Becoming a Nurse with a Biology Degree in 16 Months

You’ve worked hard for your biology degree – you’ve made it through all the required classes: chemistry (including organic), physics, biochemistry, mathematics, and so on. You understand that your degree is destined to build an excellent foundation for a rewarding career. But, what happens if you don’t see yourself going to medical school or practicing research in a lab every day? If you’re no longer interested in pursuing a career in biology, becoming a nurse with a biology degree may be a great path for you.


Many biology graduates, like yourself, have lost interest in pursuing postgraduate study, but found new ways to use their degrees. Perhaps the daunting medical school waitlist comes into play. Or the time it takes to finish medical school (not to mention the cost). Or, maybe it’s simply the burnout.

Regardless of the reason, many biology majors take the route of becoming a nurse with a biology degree. And the good news is: it isn’t as complicated as you think.

Through Utica College’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing program, you have the opportunity to carve a unique path to the health care career you’ve always wanted. To prove it to you, we gathered insights from a few Utica College ABSN nursing graduates and a trusted advisor on how you can use your existing biology degree to become a successful nurse.

A career in nursing gives you options.

You may be wondering if a career in nursing will be worth it, or if you will be able to handle the rigorous coursework. These are valid concerns that many others have had before you.

In fact, recent ABSN Graduate, Chandni, chose nursing because she had the same concern. “As a former biology major, I chose nursing because it gives me ample opportunity to excel — getting your master’s or doctorate, whichever pathway people choose,” she says.

To echo Chandni’s point, with more education and experience comes more pathways you can take. For example, with a BSN you can pursue specialty positions – like nurse educator, OB/GYN nurse, or clinical nurse leader. Regardless of the path you choose to take, we are thrilled to supply you with a renowned nursing education to help you achieve those goals.

Also, by becoming a nurse with a biology degree, you are not only benefiting yourself, but you are benefiting the health care crisis the U.S. is currently facing. According to The Atlantic, the U.S. has been experiencing a nursing shortage for decades. But, today—due to an aging population, the rising incidence of chronic disease, an aging nursing personnel, and the limited quantity of nursing schools—this shortage is on the brink of becoming a crisis. This could potentially cause implications for patients and health-care providers alike in the future.

Your biology background gives you a running start.


Believe it or not, your biology degree has already placed you ahead of the game. In fact, the courses you’ve already taken could be used toward a nursing degree through Utica College’s Accelerated BSN program.

For recent ABSN graduate and former biology major, Alexandra, prerequisites were not a concern. “A lot of my prerequisites did overlap – I already had all required biology classes, chemistry classes, ethics and statistics – for me, prerequisites were not a concern,” she says.

Biology majors like Alexandra thrive in our Accelerated BSN program. The reason is they understand how to apply disciplined, problem-solving techniques – one of the most critical skills needed for success as a nurse. As a biology major, you can often start the program more quickly than your peers because you have fewer prerequisites to take. And like other biology majors, you’ll find that the transition to studying nursing is not a huge leap from your first undergraduate experience.

“Having a biology degree helps students because they are prepared for the rigors of an ABSN program due to the focus on quantitative and qualitative data,” says Pat V., Utica College ABSN Admissions Advisor. “This helps with information gathering so that they can learn more about each process needed to help patients, learn more about how to treat patients, and also learn more about the patients themselves.”

Plus, no more waiting to start your life.

It’s no joke – waitlists of any kind are frustrating; especially when the future of your career is depending on it. And with the demand for nurses increasing at a rapid pace across the country, the demand for nursing education has followed suit.

At Utica College, you don’t have to wait to get started on the nursing career you always wanted. Because we offer three start dates each year (January, May and August), we have the bandwidth to accept more students from all over the country.

“The structure of the program looked perfect, and the fact that there were three start dates made it accessible for wherever I was in my life,” says Megan, a recent ABSN graduate.

Choose Your Home.

Geared for career changers like you, the 16-month, condensed format also allows you to relocate with ease.  With locations in both Syracuse, New York and St. Petersburg, Florida, you’ll be sure to find a place to call home.

In Syracuse you’ll experience:syracuse-new-york

A variety of parks.

There are dozens of county and state parks close by which include hiking trails, waterfalls, beach areas, and more!

Many great cities.

Syracuse is less than five hours from New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto.

All four seasons.

If you ever lose track of what month it is, just look out the window. From the sizzling summer days to the frigid winter evenings – you’ll experience each season in its full potential.

“Before enrolling, I came to Syracuse to check out the area,” says Nicole, a recent ABSN graduate. “It’s beautiful. Regardless of the season, there is always something to do.”

In St. Petersburg you’ll experience:Tampa Bay

Year-round Sunshine.

To be exact, the city of St. Petersburg notes there are 361 days a year of sunshine and an average daytime temperature of 83 degrees.

Timeless Art.

Ranked by AmericanStyle magazine as the No. 1 Arts Destination among mid-sized cities for three years in a row, the city in home to a number of acclaimed museums.

An Active Sports Scene.

You can find an active calendar of sporting events all year round; St. Petersburg is home to the Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Tampa Bay Bucs, Tampa Bay Lightning, and more!

“I love it down here. It’s so warm- I don’t have to wear a jacket on most days — it’s beautiful year-round,” says Sarah, recent ABSN graduate.

Get Started: Your opportunity is now.

So what are you waiting for? Get started on the hands-on, health care career you’ve always wanted. If you’re ready to use your biology degree to become a nurse, contact an ABSN Admissions Representative today and find out what you need to do to get started.

Don't Wait on Your Nursing Future

Our ABSN has three start dates a year, so you can begin nursing school whenever you're ready.

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