Gain the solid foundation and support you need to choose the right nursing program. Gain the solid foundation and support you need to choose the right nursing program. Gain the solid foundation and support you need to choose the right nursing program. Gain the solid foundation and support you need to choose the right nursing program. Gain the solid foundation and support you need to choose the right nursing program.

School of Education & Health Sciences

Nursing (Pre)


Undergraduate Admission

(630) 637-5800

Why choose pre-nursing at North Central College?

North Central College offers a pre-nursing program designed to give you a solid foundation in the liberal arts and sciences and prepare you to pursue further studies. You have the flexibility to select from any of North Central’s majors while completing the required prerequisite courses to apply to a nursing program. 

Through North Central College’s affiliation agreement with Chicago’s Rush University College of Nursing, students qualify for preferential admission to Rush’s Generalist Entry Master’s (GEM) program. The GEM program prepares students to be graduate nurse clinicians with a focus in clinical leadership. Graduates are prepared to function at a high level in inpatient, outpatient and community settings.

You can also:

  • Explore opportunities to volunteer or job shadow at places like Almost Home Kids, a Naperville-based pediatric, short-term care home that services children who are medically fragile. 
  • Study abroad or apply for a Richter Independent Study Fellowship grant to conduct health-related research in a foreign country.
  • Get personalized attention in small classes from professors who know you and can write letters of recommendation to graduate schools on your behalf.
  • Work with North Central's dedicated pre-health advisor.
  • Network with alumni and peers through North Central’s student-run Pre-Health Organization.

Pre-Nursing Opportunities

A North Central education integrates career preparation with rich academic study. Our faculty encourages you to refine and apply your knowledge in an interconnected world. Here you'll learn to think independently and work globally to solve problems and lead.

Graduate Schools

Recent graduates have been accepted at:

  • DePaul University School of Nursing, Chicago
  • Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University, Chicago
  • Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago


Graduates include:

  • Registered nurse, Family Birth Center, Edward Hospital
  • Registered nurse, cardiac/neuro/spinal surgical unit, Rush University Medical Center
  • Pediatric nurse practitioner, The Heart Center at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • Nursing instructor, self-employed adjunct faculty, Kankakee/Joliet, Ill.
  • Emergency department director, Orange Park Medical Center, Orange Park, Fla.
  • Registered nurse, neuro ICU, Loyola University Medical Center

What major should I choose at North Central College?
A degree in Psychology, Health Science, Neuroscience, Exercise Science or Biology is recommended unless you have a strong interest in another major.

Will I need graduate education?
Students interested in nursing have a number of options. Through North Central's affiliation agreement with Rush University's Generalist Entry Masters (GEM) nursing program, students qualify for preferential admission to the GEM program by completing specific pre-requisite courses (see below) with a GPA of at least 3.0 and earning a bachelor's degree at North Central. If accepted, the master's degree program at Rush University takes an additional 2 years to complete in order to enter the profession of nursing. 

Another option, though less popular, is to complete the entrance requirements for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs, usually in 2-3 years at North Central, and then if accepted to the BSN program complete your bachelor's degree there. North Central does not have any affiliation agreements with BSN programs.  

What prerequisite courses do nursing programs require?
Minimum course requirements for the GEM program include:

  • Chemistry with lab
  • Human Anatomy with lab 
  • Human Physiology with lab 
  • Microbiology 

Some nursing programs also require or recommend:

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Lifespan Development
  • Medical Terminology 
  • Psychology

What else should I consider?
Since nurses work intensely with people, they must possess good communication skills, a commitment to serving others, and an interest in client-centered care. While a student at North Central, you will participate in activities that will help you become a well-rounded applicant for nursing programs. These include: observing nurses to demonstrate that you understand how they work and are comfortable in a clinical environment; leadership activities like serving as a peer health educator, being an officer in a student organization, or tutoring; and, a commitment to others demonstrated through volunteer service. The Pre-Professional Health Program Coordinator will guide you in these activities, connect you with alum that have pursued this path, and advise you throughout the application process to the GEM program.

Invest in your future

Choosing the right college is a big decision. Don’t make it alone. North Central’s admission and financial aid team is here to help you design a financial aid solution that works best for you and your family.

Merit scholarships, grants, loans, campus employment - these are just some of the resources available to you. Over 95 percent of students and 100 percent of all eligible students receive aid. Let our team partner with you in finding the best value for your education.

Learn more about financial aid and costs for North Central College

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