Nursing is a fulfilling and vital career with enormous growth potential. Nurses are essential members of health care delivery teams, often serving as the most direct link to the patient while orchestrating the best possible care. They are in a position to advocate for patients and families, especially those who cannot advocate for themselves. Nurses improve patients’ quality of life and support people at their most vulnerable moments. They serve as essential members of health care teams, working together with physicians, pharmacists, social workers, and other providers to coordinate care. Nurses benefit from opportunities for continuous learning throughout their careers, and they may gain greater responsibility and autonomy through increased education and experience. They serve in a variety of settings and specialties, and they also may opt to pursue research or teaching opportunities.

The Pre-Nursing Program at the School of Continuing & Professional Studies (CAPS) is for students who wish to complete prerequisites before continuing on to a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. Students receive individual advising in order to create a course plan that fulfills the prerequisites for their future nursing programs of choice. The pre-nursing curriculum provides students with an ideal foundation for their professional studies: strong communication skills, practical analytical and problem-solving abilities, an appreciation for complex ethical questions, and an introduction to human sciences. Students who complete this course sequence will be well equipped to continue on to a variety of clinical nursing (BSN) programs.

Students who complete 54 units of nursing prerequisites with CAPS may, with an additional 6 units, earn an Associate in Arts degree. Students interested in the associate degree should speak with a Student Success Navigator about applying to that program and fulfilling degree requirements.

The Pre-Nursing program is not eligible for local, state, or federal aid options unless students are concurrently enrolled in a degree program eligible for financial aid. WashU employees may use their tuition benefit for the program.

Examples of Common BSN Prerequisites* and the CAPS Equivalents

Students should work with an advisor to arrange a schedule that fits their previous college record and timetable.

General ElectiveSelect from a variety of introductory and upper-level courses; Quantitative Reasoning (U74 117 or 117M) highly recommended.
College AlgebraAlgebra (U20 140)
StatisticsIntroduction to Statistics (U20 1011) or Applied Statistics (U20 205)
Introduction to SociologyIntroduction to Sociology (U68 220) or other courses in Sociology with approval
English Composition IAnalytical Writing (U11 111 or 111M)
English Composition IICritical and Researched Writing (U11 203 or 203M)
History or Political ScienceSelect from a variety of introductory and upper-level courses in these departments.
Social Science ElectiveSelect from a variety of introductory and upper-level courses in the departments of Anthropology, Economics, Political Science and Psychology.
Humanities ElectiveSelect from a variety of introductory and upper-level courses in the departments of Art History, Classics, History, Literature, Philosophy, and Religious Studies
EthicsBiomedical Ethics (U22 233)
Select courses in Biology, Chemistry, Genetics, or PhysicsConcepts in Biology (U29 1001) or other courses with approval
NutritionNutrition (U29 204)
Anatomy and Physiology I with LabAnatomy and Physiology I (U29 220)
Anatomy and Physiology II with LabAnatomy and Physiology II (U29 240)
Microbiology with LabMicrobiology for Health Professions (U29 280)
General PsychologyIntroduction to Psychology (U09 100)
Human Growth and DevelopmentHuman Growth and Development (U09 230)
Oral Communication/SpeechOral Communication (U48 217)

* Examples from admissions requirements for the Barnes Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing.

This program is offered either mostly or fully online. Students entering the U.S. on an F-1 or J-1 Visa must enroll in a program full time. F-1 students are only permitted to enroll in one online course per semester and J-1 students may only enroll in non-credit online courses that do not count toward their degree program. The School of Continuing & Professional Studies (CAPS) cannot guarantee face-to-face enrollment options each semester of full time enrollment, therefore cannot issue an I-20 or DS 2019 to F-1 and J-1 students for this program. If you are an F-1 or J-1 student and wish to enroll in a CAPS program while here on a Visa, please contact our recruitment team to discuss your options for face-to-face program enrollment. F-1 and J-1 students should not enroll in online courses or programs without first consulting the university’s Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS).

Application Requirements

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