Date Published: December 3, 2019
Congratulations! The time has come that you are finally ready to apply for nursing school and begin your journey to becoming a nurse. Applying can be one of the most exciting parts of your nursing school journey, but it can also be one of the most overwhelming.
To make it seem a bit more manageable, here are five things to expect during the nursing school admissions process.
Requirements Will Vary from School to School
The first step to getting into a nursing program is picking which schools you will be applying to, of course. When researching the schools you are interested in, pay close attention to the admission requirements for each one. Requirements can vary greatly from school to school, so it’s important to look at each one individually and not to assume they will all be the same. You may find it helpful to write down the requirements for each school on a master list that you can reference later when you are preparing your application materials.
If you are able to, make a visit to each of the schools you are considering to attend an information session or take a tour, and come prepared with any questions you have about the admissions process.
Related Read: Ready to Apply to Nursing School? Keep This in Mind
You Will Probably Have to Take an Entrance Exam
An entrance exam is one of the most common requirements for admission into nursing school, so be aware that you might have to take one or more in order to apply to many programs. For example, you may be asked to take the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (The ATI TEAS Exam), a test designed specifically to test your readiness to be a nursing student. As the creators of the TEAS, we understand the importance of achieving your best possible score the first time, and how it can affect your chances of getting into the nursing program of your choice. Check out everything you will want to know before taking the TEAS here.
Nursing schools may also accept scores from the ACT or SAT as an entrance exam, so be sure to check to figure out which test(s) you will need to take to apply for all of the schools on your list. You should also check to see how many times you are allowed to take an entrance exam and submit your score for approval. For example, some schools will only allow you to take the TEAS once, but others may allow multiple attempts.
Deadlines are Super Important
It would be a huge bummer to study for an entrance exam and get all of your other admission materials prepared…only to miss the deadline for submitting all of your information to a school! Deadlines are incredibly important in the nursing school admissions process, so make sure you are aware of when they are and how long you have to get things done. Keep in mind any waiting or processing time that there might be between taking an entrance exam and receiving your scores or requesting and sending official documents like transcripts, and make sure you factor this processing time into your plan.
There Might Be an Interview
Since many nursing programs have to be very selective with how many students they admit to their ranks, some will require an in-person interview as a part of the admissions process. If you are asked to come in for an interview, get excited! An interview is your opportunity to stand out from the competition and show a school the amazing things that you have to offer that can’t be seen in other admission materials like test scores. Brush up on some tips for having a great interview here.
Not Everyone Will Be Accepted
Nursing school is super competitive. In fact, 30% of qualified applicants are turned away from ADN, Diploma, and BSN programs each year. If your first application is unsuccessful, don’t give up! Review all of your admission materials, retake an entrance exam if necessary, revise your personal statement and try again! If you are truly passionate about becoming a nurse, your persistence can pay off!
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