Health Professional Preparation Program

More about RN programs and preparation for entrance.

Shoreline Community College offers an excellent RN program which is considered one of the best in Washington State. The Nursing Department is a part of the Health Occupations and Physical Education Division (HOPE) and has extensive information on their web site.

Prerequisite courses

RN Nursing Programs typically require a number of science courses as well as some general education courses. Specifics vary with each school. The prerequisite courses take from 1.5 to 3 years, depending on the level of English and mathematics the student starts out with, and the student's circumstances regarding work and family responsibilities.

College level math and English are required before taking the first science course: CHEM& 121. A college level chemistry course is required before taking the first biology course, BIOL& 211, which is in turn a prerequisite for BIOL& 231, Human Anatomy and BIOL& 260, Microbiology. After Human Anatomy comes BIOL& 232, Human Physiology.

In addition to this sequence of chemistry and biology courses, there are other pre-requisite courses in statistics, nutrition and psychology. Here is A sample course plan that includes the courses required for the RN program. Other community colleges may have one or more different course requirements. Bachelor Degrees in RN Nursing will have additional course requirements, see the "transfer degree" section below.

Relevant Experience and Multicultural Competencies

Nursing Schools consider health care and related experience important aspect of preparing to enter the nursing profession. Most include this as part of the application process and evaluation as well. Many pre-RN program students become a Certified Nursing Assistant so that they can have a job in the field. Other possibilities are: phlebotomy (= drawing blood, also a short term training), work or volunteering in any health care setting or social service setting, being active in a neighborhood organization or student club, other work or life experience.

Multicultural awareness, knowledge and skills are important to any job in health care. Thus, we recommend that you reflect upon your life experience so far and consider which culture groups you may not have much interaction with, whether they be an age group (elderly people are heavy users of health care), ethnic group, socio-economic class, people with a disabilities or a specific kind of disease/condition, or other. How might you learn more about them and find opportunities to gain interactive experiences?


Transfer Degree

A transfer associate degree is recommended to prepare for RN programs at universities because bachelor degrees will have general education requirements and may also require an additional chemistry and psychology course. RN programs at a community college do not require a previous degree, however some students are completing a degree while taking nursing prerequisite courses. This can be helpful later for those who follow up their RN training with a Bachelors degree completion program, such as the one at UW Bothell campus. Nursing prerequisite courses can be embedded into the Associate in Arts degree which is part of the Washington State Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA). Shoreline has a Planning Guide for the AA-DTA which includes information to prepare for Nursing. To see that and our other guides, please visit our Planning Guides page.


Advising for the Nursing Program

Nursing Faculty are the primary advisors for students who are admitted to the Nursing Program here or are preparing to apply. Before meeting with a faculty advisor, please review the Nursing Program web site and attend one of the monthly information sessions.

Nursing Transfer Advisors:

Several Science Division Faculty and the Science Division Advisor are available to advise students preparing for Nursing programs at other schools:   

  • Steve Bogart, Math/Statistics, Rm 5333, 206-546-6986,    
  • Joyce Fagel, Science Advisor, Rm 2814, 546-6984, 
  • Leoned Gines, Biology, Rm 2815, 546-4543,   
  • Sarah Leyden, Math/Statistics, Rm 5357, 546-5819,
  • Adria Magrath, Biology, Rm 2808, 206-546-5884,
  • John Moffat, Biology, Rm 2813, 206-546-4569, 
  • Judy Penn, Biology, Rm 2807, 546-4782,
  • Kira Wennstrom, Biology, Rm 2816, 206-546-4578,


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