Prerequisite classes for nursing may include mathematics, psychology, sociology, English composition, economics and basic sciences.
Classes on nutrition for infants, children, adults and the elderly are often required for nursing education and may include coursework on special populations, such as diabetics.
Coursework on human anatomy and physiology, which covers processes such as respiration and metabolism, are taught separately from other biology courses.
Microbiology classes may include a separate laboratory requirement for nursing students and cover such topics as bacterial, viral and fungal organisms.
Classes dealing with direct patient care, including care of children, adults, the elderly, families and pregnant women, are required.
Classes on mental health topics such as drug addiction, mental illness and psychiatric disorders are required components of nursing education.
Cultural competency classes educate nursing students on appropriate care for diverse populations including immigrants, people of varying socio-economic status and people with mental or physical disabilities.
Becoming a registered nurse requires academic coursework, clinical rotation and examination for licensure. Academic requirements may vary by educational institution and what level of degree in nursing is being pursued. Required classes to become a registered nurse begin with basic prerequisites that lead to more specialized and advanced topics.