How to Become a Nurse with a Biology Degree in 6 Steps

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Can you become a nurse with a biology degree? It’s possible. A scientific background gives you a solid foundation to pursue nursing. You’ll need to enroll in an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, earn a degree, pass the NCLEX and obtain state licensure.

nurse sitting and using laptop

You’ve worked hard for your biology degree and initially planned on pursuing a career related to biological sciences. However, if you’re no longer interested in these careers, it’s still possible to leverage your degree to get a jumpstart in other fields, like healthcare. Can you become a nurse with a biology degree?

Absolutely! Switching from a biology degree to nursing is much more straightforward than you imagine.

Through Utica University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ASBN) program, you can carve a unique path to a rewarding healthcare career by graduating with a BS in Nursing degree in as few as 16 months. In this blog, we’ll examine how to become a nurse with a biology degree in six steps. With this knowledge, you can apply your previous academic experience to jumpstart your nursing education and enter this in-demand career field sooner.

Can You Become a Nurse with a Biology Degree?

Becoming a nurse with a biology degree is absolutely an achievable goal. Your biology degree provides a solid academic foundation from which to pursue a career in nursing. Your biology classes and related courses taught you the principles of the scientific method and biological processes. You also had opportunities to develop strong critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills. These will be essential assets as you switch from a biology degree to nursing.

nurse with patient

Is nursing right for you? Check out these top nursing characteristics.

1. Assess Your Eligibility to Switch from a Biology Degree to Nursing

The first step toward becoming a nurse with a biology degree is to confirm your eligibility for your chosen nursing program. To apply as a Utica University ABSN student, you must meet academic background and other eligibility requirements.

As a biology degree-holder, you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, but you also must have a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA with a 3.0 GPA across sciences. You’ll also need 60 credit hours in liberal arts courses and a grade of ‘C’ or better in all prerequisite courses. During an introductory call, Utica University admission representatives can answer any questions you may have and explore your thoughts on nursing as a profession.

2. Complete Degree Requirement Courses

Your previous degree and grades plausibly mean you already meet multiple admission criteria for various nursing schools and programs. Your biology degree is likely to prove useful regarding nursing prerequisite courses. These courses ensure that each student has a firm knowledge foundation across various subjects before entering a challenging nursing curriculum.

students helping each other

However, the courses you’ve already taken could especially be applied toward a nursing degree through Utica University’s ABSN program. This crossover in courses you’ve taken means that you can transition from your previous degree in biology to a BS in Nursing more quickly than applicants without your degree experience. Like other biology majors, you’ll find that the nursing curriculum is similar in some ways to your undergraduate experience.

Discover how becoming a nurse later in life is not only possible but can offer unique advantages.

four nurses smiling

3. Submit Your Application for Becoming a Nurse with a Biology Degree

Once you complete all the admission criteria, it’s time to submit your application. Most standard nursing programs have a waitlist, but the wait will likely be shorter with an ABSN program like the one offered through Utica University. Waitlists of any kind are frustrating, especially when the future of your career depends on it. And with the demand for nurses increasing rapidly across the country, the demand for nursing education has followed suit.

At Utica University, you don’t have to wait a year to start working toward a nursing career. Since we offer three start dates each year (January, May and August), we have the capacity to enroll more students who meet admission criteria. This means that upon submitting your application, if accepted, you can begin your accelerated nursing education as soon as possible.

4. Complete Nursing School

In nursing school, you’ll take on an extensive, accelerated nursing curriculum integrating nursing theory coursework, hands-on learning and real-world clinical practice. Over four semesters totaling 16 months of intensive study, you can earn your BS in Nursing degree and be equipped with the knowledge and experience you’ll need to enter the workforce as a practicing nurse.

student nurses and patient

The online-based coursework throughout the program teaches important nursing theory concepts, building on information gained through your previous biology degree and the degree requirement courses.

In-person skills and simulation labs allow you to apply nursing theory concepts in a safe environment while under the watchful eye of top professors. Additionally, clinical rotations will have you applying the scope of your accumulated nursing knowledge to patients at leading regional healthcare facilities under professional guidance.

With the balance offered through this three-part curriculum, gaining knowledge and attaining a BS in Nursing degree through an accelerated timeline is possible.

5. Pass the NCLEX-RN® Exam Before Landing a Nursing Job

After you’ve earned your nursing degree, you still need to complete one more step before you’re qualified to work as a nurse. The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) tests nursing knowledge and clinical decision-making, and passing it means you will officially become a licensed RN.

While the NCLEX-RN® is challenging, you will be equipped with a comprehensive curriculum to take on questions across the range of nursing knowledge. Utica University ABSN students enjoy consistently high first-time NCLEX-RN® pass rates, but preparation is vital to ensure you earn a passing score. After passing the exam, you can apply for licensure from the state board of nursing.

6. Secure a Position as a Nursing Professional

Once you’re legally allowed to practice as a registered nurse, the only thing standing in the way of entering the profession is finding a position to apply your nursing skills and knowledge. With diverse opportunities for nursing positions across a range of settings, nursing doesn’t have to be restricted to an in-hospital setting.

student nurse with workbook

Networking with nurses and other healthcare professionals throughout your clinical rotations is one opportunity that could connect you with a first nursing position. However, with organizations nationwide needing degree-holding nurses, you can also venture outside the hospital setting to find a position that fits your personal goals and ambitions.

Get Started: Seize Your Opportunity

Utica University is a leading choice among prospective ABSN students, with two ABSN program sites in New York. We strive to simplify the switch from a biology degree to nursing, with dedicated admission representatives, three start dates per year, a hybrid learning approach and attentive nursing instructors committed to helping you succeed.

Can you become a nurse with a biology degree? It’s time to find out. Contact an admission representative at Utica University today to learn more about our ABSN program and the application process.

The Ultimate Nursing School Admissions Checklist

Ready for nursing school but stressed about applying? We recommend downloading our free admissions checklist to learn the important ins and outs of applying to accelerated nursing school.

The ultimate nursing school admissions checklist