What subjects do I need to be good at in order to be a nurse? Nurturing future nurses with the essentials to be a nurse.

Did you know that becoming a nurse isn’t just about wearing scrubs and caring for patients? There are actually specific subjects you need to excel in to be successful in this rewarding career.

Science and biology are a big part of nursing. You’ve got to understand how the human body works and how diseases affect it to provide effective care. And let’s not forget about communication skills – they’re absolutely vital for nurses. You’ve got to be able to talk to patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals clearly and compassionately.

Surprisingly, math also comes into play in nursing. You need those mathematical skills to calculate medication dosages and fluids for your patients accurately. 

And then there’s psychology – having some knowledge in this area helps nurses assess their patient’s mental health needs and provide appropriate care.

So, if you want to be a successful nurse, it’s not just about the scrubs. With that solid foundation, you’ll be well-prepared to start your journey as a registered nurse or even explore more advanced roles like becoming a nurse practitioner or a virtual nurse.

Discover valuable insights and expert guidance about nursing program requirements by reading this comprehensive overview by Davis & Elkins College, prepared to help you kickstart your journey.

Key Subjects for Nursing School Admission

When it comes to nursing school, having a strong foundation in certain subjects is absolutely essential. Let’s break down what you need to know:

Anatomy and Physiology 

These subjects are the building blocks of nursing education. They help you understand the intricate workings of the human body. It is a roadmap to health assessment, patient care, and preventing diseases. 

  • Anatomy: Anatomy is the study of the body’s structure, including organs, tissues, bones, and muscles, and how they fit together. It’s like creating a map of the body’s inside and outside. This helps healthcare professionals identify body parts, understand what they do, and make accurate assessments and diagnoses.
  • Physiology: Physiology is the study of how the body’s systems and organs work together to keep us healthy and perform vital functions. It covers blood circulation, breathing, digestion, and nerve communication. This knowledge helps healthcare professionals, including nurses, understand how our bodies function.


Math might not seem like an obvious fit for nursing, but it’s vital. Think of it as the math behind medication. Nurses must calculate drug dosages based on a patient’s weight, age, and condition. A strong math background is necessary for these critical calculations.


Nursing isn’t just about the physical aspect; it’s about caring for patients emotionally. That’s where psychology comes in. Understanding human behavior is key when dealing with people from all walks of life, especially when they’re stressed or facing tough times. Psychology courses can help you build empathy and learn effective communication techniques that foster trust between you and your patients.

English Proficiency

Lastly, English proficiency is vital. As a nurse, you’ll interact with patients from diverse backgrounds and work closely with healthcare teams. Clear communication is key. Whether through written assignments, exams, or language proficiency tests, showing your English skills demonstrates your ability to convey information effectively, ensuring top-notch patient care.

Exploring Additional Courses in Nursing School

Let’s dive into some more courses you’ll experience on your journey to becoming a healthcare hero.

Pharmacology Courses

These courses are all about medications and how they affect patients. Understanding everything from when to use a drug and when not to use it. It’s crucial for safe drug administration and keeping an eye on how patients react to treatment.

Medical-Surgical Nursing Courses

These classes are a trove of knowledge about various diseases and conditions. You’ll explore everything from heart and lung problems, stomach troubles, bone and muscle issues, and even nerve-related matters. 

Maternal-Child Health Courses

If you’re into the miracle of life and caring for the littlest patients, maternal-child health courses are where it’s at. You’ll be delving into pregnancy, childbirth, and taking care of the tiniest members of our community. From prenatal care to helping moms and their newborns thrive, it’s an exciting and heartwarming part of nursing.

Remember, the courses you’ll need can vary depending on your school and state requirements. But by successfully completing this mix of subjects, you’ll be well-prepared to make a real impact on patient’s lives with your knowledge and compassionate care.

Core Curriculum in Nursing Education:

Let’s break down what you’ll study in nursing school.

Fundamentals of Nursing

First, we have the fundamentals. It covers the basics, introducing you to essential nursing theory and practice. You’ll learn about infection control, administering medications, and assessing your patients. It’s all about building that rock-solid foundation for quality patient care.

Health Assessment

Next, we’re diving into health assessment. This is where you’ll learn the art of gathering information about your patient’s health. Think physical examinations and interviews. 

You’ll get to know vital signs like the back of your hand, perform thorough head-to-toe assessments, and ensure you document everything accurately. These skills are needed for spotting potential health issues or changes in your patient’s condition early on.

Nursing Research

Here, you’ll learn about evidence-based practice and how to think critically. You’ll dive into research studies, figure out how to apply evidence-based interventions and contribute to the ever-growing world of nursing knowledge. 

Understanding research methods is your ticket to providing top-notch care based on the latest scientific findings.

Community Health Nursing

Community health nursing is all about looking at the bigger picture. You’ll focus on promoting wellness within communities, thinking about preventive care, health promotion, and strategies to keep everyone in shape. 

This includes learning about primary care services, community resources, and how to team up with other healthcare professionals to make entire communities healthier.

Clinical Rotations

Clinical rotations are where you bridge the gap between theory and practice. You’ll dive into real healthcare settings under the watchful eye of experienced instructors or preceptors. 

It’s a chance to apply what you’ve learned, develop your clinical skills, and maybe even explore critical care nursing or primary care specialties.

Leadership and Management

Lastly, we’ve got leadership and management. As you climb the nursing ladder, you might find yourself in roles where you’re leading teams, making decisions, and managing patient care. These courses give you the skills you need to shine in those positions.

Pathophysiology: Understanding Disease Processes

Pathophysiology is all about how our bodies respond to diseases. This subject digs deep into the changes when our health takes a hit. It helps us spot symptoms, create smart care plans, and administer treatments like pros.

Nursing Ethics: Guiding Principles for Professional Conduct

Nursing ethics – is about what is right in healthcare. This subject covers the moral compass we need in the field. We’ll discuss patient autonomy, keeping things confidential, ensuring everyone’s in the loop, and handling those tough end-of-life decisions. 

It’s all about providing care with heart and respect.

Specialized Areas of Study

Let’s take a closer look at some specialized areas in nursing. These fields allow nurses to focus on specific patients, conditions, or healthcare settings. Each has its own skills and rewards, so let’s dive in!

Mental Health Nursing: Being a Support System

First up, we’ve got mental health nursing. In this area, we learn how to be solid support systems for those dealing with mental health challenges. We’ll learn how to assess mental health status, offer therapeutic interventions, and champion overall well-being for those facing psychological battles. 

This knowledge helps us break down stigmas and be real allies in mental health journeys.

Pediatric Nursing: Caring for the Little Ones

Pediatric nursing is all about the little ones. Here, we focus on caring for infants, children, and adolescents with various health needs. It’s like understanding a different world of child development, growth milestones, and common childhood illnesses. 

These classes teach us how to administer medication to young patients, handle pediatric emergencies, and provide emotional support to children and their families.

Geriatric Nursing: Embracing Aging Challenges

As our population ages, geriatric nursing becomes more crucial. This field addresses the unique challenges older adults face, including age-related diseases like dementia and chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes. 

In these classes, we gain knowledge about promoting healthy aging, managing medications for elderly patients, and delivering compassionate care tailored to their specific needs.

Emergency Care: Handling Urgent Situations

Emergency care prepares us to handle urgent medical situations effectively. These classes teach us to assess critical patients quickly, prioritize interventions based on severity, and stabilize individuals in life-threatening conditions. 

It’s all about skills like BLS, trauma management, and crisis intervention strategies.

Surgical Nursing: The Operating Room Professionals

Surgical nursing is where we assist surgeons during procedures and provide post-operative care. We become pros at sterile techniques in the operating room and are the go-to for wound management and keeping a close eye on vital signs after surgery. 

Patient education is a big part, too – ensuring they know what to do before and after surgery while keeping infections at bay.

Nursing programs cover many other topics to ensure they’re well-rounded professionals. Subjects like psychiatric mental health nursing, adolescent health nursing, public health nursing, nurse informatics, and nurse administration are special in the mix. 

So, whether caring for kids or older adults, responding to emergencies, or rocking the OR, nurses are ready to provide top-notch care in all healthcare settings.

Tips for Success

To hone your skills, consider teaming up with classmates or getting extra help if needed. Study groups are great for understanding complex topics. And don’t forget about resources like textbooks, online materials, and interactive tools. 

Your Nursing Journey Awaits

Becoming a successful nurse is not just about wearing the uniform; it’s about building a solid academic foundation to provide the necessary framework for compassionate and effective patient care.

Additionally, nursing school courses, such as pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing, and community health, further equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in this profession. 

Remember, your journey as a nurse can take you into specialized areas of study, each offering unique rewards and challenges. So, embrace the learning process, nurture your passion for healthcare, and take the first step toward your dreams today. 

Your future as a compassionate and skilled nurse awaits you, and Davis & Elkins College is here to guide you on this incredible journey. For more information on our nursing program, contact us today.