13 Courses Will Take When Getting Your Nursing Degree

Pinning ceremony for the Austin Community College students who completed the Nursing Associate Degree program on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at the ACC Eastview Campus.


Becoming a Registered Nurse takes more than earning a degree in nursing. Before you can call yourself that, you’ll need to get that degree – or diploma. Afterward, you will have to sit for the national licensing examination or the NCLEX-RN. Pass this exam, and then you can receive your registered nursing (RN) license. Therefore, it would be accurate to say that the designation is less about a degree program and more about the professional license.

Degree Types

You can take one of several educational paths to becoming an RN. You could choose a diploma program, which is three-year-long and available at hospitals. Or, you could go with an Associate’s degree from a community college and study for 2-3 years to complete it. Finally, you can also choose a Bachelor’s degree. Colleges and universities offering this degree mandate a four-year-long study period.

As you may guess, the first two programs are great for those aspiring to fill entry-level nursing positions in healthcare settings. If you want to keep moving ahead, use them as diving boards for your Bachelor’s degree.


Introduction to Psychology

Nursing students will study mental behavior and various psychological processes in the class. Other topics that may be covered include:

  • Research methodology
  • Memory
  • Neuroscience
  • Emotional development
  • Therapeutic treatment
  • Personality
  • Social psychology
  • Psychological disorders


Medical-Surgical Nursing

The Medical-Surgical Nursing curriculum teaches the nursing practice in all its aspects for adult patients, as well as caring for them post-surgery. Topics often included are various kinds of disorders, such as respiratory, renal, etc.


The human body, its structure – cells, tissues, and systems –, and functionality make up the subjects of this course.


Nursing students receive their introduction to drugs and medications here. In their nursing careers, they will come across these same drugs, so they should know the purpose of those drugs, how they are classified, and methods of administration.


A huge majority of hospital patients can usually be classified as seniors. Therefore, learning to keep them safe, prevent them from falling sick, and about geriatric syndromes are all important. Nursing students will also become familiar with the following subjects relevant to the elderly:

  • Medications
  • Illnesses
  • Transitioning care environments
  • Dealing with loss
  • End of life issues

Mental Health Nursing

The unique brand of care required for patients with mental or psychiatric illnesses starts with the correct diagnosis. It then proceeds to treatment — either pharmacological or psychotherapeutic. The care needed may differ because of the setting, as well. Therefore, students will need to know how to address those needs in hospitals, mental health institutions, and community care centers.

Maternity Nursing

In this course, potential nurses will focus on how to best care for the whole family when they are going through the childbearing process. But the major portion of this course is taken up by the mother to-be’s health. Thus, care during pregnancy – including high-risk and complicated cases – and postpartum will also be taught.

Leadership Management

This course is usually a part of the Bachelor’s programs in nursing. It involves lessons on leadership, management, and patient safety. Under management, potential nurses will learn about budgeting, staff scheduling, quality control, task delegation, and risk management.


Aspiring nurses will work on enhancing their ethical thinking during decision making. Often in their career, they will face questionable circumstances where they must conduct themselves with professionalism. In the case of biomedical issues, they will be expected to act within the codes of conduct. Other topics, such as confidentiality, refusal of treatment, and abuse, are also a part of ethics. The course is usually supplemented with projects, case studies, and case law.

Community and Environmental Nursing

To better understand the processes of disease management, health promotion, social justice, and family health care, those taking this class will reach out to various community health organizations.

Care Transitions

Transitions usually refer to situations when a patient must be moved from one health setting to another. However, they can also be about changing of treatment plans for a patient. In any case, the move can be stressful for the patient, which is why their caretakers need to learn about transitions. Moreover, the move isn’t only hard on the patient. Sometimes, it can also affect the patient’s family. Aspiring nurses learn about caregiving and access to the health system, health promotion, safety standards, risk reduction, and healthcare interventions.

Health Promotion

While talking about health promotion, we now know that it can be promoted through a healthier lifestyle. A registered nurse needs to know how nutrition and disease prevention play a role in health promotion. For instance, when treating elderly patients, RNs can pass on certain infections to them. Thus, they are taught to tailor their precautions to the group they are treating. Other vulnerable groups include children and individuals who have experienced abuse.

Clinical Theory

Think of this course as the foundation of nursing studies. Thus, aspiring nurses will learn about what makes a research study, the way of gauging its quality, and how to interpret its key findings. They will also apply the knowledge they have gained by integrating it into nursing practices.

Online Programs

Did you know you can obtain your nursing degree by enrolling in a program online? Sure, the professions lend itself to being more hands-on than others do. However, online programs that can make your life easier are available too. Do some research, and you will see that you can pick an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s degree program as well. You won’t have to worry about transport, its cost, or the time it takes or showing up for class. Distance learning mostly requires that you complete the studies at your own pace online.

Besides the normal paced programs, you can also choose an accelerated — or second-degree — program. As their name implies, you can complete them within one or two years. Finally, if you have funding issues, here are some nursing scholarships to make ends meet and continue your studies.

Want more details about a certain nursing course? Then talk to us! Have everything you need? Then enroll yourself in the course!

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