Northeastern Nursing Prerequisites: 5 Things You Need to Know

Each blog post is dated and contains accurate information as of that date. Certain information may have changed since the blog post publication date. If you would like to confirm the current accuracy of blog information, please visit our ABSN overview page or contact admissions at (866) 892-3819.

Northeastern nursing prerequisites - 5 things you need to know

Before you can get started in the 16-month ABSN program at Northeastern, not only do you have to have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you must also show the successful completion of eight nursing prerequisites. As a condition of enrollment, these prerequisites help ensure you have the preliminary knowledge that’s required to undertake professional nursing study.

When speaking with prospective students, however, our admissions team comes across a lot of people who have several questions and/or misconceptions about completing prerequisites for this second-degree program. So, if you’re thinking about applying to our ABSN program, here are the top five things you need to know about Northeastern nursing prerequisites.

1. You must complete the prerequisites before starting the program.

When it comes to Northeastern's nursing prerequisites, a lot of prospective students think they can complete these courses while enrolled in the ABSN program, but that’s not the case.

We do, however, allow you to apply to the program with your final two prerequisites in progress, with the caveat that you successfully complete these courses two weeks prior to the start of your program term.

“A lot of people don’t realize they must successfully complete the ABSN prerequisites before we can consider them eligible for the program,” says Danielle Noonan, admissions counselor at Northeastern University.

What are Northeastern's nursing prerequisites?

There are eight prerequisites you must complete as part of the admissions process.

Prerequisite CourseCredits
1. Microbiology with Lab4
2. Human Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab4
3. Human Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab4
4. Introduction to Chemistry with Lab4
5. Statistics (inferential stats and hypothesis testing)3
6. Social/Behavioral Sciences (any 100 level or above)3
7. Developmental Psychology (Lifespan)3
8. Nutrition3

2. You must meet the prerequisite grade requirements to qualify.

To be eligible for the ABSN program, you must earn a grade of “C” or higher in all eight of the nursing prerequisites. And while you may have already completed some of the science-based prerequisites as an undergraduate, you must have done so within the past 10 years, otherwise we consider them expired.

“It’s important to do well in your prerequisite courses because they prepare you to hit the ground running on your first day of accelerated nursing school,” says Heather Hudson, admissions counselor at Northeastern University.

[Infographic] Importance of each nursing prerequisites

3. You must complete your prerequisites at a regionally accredited institution.

While you can complete your ABSN prerequisites through Northeastern, we also accept course credits from other accredited colleges and universities. Before registering for prerequisites at another institution, however, you’ll want your admissions counselor to vet the courses offered by this school.

“If you’re taking your prerequisites somewhere other than Northeastern, be sure to go over the course descriptions with your assigned counselor,” says Noonan. “While some course codes may look applicable, they might not cover all of the content we require. The University of Massachusetts, for example, offers a developmental psychology course, but it doesn’t cover the lifespan element that Northeastern requires.”

Your admissions counselor can also provide you with a list of institutions that offer relevant nursing prerequisites, which includes schools with online course options.

4. You can’t bypass the nursing prerequisites.

While some schools allow you to test out of certain prerequisites, our ABSN program doesn’t accept credit by examination. We also don’t honor alternate certifications or work experience in place of the nursing prerequisites. After all, we want every student to enter the program on a level playing field.

Furthermore, because nursing is a science-based profession, among other things, it’s important to have a strong foundation in the sciences to enhance your success in the ABSN program. Not to mention, for those students who’ve been out of the college environment for a while, these prerequisites are a good way to ease back into student mode.

5. You probably shouldn’t take too many science prerequisites at once.

Your past education helps determine how many of the ABSN prerequisites you must complete. If you have a biology degree, for example, there’s a good chance you’ve already met most, if not all, of the prerequisite requirements for science. On the other hand, if your degree is in marketing, you’ll most likely need to complete all of the science-related prerequisites.

If you’re the latter of the two, it’s best not to overload your schedule with too many science prerequisites at once. These four courses ― each one comprising four credit hours and a lab component ― can be challenging for someone who doesn’t come from a science background.

“A solid understanding of the sciences leads to greater success in nursing school,” says Noonan. “If you can handle the science prerequisites, particularly Anatomy & Physiology I and II, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to handle the rigors of our accelerated nursing program.”

You’ll find that these prerequisites not only lay the foundation for your success in our ABSN program, but also serve as an essential part of your overall preparation as a nurse.

Contact our admissions team to start creating your prerequisite plan today!

Get Your Free ABSN Program Guide

Our ABSN program guide includes everything you need to know about the accelerated path to nursing.

Northeastern University ABSN program guide