Pre-Nursing

Get Involved

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • Lab Assistantships: Students commonly land positions helping their professors with fieldwork and research. 
     
  • Pre-health Club: Brings together students with a common interest in health fields to network and to provide career preparation, advice and peer support. 
     
  • Shadowing: Opportunities to shadow practicing professionals exists both locally and throughout the United States.
     
  • Thornton Biology Research Program: Students work with faculty mentors on funded and original research. 
     
  • Tri-Beta: Honor society for biology student researchers. 

Profiles

Dr. Sean Markey

~Alumni~

Sean Markey
Sean Markey

Dr. Sean Markey

From truck driver to neurosurgeon—thanks to Western and its nurturing professors. 

Dr. Sean Markey is a 1993 graduate of Western. He earned his medical degree in 1997 from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where he also completed his surgical internship and neurosurgery residency. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

Dr. Markey has served as the Director of Neurosurgery at Littleton Adventist Hospital and currently serves as the Director of Neurosurgery at Parker Adventist Hospital. He also serves as faculty for a number of medical device companies, which includes ongoing work in the development of new spinal surgery techniques. He has been listed in 5280 magazine as one of Denver’s top doctors for his work with brain and spine disorders. Dr. Markey currently serves as the Neurosurgical Consultant to the Denver Broncos.

Dr. Markey is an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Colorado Neurosurgical Society, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Western Neurological Society. He and his wife, Kristina, currently reside in Denver and have three daughters. Outside of medicine, Dr. Markey enjoys skiing, biking and automobiles.

In 2015, Dr. Markey spoke at the Commencement Ceremony for Western Colorado University. 

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Kevin Alexander, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Biology; Chair, Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences
B.A., University of Texas, Biology, 1992, Ph.D., University of North Texas, Biology, 1997
Phone: 970.943.3405
Office Location: Hurst Hall 143C
Robin A. Bingham, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Biology
B.A., University of Vermont, Botany, 1984, M.A., University of Colorado, Education, 1987, Ph.D., University of Colorado, Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, 1997
Phone: 970.943.3355
Office Location: Hurst Hall 222
Peter H. Gauss headshot
Professor of Biology
B.S., St. Joseph’s University , Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Phone: 970.943.2094
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238B
Shan Hays, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Biology
B.A., University of Colorado Boulder, Biochemistry, 1994, B.A., University of Colorado Boulder, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, 1994, Ph.D., University of Oregon, Biology, 2001
Phone: 970.943.2552
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238C
Amy Honan headshot
Biology Lab Coordinatory, Lecturer in Biology, Curator of Fungi
B.A., Western, Biochemistry, 2002, M.S., San Francisco State University, Biology, 2006, Ph.D. candidate , University of Washington, Seattle, College of Forest Resources 2007-10
Phone: 970.943.2437
Office Location: Hurst Hall 128A
Patrick Magee, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor of Wildlife and Conservation Biology
B.S., Colorado State University, Wildlife Biology, 1986, M.S., University of Missouri, Wildlife Ecology, 1989, Ph.D., University of Missouri, Wildlife Ecology, 1996
Phone: 970.943.7121
Office Location: Hurst Hall 143A
Emily McMahill, Pharm.D. headshot
Ferchau Lecturer in Biology
B.A., Western Colorado University, Pharm.D., Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy
Phone: 970.943.2311
Office Location: Hurst Hall 225
Cassandra Osborne, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Biology
B.S., Allegheny College, Neuroscience, 1998, Ph.D., Dartmouth College, Molecular, Cellular & Systems Physiology, 2004
Phone: 970.943.3181
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238A

Courses

FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

 BIOL 201 - Introduction to Microbiology (with laboratory) (4 credits)

A study of the basic aspects of microbiology for allied health students that includes an introduction to the identification, physiology, growth and control of microbes. Laboratory exercises will emphasize aseptic, pure culture, and identification techniques. This course can only be used to fulfill graduation requirement for students in the allied health biology emphasis. Additional course fee applies.

 BIOL 300 - Basic Nutrition (3 credits)

An introduction to the science of human nutrition. Consideration is given to the chemical nature and functions of the major groups of nutrients, the function of the digestive system, energy metabolism and balance, weight control, and nutrition for fitness. Human nutrition during the life span is also addressed. Prerequisites: BIOL 150; and CHEM 101 or CHEM 111.

 BIOL 342 - Microbiology (with laboratory) (4 credits)

An introduction to microbial morphology, identification, physiology, genetics, and microbiology laboratory techniques. A brief consideration is given to fungi. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisites: Biology Nucleus

 BIOL 372 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I (with laboratory) (4 credits)

An introduction to regulatory mechanisms which maintain normal body function. Specific topics include cytology, histology, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, and nervous system. The course is designed for allied health and exercise and sport science students. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisites: BIOL 150; CHEM 105 or CHEM 111.

 BIOL 373 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with laboratory) (4 credits)

A continuation of BIOL 372 Human Anatomy and Physiology I. Specific topics include immunology, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, digestive system, excretory system, reproductive system, and endocrine system. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: BIOL 372.

 BIOL 496 - Senior Thesis ( credits)

An advanced research experience resulting in a Senior Thesis, supervised by a thesis committee of three faculty members including at least one biologist. A proposal of the project must be approved by the thesis committee prior to project initiation. In addition to completing the written thesis, students must present the results of their work in a departmental seminar. This course satisfies the capstone course requirement. Prerequisites: Biology Nucleus; and MATH 151 or MATH 213.

 CHEM 111 - General Chemistry I (3 credits)

An introductory course designed for science majors focusing on principles and applications of chemistry. Topics covered in this course are stoichiometry, bonding models, intermolecular forces, and periodic trends. Prerequisite or corequisite: MATH 140 or Accuplacer college-level mathematics test score of 85 or above, ACT math score of 24 or above, or instructor permission.

 CHEM 112 - General Chemistry Laboratory I (1 credits)

An introduction to basic laboratory techniques of inorganic chemistry correlating with CHEM 111. Experiments emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry. Laboratory notebookkeeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Additional course fee applies. Corequisite: CHEM 111.

 CHEM 113 - General Chemistry II (3 credits)

A continuation of CHEM 111. Topics covered are thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: CHEM 111 with a minimum grade of C-.

 CHEM 114 - General Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credits)

A continuation of CHEM 112. An introduction to basic laboratory techniques of inorganic chemistry correlating with CHEM 113. Experiments emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry. Laboratory notebookkeeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Prerequisite: CHEM 112. Corequisite: CHEM 113.

 CHEM 231 - Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (3 credits)

A descriptive survey course which introduces the essential topics and applications of organic chemistry and biochemistry. The course is designed for non-majors who need the second semester of a one-year chemistry core that includes general, organic, and biochemistry.This course may not be counted for credit toward the Chemistry Major or Minor. Prerequisite: CHEM 101 or CHEM 113.

 CHEM 234 - Introductory Organic and Biochemistry Laboratory (1 credits)

An introductory laboratory to accompany CHEM 231. Experiments focus on reactions of organic functional groups, organic synthesis, and the chemistry of biological molecules.This course may not be counted for credit toward the Chemistry Major or Minor. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 231.

 MATH 213 - Probability and Statistics (3 credits)

A course in the use of statistical techniques to draw knowledge from data. Topics include exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics, t-procedures, ANOVA, chi squared procedures, regression, and non-parametric tests. Statistical software is used extensively to analyze real data sets. Prerequisite: MATH 141 with a minimum grade of C-, or Accuplacer university-level mathematics test score of 85 or above; or instructor permission. GT-MA1

 MATH 495 - Senior Seminar (3 credits)

A small group of graduating seniors pursue a practical project necessitating professional levels of problem solving, research, written and oral prowess, critical thinking, and familiarity with core curriculum. Final projects are of high quality, so they can be used by professionals and decision-makers in the field. Prerequisites: senior standing. Corequisite 490.

 PHYS 140 - Introductory Physics (with laboratory) (4 credits)

A semi-quantitative introduction to the fundamental concepts of physical science, particularly the laws of physics as they relate to the structure of matter. Laboratory experiences play an important role in the investigations. This course may not be taken for credit toward the Physics Minor. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 500 or above; MATH 099; Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or above.

Emphasis
Bachelor of Science
Natural & Environmental Sciences


Overview

Students in the Pre-Nursing emphasis earn a Biology degree and prepare for professional programs in nursing, medical technology, chiropractics, optometry and public health. Students work closely with Western’s Health Professions Advisor to build a degree path aligned with the admission requirements of their schools of choice as well as their greater professional interests.   

The Program

The Pre-Nursing emphasis begins with a broad training in the life sciences, including evolution, cell theory, genetics, metabolism, and ecological components and systems. Students then tighten their focus on biological concepts related to healthcare through labs, shadowing opportunities and field experience. Low student-to-faculty ratios allow close interaction between biology majors and their professors, both in- and outside the classroom. 

Learn More

Reach out to Emily McMahill, Pharm.D. for more information.