Date Published: November 11th, 2020
Getting admitted to nursing school is always highly competitive – however, because of COVID impacts such as limited classroom space, there aren’t as many nursing school spots as there are candidates applying to get in. That said, you wouldn’t be interested in a nursing career if you wanted everything to be easy, right? Here’s how nursing school admissions are changing as a result of COVID-19, and what you can do to help earn your own spot.
Applications are on the rise: There are some trends pointing to a rise in the number of nursing school applications, with some schools pointing to application volumes being 10-15% higher than average. We always encourage nursing school applicants to reach out to the program(s) in which they are applying and ensure you understand what admissions looks like – program requirements, number of available spots, average number of applicants, etc.
Difficulties with clinicals may lower the number of available spots in a program: The pandemic has meant that gaining the necessary number of hours of clinical experience is now more difficult than it was before COVID-19. Some schools may temporarily lower the number of openings they have in their nursing programs to compensate.
Interested in a career as a nurse? Learn more about nursing school admissions
Some requirements are being waived or changed: Because the pandemic has upended so many things, some schools may have waived certain requirements for admission to their programs. Make sure to review the application checklists for the schools you’re applying to just in case something has changed.
Admissions deadlines may be extended: Just as with requirements, make sure you’re paying attention to the admissions deadline of any school you’re interested in so that you’re aware of any changes or extensions.
There could be more government aid available: As the government continues to draft and pass COVID relief bills, retraining laid off workers and training people in growing industries, like healthcare, will be big priorities. If budget constraints have kept you from considering nursing in the past, there’s a good chance that more financial aid will be out there soon. Keep in touch with school financial aid offices and your governmental representatives for details as programs get announced.
Learn more: 6 Reasons Nursing is a Great Second Career
One of the things COVID-19 has proven beyond a doubt is how important nurses are, and how many more of them we need. In the short term, nursing school may be more competitive to get into or have different requirements than it does in normal times. Focus your efforts on preparing for the ATI TEAS or any other required entrance exam, writing a great admissions essay, and acing any pre-admissions coursework you may have so that you can have the strongest possible application. Good luck!
Ready to apply? Check out these tips!