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

If you’ve wondered how to become a nurse with a biology degree, you can work through the process to a nursing career by determining your school eligibility, taking prerequisites, enrolling, completing a nursing curriculum, taking the NCLEX exam and securing a nursing position.

science student using test tubes

You’ve worked hard for your biology degree and understand that your degree is destined to build an excellent foundation for a rewarding career. However, if you’re no longer interested in pursuing a career in biology, becoming a nurse with a biology degree could be a rewarding career path to follow. Regardless of the reason, many biology majors take the route of becoming a nurse with a biology degree. And the good news is, the process of switching from biology to nursing is much more straightforward than you might imagine.

Through Utica University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, you have the opportunity to carve a unique path to the healthcare career you’ve always wanted by graduating with a B.S. 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 toward jump-starting your nursing education and entering into this in-demand career field sooner.

1. Ensure Your Eligibility

Before taking any further steps toward becoming a nurse with a biology degree, the first step in the process is to confirm your eligibility for your chosen nursing program. To apply as a Utica ABSN student, you will need to meet academic background and other eligibility requirements.

As a biology degree-holder, you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally 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. Utica admission representatives will be able to answer any questions you may have, as well as explore your thoughts on nursing as a calling and profession, during an introductory call.

Utica nursing student on laptop with text choosing a nursing program

If you’re unsure of how you can choose the best nursing program for you, here are some factors to help make the decision easier.

2. Complete Prerequisites

Your previous degree and grades can mean that you have already met multiple admission criteria for a variety of nursing schools and programs. Your biology degree is likely to prove useful when it comes to prerequisite courses. These courses are meant to ensure that each student has a firm foundation of knowledge across a variety of subjects before entering a challenging nursing curriculum.

With a biology degree, however, the courses you’ve already taken could also be applied toward a nursing degree through Utica University’s Accelerated B.S. in Nursing program. As a biology major, you may have already taken and received credit for multiple prerequisite courses necessary for admission into the Utica ABSN program.

Two ABSN students studying together at desk with their laptops

This crossover in courses you’ve taken means that you can start to transition from your previous degree in biology to a B.S. in Nursing more quickly than applicants without your degree experience because you have fewer prerequisites to take. Like other biology majors, you’ll find that the transition to studying nursing is similar in some ways to your undergraduate experience.

3. Submit Your Application

Once you complete all the admission criteria, it’s time to submit your application. Once you do this, you have to wait, but at least with an ABSN program like the one offered through Utica, the wait will likely be shorter. 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 University, you don’t have to wait a whole year to get started on studying toward a nursing career. Because 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 will be able to begin your accelerated nursing education at a closer start date.

4. Complete Nursing School

Utica ABSN students in a skills lab

Once you are in nursing school, you’ll take on a comprehensive, accelerated nursing curriculum that integrates nursing theory coursework as well as hands-on learning and real-world clinical practice. Over the course of four semesters totaling 16 months of intensive study, you can earn your B.S. in Nursing degree and be equipped with the knowledge and experience you’ll need to enter the workforce as a practicing nurse.

The online-based coursework throughout the program teaches important nursing theory concepts, building on information gained through your previous biology degree as well as prerequisite courses. In-person skills and simulation labs allow you to apply nursing theory concepts along with your cohorts in a safe environment while under the watchful eye of top professors. Lastly, clinical rotations will have you applying the scope of your nursing knowledge to patients at leading regional healthcare facilities under professional guidance. With the balance offered through this three-part curriculum, it’s possible to gain knowledge and attain a B.S. in Nursing degree over the course of an accelerated timeline.

several colorful clocks fading in and out

With an accelerated nursing program curriculum, discover how you can best manage your time to be successful and earn your B.S. in Nursing degree.

5. Pass the NCLEX-RN® Exam

After you’ve earned your nursing degree through Utica University’s ABSN program, you still need to complete one more step before you’re qualified to work as a nurse. The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) is a test of nursing skills and knowledge, and passing it means you will officially become a licensed RN.

While the NCLEX-RN® is challenging, you will be equipped through 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 still vital to ensure that you successfully pass the exam and become a nurse.

6. Secure a Position as an RN

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 in which you can apply your nursing skills and knowledge. With diverse opportunities for nursing positions across a range of settings, nursing doesn’t only have to be restricted to an in-hospital setting.

Networking with nurses and other healthcare professionals throughout the course of your clinical rotations is one potential opportunity that could connect you with a first nursing position. However, with organizations across the country in need of 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 ABSN student in New York

With this understanding of how to become a nurse with a biology degree, we hope the path forward to a nursing career seems much more straightforward. Now’s the time to take the next step and start working toward the hands-on healthcare career that’s right for you. If you’re ready to use your biology degree to become a nurse, contact a Utica ABSN admission representative today, and begin the process for yourself.

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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