If you’ve achieved an undergraduate biology degree, you might be wondering about the next steps you can take to advance your education and your career. Biology is a great foundation to base a future career on, and with the right educational path you can enjoy a long, lucrative career in the field you choose to pursue.
What comes next? A great place to start is understanding how to become a nurse with a bachelor’s degree in biology through the Misericordia University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Pittsburgh. Our 16-month program has three start dates per year and incorporates online learning, onsite labs, and clinical rotations so you can apply your biology degree toward a BSN.
Career Opportunities with a BSN Degree
Switching from biology to nursing is a good choice when it comes to the career opportunities you’ll have after graduation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has measured that estimated employment of registered nurses will rise by 9% between 2020 and 2030, a rapid rate of growth as our healthcare system strives to meet the needs of every patient.
Holding a BSN also opens the door to many diverse career paths and specialties within this growing field, giving you the option to practice the profession in settings ranging from hospitals and nursing homes to helicopters and airplanes.
With a BSN, you’re qualified to become a:
- Medical surgical nurse
- ICU nurse
- Pediatric nurse
- OBGYN nurse
- Hospice nurse
- Flight nurse
- Travel nurse
- Clinical research nurse
Read about even more reasons why earning a BSN is worth it to your future career prospects in this blog post.
How can you apply your previous degree, switching from biology to nursing and pursuing a rewarding, exciting career? Follow these simple steps, and you can make the change from a bachelor’s degree in biology to nursing into a reality.
1. Begin the Admissions Process
Having already completed a bachelor’s degree in biology, as long as you meet all the admissions requirements for Misericordia’s ABSN program your admissions journey will likely be a smooth one. Reach out to a Misericordia admissions counselor, and they will help you through the process while evaluating whether you meet admissions criteria including GPA and prerequisites.
Luckily, you can put some of the science courses you’ve already taken toward your nursing degree. We require students to complete four science prerequisites — Introduction to Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II and Fundamentals of Nutrition — in addition to four other general prerequisites. Because you likely completed some or all of these science courses as a biology major, you can enroll in our BSN program sooner.
If you haven’t completed all the prerequisites yet, don’t worry. You can still meet admissions criteria and become a nurse with a biology degree. Your admissions counselor can help you determine the best and quickest path for you to complete courses and enter our ABSN program.
2. Apply Your Skills in Nursing School
As someone who has already achieved a bachelor’s degree in biology, you’re likely familiar with courses containing a certain level of academic challenge. As you work through an accelerated nursing program like Misericordia’s, you will discover that you need to work hard and budget your time wisely to succeed. Because the program is 16 months long, you will be working through course material on an accelerated timeline and will need to rely on help from instructors or fellow cohort members if you want to be successful. With the right support structure and drive in place though, you can make it through.
The Misericordia ABSN program is comprised of three elements, and each will contribute key knowledge and experience to your accelerated nursing education.
Misericordia’s online accelerated nursing coursework will lay a foundation of essential nursing knowledge that you will continue to build on with help from skills and simulation labs, as well as on-site clinical placements. You will still work within set deadlines for assignments, but the greater flexibility afforded by online coursework means that you can dedicate yourself to learning at the times that work best for you.
Our dedicated expert instructors are always ready to speak about any questions or issues you may have, and 24-hour technical support is available to ensure you’re having an optimal learning experience. With everything you gain from your online ABSN coursework, you can shine as a nurse after graduation.
Hands-on Skills and Simulation Labs
While online-based learning is convenient and flexible, it’s still vital to learn the hands-on skills you’ll use every day as a nurse through labs. Our ABSN program’s skills and simulation labs are led by experienced instructors at our dedicated nursing education center in Pittsburgh and allow you to practice in a mock clinical setting while perfecting various skills and techniques that you will put into use in clinical placements and, later on, as a nurse.
On-site Clinical Placements
As a student enrolled in Misericordia’s ABSN program, your clinical placements will help you gain the experience and perspective necessary to succeed as a practicing nurse. During your 16 months in the program, you will complete 675 hours of clinical practice at top healthcare and clinical facilities in and around Pittsburgh.
During this part of your nursing education, you’ll learn how to interact with patients under the guidance of experienced clinical instructors. With an emphasis on holistic care, your clinical experience as a Misericordia ABSN student will prepare you to become a compassionate, highly competent and patient-oriented nurse.
3. Pass the NCLEX-RN® Exam
You must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) before you can become a licensed, practicing nurse. It is a complete examination of critical thinking, delegation, and prioritization as a nurse, and it requires a firm academic foundation as well as plenty of studying and practice.
Becoming a nurse with a bachelor’s degree in biology all hinges on how you perform on this test, but luckily, Misericordia’s ABSN program has been designed with the knowledge necessary to pass the NCLEX-RN® exam in mind. With your knowledge and dedication, you will be well-equipped to pass and enter the workforce as a licensed nurse.
Apply Your Biology Degree Toward a BSN Today
Are you ready to put your existing undergraduate education toward a rewarding new nursing career? Through the Misericordia University ABSN program, you can switch from biology to nursing and give your existing degree new purpose by earning a BSN in as few as 16 months. Contact an admissions counselor today to learn more.