You’ve received that dreaded letter from your nursing school informing you that you will not be starting your nursing program next semester and there are one million things running through your mind. Where did I go wrong? How did I overlook that? What I am going to do now…?
Here are a few common mistakes pre-nursing students make when applying to nursing school and a guide on how to improve your next nursing school application.
1.You Put All Your Eggs in One Basket While attending your university’s nursing program is ideal, it may not be likely. Nursing is highly competitive and most programs have very limited seats. Applying solely to your university could be a critical mistake and cost you a semester’s wait -or more.
Play it safe and begin preparing your application to multiple schools in your immediate and surrounding areas to make the most of your investment. All nursing programs aren’t created equal so your application may vary from program to program. The first step is scoping out your potential transfer school for accreditation, credit transferability, and tuition costs.
After you have found a good match, a general admission application to your potential transfer school of choice is usually necessary. Additionally, some schools require additional courses that are only specific to their school and require completion of said course(s) by program admission deadline. Iron out all of the details by scheduling or attending an information session with a nursing school advisor. Once you’ve been accepted to the university! Apply! Apply! Apply! Casting a wider net always equates to better results.
2. Your Application Wasn’t Competitive You’ve done the hard part of getting all the many criteria of the application together- but does your application stand out? The highly competitive nature of nursing school makes it imperative that you have a standout application in areas outside of your coursework.
Volunteer hours and great letters of recommendation are a necessity; however, there are ways to take it even further. Step your application game up by getting a job as a CNA or nurse tech. Hands on experience is invaluable and is sure to make you stand out among the rest. Also, get your application in as soon as possible to show your dedication, timeliness and commitment to the process.
3. Your Science GPA Wasn’t Strong Enough There are many aspects of the nursing application that are considered during the admission process; however, the science GPA holds major weight in most programs. These classes (Anatomy & Physiology l & ll, Microbiology, Chemistry and Bio sequence) are literally the foundation of nursing curriculum and scoring high in these courses are a surefire way to get the attention of the admission committee. It shows that you are not only serious about these courses but sets the tone that you’ve got what it takes to succeed in the nursing courses ahead. If you got an average grade in one of these courses it might not be a bad idea to repeat it and shoot for an A!
4.Your Entrance Test Score Was Too Low
Nursing entrance tests are hard work. They can be expensive, confusing and time consuming. Nonetheless, a good score could change the dynamics of your application and catapult you into a front row seat in your program of choice.
If your score didn’t make the cut or improve your application, a retest may be your only option. Avoid frustrating yourself by creating a strategy for success. Even the worse test takers have found ways to ace these exams and continue their nursing journey. More appropriate study-guides and test quizzes may help your score improve drastically. Preparing using the test taker’s materials are efficient way of understanding the test requirements. Additionally, don’t wait until the last minute to complete this exam. Give yourself time to retest in the event you aren’t pleased with your initial score.
5.You Got Waitlisted While getting waitlisted isn’t the “yes” you were hoping for, lets face it, it’s better than “no.” As aforementioned, most nursing programs have limited seats; however, the applicant pool plays a major part in the chance of a seat opening up.
If you’ve found yourself in this tricky middle-ground, remain hopeful. Some accepted applicants won’t choose to attend your program while life circumstances may happen to others, thus delaying their attendance. If things don’t work out in your favor, be sure to check out numbers 1-4 to make sure you’ve given yourself the absolute best chance of getting an absolute YES! next time.
We know that denial to the nursing program can be devastating, disappointing and can often come with a ton of embarrassment. Don’t allow negative thoughts to distract you from your calling or goal to become a nurse. The true test of this minor setback is how you respond.