Nursing (ABSN/BSN/EMSN) is a profession within the healthcare field that focuses on providing care, support, and treatment to individuals, families, and communities to promote and maintain their health and well-being. Nurses play a critical role in the healthcare system and work in various settings such as hospitals, clinics, schools, home care, and community health centers.

The responsibilities of nurses can vary depending on their level of education and the specific setting in which they work. However, some common tasks and responsibilities of nurses include:

  • Assessing and monitoring patients' health conditions, including vital signs, symptoms, and medical history.
  • Administering medications, treatments, and therapies as prescribed by healthcare professionals.
  • Collaborating with physicians and other healthcare team members to develop and implement patient care plans.
  • Educating patients and their families about health conditions, treatments, and self-care techniques.
  • Assisting in diagnostic tests and medical procedures.
  • Providing emotional support and comfort to patients and their families.
  • Advocating for patients' rights and coordinating their care across different healthcare settings.
  • Promoting health and preventing illness through health education and counseling.

Nursing requires a combination of technical skills, critical thinking, compassion, and excellent communication abilities. Nurses can specialize in various areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, psychiatric nursing, critical care, and many others, depending on their interests and career goals.

Is Nursing the Right Career for Me?

Academic Preparation

Students not currently in the BSN program at USF will either continue to an ABSN (Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or Entry-Level MSN program after graduation. There is also an option to transfer but prerequisites must be completed by the end of your sophomore year and admit rates are traditionally very low. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing provides information on all pathways.

Prerequisites for nursing programs can vary depending on the school and degree type you are pursuing. It is important to research the specific programs you may be interested in applying for. You can find a list of all accredited nursing programs through the American Association of Colleges in Nursing Directory

Requirements may include: 

Course course at usf Units
Human Anatomy Lecture/Lab BIOL 113/114  3/1
Human Physiology Lecture/Lab BIOL 115/116  3/1
Microbiology Lecture/Lab BIOL 134/135 3/1
General Chemistry I Lecture/Lab CHEM 111/112 3/1
General Psychology PSYC 101 4
Nutrition Course  N/A 3-4
Statistics Course MATH 101 4

Other programs may require or highly recommend organic chemistry, lifespan human development, sociology It is important to look at the schools you are interested in for their specific requirements. Here are links to requirements for three nursing programs highly desired by USF applicants: 


There is no bigger "helping profession" than being a nurse. Therefore it is essential to show nursing programs you have a commitment to helping others. This can be done in both clinical and non-clinical ways. To gain experience for nursing school, you can take the following steps:

  • Volunteer in healthcare settings: Look for opportunities to volunteer at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or community health centers. Contact these facilities directly or inquire with local volunteer organizations. Volunteering allows you to observe healthcare professionals, interact with patients, and gain exposure to the healthcare environment.
  • Work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA): Consider becoming a certified nursing assistant by enrolling in a CNA training program. CNAs provide direct patient care under the supervision of registered nurses and can gain valuable hands-on experience in healthcare settings. Many nursing schools value the experience gained as a CNA
  • Volunteer in community health organizations or non-profit organizations: Explore opportunities to volunteer in organizations focused on public health or community outreach. Examples include health fairs, health education programs, or community clinics. These experiences demonstrate your commitment to healthcare and community service.
  • Take relevant courses or certifications: Enroll in courses or certifications related to healthcare, such as CPR, first aid, or medical terminology. These courses can enhance your knowledge and skills, making you a more competitive candidate for nursing school

Application Components

Most nursing programs use NursingCAS as a centralized application service. This allows you to apply to multiple programs using one application platform. Here are some additional things to consider when applying to nursing school. 

  • Research nursing programs: Explore different nursing schools and programs to find the ones that align with your interests, location preferences, and career goals. Consider factors such as program accreditation, curriculum, clinical experiences, faculty, and admission requirements. Furthermore, most USF applicants also weigh applying to either ABSN (Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or MSN/MEPN (Entry-Level Masters Programs), both designed for applicants who have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing major.
  • Meet prerequisites: Determine the specific prerequisites and admission requirements for each nursing program you are interested in. Common prerequisites may include completing certain courses (such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and microbiology) and maintaining a minimum GPA. Make sure to fulfill these requirements before applying as many programs will require that all or the majority of courses are done BEFORE submitting your application.

    Prepare application materials: Gather the necessary documents for your application. These typically include:
    • Transcripts: Request official transcripts from all educational institutions you have attended, including any colleges or universities.
    • Personal statement: Write a well-crafted personal statement that highlights your motivation, experiences, and goals related to nursing. Tailor it to each specific program if required.
    • Letters of recommendations: Obtain letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, or healthcare professionals who can speak to your qualifications and character. Typically, 3 letters are required.
    • Resume: Prepare a comprehensive document that outlines your educational background, work experience, volunteer activities, leadership roles, and relevant skills.
    • Take standardized tests: Many nursing programs require applicants to take standardized tests such as the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) or the GRE