I’m going to talk a little bit about the MCAT and whether or not a nursing student can (or should) take the MCAT.

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Can a Nursing Student Take the MCAT?

You don’t need to take the MCAT to become a licensed practical nurse, a licensed vocational nurse, or a registered nurse. The MCAT is a test you would take if you want to go to medical school. Hence it has nothing to do with nursing school.

What is the MCAT?

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a computer-based, standardized, multiple-choice exam students take if they want to get into medical school. Essentially it’s an entrance exam for medical school.

The MCAT tests several essential knowledge points that are prerequisites for medical school and for a successful medical practice.

Some of the points covered on the exam include:

  • Biological foundations of living systems
  • Critical analysis and reasoning

Key Point
Because it’s a test for medical school, the MCAT is not something a nursing student needs to take, nor is it something nursing schools use.

What Exams Do You Need for Nursing School

As for exams needed for nursing school, some schools do require applicants to take a standardized exam. One of the more common nursing school entrance exams is the TEAS Test (Test of Essential Academic Skills).

If applying to a nursing program, make sure to check with that school about what entrance exams (if any) you need to take to apply.

After graduation, all nursing students need to take and pass the nursing licensure exam. For registered nurses, it’s the NCLEX-RN. For licensed practical or vocational nurses, it’s the NCLEX-PN.

Related: What Prereqs Do I Need for LPN School?

What About Graduate Level Nurses

Graduate nursing programs (ex. masters of science in nursing (MSN), a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP), nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, etc.) do not require the MCAT either.

For those degrees, you’re usually taking an entrance exam like the GRE.

Once again, if you’re thinking about going to graduate school, make sure to speak with an advisor to see what entrance exams you will need to take.

Key Point
Not all graduate nursing programs require an entrance exam.

As for the MCAT

You would only need to take that exam if you were thinking about leaving the nursing profession and moving to the physician route.

Have You Read Any of These Yet?

Frequently Asked Questions

No. The MCAT is an entrance exam for those who want to go to medical school. If you want to go to nursing school, check with the nursing program you want to attend to see what entrance exam (if any) they require. It’s not going to be the MCAT.

Unless you’re considering becoming both a doctor and a nurse, there’s no reason to take both. Keep in mind that the NCLEX is a licensing exam for nurses, and the MCAT is an entrance exam for those who want to go to medical school.

No. You do not need to take the MCAT to become a registered nurse or a licensed practical/vocational nurse. The MCAT or Medical College Admissions Test is only for those who want to get into medical school and become a doctor.

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