How To Get Into Nursing School

Students must complete several requirements to enter nursing school and begin working towards their degree.

Getting into nursing school starts with earning your GED or Diploma.

Most universities require at least a general education development certificate before enrolling at their school.

Once you’ve acquired your GED or Diploma, you can apply to a college offering an accredited nursing program.

Depending on the school you apply to and its programs, you can earn one of several nursing degrees.

It typically includes an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

However, some nurses pursue a master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.

A higher degree provides increased earning potential, career choices, and career advancement opportunities.

Nevertheless,  many individuals start their nursing careers after earning their associate’s degree in nursing.

It enables them to quickly enter the field and gain work experience while pursuing further education.

It also helps students offset their costs because they’ll earn an income while getting their BSN in some cases.

However, obtaining a BSN is ideal for nurses seeing occupations beyond entry-level nursing.

How to Get Into Nursing School

You must complete several prerequisite courses to get accepted into the nursing program.

Each school varies in the prerequisite courses they require students to take.

Therefore, you must determine the school’s prerequisites to understand the required courses.

Most colleges also require students to maintain a certain grade point average (GPA) to gain acceptance into the program.

However, passing the prerequisite courses and maintaining a good GPA in highly competitive universities isn’t enough.

You may also have to put in the extra effort with your resume and reputation to receive the best chance of getting accepted.

The more competitive that school’s nursing program is, the fewer spots available to potential nursing students.

It also means that getting accepted into the program is likely more challenging due to higher acceptance standards.

Accordingly, you must consult a guidance counselor at that school to see what is required.

They can provide all the information needed to maximize your odds of getting accepted into the program.

Here is a list of some prerequisite courses colleges may require students to complete: Prerequisites for Nursing School.

If you’ve chosen a nursing program and are ready to take the plunge, it’s always a good idea to prepare for what’s ahead.

Four Tips to Help You Enter Nursing School:

  1. Understand the nursing schools requirements
  2. Research the most suitable programs
  3. Consult a guidance counselor
  4. Apply early

1. Understand the Nursing Schools Requirements

The first step to entering nursing school is to understand the universities requirements.

Every college has different needs, including GPA averages, academic history, career interests, and other factors.

The school’s competitiveness will differ based on its seating availability, prestige, and resources.

Some universities will be much easier to enter than others.

As a result, it’s essential to determine the nursing school’s conditions in advance and apply to several accredited programs.

Understanding their prerequisites enables you to prepare better with a reliable GPA score, resume, and other essentials.

It also helps you decide which nursing schools best accommodate your education level, learning style, and needs. 

What Nursing Schools Desire in Applicants:

  • GPA average | Prerequisite grades
  • A strong academic history
  • Career interest
  • Resume and cover letter quality
  • Adherence to the application process
  • Respectable references
  • Career experience (LPN, CNA, etc.)
  • Volunteer work

It’s important to mention that not all universities require career experience or volunteer work.

However, highly competitive schools may use these factors to determine which students to accept when seating is limited.

Each school also varies in how they approach accepting students into the program.

As a result, you’ll better comprehend what is necessary for their program by talking to a guidance counselor and teachers.

You can also email the university if you cannot speak directly with a counselor.

It enables you to understand the nursing school’s prerequisites, the application process, interview procedures, and more.

2. Research the Most Suitable Programs

It’s essential to research numerous nursing programs when applying to nursing school.

It enables students to weigh the benefits and downsides of each university.

For instance, every college has different semester costs, academic reputations, educational resources, and success rates.

These factors are significant for nursing students who want to perform well and succeed.

Finding the universities that benefit you best and applying to multiple nursing programs is highly advised.

There is no guarantee the first or second nursing school you’ve chosen will accept you.

As a result, it’s beneficial to have numerous options. 

Students with several acceptance letters can determine which program provides the best academic and financial options.

3. Consult a Guidance Counselor

Before applying to a nursing program, consider consulting a guidance counselor and several university teachers.

They will help you determine what is required to enter their nursing program.

As stated earlier, when there is a lot of competition, you may not be accepted even if you pass all the requirements.

The more competitive the program is, the harder it is to get into nursing school.

High-competition, low-seating schools use multiple processes to determine which students enter the program.

As a result, it’s beneficial to understand what is most significant and do those things well.

If you understand what the program directors look for when choosing a student, you’ll be one step ahead of the rest.

4. Apply Early

Applying early to nursing school is beneficial for several reasons.

Firstly, it lets the university know you’re motivated to enter their program and aren’t waiting till the last minute to apply.

In highly competitive schools, educators look at various aspects of students to determine who gets a seat in the program.

As a result, applying early to the program gives them one more reason to accept your application.

Applying early to nursing school also allows you to fix any application errors that may occur.

For instance, you may need to include references, improve your resume/cover letter or meet other college requirements.

The earlier you apply, the more opportunities you have to improve your application and acceptance odds.

Prerequisite Courses Study Tips

Passing the prerequisite courses and maintaining a high GPA are some of the most critical factors for nursing school.

As a result, it’s necessary to understand the strategies you must use to study effectively and get the most out of your time.

The following section includes numerous tips to help you prepare for and pass the nursing school’s prerequisite courses.

7 Tips for Passing Prerequisite Courses

  • Join a study group
  • Get a tutor
  • Take advantage of study tools
  • Don’t take more courses than you can manage
  • Find a suitable study location
  • Set a study schedule 
  • Maintain the required GPA

1. Join a Study Group

When applying for nursing school, you’ll need to complete prerequisite courses before gaining acceptance into the program.

While taking your prerequisites, teaming up with dedicated students serious about entering the program is a good idea.

Using your collective knowledge, you can learn more quickly and effectively.

You’ll also retain information better due to communicating with and learning from other aspiring nursing students.

2. Get a Tutor

Hiring a tutor is another great option when taking your prerequisites.

These educators are excellent at teaching students how to learn, retain information and perform their best.

A good tutor will provide you with resources, help with practice exams and tests, and understand your learning style.

They’ll also help you develop a study schedule and techniques to improve retention and learning speed.

3. Take Advantage of Study Tools

Audio, visual, and interactive tools dramatically enhance most students’ ability to learn and retain information.

They also help students understand complex topics more effectively by providing feedback and interaction beyond textbook study.

As a result, using several study modalities and resources is highly beneficial.

There are numerous resources for nursing school students that provide excellent study aids.

It includes flashcards, online study programs, anatomical models, anatomy coloring books, interactive 3D apps, and other technologies.

If you can figure out your best learning method, you’ll speed up your ability to understand and retain topics.

4. Don’t Take on More Than You Can Handle

It may be tempting to take extra courses to apply for the nursing program sooner.

However, taking too many prerequisites in one semester can make it more challenging because a high GPA is essential.

As a student, it’s easy to underestimate how much studying each class requires.

If you take too many courses at once, you may burn out.

As a result, you’re more likely to drop the class or receive a lower GPA.

You stand a much better chance of obtaining a higher grade point average if you don’t overdo your academic schedule.

It may take an extra semester, but a good GPA improves your odds of getting into nursing school and lowers stress.

5. Find a Good Study Area

Few things are as valuable to a student as a good, quiet study area.

Look for a place that is quiet and relatively distraction-free.

You’ll want to avoid distractions like tv, music, family/friends, and other attention-grabbing things.

Also, silence your cell phone to concentrate better on studying without being consumed by phone calls.

Even if you aren’t receiving calls, it’s good to silence the phone.

It will help you focus instead of being distracted by notifications and messages.

Silence is golden when it comes to studying.

However, there are times when a little background noise may be helpful.

Its beneficial silence causes your mind to wander or become overcrowded with thoughts.

In this case, a little ambiance can be helpful.

Studying at Starbucks or a local coffee shop provides some great background noise.

It may cost a few dollars to order a coffee or latte, but the extra focus and study time are well worth the money.

There are numerous places to study besides Starbucks for those who prefer a different setting.

For instance, you can study at the library, bookstore, tutoring/study center, empty classroom, college lounge, or park.

Each environment provides a different ambiance and resources you may find beneficial while studying.

6. Set a Study Schedule

Finally, a big part of your success relies on studying and putting the necessary time aside to achieve your study goals.

Many students make the mistake of not setting a study schedule.

As a result, they end up not learning effectively because of distractions, work, or random events.

You’ll study more successfully by setting a schedule and understanding the time needed for various subjects. 

As a rule of thumb, add 50% – 100% more study time to your schedule than you think you’ll need.

I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s easy to underestimate how much time it takes to study effectively.

You can reduce your time as you get into a more suitable study flow and understand the topic better.

Having a schedule and using time effectively helps you plan your coursework optimally.

7. Maintain The Minumum Necessary GPA

Maintaining a high GPA is very important for getting into nursing school.

As a result, you’ll want to quickly change your academic schedule and study routine if your GPA suffers.

You can reduce the prerequisites you’re taking, improve your studying, hire a tutor or work fewer hours at your job.

There are numerous ways to maintain a good GPA.

However, you must be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to ensure you keep your grade point average up.