24 Classes You Take in Nursing School and Tips to Ace Them

Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you considering a nursing career or researching nursing programs? Perhaps you have asked the question, “What classes do you take in nursing school?” The classes nursing students are required to take may vary somewhat from one school to another. However, because all nursing school graduates take the same licensure exam, the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), accredited nursing programs cover the same general content. In this article, I will share information about the 24 classes you take in nursing school and tips to ace them.

How Are Nursing Classes Structured?

Every nursing school has its curriculum and may structure classes a bit differently. Although there is some variation, in most cases, the first one or two semesters include three to four days of lecture or classroom instruction and a day or two of lab simulations. Some programs allow students to participate in online or hybrid learning, limiting the number of on-campus visits. Still, there will be times when campus visits are required for lab demonstrations and checkoffs, which prepare students for clinical rotations later. The farther you progress in the nursing program, the more time you spend in clinicals. You will likely have scheduled campus days for tests or NCLEX prep.


Do All Nursing Schools Offer The Same Classes?

The names of classes you take in nursing school may vary a bit, but the same information will be presented. No matter which nursing school you attend, if you are enrolled in an accredited program, the classes you take will be similar to those offered at other schools. Be sure to check the nursing program's accreditation, and if it is not accredited, you will benefit by choosing another option. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCEN) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) offer accreditation to nursing programs that meet criteria.

Do Online Nursing Schools Offer The Same Classes As On-Campus Schools?

Whether you enroll in an online nursing class or choose to attend classes on campus, if the programs are accredited, you can expect to see the same list of required courses. Accreditation is the process by which a non-government, independent peer review of a nursing program is performed. The process involves reviewing all aspects of the nursing program to determine whether graduates will be prepared for and qualified to pass the NCLEX-RN and practice as nurses.

Are Nursing Classes Really Hard?

After asking, “What classes do you take in nursing school," the following question on your mind may be, "Are nursing classes really hard?" Students find some classes naturally easy and others more complex. Each person has strengths and weaknesses, and the courses you take in nursing school will undoubtedly show you what you're made of. Don't fret or sell yourself short, though. You can succeed in even the most challenging classes.

10 Ways To Prepare Yourself Before Starting Nursing Classes

While you will find out below what classes you are required to take in nursing school, this is just the beginning of the exciting journey to becoming a nurse. Nursing school is challenging. You will not only learn the content needed to work successfully as a nurse. You will also learn a lot about yourself. For example, you will discover how much pressure you can take, how you respond to stress, and what works to help get you through the tough times. Preparation beforehand will help you get off to a good start. The following are some examples of ways to prepare yourself before starting your nursing classes.

1. Get organized.

Organization is key to success, and it applies to both your personal and academic life. One of the first things you should do is choose a dependable calendar or planner. Some people prefer digital planners, while others prefer having a paper calendar/planner. Take the time to make a list of your daily or weekly activities and responsibilities. Plug them into your planner, so you don't overlook anything when starting nursing classes. You may choose to color code your planner using one color for personal responsibilities and another for nursing school-related activities.

2. Take all prerequisite courses.

Before you are accepted into the professional part of any nursing program, you will be required to pass prerequisite or pre-nursing courses. The sooner you take those classes, the sooner you can focus on the program's next steps and work toward your degree.

3. Invest in good nursing supplies.

Good shoes, a high-quality stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and penlight are essentials for any nurse or nursing student. Your school may have a list of suggested brands. If you are not provided with a list and are unsure what to buy, ask a nursing instructor or other nurse which ones they recommend.

4. Reduce stress by planning ahead.

You may be surprised how much easier nursing school will be if you take the time and put forth the initiative to plan, even for the little things. For example, if you or your children need dental or eye exams, schedule them ahead of time for a day you know school is not in session. Buy groceries in bulk and spend an afternoon meal prepping if you can afford it. Some people find it helpful to meal prep for one week, while others prepare large amounts of food and freeze it for the whole month. Anything you can do to reduce the amount of time you take away from studies later will help you get through nursing school with less stress.

5. Find a dependable mentor.

Having a relationship with a nurse willing to mentor and support you is an excellent way to prepare you for school. Every practicing nurse was a student nurse first. They understand the stress associated with nursing school and can be a great source of encouragement when times are tough. By developing a relationship with someone who can mentor you, you will have peace of mind knowing there is someone to turn to when needed.

6. Make it a habit to take care of yourself.

There will be days when you feel like you don't have time to rest or recharge. However, it is crucial to remember that it is impossible to take care of others without first caring for yourself. Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, and getting adequate sleep promote good health, which improves your chances of success. Something as simple as taking a walk in the park or going for a bike ride can stimulate the release of endorphins in your blood, reducing stress. A good night's sleep will help you wake refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Developing these habits before beginning nursing school is easier than implementing them after beginning school.

7. Know your learning style and become a master at it.

Some people are visual learners, while others are auditory learners. Figure out which learning style works best for you and practice it. For example, if you are a visual learner, you should be sure to have plenty of paper, pens, and other materials to take notes. Make sure you have a computer dedicated to schoolwork so you can organize your material on it in an easy-to-access format. Auditory learners often benefit from recording nursing school lectures and listening to them over again.

8. Make sure you have a support system outside of your school peers.

Nursing school is demanding. To succeed, you will need to focus your time and energy on studying and mastering content and skills. While you can and should enjoy friends and family, it is crucial to have the support of people who understand your education is a priority. Talk to your family members about your goals. If you have a spouse or significant other who can help with household chores or errands, ask them to take up some of the slack while you are studying. Schedule play dates for smaller children so you can have quiet time for study or self-care. The value of a sound support system is often underrated.

9. Join a student nurse association or support group.

Support groups are not just for people who have experienced loss or grief or struggle with addictions. There are support groups for nursing students to share their ideas, feelings, and goals and find encouragement to prepare for and go through the nursing program. Social media outlets, like Facebook, have support groups you can join, like Nursing Student Support Group and All About Nursing. The National Student Nurses’ Association is dedicated to developing professional nursing students. The association has more than 60,000 members.

10. Set goals and reward yourself.

Nothing makes a person want to succeed more than setting a goal and having the satisfaction of accomplishing it. Make a list of short-term and long-term goals. For example, your short-term goal may be to pass the entrance exam to nursing school on your first try or ace Anatomy and Physiology. An intermediate or long-term goal may be to finish your first semester of nursing school with all passing grades. Write your goals down, and beside each one, write something you plan to do for yourself when the goal is accomplished. You may want a new pair of shoes or a night on the town with friends. Remember, you are working hard to become a nurse, and you deserve to be rewarded as you go through the process.


General education classes are the first classes students take regardless of their planned major. These classes which include introductory sciences, English, math, and psychology, are taken before entering into the professional component of a program. The following is a list of the 10 most common general education classes you take in nursing school and tips to ace each one of them.

1. Biology

What is the Class About:

Biology is one of the common general education classes you take in nursing school. Biology is a branch of science dedicated to helping nurses understand the human body and its complexities. This class provides a foundation for understanding cell structure and function, DNA, genetics, and the human body systems.

Why is this Class Important:

Biology is an essential course for all nursing students because it serves as an introduction to the foundations of human life. Biological make-up also affects how a person responds to medications or other therapy. Nurses use biology every day to identify factors that may affect the health of their patients.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Biology is one of the foundational nursing classes. Studying for and passing this course will help nursing students prepare for other classes. A few tips to help ace biology include:

• Use medical terminology to help identify the meaning of complex words. Medical terms are made up of root words, prefixes, and suffixes. Understanding the meaning of these word parts will help you break down complex terms in biology to identify their meaning.
• Take a step-by-step approach to building your understanding of biology. Do not try to ace the more complex biology content before you thoroughly understand the course's basic concepts.

2. Chemistry

What is the Class About:

Chemistry is the study of an organism's general and organic chemical make-up. The study of chemistry in nursing schools involves learning about atomic structure, acids and bases, chemical bonding, organic functional groups and reactions, and their relationship to nursing applications. You will find chemistry concepts in more than one class in nursing school. There are four main types of chemistry courses that nursing students may take: General Chemistry, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Pharmacology.

Why is this Class Important:

Of all the general education classes required for nursing, chemistry can be most dreaded. However, developing a deep knowledge of chemistry is essential. Understanding chemistry means you can anticipate a patient's response to medications and help identify abnormal responses. Some medications complement one another, while others can cause adverse reactions when given simultaneously.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Chemistry is one of the nursing classes you will either love or hate. Most people who fail this class do so because they don't know how to approach chemistry. Your instructor should give you a syllabus at the beginning of the course that outlines a class schedule. Take the time to read the scheduled content before going to class. You will see equations in chemistry, so you should take and pass a college algebra class. Whatever you do, do not try to cram for a chemistry test. Take the time to learn chemical symbols. Use flashcards and study groups. Practice daily and take good notes.

3. Communication

What is the Class About:

Perhaps one of the most essential general education classes needed for nursing is communication. Students learn the concepts and skills that impact how people participate in interpersonal relationships in a communication class. Instructors teach students about the various ways people translate thoughts into words and how they respond to others.

Why is this Class Important:

No matter how much book knowledge you acquire, if you are incapable of effectively communicating with patients and peers, the chances of delivering quality nursing care are slim. Nurses must learn to recognize nonverbal cues and respond appropriately to them. Additionally, nonverbal communication skills such as proper documentation promote continuity of care within the interdisciplinary team.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Effective communication is an essential school for nurses to develop. A few ways you can improve your communication skills and ace this class include practice active listening and written communication, participate in volunteer programs or groups, and practice exercises in situational awareness. The more you practice communication skills, the sharper your skills will become.

4. Human Anatomy

What is the Class About:

Human Anatomy is the study of the structure, or make-up, of the human body. The content for this class serves as a foundation upon which information from all other nursing courses is built. Human Anatomy begins with the simplest level of cellular organization and progresses to include the structure of all the body systems. The human body is studied in this class by subdividing it into individual body systems. Students examine the body at various levels, including cell, tissue, organ, system, and organizational.

Why is this Class Important:

Developing an understanding of anatomy is essential for all nursing students. Without a clear understanding of how the normal body is structured, it is impossible to identify alterations in body systems, which are indications of injury, illness, and disease.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Anatomy is another example of classes you take in nursing school in which content from one lesson continuously builds upon information from previous studies. It is essential to understand the foundational concepts from the first few chapters to succeed. Learn terms associated with anatomical position, directional terms, regional terms, and body planes as you will see these on every test and use them in daily work. A few other tips for acing human anatomy are drawing diagrams and taking practice quizzes frequently.

5. Human Growth and Development Through the Lifespan

What is the Class About:

Human Growth and Development Through the Lifespan provides students with an overview of human beings' physical, cognitive, intellectual, social, language, and emotional development from conception and throughout life. The focus of Human Growth and Development Through the Lifespan is on biological, emotional, social, and intellectual aspects throughout life. In this class, students learn how hereditary and environmental factors influence human growth and development and about the changes that occur throughout the lifespan.

Why is this Class Important:

The nursing class, Human Growth and Development Through the Lifespan, is designed to provide students with knowledge of theories and principles related to growth and development that they will use as a guide to provide clinical nursing care. The theories and principles learned in this class act as a guide nurses can integrate into their clinical practices. Students will use the concepts of growth and development presented in this course to develop a foundation to build upon throughout their career and any continuing educational advancements if they so choose.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Like other classes you take in nursing school, and much like natural growth and development, success in the Human Growth and Development class comes in steps. Your instructor will begin teaching content related to conception and build each lesson on the previous one. Study each step of development and human growth. If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask.

When I taught nursing school, my students always enjoyed activities that involved hands-on tasks. You don't have to wait for your instructor to give you an assignment to begin learning about growth and development. If you have children or you know someone with children, spend some time playing with them and make notes of the milestones they've accomplished. Compare what you observe with what you find in your textbook and use it as a forum for discussion with peers or ask questions in class. You will find this is an excellent way to apply what you're learning and promote retention.

6. Human Physiology

What is the Class About:

Human Physiology is another of the important general education classes you take in nursing school. In this class, students learn about the function, regulation, and integration of the various functions of the different human body systems. Students learn the role of homeostasis in maintaining health and measures to promote homeostasis. The study of human physiology in nursing includes integrating knowledge across several levels, including chemical functioning, cell physiology, organ systems, and the body as a whole.

Why is this Class Important:

When nursing students learn Human Physiology, they can recognize the normal functioning of the human body. This is helpful because they must first know the body's normal function to identify any abnormalities. Abnormal physiology indicates the presence of illness or disease, and nurses are essential members of the care team. Because nurses provide hands-on care, they may be the first to see abnormal symptoms and notify physicians, so proper measures to improve patient outcomes are implemented.

Tips to Ace this Class:

As you navigate Human Physiology, it can become easy to focus on little things and miss the "big picture." One of the best things you can do to improve your likelihood of success in this class is to learn body systems and concepts. You will find many concepts, like metabolism, included in several lessons. If you develop a clear understanding of a concept, you can understand how that concept influences each body system and the person as a whole.

7. Microbiology

What is the Class About:

Microbiology introduces students to the basic principles of health sciences. This course focuses on microbes and includes an in-depth at their genetics, metabolism, and relationship to humans. Microbiology covers topics such as how infectious microorganisms are spread and measures to control and avoid their transmission. In many cases, this course is offered in a hybrid or classroom-only format because there is a laboratory component. The lab portion of the Microbiology course allows students to gain hands-on experience working with biological samples.

Why is this Class Important:

Nurses are involved in all aspects of managing patient health and infection control measures in hospitals. Microbiology is vital because it helps nursing students understand the basic concepts of genetics, reproduction, biochemical characteristics, and morphology.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Microbiology has numerous applications in the healthcare industry. Therefore, nursing students need to understand the content in this course. A few tips to help you pass microbiology include the following.
• Create charts to study.
Organizing information by the type of virus, bacteria, or body part it typically affects can help you compare microorganisms based on their characteristics. Create separate columns to identify the type of organism (virus or bacteria), mode of transmission, clinical symptoms, and treatment in your charts.
• Use visual aids.
Associating facts with images will improve memory recall and retention. Study pictures of gram stains or bacteria growing. If you wish to add to your collection of images from a reliable source, you may find the book Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple is a great resource.

8. Nutrition

What is the Class About:

Nutrition is one of the general education classes you take in nursing school designed to introduce nursing students to the clinical dietary and nutritional principles. Students learn the importance of nutrition and its relation to proper growth, development, and maintenance of good health. In this class, students are taught the science and fundamentals related to human nutrition. Some topics include nutritional requirements related to individuals through the lifespan, healthy behaviors related to nutrition, prevention of chronic diseases, and how nutrition affects the health of individuals and populations.

Why is this Class Important:

Proper nutrition is not only important in helping prevent disease. It is also a crucial part of illness and disease prevention. Nursing students who understand how nutrition affects the human body and its impact on health and wellness are better equipped to make intelligent choices and educate their patients about dietary decisions to improve their health outcomes.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Studying for a nutrition class can be time-consuming and leave some students feeling overwhelmed. The first thing you should know is, you can pass this class. Here are a few tips to help you ace Nutrition. First, break the content into smaller chunks of information. For example, if a chapter has several subtopics, spend a little time learning the content in one section before moving on to the next. As you move on to the next section, integrate the information you learned in previous sections.

9. Psychology

What is the Class About:

Psychology is another one of the required general education classes for nursing. This course is typically an introduction to psychology and provides students with a foundation for more in-depth psychology courses. Students learn about the history and origins of psychology, biological aspects of psychology, and research methods. They learn common medical terminology associated with psychology and identify how consciousness, behavior, and interpersonal relationships affect mental and physical health.

Why is this Class Important:

Nurses provide care for their patients' overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Understanding the basic principles of psychology makes it easier to provide mental and emotional support to patients and build a foundation of trust.

Tips to Ace this Class:

The first thing to keep in mind when you take a Psychology class is to start with the basics. Most psychology classes begin with learning the history of psychology and the scientific methods used in psychology research. Becoming familiar with these topics early in the class will help you develop a greater understanding as you move deeper into the course. Put forth the effort to learn as much as you can about new topics as they are introduced. For instance, spend time exploring online resources devoted to new topics. Doing this will reinforce the information from class lectures and required reading materials and gain a deeper understanding of the subject.

10. Statistics In Health Care

What is the Class About:

Statistics in Healthcare is among the general education classes you take in nursing school. The course prepares students with the skills necessary to perform statistics in the healthcare setting and includes calculating health data and skill development in computation. The general healthcare statistics course helps students summarize numerical data, develop functional computing skills, gain a vocabulary of relevant statistical methods, and improve their confidence in dealing with numbers.

Why is this Class Important:

Healthcare providers use statistical trends to monitor patient conditions and compare them to state, national, and international trends. Nurses use basic healthcare statistics to help them apply evidence-based practice to patient care. Using evidence-based practice and statistics means nurses can apply the most up-to-date research and evidence to patient care. Additionally, knowledge of healthcare statistics helps nurses provide patients with factual answers to their questions about health and wellness.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Many students say statistics is one of the dreaded classes needed for nursing. Although it may not be your favorite class, Statistics does not have to be a make-or-break-you course. There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of success.

• First, make use of every resource and tool available. This includes tutoring options.
• Get a calculator designed for more than addition and subtraction. Good statistics calculators include the Texas Instruments TI-34 Multiview Calculator for Statistics and the Casio FX-115ES PLUS Calculator.
• Take advantage of extra time (if you have any) to work ahead. If you have a preview week or a break, use that time to complete some statistics work. It is easier to work ahead and get questions answered as you go along than to catch up after getting behind.


You will take general education classes like those listed above and core nursing classes in nursing school. Core/Professional nursing classes are required for nursing care specific to professional nursing knowledge and patient care. The following are examples of the 14 most common core/professional nursing classes you take in nursing school and tips to ace them.

1. Adult Health

What is the Class About:

One of the primary classes you will take in the professional component of a nursing program is Adult Health. Adult Health Nursing focuses on implementing the nursing process to meet the needs of adult patients with common acute and chronic health conditions. In this class, you will develop and build upon critical thinking and clinical reasoning skill.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

In Adult Health, you will develop skills associated with assessing and caring for adult patients with alterations in health. You will learn to analyze and apply evidence-based principles related to safe, ethical, and legal nursing practice in diverse settings. This class will present you with opportunities to examine strategies that promote health and deduce nursing education to meet the health problems of selected adult patients and their families to prevent illness and promote health maintenance. You will also learn to analyze and apply evidence-based principles of safe, legal, and ethical practices in various care settings in relation to the nursing care of the adult client with alterations in selected body systems.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Passing a specialty course, like Adult Health, requires a fundamental knowledge and understanding of normal anatomy and physiology. As you go through this class, you will find that alterations in body functioning you learn about have an opposite "normal." A firm understanding of anatomy and physiology will better equip you to identify alterations in Adult Health. Likewise, if you struggled with general courses, such as A&P or Nutrition, you may find more focused courses a bit more complicated. Join study groups and engage in tutoring, if needed.

2. Child And Adolescent Health Nursing

What is the Class About:

Child and Adolescent Health Nursing is focused on issues related to pediatric health and wellness. Growth and development, family dynamics, and communication with children and their families are a significant part of this course.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

Child and Adolescent Health Nursing will help you integrate pharmacology and pathophysiology and the knowledge of acute and chronic health problems with nursing interventions. This class will prepare you to use the nursing process to identify the cultural, psychosocial, physiologic, and educational needs of children, adolescents, and their families and implement interventions focused on family-centered nursing.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Passing Child and Adolescent Health Nursing is essential if you want to succeed in nursing school. A few tips to help you in this course include investing in a reliable study guide and practicing NCLEX questions related to child and adolescent health. Child Health Nursing Reviews & Rationales by Maryann Hogan is a great resource. Also, keep in mind, instructors will likely ask age-specific questions on exams. Learning normal milestones for each age group, vaccination schedules, and stages of development will improve your chances of success in this class.

3. Clinical Rotations

What is the Class About:

Clinical Rotations are perhaps the most exciting and terrifying part of nursing school. In Clinical Rotations, students interact with and care for patients under the supervision of nursing faculty or approved preceptors at various healthcare facilities.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

As you go through Clinical Rotations, you will learn to apply the principles presented to you in the classroom to direct patient care. Progression through the nursing program comes with greater responsibility for managing clinical tasks involving patient care. In the clinical component, you will develop assessment and communication skills and practice the administration of medications and treatments. You will also learn to navigate through electronic medical records and proper methods of documenting patient care and working with the interdisciplinary team.

Tips to Ace this Class:

As a nursing instructor, I can tell you one of the most important things for you to remember while in Clinical Rotations is you are not expected to know everything. This is a learning experience. If you want to pass this portion of the nursing program, follow directions, ask for help, and practice. When you perform a patient assessment, trust your instincts. If something concerns you, report it to your instructor or preceptor. Follow through with all assignments and patient care. While your first days in clinicals may cause you to feel nervous or unsure, the more time you spend providing patient care, the more confidence you will have. Have fun and enjoy the process.

4. Epidemiology For Population-Based Care

What is the Class About:

Epidemiology, which is one of the core classes required for a nursing degree, is associated with a discipline of medicine that is essential in describing the health status of individuals and populations, identifying risk factors, and analyzing relationships between hazardous agents and health. Students study the determinants and distribution of health and disease in human populations in this class. Epidemiology for Nurses focuses on improving health by altering environmental and personal risk factors and studying epidemiological research using public health informatics and technology.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

In Epidemiology for Population-Based Care, you will learn to integrate ethics, biophysical, psychosocial, organizational, and analytical sources and nursing science to provide high-quality nursing care to patients and populations. Other skills you will develop include honing clinical judgment, systems thinking and specialized knowledge of epidemiology as it applies to nursing practice.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Prioritizing study time is one of the keys to success in any of the classes required for nursing. As you study Epidemiology, apply the knowledge of basic chemistry, anatomy, and physiology. The core knowledge you build in those pre-nursing classes will help you break down more in-depth content as it is presented in the Epidemiology class. Consider volunteering to shadow or participate in an epidemiology research study, as this can give you a more personal view of how epidemiology is used in the nursing field, making it easier to relate content from lectures and lab simulations to real-life patient care.

5. Health Assessment and Promotion

What is the Class About:

Health Assessment and Promotion is another of the courses that adds to the foundation built in previous nursing classes. In this class, students learn to conduct comprehensive and focused assessments, compile health histories that include protective and predictive factors, identify current or potential health problems and promote health and wellness across the lifespan.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

In this class, you will learn to master knowledge and clinical skills related to gathering a health history, performing nursing assessments, and implementing measures to promote the health and well-being of clients of all ages. Your studies in this course will include physical examination skills, clinical assessment skills, therapeutic communication, and health promotion techniques. You will learn the importance of prioritization, delegation, and teamwork, which are necessary skills for successful nurses.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Health Assessment and Promotion is one of the most important classes you take in nursing school. Having a firm grasp on the fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology will prove helpful as you navigate your way through Health Assessment and Promotion. One of the best tips to help you ace this class is to focus on what is normal in health assessment. If you know the "norms" such as normal blood pressure, heart rate, or respiration, you can identify when patients are experiencing abnormal symptoms. Practice performing physical assessments on your classmates or family members. Document what you see and use it in a study group or class discussions to test your grasp. While you should always use your recommended textbook first, other resources help you develop the skills you need to pass Health Assessment and Promotion. One book students find helpful is Health Assessment Made Incredibly Visual.

6. Health Care Ethics

What is the Class About:

Health Care Ethics is a class designed to identify ethical issues related to health care. This class provides a crucial foundation to address ethical issues within patient-provider relationships. Students in this class learn about informed consent, patient rights, and truth-telling concerns.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

Ethics in nursing provides a framework to help you ensure the safety of your patients and fellow nurses. The Health Care Ethics class will help you develop skills that contribute to your involvement in providing high-quality nursing care. You will learn measures to protect patient confidentiality. Another skill that is often undervalued by those who do not understand this class is the ability to deal with patients' beliefs, which may conflict with your own. Health Care Ethics help nurses work through difficult situations and offers a moral compass, so to speak, to help them do their jobs fairly, legally, with high levels of care and attention.

Tips to Ace this Class:

The foundation of medical/healthcare ethics is based on four pillars:

• Beneficence (doing good)
• Autonomy (allowing the patient freedom to choose for themselves if they are able)
• Non-maleficence (to do no harm)
• Justice (promoting and ensuring fairness)

Of course, you need to study terminology and laws as they apply to nursing. Then take the facts or concepts you have learned and work with a peer group to share ideas and practice mock situations. One of the best ways to promote a deeper understanding of healthcare ethics is to practice analyzing situations using healthcare ethics frameworks and ideologies. Action is the best teacher. So, give one another feedback and look to your instructor for guidance if you are unsure.

7. Leadership & Management in Nursing

What is the Class About:

One of the important classes you need to take for nursing programs at the baccalaureate level includes content related to leadership, administration, and management. The Leadership and Management in Nursing course focuses on leadership principles in the delivery of nursing care. Students will be presented with an overview of management and leadership theories to help them understand both legal and ethical implications associated with the role of professional nursing.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

In the class Leadership and Management in Nursing, you will learn to identify legal and ethical issues that affect nurses within the healthcare system. You will develop an increased awareness of communication, time management, stress management, and motivation skills. In this class, other skills you will develop include developing and managing a budget, recruitment and retention methods, quality improvement, and risk management measures.

Tips to Ace this Class:

One of the most critical skills you can develop to help you ace Leadership and Management in Nursing is communication. Practice verbal and nonverbal communication techniques daily. Having a solid foundation in mathematics will also help you learn to develop budgets and manage finances in nursing. So, if math is not one of your strengths, you may consider taking an extra math class or tutoring. Practicing public speaking usually proves helpful for students in this class, as well. Whether you take a communication or public speaking course is up to you. Your academic advisor can give you some tips on which classes may benefit you.

8. Nursing Informatics

What is the Class About:

Nursing informatics combines cognitive, information, computer, and nursing sciences. This course includes developing, evaluating, and analyzing information systems by technology designed to support, manage, and enhance patient care practices.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

Nursing Informatics will help you develop data analysis, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and research skills. You will also hone evidence-based practice and management skills, which will prepare you for key roles in leadership and informatics roles.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Success in Nursing Informatics requires the ability to solve problems using technology. If you are inexperienced with computer technology, you could benefit from computer classes. Practice communication skills and find ways to expose yourself to different health data systems and electronic medical records. Although you will take communication classes and use EMRs in clinicals, any experience you can gain independently will help improve your chances of success in this class.

9. Pathophysiology

What is the Class About:

Pathophysiology is one of the most in-depth classes you take in nursing school. This class refers to the study of diseases or abnormal body processes. Any illness of the body that interrupts normal physiological processes is considered pathological. In pathophysiology class, nursing students learn to identify malfunctions in normal physiology that cause or are the result of diseases or illnesses.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

While Physiology deals with the normal functioning of the human body, pathophysiology deals with abnormal functioning. Nurses use pathophysiology to identify and understand an illness or disease's progression and determine which treatment options should be implemented for their patients. In this class, you will learn the anticipated course of a disease and which measures are appropriate nursing interventions in patient care. You will develop critical thinking skills to help you understand pathophysiology principles for nursing, analyze and explain the effects of diseases at cellular and systemic levels, and explain how compensatory mechanisms respond to physiologic changes.

Tips to Ace this Class:

The first step in acing pathophysiology is having a firm understanding of normal physiology. Once you have passed Human Physiology or Anatomy and Physiology, you can apply the knowledge of normal body functions to determine abnormalities in your patients.

A few tips to help you ace Pathophysiology include reading and rereading your study materials as much as possible. Memorize signs and symptoms and find ways to relate them to things you can remember. Utilize your instructors as much as needed. Your nursing instructor is an excellent resource for information and study tips. Remember, every nursing instructor was once a nursing student, and they want you to succeed as they did. Ask questions as soon as you think of them to prevent a delay in learning. Take detailed notes. If the instructor allows it, you may consider recording their lectures. Pay close attention to the wording on tests. Keywords like always, never, all, and none may help you identify correct or incorrect answers.

10. Pharmacology

What is the Class About:

Pharmacology is the study of medications. This class is the basis for therapeutic patient care and is of utmost importance to medical sciences.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

In Pharmacology, you will learn to demonstrate an understanding of basic pharmacology principles, including understanding the mechanism action of various drugs. You will learn to communicate therapeutic effects, possible side effects, adverse reactions, symptoms of toxicity, and drug interactions and to effectively instruct patients and/or caregivers on the proper use and expected outcomes of pharmacologic therapies.

Tips to Ace this Class:

When you see Pharmacology on your course list, you may feel several emotions, including anxiety, excitement, apprehension, overwhelming dread, or a combination of them all. Don't give up yet, though! Although Pharmacology can be one of the most challenging classes you take in nursing school, it is vital. You will use the information you learn in this class on tests, in clinicals, and daily patient care. In medical terminology, you will learn prefixes, suffixes, and root words of medical words. Drugs in certain medication classes may share the same prefixes or suffixes, and understanding them can help you differentiate between them. For example, "olol" is a suffix associated with a type of medication known as a beta-blocker. Any medication that ends in this prefix will be grouped in that drug class.

Make flashcards and study them daily. Find a study partner and exchange flashcards with them to have some variety in the way information is presented to you. Take lots of practice tests. Practice tests can benefit you in a few ways. First, you will find out your strengths and weaknesses in pharmacology, and you can practice testing in NCLEX format, which will pay off later.

11. Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

What is the Class About:

Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing focuses on the care of individuals with varying degrees of mental health and mental illness. Students learn about common ailments and diseases associated with mental health and factors that impact mental health and wellness.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

The theory part of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing class prepares students to assess the mental and behavioral health of patients of various ages and backgrounds across the lifespan. In this course, you will develop skills associated with applying appropriate nursing interventions for patients experiencing mental health crises. You will learn to implement individualized therapeutic communication techniques with patients and their families or caregivers, employ the nursing process in providing mental health nursing care and identify how physiological and sociological factors can impact psychological functioning.

Tips to Ace this Class:

One of the most important things to remember when you take Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing is that no two people are exactly alike. This is especially true regarding mental health. Learn foundational principles of Mental Health Nursing and let your instructor guide you as you develop the skill of applying your knowledge in a personalized approach to patient care. A few simple tips to help you ace this class include forming a study group, getting a flashcard app such as Quizlet, and scheduling a set time each day to study for the class without interruption.

12. Public Health Nursing

What is the Class About:

The Public Health Nursing class prepares students for population-focused clinical practice in the public health setting. The class involves the study of theories from public health, social, and behavioral sciences. Students also study preventive measures for at-risk populations to promote and protect public health across the lifespan.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

Students in Public Health Nursing learn to apply culturally competent strategies to nursing care. This course will equip you to apply theories of nursing, public health, and behavioral sciences to patient care. You will develop skills used to analyze the impact of lifestyle and environment on the health of populations and to educate patients on measures to improve health.

Tips to Ace this Class:

Communities are made up of people who are constantly changing. With that in mind, it is essential to approach Public Health Nursing in terms of action. Ask yourself what you see and hear (whether it is in a mock setting in the classroom or clinical setting) and plug in as much information as you can. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Volunteer your time. I know you're probably thinking, "What time?" If you can spare a few hours a month, you may find it easier to apply the Public Health Nursing concepts you learned in the classroom to real-life situations, making it easier to pass the class. Hospitals, nursing homes, charities, or local foundations may have opportunities. Your nursing instructor may have a list of approved volunteer opportunities.

13. Research And Evidence-Based Practice

What is the Class About:

Research and Evidence-Based Practice addresses the role of research in nursing practice. It includes instruction on disseminating and utilizing research sources and the models and principles of evidence-based nursing practices.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

Research and Evidence-Based Practice is one of the most important classes you take in nursing school. It will prepare you with the skills needed to identify care strategies that can help improve overall patient outcomes. This class will teach you to integrate research evidence and clinical expertise with a patient's preferences to provide nursing care.

Tips to Ace this Class:

As you study Research and Evidence-Based Practice, you will learn, there are five main steps used:

• Form clinical questions to identify a problem
• Gather evidence
• Analyze evidence
• Apply evidence into clinical practice
• Assess the results

Learning these steps and following them as you study content for the class can make things easier to comprehend and retain. Remember in Research and Evidence-Based Practice, you are putting what you learn into action. This is one class in nursing school where having a study group can be very helpful. You and your peers can work on research projects together and discuss your findings. As always, utilize the guidance of your instructor to make sure you are following the right path of study and accurately applying methods.

14. Women's Health Nursing

What is the Class About:

Women's Health Nursing explores significant health issues affecting women today. The course emphasizes cultural, social, and medical influences and is one of the core classes you take in nursing school.

What Skills Does this Class Help You Develop:

Students who take Women’s Health Nursing learn to delineate the cultural, psychological, and social factors influencing women’s health care. You will learn to critically assess research associated with women’s health and make cross-cultural assessments and comparisons of medical practices to find the best options for your patients and improve patient outcomes.

Tips to Ace this Class:

A strong foundation in Anatomy and Physiology, and Nutrition will be lifesavers when you begin to study Women's Health Nursing. The physiology of the endocrine system plays a significant factor in women's health issues. So, pay special attention to how hormones are regulated and their function in the body. Flashcards and practice NCLEX questions focused on this subject are excellent ways to practice your test-taking skills and promote retention of content for this class.


Each college or university determines what are the required classes for a nursing degree at their school. Although there may be some differences, especially regarding the name of the course, all accredited nursing programs cover the same content. The following is the list of classes students take in some of the best nursing schools.

1. University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA

The University of Pennsylvania offers a nursing program featuring intense community involvement and cultural awareness. Their curriculum features team-based clinical practice, a state-of-the-art simulation lab, and a mentorship program structured to prepare students for practice in various patient care settings. Some of the nursing classes you take at the University of Pennsylvania include Psychiatric Nursing, Nursing in the Community, Situating the Practice of Nursing, Nursing of Older Adults, and Nursing of Women and Infants.

Biologically-Based Chemistry

Integrated Pathophysiology,
and Therapeutics

Psychiatric Nursing
Integrated Cell Biology
& Microbiology
Nursing of Women
and Infants
Scientific Inquiry for
Evidence-based Practice
The Nature of Nursing Practice Statistics for Research
and Measurement
Theoretical Foundations
of Health Care Ethics
Fundamentals of Nutrition Nursing of Young
and Middle-Aged Adults
Public Policy
and the Nation’s Health
Situating the
Practice of Nursing
Nursing of Older Adults Nursing in the Community
Integrated Anatomy, Physiology,
and Physical Assessment I
Theoretical Foundations
of Health Care Ethics
Service Residency
Psychological and Social
Diversity in Health and Wellness
Public Policy and the
Nation’s Health
Leadership in the Complex
Healthcare System
Integrated Human Anatomy,
Physiology &
Physical Assessment II
Pediatric Nursing

2. New York University - New York, NY

At New York University, nursing students who enroll as direct entry BSN majors complete one hundred twenty-eight credit hours to satisfy graduation requirements. The curriculum includes forty-four liberal arts credits, twenty pre-nursing prerequisites, and sixty-four nursing specialization courses. Some of the classes required for a nursing degree at NYU include Anatomy and Physiology, Nutrition and Health, Contemporary Issues in Health Care, and Health Assessment and Promotion.

Introduction to
Modern Chemistry
Nutrition and Health Acute Care Psych Nursing
Writing The Essay Cultures & Contexts:
Adult & Elder Nursing II
Intro to Sociology Foreign Language
(SPAN-UA, FREN-UA, etc.) *
Nrsg Pharmacotherapeutic
Nursing Cohort Seminar *Liberal Arts Electives Maternity Nursing
Social Science Elective *Liberal Arts Electives Adult & Elder Nursing III
Anatomy & Physiology *Liberal Arts Electives Pediatric Nursing
Advanced College Essay:
Educ & The Professions
Health Assessment
& Promotion
Contemporary Issues
in Health Care
Intro to Psychology Adult & Elder Nursing I Community Health Nursing
Text & Ideas: Topics Professional Nursing Leadership &
Management in Nursing
Statistics I Pathophysiology Nursing Elective
Developmental Psychology
Across the Lifespan
Integrating Evidence
into Clinical Practice
Nursing Elective

3. Ohio State University - Columbus, OH

Ohio State University nursing school students complete ninety-three credit hours, including thirty-two credit hours of prerequisite classes. After completing prerequisites during the first year of the program, students transition to their sophomore year and take classes focused on knowledge about nursing as a discipline. The third and fourth years of the program involve a combination of classroom, lab simulations, and clinical practicum. Students in this nursing program take classes such as Pathophysiology for Nursing Practice, Introduction to Therapeutic Communication for Health Professionals, Nursing Care of Children and Their Families, and Cultural Competence in Health Care: U.S. and Global Contexts.

A Nursing Perspective:
Life Span Development of
Individuals within a
Family Context
Introductory Pharmacology
for Nurses
Nursing Care of Children
and Their Families
Introduction to Professional
Nursing: Concepts and Practice
Scholarship for
Evidence-Based Practice
Transition to Professional
Nursing Care of Adults
and Older Adults
Nursing Care of Adults
and Older Adults
Nursing Care of Women
and Their Families During
Reproductive Transitions
Health Assessment Cultural Competence in
Health Care: U.S. and
Global Contexts
Psychiatric and Mental
Health Nursing
Pathophysiology for
Nursing Practice
Concepts in Community
Health Nursing
Leadership and Management
of Nursing Practice
Introduction to Therapeutic
Communication for
Health Professionals

4. The University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

The BSN Pathway at the University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a traditional four-year undergraduate program. The curriculum includes sixty-one credit hours of pre-nursing prerequisites and sixty-six nursing course credits and provides a foundational education with academic and professional nursing courses. Classes in the UAB Bachelor of Science in Nursing program include Health Assessment Across the Lifespan, Concepts of Behavioral Health Nursing, Health Care and Information Technology, and Evidence-Based Practice in nursing.

Concepts of Professional Nursing Concepts in Adult Health Nursing I Concepts of Community & Public Health Nursing
Nursing Skills Development I Concepts in Adult Health Nursing I Practicum Concepts of Community & Public Health Nursing Practicum
Health Assessment Across the Lifespan Pharmacotherapy I Concepts of Maternal Child Health Nursing
Concepts of Professional Nursing Practicum Leadership Concepts of Maternal Child Health Nursing Practicum
Population Focused Health Care Concepts in Adult Health Nursing II Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing
Pathophysiologic Concepts Concepts in Adult Health Nursing II Practicum Concepts of Complex Nursing
Nursing Skills Development II Pharmacotherapy II Concepts of Complex Nursing Practicum
Concepts of Behavioral Health Nursing Health Care & Information Technology Nursing Skills Development III
Concepts of Behavioral Health Nursing Practicum

5. University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the University of Arizona is nationally renowned and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Students in the program complete a total of one hundred twenty-four credit hours, including sixty-three prerequisites and lower-level nursing and sixty-one upper-level nursing courses credit hours. Some of the coursework required in this nursing program includes the following classes: Pathophysiology, Population Health and Community Nursing, Nursing Leadership and Management in Health Systems, and Acute and Chronic Illness Management.

Pathophysiology Acute & Chronic Illness Management II
Foundations in Nursing Care Mental Health Nursing
Scholarly Inquiry in Evidence-Based Practice Population Health & Community Nursing
Nursing Pharmacology Nursing Leadership & Management in Health Systems
Acute & Chronic Illness Management I Transition to the Professional Nursing Role
Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family

6. University of Florida - Gainesville, FL

The required classes in the BSN program at the University of Florida include lower-division general education and pre-professional courses and upper-level professional nursing classes. Students study Pathophysiology/Pharmacology in Nursing, Principles of Personalized Nursing Care, Leadership and Innovation in Nursing Practice, Clinical Reasoning and Personalized Nursing Care.

Lead and Inspire 1: Professional Nursing Practice Principles of Personalized Nursing Care 2 Clinical Reasoning and Personalized Nursing Care: Adult Chronic Conditions
Pathophysiology/Pharmacology in Nursing 1 Clinical Reasoning and Personalized Nursing Care: Adult Acute Conditions Lead and Inspire 4: Leadership and Innovation in Nursing Practice
Clinical Reasoning: Health Assessment Clinical Reasoning and Personalized Nursing Care: Mental Health Clinical Reasoning and Personalized Nursing Care: Population Health
Principles of Personalized Nursing Care 1 Lead and Inspire 3: Policy and Change in Nursing Practice Clinical Reasoning and Personalized Nursing Care: Adult with Complex Conditions
Lead and Inspire 2: Research and Evidence-Based Nursing Practice Clinical Reasoning and Personalized Nursing Care: Women, Children, and Families Professional Nursing Transformation
Pathophysiology/Pharmacology in Nursing 2

7. Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis, IN

The traditional BSN track at Indiana University-Purdue University offers a one hundred twenty credit hour evidence-based curriculum. Some of the nursing classes you take at Indiana University-Purdue University include Promoting Healthy Populations, Professionalism in Collaborative Practice, Nursing Research & Evidence-Based Practice, and Transitional Care of Families & Populations.

Core Communication; English Composition Health Assessment Clinical Care II: Interactive Processes
Finite Math Promoting Healthy Populations Clinical Care III: Adaptive Processes
Introduction to Psychology Professionalism in Collaborative Practice Nursing Research & Evidence-Based Practice
Anatomy Microbiology Clinical Care IV: Complex Processes
First-Year Seminar Fundamentals of Nursing Practice Leadership in Healthcare Delivery & Policy
Arts & Humanities Pathophysiology & Pharmacology for Nursing Pediatric Clinical Care
Introductory Sociology Health Care Delivery Systems Nursing Synthesis
Fundamentals of Speech Analytical Reasoning: Data Analysis in Clinical Practice & Healthcare Research Nursing Practice Capstone
Physiology Clinical Care I: Biophysical Processes Health Care Ethics
Cultural Understanding Transitional Care of Families & Populations Nursing Intensive: Managing Health & Illness Across Care Environments
Life & Physical Sciences

8. University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS

The University of Kansas offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program presented with a concept-based curriculum. Students develop critical thinking skills used to apply those concepts in diverse healthcare settings. Some of the nursing classes you take at the University of Kansas include Alterations in Physiological Functioning, Development of a Microsystem Leader, Health and Illness Nursing with Diverse Populations, and Basic Assessment and Therapeutic Interventions.

Communicating and Managing Healthcare Information Alterations in Physiological Functioning II Health and Illness Nursing with Diverse Populations
Professional Development I Introduction to Professional Nursing Pharmacology II Global Health I
Alterations in Physiological Functioning I Health and Illness Nursing Across the Lifespan Nursing in an Evolving Healthcare System
Pharmacology I Health and Illness: Nursing Across the Lifespan Practicum Capstone
Basic Assessment and Therapeutic Interventions Elective Integration Seminar
Health and Illness Foundations of Nursing Development of a Microsystem Leader Population-Based Healthcare Practicum
Health and Illness: Foundations of Nursing Practicum Evidence-Based Practice Translating Research to Practice Global Health II
Professional Development II Image, Roles and Ethics Professional Development III Navigating the Profession Elective
Quality Improvement

9. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - New Orleans, LA

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at LSU Health Sciences Center is a one hundred twenty-credit-hour program with admissions in the fall and spring of each year. After completing the required pre-nursing courses, students move into the professional nursing component of the program and take classes including Child Health Nursing, Research in Nursing, Genetic Health Across the Lifespan, and Critical Care Nursing.

Arts Elective Health Assessment Lab Child Health Nursing Practicum
College Algebra Foundations of Nursing Practice Theory Women’s Health Nursing Theory
English Composition Foundations of Nursing Practice Practicum Women’s Health Nursing Practicum
General Biology and Laboratory Foundations of Nursing Practice Research in Nursing
General Chemistry Simulation/Lab Genetic Health Across the Lifespan
General Psychology Pharmacology Critical Care Nursing Theory
Introductory Sociology Pathophysiology Critical Care Nursing Practicum
Developmental Psychology Adult Health Nursing Theory Critical Care Nursing Simulation/Lab
Microbiology Adult Health Nursing Practicum Population Focused Nursing Theory
Humanities Adult Health Nursing Simulation/Lab Population Focused Nursing Practicum
Human Physiology Mental Health Nursing Theory Perspectives in Professional Nursing
Human Anatomy Mental Health Nursing Practicum Nursing Management in the Health Care System Theory
Introduction to Professional Nursing Basic Statistics Nursing Management in the Health Care System Practicum
Health Assessment Theory Child Health Nursing Theory Gerontology

10. University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center - Oklahoma City, OK

Prospective students who wish to enroll in the BSN program offered at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center must complete sixty-seven academic credit hours of prerequisite coursework before enrolling in the nursing component of the program. The nursing curriculum consists of sixty semester hours incorporating theoretical and clinical content. Some of the nursing classes you take at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center include Human Experience of Disability, Pharmacology in Nursing, Community Focused Nursing, and Contemporary Professional Nursing.

Clinical Nursing I Human Experience in Acute & Chronic Illness I Nursing Research
Human Experience in Health & Common Illness Family-Focused Nursing Clinical Nursing IV
Health Assessment Human Experience of Disability Leadership in Nursing Practice
Introduction to Professional Nursing Clinical Nursing III Community Focused Nursing
Pharmacology in Nursing Human Experience in Acute & Chronic Illness II Contemporary Professional Nursing
Clinical Nursing II Psychosocial Nursing Human Experience in Acute & Chronic Illness III

What Are The Hardest And Easiest Nursing Classes?

Opinions vary about which are the hardest and easiest classes required for nursing. Sometimes the complexity of a course is defined by an instructor's teaching styles, the course requirements, or the homework and outside assignments students must complete. Additionally, personal preferences and strengths may influence whether students feel a class is hard or easy.

I decided to talk to some of my colleagues who are also nursing instructors to find out what classes they think are the hardest or easiest for students based on their recent experiences. The following are the courses that were mentioned as the hardest and easiest nursing classes.

Three of the most challenging classes you take in nursing school are Human Anatomy and Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology.

• Human Anatomy and Physiology

is famous for being one of the most difficult classes in nursing school. Students must memorize complicated medical and scientific terminology in this class, which can be challenging. Because the information students learn in this class is used in all other courses, it is imperative to earn a passing grade. Sometimes, knowing how important this class is can be enough to cause stress and lead to unsatisfactory grades. Take a deep breath. Break the content down into small sections and learn one step at a time. You can do this!

• Pathophysiology

takes everything you learn about normal body functions in A&P and teaches you what happens when illness or disease processes interfere with normal functioning. If you struggled in Human Anatomy and Physiology, there is a good chance you will have a hard time in Pathophysiology. Keep in mind, the classes you take in nursing school build upon one another. Take your time and learn the basics so you can ace the more complex classes like Pathophysiology later.

• Pharmacology!!

I will be very transparent with you now and tell you, after all my years as a nurse and a nursing instructor, pharmacology can still make me cringe. Pharmacology is the study of medications and their effects on the human body. You will be asked to learn drug classes, generic and brand names, possible side effects and adverse reactions, and what symptoms to look for to show effectiveness. It can feel overwhelming, BUT you can pass this class. Like all classes in nursing school, you will need to take small chunks of material and learn them in steps, building one lesson upon the next.

When you begin preparing for nursing school and scheduling classes, it is good to have a mixture of hard and easy classes. Some of the easiest classes you take in nursing school are Medical Terminology, Community Health Nursing, and Multi-Cultural Nursing. These classes are usually a bit easier for students as they tend to involve memorization of key terms and assignments such as research papers or group projects.

• Medical Terminology

is one of the easiest classes for nursing students. You will learn root words, prefixes, and suffixes and how to combine them to create more complex terms or break down terms and find their meaning. Once you memorize the definitions of basic terms, you should easily ace this course.

Many students find

Community Health Nursing

interesting as it involves using a holistic approach to patient care. Students learn interventions aimed at individuals, families, and groups within a specific geographic region. This class is one that students may consider "personal" because it is on their level and where they live.

• Multi-Cultural Nursing

is another interesting class in nursing school. In this class, students examine the cultural and ethnic influences on a patient’s values, beliefs, and practices and how those influences relate to health, illness, and healthcare-seeking behaviors. Students often discover interesting facts about one another and develop ways to communicate with patients about their cultural beliefs and preferences by learning effective communication skills with one another in this class.

5 Ways To Survive A Nursing Class You Hate

It is no secret that nursing school can be challenging. It is natural to feel overwhelmed from time to time. Some people may question if nursing is really for them. If you know you want to be a nurse but find yourself struggling or feel like you hate a class, you need a strategy to get through. So, what are some ways you can survive when you hate one (or more) of the classes you take in nursing school?

1. Talk to a mentor.

Every nursing student should have at least one person they consider a professional mentor. When your dislike for a class becomes so bad that you dread school or are reconsidering your career choice, take the time to discuss your feelings with your mentor. Nursing mentors have been where you are, and they made it through. You may find a good session of venting your frustrations is all you need to help clear the air and get you refocused.

2. Get enough rest.

I know, I know. You thought nursing students didn't have time for sleep. The truth is you can't afford not to rest. Fatigue can cause stress or tension to increase and lead to confusion or difficulty concentrating. Remember, it is impossible to take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself. Go to bed at a regular time. Take naps when you can. If you let your mind and your body rest, you are likely to see a decrease in stress, which can help you manage to get through the nursing classes you hate.

3. Eat a healthy diet.

A well-balanced diet improves brain functioning. It can help you feel more alert and think clearly. A healthy diet can also improve attention span and concentration. When you are in a class you don’t like, it’s easy to get distracted. While your diet won’t change your opinion of a class, it can help you focus on the task at hand. It is much better to take the time to concentrate and get your work done the first time than to have to repeat a nursing class because you just weren’t happy with it.

4. Exercise.

Many people are surprised to know the many effects exercise has on brain functioning. Exercise increases the heart rate, which means oxygen-rich blood is pumped to the brain. Studies have shown that exercise is associated with increased cell growth in the hippocampus, the brain area responsible for memory and learning. While exercise may not cause your least favorite nursing class to be one of the ones you suddenly love, it can certainly help your overall outlook.


It can be frustrating to take a class you dread. Talking to mentors and peers and implementing some of the other tips for getting through nursing classes you hate are excellent ways to help you find balance and succeed. The most important thing to remember is why you are in nursing school. Write down your goals and dreams. Look at them daily if you need to so you can be reminded of why you chose the path and what you expect to accomplish in years to come. Lastly, never give up!

4 Things You Can Do If You Fail A Nursing Class

Nursing school is tough, no doubt. However, failing classes you take in nursing school does not mean you are a failure as a nursing student or that you won’t be a good nurse. If you have failed a nursing class or are concerned that you will fail a class, here are a few tips for you.

1. Make an appointment with your academic advisor ASAP!

Depending on where you are in the nursing program, you have options. Make an appointment to speak with your appointed advisor as soon as possible to discuss your next steps. Some schools require students to wait a certain amount of time before repeating a course. In some cases, you may be allowed to continue in the program on a probationary basis. Whatever you do, don’t throw in the towel just because you failed a nursing class. Your academic advisor is there to help you. So, take advantage of their services and trust their guidance. They want you to succeed!

2. Put things in perspective.

You failed a nursing class. What does that mean? It means you are human and you failed a class. It's nothing more than that. It means whatever you did before is not what you need to do to succeed. Take the time to consider what was going on in your life when you were taking this class. Did you have personal issues that distracted you from studying? Were you sick? Maybe your course load was too heavy. No matter what led to your grades dropping, it doesn't mean that you will fail again. Once you have identified why you struggled and failed, you can implement measures to help you do better next time.

3. Invest in your education by purchasing a review book or signing up for a review class or tutoring.

I understand nursing school is not cheap, but if you've come this far, spending money on a book or course that can help improve your chances of success is an investment in your future. Talk to the instructor of the class you failed. Ask if there is any remedial class or tutoring available. Also, find out if they recommend a particular review book. An investment of a few hundred dollars now could lead to thousands of dollars returned to you through the course of your career.

4. Understand that failing a class does not define you as a person or restrict your potential as a future nurse.

As disheartening as it feels, failing a nursing class does not mean you are any less of a person or that you will not make a good nurse. If one of your friends failed a class, you would encourage them. You deserve the same. Give yourself some grace. Acknowledge that you failed a class and plan to do better next time. Then go out and be the best nursing student and nurse you can be!

My Final Thoughts

Throughout this article, we have addressed the question, “What classes do you take in nursing school?” Classes may vary somewhat from school to school, but the content in accredited programs is the same. Now that you know the 24 classes you take in nursing school and tips to ace them, it is time to take the next step. Enroll in classes and pursue your dream!! You can do this!

Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).