degree.


Most schools require one human nutrition course which can be fulfilled with a course equivalent to Fundamentals of Nutrition: NFS 1043


Course content in human growth and development/developmental psychology is required by most programs. Some schools specify that the course must cover the entire human lifespan. Human Development: HDF 1050 will fulfill this requirement. (Note that PSYS 2400 covers childhood only)


Occasionally, programs have other specific course requirements. Intro psychology, ethics, genetics, pharmacology, pathophysiology are some of the content areas listed. 

The University of Vermont Career Center


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