I got into nursing school!!! I’m going to nursing school in the fall to get my BSN, and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s been a long process to get here, and I have worked really hard to make sure that I would get into my dream nursing school.
The nursing program at my school is similar to other schools; I attend for 2 years in the pre-nursing program, and then apply to the nursing program, which I’ll attend for the last 2 years before receiving my BSN. So, I had 4 semesters to get my act together and get into nursing school. So how’d I do it?
I did my research early.
It was super important for me to know what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go long before I even got into nursing school. From high school, I knew which nursing school I wanted to go to, so I was able to take the necessary steps. The nursing school I wanted to go to has strict prerequisite and GPA requirements, and knowing that going into college helped me tremendously!
I was able to find all the information I needed simply by looking at my school’s website where they outline everything you need to know. I can promise that no school is trying to keep a secret from you, so you should be easily able to find the info you need for any and every school you’re interested.
I kept lists and stayed organized.
Knowing the timeline and due dates for different things for nursing school helped me stay super organized. I made a list of everything I needed to do and what needed to be done before I applied. There’s a lot to keep track of, from letters of recommendation to entrance exams to transcripts, etc.
This part is so key! Organization helps you stay on track, but it also helps you in all aspects of college so you can be sure to make good grades and be prepared.
I made good grades.
No matter how prepared and on track you are, you can’t get in without good grades! I’m incredibly proud to say that I have a 4.0 GPA, and it’s not easy. I wish there was a magic formula to make good grades, but it all comes down to hard work. I have a few different posts that could help!
I prepped for the TEAS.
The TEAS test is the entrance exam that’s required for my nursing school; other schools require the HESI or some other exam in your state. For any standardized test, it’s important to first be aware of how the test is taken. Prepping for the format, scoring system, etc. is truly the secret to doing well. Go in with all the knowledge you need! I learned all the topics that could be covered, how long I would have for each question, and how many times I could take the test.
Review books can be helpful, but I decided to save my money and watch CrashCourse videos, do online practice questions, and utilize free resources online. I took notes over concepts I didn’t understand, and focused on topics I hadn’t covered before.
I made connections with professors.
Because I had done my research early and I knew that I would need two letters of recommendation, I made an effort starting my freshman year to make connections with professors. I find it uncomfortable to visit professors in their office hours (which I know is super important and it’s something I’m trying to overcome!), but I did my best to get close to professors I really clicked with. There are lots of nice professors who will write a letter for you, but a truly good letter of recommendation comes from someone who really knows you and believes in you. Follow my tips on how to email a professor!
I joined clubs.
With hundreds of applicants with good grades and letters of recommendation, what really helps someone stand apart is the extra things. On campus, I sought out clubs that interested me and would look good on my application to help me get into nursing school!
I ended up becoming super involved in a peer education group in our student health center; the club changed my life–and it looked super good on my resume! I had smaller involvement in other groups, like the Animal Rights Club and a social justice group. I think all of these different clubs helped me look well-rounded and involved.
I studied abroad with an internship.
I studied abroad for a month in Mexico, and it was an amazing, life-changing experience. I got class credit for my minor by taking a Mexican culture class, but I also participated in an internship program. I worked under nurses in a dialysis clinic, completing a patient satisfaction program. This was an amazing accomplishment to add to my application. More than that, it really showed me how passionate I was about my career choice and how badly I wanted to get into nursing school!
I was extremely fortunate to be able to have this internship in Mexico. Not everyone is able to do this, but there are other options to have the same effect. An internship where you live or volunteering in a hospital can help solidify your passionate and give you that edge on your application to really help you get into nursing school!
I got two jobs.
While this might be counterintuitive when you’re working so hard to make good grades and be involved, it really worked for me. Thought the club I joined, I got a job at the student health center! Through this, I got a letter of recommendation from my boss and had an “in” with health care professionals! Again, these were just more things I was able to add to my application to say “look, I’m diverse, involved, and successful.”
I wrote a killer essay.
The essay portion of your application is the way to personally convince the school that you would be perfect for each other! You can’t be scared to brag about yourself and really sell yourself to the school. I wrote my essay ahead of time, proofread it meticulously, and had others check it for me! Attention to detail is so key. Make sure it’s perfect! For more tips on writing a perfect essay: click here.
I stayed on track.
Overall, there’s a lot of moving parts to applying and getting accepted to nursing school. Minding my lists and reminding myself of what’s important and needs to be done really kept me on track. It’s easy to get caught up in everything you’re doing that you lose track of something important! I utilized my planner to really stay on track and monitor my deadlines.
In the end, I only applied to one nursing school–the one I really wanted–because I knew I had prepared well enough to get in! Nursing school is my dream, and through hard work, I’m realizing this dream!
Are you applying to nursing school? What’s your dream?