If you have a passion for healthcare and science, pursuing a health science degree could be the key to unlocking your future as a nurse. Health Science is an interdisciplinary field that provides knowledge and understanding of contemporary healthcare practices. With a focus on human biology, medical terminology, pharmacology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology — this type of education goes far beyond the traditional fields of medicine and nursing.
In this blog post, we will explore what it takes to become a nurse with a health science degree, from prerequisites through licensing requirements so that you can make informed decisions about your career path.
Table of Contents
Can You Be a Nurse with a Health Science Degree?
No, you cannot be a nurse with just a health science degree. To become a licensed nurse, one must complete an accredited nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). However, having a background in health sciences can provide valuable insight into nursing practice and help you gain admission into a nursing program or fast-track your progress through the education and licensing process.
What is the Difference Between Health Science and Nursing Major?
The main difference between a health science degree and a nursing major is the type of education they provide. While both degrees have similarities, some key differences must be considered when deciding which major to pursue.
Degrees in nursing vary from associate degrees and certificate programs to doctoral qualifications. Core sciences, such as biology, chemistry, and anatomy, are included in the curriculum along with lessons on nursing practice.
As students advance through their bachelor’s or master’s program, classes become more specialized, covering maternity care, oncology, and geriatric care.
Those who pursue a bachelor’s degree can expect to do so within four to five years before being registered as a nurse; two additional years for those wishing to attain a master’s degree will qualify them to become nurse practitioners.
Health Care Science
Healthcare science education teaches students the basics of science and health, as well as educational theory and methods. Through courses like chemistry, biology, physiology, human anatomy, human sexuality, drugs and culture, nutrition, and community health, learners understand the information that a healthcare educator needs to know.
Additionally, courses in measurement and evaluation in health education help students evaluate instructional materials and student performance. Ultimately this coursework prepares them for their role as a knowledgeable healthcare professional.
Nursing is a highly sought-after profession that offers a wide range of career possibilities. There is an increasing demand for nurses to provide direct care in settings like nursing homes, doctor’s offices, home health services, and hospitals.
Those with higher degrees may be able to secure positions as medical or health service managers; they are responsible for developing plans and overseeing healthcare delivery, sometimes managing an entire facility. Registered nurses can earn between 58,000 and 66,000 dollars annually on average.
Health Care Science Career
A degree in health care science is designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to become educators focused on promoting healthy lifestyles, prevention of diseases, and risk awareness in various environments. Graduates from this program may teach classes at primary or secondary schools, hospitals, health centers, and community organizations.
They are also expected to create teaching materials such as brochures for public distribution and develop curricula for health classes. The average salaries of health science educators range between $35,000 and $55,000 annually; many job openings in this field exceed the national rate.
How to Become a Nurse with a Health Science Degree?
There are a few simple steps by which you can become a nurse:
Step 1: Get Eligibility To Enter In Nursing Schools:
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in nursing, you will need to be eligible for entry into a nursing school.
- Generally, to qualify for LPN school, you must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent and a minimum GPA of 2.5.
- And Complete prerequisite courses, Which may vary from school to school to supervised clinical practice in patient care—typically cover the following:
- First aid
- Physical education
- Foods and Nutrition
- Child growth and development
- Emergency medical technology
For more details, visit: Do You Need Prerequisites?
Step 2. Apply to Nursing School:
Once you have fulfilled the prerequisites, it is time to apply for nursing school. You can find a list of accredited nursing schools in your area by visiting the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website. Research each school you are considering and check their admission requirements.
Here are the four different options you have:
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN/LVN) Program:
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN):
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN):
- Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (Accelerated Program):
Let’s understand each program:
1). Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN/LVN) Program
This one-year program will prepare you to become an entry-level nurse. You must complete classroom courses in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, pharmacology, and other medical topics and participate in clinical experience. Upon completing the program, you will be eligible to take the licensing exam for a Licensed Practical Nurse.
2). Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
This two-year program prepares you to become a Registered Nurse (RN). You will gain the knowledge and skills to provide direct patient care and understand nursing theory and practice. This program requires classroom instruction and clinical experiences. Upon completing the program, you can take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
3). Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
This four-year program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of nursing theory, practice, and leadership skills. The program requires classroom instruction, clinical experiences, and a capstone project. Upon completing the program, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN.
4). Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (Accelerated Program)
This intensive one-year program is designed for those with a bachelor’s degree in another field. This program requires classroom instruction, clinical experiences, and a capstone project. Upon completing the program, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN.
Which is Best for me:
Ultimately, the best nursing degree depends on your needs and goals.
- An LPN or ADN program may be the best choice for those wanting to enter nursing quickly.
- A BSN or accelerated program may be better for those interested in a more advanced role, such as management or teaching. It is essential to research the available nursing degrees and decide which one is right for you.
Step 3: Obtain Licensure
Once you have completed your nursing program, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed as a Registered Nurse. Once you have passed the NCLEX-RN, you can practice as an RN in your state. You must also keep your license up-to-date by completing continuing education requirements every two years.
Step 4: Advance Your Career
Once you have obtained your RN license, you can advance your career. You may pursue a higher degree in nursing or specialize in a particular area of practice, such as pediatrics or oncology. Additionally, nurses have numerous opportunities to become certified in their specialty areas.
By pursuing additional education, certification, and experience, you can become a leader in your field and obtain higher salaries.
Step 5: Maintain Your Career
Finally, it is essential to maintain your career as an RN. This includes staying up-to-date on new technologies, research, and treatments. It is also essential to stay connected to the nursing community by attending conferences and networking with other nurses.
By following these steps, you can successfully become a registered nurse. From researching different nursing programs to obtaining your license and advancing your career, numerous opportunities are available for those dedicated to pursuing their passion in nursing. You can become a successful and highly respected Registered Nurse with the proper determination and dedication.
What Kinds of Careers Can You Get with a Health Science Degree?
A health science degree provides many career opportunities for students and healthcare professionals. It can be an invaluable tool for those looking to advance their careers or secure promotions in the healthcare industry. A health science degree also prepares prospects for clinical and non-clinical positions.
Some career examples can include:
- Medical writer
- Healthcare Administration
- Health educator
- Dental hygienist
- Physical therapy assistant
- Health information technology specialist
- Community health specialist
A health science degree can benefit anyone looking to pursue a career in the healthcare field, particularly at the entry-level. These degrees are available at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels, which allows individuals to progress and transfer between related healthcare careers with relative ease. Investing in additional education is guaranteed to provide a solid return on your financial investment.
Is Health Science a Hard Major?
Health science is not necessarily a difficult major, but it can be quite challenging. The curriculum will vary depending on the program; however, most health sciences programs require courses in biology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, psychology, and other related topics. Students must also take classes in communication skills, ethics, and medical law.
Additionally, most health sciences programs require a clinical or internship component. Depending on the program, students may also need to complete research projects or fieldwork. That said, it is possible to excel in health science courses with hard work and dedication. It is essential to reach out for help and maintain good study habits to ensure academic success.
Is Nursing a Health Science Worth it?
Health science nursing can be a promising and fulfilling career path for those passionate about helping others. As a profession, nursing involves providing patient care, administering medication, and carrying out medical procedures. While the work may be demanding at times, there is a sense of purpose and satisfaction in knowing that you are contributing to the well-being of others.
A career in health science nursing can also offer opportunities for growth and advancement and a sense of job security in an industry currently experiencing a high demand for healthcare workers. Overall, if you have a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of others, health science nursing is certainly worth considering as a career path.
We hope you got the answer about health science nursing is worth it. Ultimately, pursuing a career in health science nursing is personal. You should evaluate your goals, interests, and motivations before making decisions.
Regardless of which route you choose, know that many rewarding opportunities are available for those with a degree in health science. You can become a successful and highly respected Registered Nurse with hard work and dedication.
Mrs. Marie Brown has been a registered nurse for over 25 years. She began her nursing career at a Level I Trauma Center in downtown Chicago, Illinois. There she worked in the Emergency Department and on the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. After several years, she moved to the Midwest and continued her nursing career in a critical care setting. For the last 10 years of her nursing career, Mrs. Brown worked as a flight nurse with an air ambulance service. During this time, she cared for patients throughout the United States.