December 13, 2023

Can You Become a Nurse with a GED? Your Path to a Nursing Career

Becoming a nurse is a rewarding and respected career choice. But what if you hold a General Education Development (GED) diploma instead of a traditional high school diploma? Can you still pursue your dream of becoming a nurse? In this article, we'll explore the possibilities and steps to take if you're wondering, "Can you become a nurse with a GED?"

What is a GED?

Before we dive into nursing, let's briefly understand what a GED is. A GED is a high school equivalency credential earned by individuals who did not complete their traditional high school education. It is a respected certification that can open doors to various educational and career opportunities.

Nursing education requirements

To become a nurse, you typically need to complete a nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or the Licensed Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN) exam, depending on your chosen nursing path.

While most nursing programs require a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED, they often consider other factors in the application process, such as prerequisites, test scores, and interviews. Here's what you need to know if you have a GED and aspire to become a nurse:

1. Research nursing programs

Start by researching nursing programs in your area or online. Look for programs that are accredited by the appropriate nursing authority in your country, as this is a crucial factor for eligibility to take the licensing exams. Reach out to program coordinators to inquire about their specific admission requirements, including their stance on GED credentials. There are numerous nursing schools that accept a GED as an alternative to a high school diploma.

2. Meet prerequisite requirements

Nursing programs have prerequisite requirements that you'll need to meet, regardless of your educational background. These prerequisites often include courses in subjects like biology, chemistry, and anatomy. Ensure you fulfill these requirements or are willing to complete them before applying to nursing school.

3. Strong application and interview

Your application to a nursing program is an opportunity to highlight your determination and passion for nursing. Explain your educational journey, the reasons for having a GED, and your commitment to becoming a nurse. Be prepared for interviews where you can express your enthusiasm and address any concerns regarding your GED.

4. Consider LPN/LVN as an option

If you encounter challenges in gaining acceptance to a Registered Nurse (RN) program due to your GED, consider pursuing a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) program. LPN/LVN programs may have more flexible admission criteria.

5. Bridge programs

Some colleges offer bridge programs that allow LPNs or LVNs with a GED to upgrade their qualifications and become Registered Nurses. This could be an excellent path to achieve your nursing career goals.

So, can you become an RN with a GED?

While the path to becoming a nurse with a GED may have some additional hurdles, it is certainly possible with determination and the right strategy. Research nursing programs, meet prerequisites, and excel in your application and interviews. 

Remember that a GED is a respected educational credential, and it should not deter you from pursuing your dream of becoming a nurse. Your dedication and commitment can make it a reality.

Nursing is a career that values skills, compassion, and dedication, and with the right effort, you can join the ranks of caring and skilled nurses who make a significant difference in healthcare.

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