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They work in a wide range of settings, such as: acute care facilities, hospitals (every floor and department, including administration), clinics, primary care offices, insurance companies, surgical hospitals, nursing homes, hospice facilities, etc. Nurses can also continue their education in both a broad array of specialties as well as deep into an academic/research doctorate program.

Being a Registered Nurse means that you have taken and passed the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Degrees leading to the right to sit for the licensing examination are the Associate of Science in Nursing, and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Advance practice degrees that allow one to sit for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse certification exams require a Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree. Doctoral degrees in Nursing (EdD or PhD) are open for those wishing to concentrate on original research or teaching. Nursing is a career that offers unlimited options.

Nurses typically do the following:

  • Record patients' medical histories and symptoms.

  • Give patients medicines and treatments.

  • Set up plans for patients’ care or contribute to existing plans.

  • Observe patients and record the observations.

  • Consult with doctors and other healthcare professionals.

  • Operate and monitor medical equipment.

  • Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze results.

  • Teach patients and their families how to manage their illnesses or injuries.

  • Explain what to do at home after treatment.

Important Qualities:

  • Critical-thinking skills: Registered nurses must be able to assess changes in the health status of patients, including determining when to take corrective action and when to make referrals.

  • Communication skills: Registered nurses must be able to communicate effectively with patients in order to understand their concerns and assess their health conditions. Nurses need to explain instructions, such as how to take medication, clearly. They must be able to work in teams with other health professionals and communicate the patients’ needs.

  • Compassion: Registered nurses should be caring and empathetic when caring for patients.

  • Detail oriented: Registered nurses must be responsible and detail oriented because they must make sure that patients get the correct treatments and medicines at the right time.

  • Emotional stability: Registered nurses need emotional resilience and the ability to manage their emotions to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses.

  • Organizational skills: Nurses often work with multiple patients with various health needs. Organizational skills are critical to ensure that each patient is given appropriate care.

  • Physical stamina: Nurses should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as moving patients. They may be on their feet for most of their shift.


Required Coursework

The requirements for admission to nursing school vary from school to school. In general, most nursing schools will require coursework in biology, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other social and behavioral sciences. Students are responsible for verifying the prerequisite coursework and policies of the schools to which they plan to apply. To view a list of CCNE accredited programs and their requirements, click here.

Current Oxford College and Emory College students interested in the Emory School of Nursing's BSN program, see the information below.

Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing -Bachelor of Science in Nursing:

Course planning will depend on your AP/IB credits, or what you are prepared to take in the first year or second year. Students typically begin with Chem 150 with lab. Depending on your plans, you may already have course credit for Chem 150, or plan to take this course later. Courses offered by the School of Nursing to Emory College students are typically taken in the second year to allow time to gain experience in other prerequisites in the College. Make an appointment with a PHMO advisor to create an academic plan that meets your timeline and goals.

Non-Emory students interested in the Emory SON should visit the The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing website to review the available options and requirements.

Application Process

Entrance Exam: Many nursing schools require the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). The Emory School of Nursing does not require the TEAS.

Application Service: Nursing College Application Service (NursingCAS) is the centralized applicaiton service for Nursing programs. Check the NursingCAS program directory to determine which nursing schools participate.

Visit the "Apply" section of the PHMO website to learn additional details and tips about the application process for health professional programs.

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