How to Become a Nurse with a Biology Degree: Start Where You Are

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Are you wondering how to become a nurse with a biology degree? At Averett University, you can transition from a biology degree to nursing through the ABSN program. Biology can give you a leg up in the nursing program and you can change career paths.

Averett nursing student putting on stethoscope

You’re probably wondering, “How do I become a nurse with a biology degree?” The answer is less complicated than you might think. As we’ll explore in this post, the classes taken to attain a bachelor’s in biology provide the educational foundation you’ll need to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

Many students choose biology as an undergraduate major with hopes of becoming a doctor. Others plan to work in research labs. But once they’ve attained a biology degree, students sometimes decide that medical school isn’t right for them. And after spending four years in science labs, the idea of working in a lab as a career may have lost its appeal. So what else can you do with a biology degree? If you’re looking for a rewarding career, becoming a nurse is an excellent option. But how do you go from a biology degree to nursing?

Perhaps the most efficient way to become a nurse using your biology degree is to enroll in a program like Averett University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Norfolk, Virginia. The ABSN program at Averett allows you to leverage your previous bachelor’s degree to earn a BSN in as few as 16 months. And the program offers three start dates per year — in January, May and August — so you can start your studies sooner.

Benefits of a BS in Biology in Transitioning to Nursing

Can you become a nurse with a biology degree? Not directly, but a biology degree can be a good starting place from which to move into a nursing degree.

Biology in and of itself is a challenging degree. One of the benefits of a transition is that while the level of intensity in an ABSN program is somewhat higher, the transition from a biology degree can be relatively smooth. In addition, there may be overlap in classes taken in the biology degree and the prerequisites for the ABSN program, which would make transitioning easier as you might not have to take as many prerequisite courses before starting the Accelerated BSN program.

Biology and healthcare are related, and some of the lab skills you learned in your biology degree might be useful in your ABSN program, particularly when working in the simulation and skills labs during the nursing program.

Overall, having a biology degree can give you a leg up as you are already used to a science program. It is possible and manageable to go from a BS in biology to nursing. Now, let’s look at the steps required to parlay your biology degree into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

nurse working with IV

1. Make Sure You Meet the Admissions Requirements

You don’t need prior health care experience to enroll in the ABSN program at Averett University, but you do need to meet the following requirements before you can begin the admissions process.

To be eligible for admission to the Averett ABSN program, applicants must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree OR at least 60 non-nursing credits from a regionally accredited higher education institution — with a minimum cumulative 2.8 GPA.

Prospective students must also:

  • Complete all prerequisites.*
  • Pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) V exam with a score of 65 percent or higher (taken within one year of application).
  • Have passed all math and science courses with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Have no prior nursing program dismissals (grades below “C” in nursing courses).
  • Complete a certified criminal background check.

*Students with prerequisite courses in progress will receive provisional admission into the program, subject to their successful completion of remaining prerequisites taken at Averett University.

2. Complete the Admissions Process

Admissions can be highly stressful, but at Averett University, we have made it as straightforward as possible, and you can rest assured that our admissions team is here to support you. From your first phone call to when you submit your application, application to the Averett ABSN program involves a four-step admissions process.

1. Speak with an admissions counselor.

You need only complete our contact form to start the admissions process. As soon as you reach out, an admissions counselor will contact you. He or she will serve as your main contact throughout the entire process.

Your counselor will first schedule a call with you to discuss your eligibility for the ABSN program. During this call, you’ll explain your interest in the program, your prior degree in biology and your career goals, for example.

Once the admissions counselor determines that you’re a good fit for the Averett ABSN program, he or she will request copies of your unofficial undergraduate transcript(s).

2. Create an academic plan.

Once he or she has reviewed your transcript(s), your counselor will work with you to devise a personal academic plan, which will include a targeted start date for enrollment in the program. He or she will help you identify any requirements you have left to meet, including prerequisites.

Averett ABSN student studying at table

3. Complete prerequisites.

You must fulfill our academic requirements to qualify for enrollment. Your admissions counselor will help you determine which prerequisite courses (if any) you need to take, enroll in those courses and stay on track to complete them according to our grade requirements — all on a timeline compatible with your targeted start date. This is where your previous education comes into play. If you’ve wondered how to become a nurse with a biology degree, check out our list of prerequisites. Those science courses you’ve already completed will come in handy.

Most prerequisite courses are available to complete online through Averett University, using the same learning management system you’ll use to complete your online coursework in the ABSN program.

4. Apply.

Once you have completed the previous steps, your admissions counselor will let you know that it’s time to apply. Be sure to include any required documentation with your application. If you have any questions or concerns, your counselor is there to help.

3. Begin Nursing School

The 16-month Averett ABSN program consists of four full-time semesters and 66 total credit hours. The program follows a blended learning model that includes:

  • Online coursework that build a strong foundation of knowledge
  • Hands-on labs to help build confidence of nursing practice in a risk-free environment
  • In-person clinical placements where you apply what you learn to real patient interactions
Our ABSN Program = A Worthwhile Investment - ABSN students in skills lab

Check out the ABSN program in more depth.

4. Pass the NCLEX-RN®

Your Averett ABSN education will prepare you to sit confidently for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN®). Once you finish your BSN program successfully, you may register for the exam.

This will measure your understanding of nursing principles and practices to ensure that you are fully prepared to enter the workplace. Upon passing the NCLEX-RN®, you will officially become a licensed nurse and can begin applying for jobs.

5. Find a Job

While not guaranteed, ABSN students sometimes receive an employment offer during their clinical placements (contingent on passing the NCLEX). So it’s important to always do your best and display a positive attitude during your clinical rotations. We recommend networking with fellow health care providers as much as possible.

Beginning your nursing journey in Norfolk allows ample opportunity to thrive in the healthcare system. Averett partners with Sentara Healthcare system for student clinicals. Sentara facilities often receive magnet status, demonstrating its high level of excellence. We often send students to other notable facilities such as Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and Bon Secours. Wherever you choose to work after graduating, the Norfolk area is a great location to begin networking.

Averett ABSN student standing outside

Another factor to consider is the importance of having a BSN when applying to nursing jobs. More and more, hospitals are seeking to employ registered nurses with BSNs over those with associate’s degrees such as CNAs. This also provides opportunities for higher pay, career development, and eventually pursuing higher levels of education.

Reach Out Today

At Averett University, we want your transition from biology to nursing to be as smooth as possible and we will help you along the way. If you’d like to know more about how to become a nurse with a biology degree, please contact us. Once we hear from you, a dedicated admissions counselor will be in touch to discuss your options.