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Pre-Nursing

Pre-Nursing

Bachelor of Science

Every year, nurses play an increasingly important role in hospitals, schools, and in-home health agencies. Due to heightened demand, career opportunities for nurses have never been better. If you want to help educate teens about disease prevention, care for people on hospice and assess patients’ care requirements, you’ll find your purpose in nursing.

Program Overview

Pre-Nursing

Fulfill one of the most essential roles in the medical field.

In the Pre-Nursing program, you’ll earn a Biology degree while preparing for professional programs in nursing, medical technology, chiropractic, optometry and public health. You’ll have the opportunity to work with a Health Professions Advisor to build a degree path that aligns with the admission requirements of the schools of your choice and your professional interests.

The Pre-Nursing curriculum begins with a broad training in the life sciences, including evolution, cell theory, genetics, metabolism, and ecological components and systems. Before graduating, you’ll hone your understanding of biological concepts related to healthcare through labs, shadowing opportunities and field experience. Our program prepares you with the knowledge and expertise you need to pursue an advanced degree in nursing.

A foundation in science

At Western, small-group learning, lab experiences and research opportunities set you up for medical school or a career in biotechnology, medical research and a range of other specialties.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

The Pre-Nursing Emphasis requires a minimum of 54 credits including the 26-credit Biology Nucleus, 17 additional credits in Biology, and 11 credits of supporting courses.  Appropriate microbiology, chemistry, and physics courses should be selected in consultation with an advisor.

All Biology majors require the 26-credit Biology Nucleus.

Course List
Code Title Credits
Biology Nucleus
BIOL 150Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4
BIOL 151Diversity and Patterns of Life (with laboratory)4
BIOL 301GENERAL ECOLOGY3
BIOL 310Cell Biology3
BIOL 312Genetics (with recitation)4
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3
CHEM 112General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1)1
CHEM 113General Chemistry II3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Laboratory II1
Total Credits26
Course List
Code Title Credits
Required Biology courses
BIOL 300Basic Nutrition3
BIOL 372Human Anatomy and Physiology I (with laboratory)4
BIOL 373Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with laboratory)4
One of the following:4
BIOL 201
Introduction to Microbiology (with laboratory)
BIOL 342
Microbiology (with laboratory)
Select at least two credits of Capstone Experience Courses:2
BIOL 495
Senior Seminar (may be repeated)
BIOL 496
Senior Thesis
Total Credits17
Course List
Code Title Credits
Minimum supporting courses
Appropriate Microbiology, Chemistry and Physics courses should be selected in consultation with an advisor.
CHEM 231Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry3
CHEM 234Introductory Organic and Biochemistry Laboratory1
MATH 213Probability and Statistics (GT-MA1)3
PHYS 140Introductory Physics (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4

Capstone Course Requirement

The following courses in the Biology Major fulfill the capstone course requirement: BIOL 495 SENIOR SEMINARBIOL 496 Senior Thesis or EDUC 409 SECONDARY STUDENT TEACHING.

Graduation Requirements

Undergraduate programs require a minimum of 120 semester credits for graduation.  Of those 120 credits, 40 credits must be in upper-division courses (those marked 300 and above).  Fifteen of these 40 upper-division credits must be earned in courses that are part of the standard or comprehensive major program being pursued. 

Students are expected to review all graduation requirements, which can be found in the Western Undergraduate Catalog: Graduation Requirements

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
BIOL 150 Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (GT-SC2) 3
CHEM 112 General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1) 1
ENG 102 Writing and Rhetoric I (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 140 College Algebra (GT-MA1) 3
 Credits15
Spring
BIOL 151 Diversity and Patterns of Life (with laboratory) 4
ENG 103 Writing and Rhetoric II (GT-CO2) 3
CHEM 113 General Chemistry II 3
CHEM 114 General Chemistry Laboratory II 1
MATH 141 Precalculus (GT-MA1) 4
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
BIOL 301 GENERAL ECOLOGY 3
CHEM 231
or CHEM 331
Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
or Organic Chemistry I
3
CHEM 234
or CHEM 334
Introductory Organic and Biochemistry Laboratory
or Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
1
Social Science GE 3
Arts & Humanities GE 3
Elective Elective 3
 Credits16
Spring
Arts & Humanities GE 3
BIOL 310 Cell Biology 3
MATH 213 Probability and Statistics (GT-MA1) 3
PHYS 140 Introductory Physics (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4
Social Science GE 3
 Credits16
Year Three
Fall
Arts & Humanities GE 3
BIOL 312 Genetics (with recitation) 4
BIOL 372 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (with laboratory) 4
Social Science GE 3
 Credits14
Spring
BIOL 300 Basic Nutrition 3
BIOL 373 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with laboratory) 4
Elective Elective 9
 Credits16
Year Four
Fall
BIOL 495
or BIOL 496
Senior Seminar
or Senior Thesis
1
BIOL 201
or BIOL 342
Introduction to Microbiology (with laboratory)
or Microbiology (with laboratory)
4
Elective Elective 9
 Credits14
Spring
BIOL 495
or BIOL 496
Senior Seminar
or Senior Thesis
1
Elective Elective 13
 Credits14
 Total Credits120
 Fall (even years)  Spring (odd years)
BIOL 130 Environmental Biology BIOL 135  Environmental Biology Lab BIOL 150 Biological Principles (with Lab) BIOL 151 Diversity and Patterns of Life (with Lab) BIOL 301 General Ecology BIOL 302 Ecology Lab and Recitation BIOL 310 Cell Biology BIOL 312 Genetics (with Recitation) BIOL 342 Microbiology (with Lab) BIOL 353 Rocky Mountain Flora BIOL 372 Human Anatomy & Physiology I - (with Lab) BIOL 430 Wildlife Ecology & Management (with Lab) BIOL 431 Wildlife Techniques Workshop BIOL 476 Aquatic Ecology (with Lab) BIOL 495 Senior Seminar BIOL 130 Environmental Biology BIOL 135 Environmental Biology Lab BIOL 150 Biological Principles (with Lab) BIOL 151 Diversity and Patterns of Life (with Lab) BIOL 300 Basic Nutrition BIOL 301 General Ecology BIOL 310 Cell Biology BIOL 312 Genetics (with Recitation) BIOL 313 Cell and Genetics Lab BIOL 320 Ornithology (with Recitation and Lab) BIOL 352 Botany (with Lab) BIOL 373 Human Anatomy & Physiology II (with Lab) BIOL 420 Molecular Biology (with Lab) BIOL 440 Conservation Biology BIOL 495 Senior Seminar
Fall (odd years) Spring (even years)
BIOL 130 Environmental Biology BIOL 135 Environmental Biology Lab BIOL 150 Biological Principles (with Lab) BIOL 151 Diversity and Patterns of Life (with Lab) BIOL 301 General Ecology BIOL 302 Ecology Lab and Recitation BIOL 310 Cell Biology BIOL 312 Genetics (with Recitation) BIOL 327 Field Entomology BIOL 342 Microbiology (with Lab) BIOL 362 Evolutionary Biology Theory & Application BIOL 372 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (with Lab) BIOL 444 Colorado Ecoregions BIOL 481 Forest Ecology (with Lab) BIOL 495 Senior Seminar BIOL 130 Environmental Biology BIOL 135 Environmental Biology Lab BIOL 150 Biological Principles (with Lab) BIOL 151 Diversity and Patterns of Life (with Lab) BIOL 300 Basic Nutrition BIOL 301 General Ecology BIOL 310 Cell Biology BIOL 312 Genetics (with Recitation) BIOL 313 Cell and Genetics Lab BIOL 322 Mammalogy (with Lab) BIOL 352 Botany (with Lab) BIOL 373 Human Anatomy & Physiology II (with Lab) BIOL 420 Molecular Biology (with Lab) BIOL 474 Comparative Animal Physiology (with Lab) BIOL 495 Senior Seminar
Some Biology courses are offered sporadically or only in the Summer.  Course examples include: BIOL 120 - Studies in Biology BIOL 353 - Rocky Mountain Flora BIOL 435 - Animal Behavior BIOL 454 - Developmental Biology (with Lab) BIOL 477 - Plant Ecology with Lab

Spotlight

Pre-Nursing

Dr. Sean Markey

Alumni

"From truck driver to neurosurgeon—thanks to Western and its nurturing professors."

Careers


Top Skills

  • Decisiveness
  • Direct Patient Care
  • Effective Communication
  • Empathy & Compassion
  • Resilience & Self-Care
  • Teamwork & Collaboration



Career Pathways

  • Acute Care Nurses
  • Critical Care Nurses
  • Healthcare Technician/Technologist
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Scribe
  • Public Health Worker

Take the first steps toward your academic and personal growth.

Fostering your intellectual development is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling and enriched life after graduation. Wondering how you can apply your program of choice to your intellectual and personal journey? Check out our “What Can I Do With This Major?” tool to explore the diverse opportunities and pathways within any degree program.

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 30 for 2024. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Pre-Nursing

Expand your community and your network.

There are so many ways that you can maximize your educational experience at Western. Take advantage of these opportunities to advance your career.

  • Lab Assistantships: Students commonly land positions helping their professors with fieldwork and research.
  • Pre-Health Club: Brings together students with a common interest in health fields to network and to provide career preparation, advice and peer support.
  • Shadowing: Opportunities to shadow practicing professionals exists both locally and throughout the United States.
  • Thornton Biology Research Program: Students work with faculty mentors on funded and original research.
  • Tri-Beta: Honor society for biology student researchers.
  • Pre-Health Mentorship Program: Students are paired with a qualified health professional to help them gain hands-on experience and prepare for a career after graduation.

High-quality courses

Pre-Nursing students take a combination of biology, chemistry, math and physics courses in order to prepare them for a healthcare-related professional program.

News & Research

A student takes the blood pressure of another student during a mock clinic assisgnment.

Western wins grant to plan for future nursing program

Read More about Western wins grant to plan for future nursing program
Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

Read More about Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

Additional Resources

Thornton Biology Research Program

The Thornton Biology Research Program gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work with faculty on funded, original research.

Learn More

Skin Smart Campus

Western has been named a Platinum-level Skin Smart Campus. We are dedicated to educating our community about the importance of skin cancer prevention.

Learn More

Department Chairperson

Anne W. Ryter, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry

Administrative Assistant

Lori Clement

NES Administrative Assistant

Contact Information

970.943.2015

rbingham@western.edu

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Hurst Hall 128
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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