Study Tips

How to Apply to Nursing School

Kyanna Bertrand
Published on Nov 11, 2021. Updated on Nov 15, 2021.

Taking that first step in applying to an accelerated nursing program is exciting… but can be very nerve-racking. You have mixed emotions; you’re confused, you’re happy, and you’re afraid. What might be confusing you is the fact that you’re unsure about what to do first. Not only that, but you might not know what you should have prepared in advance. In this post, I will tell you everything you need to do before you start your application to apply for an accelerated nursing program.

Please note, while the information provided in this post is my opinion and from my own experience, I am not an expert. Your situation may vary depending on your program and unique circumstances.

The First Steps

The first step is doing your research. What I mean by this is understanding what the role of a nurse is. Setting up shadowing opportunities and talking to nurses to see what their job entails. This way, you can feel more certain about your choice to start your nursing career, and know more about what to expect from your future career.

1. Location

If you want to stay close to home, finding a program located within your state is beneficial.

The best way to do this is by Googling, “Accelerated nursing program located in..." making sure to include whatever state you live in.

From that search, you’ll get a list of all accelerated nursing programs located in your state.

2. Requirements

After you find the list of programs you want to apply to, you must look at the requirements for these programs.

Osmosis illustration of a list of requirements.

You would hate to be stuck in a situation where you’re about to apply to your dream school, only to realize that you never took a course that has been highlighted as one of the pre-requisite courses for the program. Generally, all schools tend to have similar requirements.

Pre-requisites

These typically include courses like Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2, Microbiology, Statistics, Nutrition and/or biology or chemistry. Some programs may ask that you take additional prerequisite courses not listed here.

Resume/ CV

A complete work history that highlights all your volunteer experience, paid and unpaid direct patient care experience, and research experience, if any. This helps to show the schools that you're applying to that you're serious about nursing and that you've spent some time outside of school to understand the field.

Personal Statement

This is a letter stating the reason why you want to become a nurse and your future goals once you become a nurse. Some programs are very specific regarding what you should write about in your statement.

Letters of Recommendation

Programs typically look for two letters of recommendation. One letter usually comes from an RN or medical provider. The other letter tends to be from a professor or someone who acted in a role as your supervisor.

Minimum GPA

This is the minimum required GPA you must have before you can apply to an accelerated nursing program. Most programs look for a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Some schools are lenient with these requirements. These schools will consider students whose GPAs fall just short of a 3.0.

3. Length of the program

Not all accelerated nursing programs are created equal. These programs tend to span from one year all the way to three years. If the amount of time you spend in school to earn your degree is important to you, it will do you well to take the time to find out how long your program will be.

4. ABSN/ADN

Before you apply to any programs, make sure you know the difference between an ABSN degree and an ADN degree.

ABSN stands for Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, whereas ADN stands for an Associate Degree in Nursing.

The major difference between these two degrees is the time it takes to complete the degree, number of credits, level of responsibility once you start working in the field and salary.

Make sure you spend some time doing your research to ensure that you're applying to the right program.

The Final Steps

So, you’ve made it this far. Well, I’m sure you can guess what the final step is. Yes, you guessed it, the final step to applying for your accelerated nursing program is taking a step back to applaud yourself for all your hard work.

The process of applying to nursing school will sometimes be stressful, but you need to take time to appreciate what you’ve done and all the hard work you’ve put in.

It’s not selfish to be happy!

Kyanna is a final semester nursing student at the University of Rochester, School of Nursing. In her free time she enjoys catching up on her favorite books and spending lots of time with family. She plans to start her career in nursing working in the Emergency Department.

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