How to Go from a BS in Biology to Nursing Career

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With help from Loyola University’s 2nd Degree Accelerated With help from Loyola University’s 2nd Degree Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing track, you can go from a BS in biology to nursing in as few as 16 months. Nursing makes use of your previous degree while placing you in a highly in-demand career.

nurse using touchscreen in hospital

Did you know the transition from a BS in biology to nursing can be as few as 16 months? It’s true. The ABSN track at Loyola University Chicago can put your existing natural sciences degree toward a future in one of today’s most in-demand professions. In other words, we give you credit for what you’ve already accomplished so that you can jump right into professional nursing study upon meeting all of our admission requirements.

You’ll also find that we have one of the most accessible accelerated nursing tracks in the Chicago area, offering two start dates a year at our locations in Maywood and Downers Grove, Illinois.

While our 16-month ABSN track welcomes bachelor’s degree holders from all different fields of study, many of our ABSN students come from a biology background, which makes sense because so much of the nursing profession stems from the natural sciences.

1. Complete Prerequisites and Apply

Before starting your accelerated nursing education, you must first meet the prerequisite requirements, which involve a total of 10 science and non-science courses. As a biology major, you probably have the best advantage over other fields of study in terms of the number of prerequisites you’ve already completed.

Given your solid background in the sciences, there’s a good chance you’ve already satisfied most, if not all, of the ABSN prerequisites, which include chemistry for health professionals, human anatomy and physiology, and microbiology. You’ll want to talk to someone in admissions to make sure your past college credits are transferable.

Should you need to complete a few of the prerequisites, your assigned enrollment advisor will help you map out the quickest route for getting them done by your preferred January or August start date in the program. You have the option to complete the prerequisites at a number of accredited higher learning institutions. Be sure to ask your enrollment advisor for a list of approved schools. It’s also worth mentioning you can apply to our ABSN track with some prerequisite courses in progress.

2. Apply Your Knowledge to an Accelerated Nursing Curriculum

Furthermore, as someone who has a BS in biology, you’ll probably have an easier time with your professional nursing coursework than someone from a liberal arts background, especially when it comes to skills application. After all, nurses need to understand the foundations of life, which is exactly what biology teaches.

During your clinical rotations in diverse areas of nursing practice, you’ll come to fully understand how biology plays a significant role in patient care. In fact, nurses use biology on a daily basis to make informed decisions about patient management.

More specifically, nurses use biology to:

  • Provide treatment options based on body composition and family history.
  • Ensure patients are prescribed the right medication for their medical status.
  • Determine dosage calculations for administering medication to patients.
  • Restore balance in the body so patients can regain proper health.

By the end of your 16 months in the ABSN track, you’ll be prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN® exam and enter the workforce a confident, practice-ready nurse. In fact, 2021 Loyola BSN graduates had an NCLEX pass rate of 89%. Furthermore, as a Loyola nursing school graduate, you’ll likely have a wide variety of career opportunities from which to choose.

3. Explore Nursing Career Options

These days, if you want to enter the nursing profession, it’s best to start off with a BSN degree. As patient needs continue to become more complex, an increasing number of health-care employers prefer to hire nurses with a baccalaureate over an associate-level education.

You’ll find a BSN degree from Loyola University Chicago prepares you to stand out with health-care employers. More specifically, our accelerated nursing track teaches you how to:

  • Deliver safe, quality care across the patient life span.
  • Apply clinical reasoning in patient care scenarios.
  • Adapt nursing knowledge to different areas of practice.
  • Follow ethical standards for professional nursing practice.
  • Collaborate with others in interdisciplinary patient care.

With a bachelor’s degree in nursing, you’ll be able to practice the profession in settings that range from hospitals to schools to nursing homes. You may even decide to specialize in a specific area of patient care, with plenty of options available with the strong foundation of nursing provided through Loyola’s ABSN track.

Discover some of the many non-bedside nursing careers you can specialize in with a BSN degree from Loyola.

Why Choose Nursing in Chicago, Illinois?

After graduating with your BSN degree you will be free to practice nursing in a wide array of settings. But also, given the effects of the ever-present nursing shortage, you can also go almost anywhere in the United States and find job openings for registered nurses. However, if your plan is to practice the profession within what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics refers to as the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights division, you’ll be working in a metropolitan area that, as of May 2021, has one of the highest employment levels for registered nurses in the country.

Nurses in Illinois currently earn an annual mean wage of $78,260, higher than the national average wage, with Chicago-based institutions often offering higher wages than throughout the rest of the state. Beyond wages alone, Chicago is also a regional hub for high quality health-care organizations and plenty of opportunities for career advancement without needing to move cities or states.

Put Your BS in Biology Toward a Future in Nursing

If transitioning from your BS in biology to nursing sounds like a good idea, you can set your future in motion as soon as today. It just takes one call to our admissions team to see if our ABSN track is a good fit for you.

While you’re speaking with an enrollment advisor, be sure to ask about the two course delivery options we have available for your accelerated nursing education—you can either complete your core nursing courses online or face-to-face in a traditional classroom setting.