Pre nursing or pre-nursing is an educational track which is designed to prepare someone for enrollment in a nursing program. Most programs in this field take two years, giving students a variety of classes which give them a firm grounding in the nursing field. In some cases, the program may funnel students to a nursing program at another school, or it may send students to a nursing school at the same educational institution, with preference being given to pre nursing students over applicants from the outside.
The classes in a pre nursing program vary. At a minimum, students usually take several basic math courses, along with some biology which includes anatomy and physiology. Students also study psychology, sociology, and anthropology, learning about how people interact with each other and society at large. Some schools also offer practical experience to their students, and many encourage their students to get an internship in a nursing clinic or doctor's office to get hands-on experience.
Students in these programs must generally have a high school degree. There may be certain requirements for the program, such as a minimum level of math education, to ensure that all students will be comfortable in the program. Tuition also tends to be slightly higher in this type of program than in a regular two year undergraduate program, because these programs often require additional materials which must be provided by the school.
A pre nursing program can help someone fully prepare for nursing school, and some nursing schools strongly recommend or require that students take pre nursing courses before applying into a nursing program. From the point of view of the school, accepting students from a pre nursing program ensures a minimum basic level of knowledge, allowing instructors to focus on more advanced topics. For students, the program will familiarize them with nursing, and give them a chance to see whether or not nursing is the best career choice.
Community colleges and junior colleges often offer pre nursing courses, and many of these schools also have agreements with nursing schools which provide automatic acceptance for graduates of the pre nursing program. Four year colleges with nursing programs also typically offer pre nursing, with students applying into this program and then the nursing program. Once a student graduates with a nursing degree, he or she can also pursue additional qualifications and education in the field of nursing which will increase employability.