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Prelicensure Nursing: Programs, Features and Requirements

Concorde Staff

Concorde Staff

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Updated November 29, 2023. The information contained in this blog is current and accurate as of this date.
Prelicensure Nursing student standing in front of nurse and patient simulator..

Nursing can bring about a personal sense of fulfillment as you make a difference in the lives of patients every day. Starting your nursing career begins with getting the right education, such as a prelicensure nursing program, that teaches you about crucial nursing techniques and concepts. Searching for that perfect program can be a daunting task, which is why we at Concorde Career College work to help you find the nursing program that works best for you. Our prelicensure nursing program combines in-person, online, or hybrid learning with hands-on learning opportunities so you can make the most of your education.

What are Prelicensure Nursing Programs?

Prelicensure nursing programs are courses and hands-on training that equip aspiring nurses with the clinical skills and knowledge to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) and subsequently become registered nurses (RNs). This differs from other nursing programs, such as a post-licensure Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) program, which build upon the foundation of previous nursing degrees or programs in addition to the state's licensure requirements.

Key Features of Prelicensure Nursing Education

Prelicensure Nursing student drawing medicine into a syringe.


Many vital components make up the prelicensure nursing program at Concorde. Each of these elements complements the other and builds a strong foundation revolving around patient care and health care techniques. Here's a more detailed breakdown of what you might complete during your prelicensure nursing education program at Concorde:

Curriculum and Coursework

Concorde's Nursing (PreLicensure) Program gives students the opportunity to develop essential nursing skills and additional capabilities, such as critical thinking and the ability to handle stressful situations. You can learn these crucial skills during courses that also focus on:

  • Complex illness patient care.
  • Maternal child care.
  • Pediatric patient care.
  • Community health and wellness.
  • Nursing ethics.

Other concepts you might explore during the program include adult health, clinical reasoning, mental health conditions, and family planning. Since the program covers a wide variety of topics, it can help you develop a well-rounded approach to different nursing scenarios.

Hands-On Learning

Graduation requirements for this program include in-person, hands-on clinical hours where you can take the concepts you've learned and apply them in real-life situations. While each campus location will vary on the number of hours you need to graduate, Concorde helps you meet this requirement by securing the necessary site hours for students with the help of the clinical coordinator. Researching your state's requirements and individual state program information from Concorde can help you narrow down the number of hours needed for graduation.

So, why are these clinical hours important? Aside from taking what you've learned and applying it to real scenarios, nursing clinical hours also expose you to different nursing specialties and activities. This can help you decide on what specialty, if any, you want to pursue. Clinicals can involve:

  • Preparing patient rooms.
  • Completing patient health screenings.
  • Administering medication under the guidance of a licensed RN.
  • Setting up a patient's catheter.
  • Collecting diagnostic data.
  • Recording patient symptoms and health history.

Admission Requirements for Prelicensure Nursing Program

Concorde Admissions Rep talking with a woman in an office


How To Prepare for an Admissions Appointment at Concorde

Here at Concorde, we appreciate that everyone comes with a different story, which is why we get to know you first. We do this with our one-on-one career education planning sessions, where you can meet with someone from the campus admissions team. This is an opportunity to ask all the questions you may have about the prelicensure nursing program and receive guidance on what exactly you need during the enrollment process. Here are some questions you might ask during your career planning session:

  • How long does the Nursing (Prelicensure) Program take to complete?
  • What are the typical tuition costs for this program?
  • How can I transfer credits from previous programs to this one?
  • What can I learn from this nursing program?
  • How can this program help me achieve my career goals?

Some typical requirements for the enrollment process include submitting an application for the program, providing a high school diploma or GED, and meeting with the financial aid office to create your personal funding plan. If you have any credits from other programs, you might also submit your official transcripts to Concorde in order to determine whether you are eligible for transfer credit.

Preparing for the NCLEX

Nurse studying for NCLEX test requirements


8 Tips For Passing The NCLEX Exam

After graduating from a prelicensure program, you may be eligible to sit for the NCLEX. This exam is an essential evaluation that enables aspiring nurses to show they've learned all the skills and techniques necessary for practicing medicine safely. To complete this exam, graduates must first register for the exam with the nursing regulatory body where they want to practice and pay the exam fee. The approval board has up to 365 days to approve your application, and then you can sit for the exam.

The NCLEX includes testing concepts such as the clinical judgment model framework, which is where you can demonstrate your ability to assess a patient's condition, analyze their medical needs, plan a course of action, implement that plan, and evaluate the results. Other components you may encounter during your exam include matrix multiple-choice questions, drop-down questions, multiple-response questions, and rational-scoring questions. The top skill areas tested in this exam include effective and safe care environment, health promotion and maintenance, and psychosocial and physiological integrity.

Job Outlook for Nursing Profession

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 6% growth for registered nurses from 2022 to 2032. This is faster than the projected average growth for all occupations, which is 3%. The U.S. BLS attributes this growth to individuals leaving the nursing profession through either career changes or exiting the workforce. Growth is also likely due to the increased demand for health care services as the nation continues to have a growing older population. As for where you might find these nursing roles, nurses work in a variety of health care settings, including:

  • Private medical practices.
  • Health care clinics.
  • Acute care facilities.
  • Long-term care homes.
  • Hospice care facilities.

Tips for Success in Your Nursing Program

There are many things you can do to help set you up for success when pursuing your prelicensure nursing program. Here are some tips to consider that can help you achieve your goals:

Find a Mentor

Mentors are essential to any degree program because they can help you understand complex concepts, clarify topics you've discussed in class, and help you find unique solutions to problems you may face. As you complete your clinical rotation, mentors can provide support, guidance, and advice that can benefit you in your nursing career.

Create a Schedule

Nursing programs often have a hefty workload, requiring that you find the time to study and finish projects. Creating a schedule can not only help you manage your school workload but also promote a healthy school-life balance. A good school-life balance can help prevent burnout and allow you to engage in your program better because you have set times when all your energy isn't focused on learning healthy blood glucose levels in pediatric patients or how to effectively draw blood.

Understand Your Program Plan

Part of navigating your nursing program is understanding your program's journey. Learning more about what classes you might take and when can give you a better feel for how to pace your studies. Discovering how each class ties in with the next allows you to appreciate the foundation of knowledge you're building in each one. Asking questions during your one-on-one career planning session can clear up any potential questions about your program plan and educational journey.

If you're ready to pursue a nursing career, reach out to us to schedule a tour of a Concorde campus near you. You can complete the program in as little as 21 months and start making a positive difference in your community's health. We look forward to helping you start your journey soon.

  1. "What Is the NCLEX," nurse.org, https://nurse.org/resources/what-is-the-nclex/

  2. "Registered Nurses [Job Outlook]," United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm#tab-6

Next Steps?

Interested in learning more about our Nursing (Pre-Licensure) program? We have a Concorde representative ready to talk about what matters most to you. Get answers about start dates, curriculum, financial aid, scholarships and more!

  1. Program length may be subject to change dependent on transfer credits and course load. Please refer to current course catalog for more information. Concorde does not guarantee admittance, graduation, subsequent employment or salary amount.

  2. Professional certification is not a requirement for graduation, may not be a requirement for employment nor does it guarantee employment.

  3. Financial aid is available to those who qualify but may not be available for all programs. Concorde does not guarantee financial aid or scholarship awards or amounts.

  4. Clinical hour requirements and delivery may vary by campus location and may be subject to change. Concorde does not guarantee clinical site assignments based upon student preference or geographic convenience; nor do clinical experiences guarantee graduation, post-clinical employment or salary outcomes.

  5. Registration and certification requirements for taking and passing these examinations are not controlled by Concorde, but by outside agencies, and are subject to change by the agency without notice. Therefore, Concorde cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take these exams, at all or at any specific time, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.