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Nursing classes require a practical knowledge of biology and anatomy, along with the social skills to treat real people in a trying environment. A nurse is often going to be the medical professional who most interacts with the sick people under their care. This means the registered nurse has to know what they're doing, convey that knowledge to their patients, and have the personality to work with the sick, the wounded, the dying, and the family of each.

Free Online Nursing ClassesNursing and Health Sciences - Try out this OpenCourseWare from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, because UMB offers free distance learning for many of the classes in their four different undergraduate programs for nurses. Here's the web page for each of these four programs.

Caring in Hospitals is a nursing course from the Open University which any nursing student is going to need to take (or its equivalent). The OU course uses Leeds General Hospital as a case study and looks at the many roles filled in a hospital environment. Also, nurses and doctors give their perspective on the care they give to the students.

Microbiology - Tufts University Microbiology is an introduction to infectious agents. The course focus is on pathobiology, including 2 lectures on HIV and some wet-lab exercises. When you're finished, you'll have an understanding of the basics of disease, along with a number of pathogens besides HIV.

Biology at Carnegie-Mellon University is one example of the basic college courses you can study and master before you ever step foot in a nursing school. Peaking in at these academic pages or even attempting to pass the course online gives you a better understanding of the coursework you'll need to know, but an idea whether this material (and therefore career) is right for you. This particular biology class not only teaches basic biology and chemistry, but also cell biology, molecular biology, and metabolism.

Anatomy and Physiology at Carnegie-Mellon U teaches the functions of the human body and what maintains harmony within the physiological systems of that body. This course teaches the anatomical structure, physiological functions, the levels of organization in the body, the integration of the body's various systems (nervous, vascular, motor), and homeostasis. This Carnegie-Mellon University OpenCourseWare course gives you a firm grounding in the human body's physiology.

Human Growth and Development teaches which diseases, conditions, disabilities, and environmental factors lead to the disruption of biological and cognitive development. This provides a better understanding of who a patient is and what their disease or affliction is and hopefully give you more information about your patients as you care for them.

Introduction to Clinical Pain Problems provides a medical professional a better understanding of the nature of pain. You'll study both the mechanisms of pain and the treatment of painful illnesses. Once you finish this course, you'll understand better the location, intensity, severity, and relieving factors of pain.