Nursing Career Prep for High School Students
As a high school student with a goal to become a nurse or healthcare professional after graduation, there are many steps you can take now to focus your educational courses and gain hands-on experience outside of the classroom. This extra effort will help solidify your decision about a nursing career choice by confirming that you enjoy the type of coursework required for and to personally connect with professionals already working in the industry.
High School Coursework for Aspiring Nurses
Math and Science:
If you already excel in your Science and Math classes, you are ahead of the game. Becoming a nurse requires many levels of coursework in these areas so a deep understanding of foundational algebra, geometry, biology and chemistry is very important. Make sure you have math and science courses on your schedule every year.
Here are some courses to work into your schedule:
- Algebra (take multiple levels if possible)
- Geometry (take multiple levels if possible)
- Chemistry (take multiple levels if possible)
Advanced written and oral skills are very important as a Registered Nurse or healthcare professional. Your patients will rely on your ability to document their care and clearly communicate to them their treatment plan. While in high school you can take foundational courses to improve your writing skills, verbal communication as well as learn to speak a foreign language.
Here are some communication classes to work into your high school schedule:
- Public Speaking
- Creative Writing
- Foreign Language (Spanish is recommended)
There are great opportunities for high school students to get hands-on experience in healthcare facilities through volunteer programs, speak with working RNs or even shadow a working nurse for a day. Candy Striper or Junior Volunteer Programs are available at many community hospitals where teens are welcome to apply for positions and actually work in a hospital environment directly under the supervision of nurses. For those that aren't quite ready for that level of commitment, there are Area Health Education Centers in many states with staff members that are trained to discuss nursing career options with you and can set up a day for you to shadow a nurse to see in person what a day in the life of a working RN is all about.
A career in nursing can be very rewarding and specialized nurses are in high demand. As a high school student you can start focusing your education on this career which will certainly pay off as your start your RN certification coursework after high school.
Now is the time to start researching education options for becoming an RN after high school. Here are some popular online training programs.