The career outlook for nurses is very positive. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts growth in the nursing industry by 2020 and expects 711,900 new registered nurses to enter the profession. The Department also estimated annual median income for registered nurses to be $64,690 in 2010. To obtain a nursing degree, you complete general education courses in non-scientific subjects such as mathematics, English, social sciences, the humanities and the arts.
English and Composition
Bachelor of Science nursing programs require nursing students to develop skills in communication and the English language by completing coursework in English, including both composition and literature. Students at Case Western Reserve University can choose a world literature class, while University of Iowa offers composition and speech courses. Ohio State University students are encouraged to develop writing, reading, critical thinking and oral expression skills by choosing from courses that include linguistics, English and Slavic languages and literature.
Nursing students study human behavior as well as the structure of human societies and cultures. At Ohio State University, courses such as African-American and African studies, psychology, sociology, animal sciences, anthropology and consumer sciences fulfill these general education requirements in the social sciences. The University of Iowa's Registered Nurse-Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offerings include becoming proficient in a foreign language and courses in values, society and diversity as well as international and global issues. Case Western Reserve students enroll in a seminar called "Thinking About the Social World."
Quantitative and Logical Skills
Nursing schools requires students to be proficient in mathematics and to know how to interpret data and understand statistics. According to the Ohio State nursing curriculum, the courses teach the ability to identify valid arguments, use mathematical models, draw conclusions and evaluate results based on data. At Ohio State, nursing students can fulfill the requirement by successfully passing a course in math or economics. University of Iowa students take a statistics course. Case Western Reserve coursework includes introduction to statistical analysis in the social sciences, quantitative methods in psychology and basic statistics for social and life sciences.
Arts and Humanities
The arts and humanities figure among the courses on offer to meet general education requirements. At Ohio State, courses such as film and music meet the arts and humanities requirements; classes in several foreign languages, including Hebrew, Italian, Japanese and Persian, are also available. Philosophy, religious studies and theater courses fulfill the requirement at Case Western Reserve University, together with foreign language courses in French, Spanish or Chinese. UCLA's humanities requirement includes class offerings under the general heading "Visual and Performance Arts Analysis and Practice."
- U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurse
- Case Western Reserve University: 2012-13 General Bulletin, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Undergraduate Degree Requirements
- The University of Iowa, College of Nursing: RN-BSN - Prerequisite Information
- UCLA: UCLA School of Nursing Prelicensure General Education Requirements
- The Ohio State University College of Nursing: The Ohio State University College of Nursing General Education Curriculum (GEC) Courses
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