Although the demand for nurses continues to rise, the competition to get into a nursing program, especially if it is top-ranked, can be highly competitive because of the number of applicants versus the available openings. Every nursing program has its specific admission requirements, but overall, attaining the relevant education, gaining relevant experience, meeting the other prerequisites and submitting a comprehensive application helps in securing admission into nursing school.
Applicants have various choices for nursing school. They may either apply for a university program in a Bachelor of Science in nursing or complete any number of vocational nursing school programs to attain an associate degree, licensed practical nurse or registered nurse qualifications. In any case, applicants ought to have obtained a high school diploma and achieved a high GPA. High school courses such as biology, psychology, math, chemistry and English are relevant to nursing practice and can help applicants get into nursing school. Some nursing schools have preadmission tests, and applicants can undertake practice exams to prepare for the same and enhance their chances of success.
Obtaining relevant experience in the healthcare field is an indication of interest, enthusiasm and initiative; and it helps applicants get into nursing school. Applicants may gain experience through voluntary assignments at a local hospital, school health clinic or other facility involved in patient care. Certified nurse assistants and licensed practical nurses who obtain certification after undertaking short vocational training courses can refer to their employment experience in their applications to degree or associate degree nursing programs.
Nursing school programs may have various other prerequisites that an applicant must demonstrate to be considered for admission. A nursing school admissions committee may require a personal statement or essay detailing why the applicant wants to join the nursing profession, SAT or ACT scores, and preprofessional or foundational programs as part of the application process. In some universities and colleges such as Georgia Highlands College, admission to the nursing school program is conditional upon gaining entry into the university; an applicant has to meet both the institution’s general requirements and nursing school’s specific provisions.
Since competition to get into nursing school is intense, applicants would do well to ensure that their application is properly and completely filled out together with all the supporting documents attached. The nursing school admissions committee is likely to be more impressed with an application that meets all the stated requirements, is properly organized, and is handed in on time because these schools usually have strict admission deadlines. According to Dean Cadray of the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, some of the common mistakes that cost applicants their chance at college entry include incomplete answers to important questions, missing letters of recommendation, poorly organized resumes and personal statements that lack depth and thought.
Maria OCadiz has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in Education. She is a former university professor, curriculum facilitator and teacher.