Getting into nursing school can present a unique challenge. The best tips I can provide are outlined below. Always remember that what you do today that will help you excel tomorrow.
- Research the prerequisites. With limited student slots, there is tough competition. With the seemingly endless waiting list, the more prerequisites you have completed prior to your application, the better. Find out early in your college career what the prerequisites are and start working on those immediately. The more you have completed and the higher your grades, the better your chances of getting in the program
- Gain experience. Don’t underestimate any experience you have in the healthcare field. All else being equal, the student chosen will be the one demonstrating experience and initiative. Volunteer at a local hospital or clinic if you can’t find a job. Check with the college health clinic. They might be able to use you to assist them. Experience looks good on the application for nursing school admission.
- Create the perfect application. If you have bad handwriting, have someone else fill in your application for you. Type it if you can! Make sure there are no words spelled incorrectly or grammar issues. Brag on all of your accomplishments, no matter how minor they may seem to you.
- Let them know who you are. This is not the time to be shy! Network with nursing students who are already in the program. Physically go to the Nursing Chair’s office and introduce yourself. Make sure to dress professionally and use your smile and best handshake when you go. After your brief visit, write the chair a note and mail it (not email), stating that it was a pleasure to meet him/her and that you look forward to starting nursing school. Volunteer with other nursing students when campus events arise. Stay in the know as to what is happening in the nursing department at your college and they will remember your name and reputation when reviewing applications.
- Dont be too patient. As the deadline approaches for applications, go back into the departmental chair’s office and speak with the receptionist. Tell him/her how excited you are to start and that you are there to double check to make sure they have everything they need for your application. It will impress the receptionist that you would take the time to check, and he/she will likely mention that to the chair. Another way to get your name recognized in the homestretch!
If at first you don’t succeed, start back at TIP #1 and apply again! Remember, after all this work, when you do get accepted in nursing school, continue to work diligently on your grades and become an active member of your nursing class.