Nursing school can be difficult to get into. I think we’ve all heard some of the horror stories out there.
For example, I have a co-worker who has been working as a unit clerk for a couple years and is planning to move to Arizona soon because a nursing program down there called her and said the two years on the wait list is over and it’s now her turn. insane.
I have known people who have submitted application after application, trying to get accepted.
Allow me to share my experience.
I knew I wanted to study nursing.
I sent college applications to Brigham Young University-Idaho, College of Southern Idaho, and to University of Utah. I was fairly certain I’d try and go down to Utah and do what I could to get into their program. I liked the idea of going out of state (even if it was only one state away) and I’d been to their campus and liked what I saw. I was accepted into each school, but shortly after receiving BYU-I’s acceptance letter, I received an acceptance letter into their nursing program. I remember my mom brought the letter to me during school so I could open it right away. I was pretty shocked. And I definitely didn’t how lucky I was to be holding that piece of paper.
I remember working through that nursing program application to meet their requirements:
- have a cumulative 3.5 GPA or better
- take a Kaplan pre-admission test
- criminal background check
- I also remember writing some sort of essay about why I wanted to be a nurse…ha. I can only imagine what that was like.
- and I’m sure listing my hospital volunteer experience on the application didn’t hurt either
Once I heard that I was accepted into their program, I knew I should jump at the opportunity to get my nursing degree STAT. The only prerequisites to get into the program were to take Anatomy and Physiology and Chemistry 101 OR one year of high school chemistry with a grade B or better. Thankfully, I had passed my high school chemistry class without a problem and I was able to go to school a half semester early and crank out Anat & Phys in a 8 week class. SIDE NOTE: These days, BYU-I and most other schools require a semester of college before a person is even eligible to apply to the nursing program. My class was one of the last groups to be accepted right out of high school.
There are a few other things that were required:
- CPR certification (specifically from the American Heart Association)
- access to transportation (to drive to clinicals that were 30-60 minutes away)
- up to date immunizations, negative TB skin test, and a completed medical history form
Other things that might help:
- excellent work and personal references
- experience in the medical field (CNA, EMT, paramedic, medical assistant, etc.)
- high SAT/ACT scores and GPA
If you’re applying, best of luck! And if you’re already in a program, congratulations! It’s a long road, but it’s worth it in the end. promise.