ABSN Student Prereqs: Utica’s PREP Program

Why One ABSN Student Took Prereqs for Nursing through Utica’s PREP ProgramBecause she has a bachelor’s degree and experience working as an emergency medical technician, a career switch to nursing always interested Jessica. After researching quality accelerated nursing programs near her, she ultimately decided the 16-month Utica College Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program was for her.

But she couldn’t start right away. After speaking with her admission representative, she learned she first needed to complete two prereqs for nursing before she could enroll. She says deciding to take her remaining prerequisite courses through Utica College’s Prerequisite Priority (PREP) was a no-brainer.

“The fact that I’d be able to take the courses online and the credits would easily transfer to the ABSN program definitely sold me on PREP,” she says.

Jessica started taking nursing prerequisites online through PREP during the summer of 2018 and started in our ABSN program that August. She shares her experiences with taking prereqs for nursing through the PREP program below.

Why our Prerequisite Priority (PREP) Program?

Jessica decided to take her remaining prereqs for nursing through PREP because she could take the courses she needed 100% online and knew her credits would transfer seamlessly.

“It’s usually a huge process to transfer credits at other schools, so knowing PREP was through Utica and  the courses would move over without issue made signing up for their prerequisite program a no-brainer,” she says.

PREP is also a great option for students to complete their prereqs for nursing because:

  • You can complete courses quickly — PREP offers six eight-week sessions each year.
  • You automatically become a Utica College nursing student with a reserved spot in the ABSN program for your target start date (contingent upon you meeting all the specified requirements for our ABSN program and its accompanying prerequisite courses).
  • You become eligible for financial aid when enrolled in at least two PREP courses.
  • You’re allowed one retake of any two ABSN prerequisite courses.

Prereqs for Nursing Available Through PREP

PREP offers all the nursing prerequisite courses you need to get into the Utica ABSN program:

General Prereq

Natural Science Prereq

StatisticsAnatomy & Physiology I + Lab
Life Span Development PsychologyAnatomy & Physiology II + Lab
 Chemistry + Lab
 Microbiology + Lab

To be eligible for the Utica ABSN program, you must earn a grade of “C” or better in the general prerequisite courses and earn an overall 3.0 GPA or better in the natural science prerequisite courses.

If you completed courses similar to these prerequisites during your previous college experience, please check with your admission representative to see if your credits are transferable. General prerequisite credits don’t expire, but you must have completed all natural science courses within the last 10 years.


Admissions and Enrollment Process

While PREP allows you to complete your prereqs for nursing on an accelerated timeline, your ABSN admissions representative can help you create the best academic plan tailored specifically to your individual academic history and personal situation. Jessica learned from hers that she needed to take two prerequisites — Lifespan Development Psychology and Chemistry + Lab — to qualify for our program but that she could take them simultaneously over the summer to enroll by her target start date of August 2018.

After her admissions representative assisted with enrolling Jessica in prerequisite courses through the PREP program, she says the conversation didn’t end there.

“She became my accountability partner through the whole process,” she says. “She checked in on me and made sure I was doing OK, which motivated me to become a better student. It felt good knowing she was in my corner and wanted me to make it into the ABSN program.”

Taking Nursing Prereqs Online

Jessica completed the majority of her coursework at home, spending on average 15 to 20 hours a week studying over the course of the eight-week session. She says while she didn’t have a lot of down time and had to stay self-motivated to get it done, her course load felt manageable even though she was also working 40 hours a week as an EMT.

“I had to stay focused on school all summer,” she says. “I put study hours in every day. I definitely couldn’t procrastinate.”


Through the PREP program, you’ll complete the lecture components of your courses 100% online through the same online learning platform you’ll use as an ABSN student. It’s here where you’ll view course syllabi, modules and discussion posts as well as take exams.

Jessica found this fact to be invaluable to her success not only in completing her prereqs for nursing but also later in the ABSN program.

“By taking prerequisite courses through PREP, I was able to familiarize myself with Canvas and preview what it takes to be successful in the ABSN program,” she says.

It’s important to note while PREP courses focus on lecture-based material, the ABSN didactic curriculum is part of an active learning model that caters to all types of learning styles. It features images and graphical representations, video content, task-based simulations and 3D graphics and more.

ABSN student working with manikinLabs

All the natural sciences prerequisites involve a lab component, which you can also complete online from wherever is most convenient for you. Jessica’s Chemistry + Lab involved a home lab kit with detailed instructions on how and when to use it throughout the course. She says she also appreciated the fact that she could complete the lab components on her own time before due dates.

Student Support

While the PREP program makes completing prereqs for nursing school more accessible, it doesn’t mean the coursework itself is any less challenging than a course taught in a traditional classroom setting. Because you’re completing a semester-long course in an eight-week session, it’s important to reach out for help as soon as you think you might need it.

Jessica says the instructors of the PREP courses she took made themselves available to her if she had any questions and that she was able to interact with and gain a sense of camaraderie with other pre-nursing students via the online portal’s discussion forum feature.

She also says her admissions representative checked in with her weekly to check on her progress and make sure everything was going well.

“My admission representative was amazing. Sometimes I’m not as motivated to get my work done unless someone pushes me, but knowing that I had help from her pushed me to always do well,” she says. “Her genuine support felt personal. I could tell she was rooting for me to be in the ABSN program.”

Are you ready to transition into the nursing field? Learn how you can complete you nursing prerequisites online through Utica College’s PREP program and enroll in our ABSN program. Contact an admission representative today to get started.

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