Can I Become a Nurse with a GED?

Would you like to become an RN or LPN, but you have a GED?

Find out whether you’ll be able to enroll in a qualifying nursing program and likely to pass your exams to become a nurse.

Roughly 750,000 people take the GED each year, but some naturally question its value.

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Can you become a nurse with a GED?

Yes—it’s possible, but it will be more challenging than it would be otherwise. While most nursing schools accept applicants with GEDs, it might be more difficult to get into top nursing schools.

Some people look down on those with GEDs, thinking they don’t have the skills to thrive, but you can prove them wrong.

With a hard work ethic, those with GEDs can become registered nurses.

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Benefits of starting with a GED

While there are some drawbacks of applying to nursing school with a GED instead of a diploma, there are advantages, too.

One advantage is that GED applicants may qualify for more scholarship opportunities and financial aid, depending on their circumstances.

These advantages can make completing nursing school more attainable than it would be otherwise.

What designation do you have?

One factor that will greatly impact your trajectory when beginning nursing school is whether you earned a Passing Score, College Ready, or College Ready+ Credit designation.

A designation is something that you’ll receive with your transcript after getting your GED.

It’s based on how well you do on the GED exam.

  • A score of 145 is passing.
  • Between 165-174 is will get you a College-Ready designation.
  • A score greater than 174 will get you the College-Ready+ designation.

For those with the College-Ready+ credit designation, colleges may give students up to 10 college credits right away, which can save students tremendous time and money.

Which nursing program do you plan to apply for?

Nursing schools have various requirements that applicants must meet. Most have general admission requirements beyond a GED.

After being accepted into a school, nursing students will have to complete various general education courses before beginning to tackle nursing coursework.

Some four-year institutions will allow students to begin nursing coursework immediately, but that’s only if students have enough high school credits, which many GED applicants have not.

GED applicants may have to spend an extra semester or two completing general education requirements before starting nursing work.

What skill do GED applicants have that coincide with those of excellent nurses?

While every person is different, of course, it stands to reason that individuals with GEDs should be respected by higher education administrations and professional institutions alike.

There are plenty of people who goofed their way through high school without a care in a world, graduated, and had everything in their lives handed right over without a fuss.

This is usually not the case for GED recipients.

Many of them have lived (and may currently live) below the poverty line.

Perhaps English isn’t their first language, which made high school incredibly difficult. Many students take ESL and GED classes concurrently.

Some GED recipients became pregnant while in high school, dropped out to have the baby, and now are striving to provide well for the child by pursuing their education. 

Related: Should Nurses Learn Spanish?

Find Nursing Programs

Search our school database to find schools and get information on the programs that’s right for you. (Don’t worry it’s fast and free!)

Final Thoughts

Whatever students’ circumstances may be, they should know that having a GED isn’t a sign of failure.

It’s a sign of persistence, tenacity, and dedication to improving one’s future earning potential.

Those who have their GED should be encouraged to know that they can pursue any profession they set their minds on, including nursing and other in-demand fields.

Search for nursing school programs near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can you be a nurse with a high school diploma?

    You can become a nurse and have a successful career with a high school diploma. Nursing schools will require at least a GED or high school diploma and other prerequisites (like a high GPA) to be considered for admission.

  2. Is nursing school difficult?

    Nursing school prepares you for the responsibility of caring for those who are sick and vulnerable. Because of that nursing school is difficult to get into and challenging to complete.

  3. Can I get into nursing school with a 2.5 GPA?

    It’s possible to become a nurse with a GPA as low as 2.5. Because of the low GPA your options of nursing schools will be limited.

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