So, you really want to be a nurse? That’s great! You’ll need that type of motivation to get you through nursing school; you’ll probably also need it to make it into a good nursing program. Believe it or not, getting into an accredited nursing program can be pretty difficult. Not only are there limited seats available for new nursing students, there are plenty of people who want to become nurses. Together, these factors can make the application process very competitive. To increase your odds of getting into nursing school, utilize the following tips:
- Maintain A Strong GPA
The majority of nursing programs in the United States require potential students to achieve at least a 2.75 GPA on prerequisite courses. So, you don’t need a 4.0 GPA to get into nursing school, but getting a B or above in anatomy and physiology, biology, statistics, and other required courses is something that you should aim to do. In addition to helping you meet most programs’ entry requirements, a good GPA will help you stand out from other applicants.
- Research Admission Procedures
Even if you’re familiar with the standard admission procedures used by a university in charge of one of your potential programs, you really need to research its admission procedures specific to nursing. These procedures typically differ from those used for most other college programs considerably. Background checks and drug screens, for instance, are often admission requirements for nursing programs. Also, you’ll need to take the HESI Admission Assessment Exam, which covers basic subjects like math, science, and English. Most nursing programs require potential students to score at least a 75% overall and on all subtests, so be sure to brush up on any of your rough areas before taking the exam.
- Plan Ahead
When it comes to applying for nursing programs, procrastinating is one of the worst things you can do. Many of the typical entry requirements, like background checks, take at least a few days to obtain, even under the best circumstances. Additionally, keep in mind that the HESI exam can only be taken twice in any twelve month period, with 45 days between tests, so set time aside for study and try to take the exam early enough to allow for a retake if necessary.
- Apply to Multiple Programs
The number of applicants to nursing programs often exceeds the number of seats that these programs are able to offer. Unfortunately, this means that nursing programs are forced to turn qualified students away on a regular basis. So, even if you know that you meet a program’s entry requirements and have a fairly impressive application, your acceptance isn’t guaranteed. Fortunately, most universities and community colleges have nursing programs, and there’s nothing stopping you from applying to more than one.
- Don’t Lose Your Motivation
Many hopeful students have to wait multiple terms, and some even wait years, before finally making it into a nursing program. If you aren’t able to make it into one of the programs that you apply for at first, don’t give up; stay motivated and keep trying. If you know that there are certain issues preventing you from getting accepted into a nursing program, like a poor GPA or a low HESI score, take this opportunity to resolve them before applying again in the future.
Nursing school is a tough road, and the difficulties begin long before day one of your program. Use these five tips to keep on top of your applications. Got a tip? We’d love to hear it!