How to get into Nursing School

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get accepted into a nursing program.

  1. Decide on the Type of Nursing Program: Determine which nursing degree you want to pursue. Options include an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or an accelerated BSN for those who already hold a degree in another field. Consider your career goals and how quickly you want to enter the workforce.
  2. Make a List of Nursing Schools and Their Requirements: Research nursing schools that offer the program you’re interested in. Make a list of these schools and note their specific admission requirements, including prerequisite courses, GPA requirements, application deadlines, and any additional criteria they might have. I suggest putting all this information in a spreadsheet so that you can easily see when deadlines are and compare and contrast the requirements of schools.
  3. Ensure Accreditation and Fit: Verify that the nursing schools on your list are accredited by recognized accrediting bodies such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Also, consider factors such as location, cost, class sizes, and the overall fit for your personal needs.
  4. Plan for Prerequisite Courses: Make a plan for when and where you will take the required prerequisite courses. These might include subjects like biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology. Many of these prerequisite courses actually have prerequisites of their own, which can make planning a bit confusing. Map out a timeline that fits your schedule and ensures you complete these courses before applying. For help with this, visit your college’s advising office and have an academic advisor assist with writing out a plan.
  5. Register and Take Prerequisite Courses: Enroll in the necessary prerequisite courses at your current college or a community college. Be sure to achieve good grades, as these will be a key part of your application.
  6. Gain Volunteer or Healthcare Experience: If possible, get volunteer experience or work in a healthcare setting. This can provide valuable insights into the nursing profession and strengthen your application. Look for opportunities in hospitals, clinics, or community health organizations.
  7. Ask for Letters of Recommendation: If the nursing schools you’re applying to require letters of recommendation, ask individuals who can provide strong, positive references. These might include professors, employers, or healthcare professionals you have worked with.
  8. Write Your Application Essays: Draft and refine your application essays. Make sure to answer the prompts clearly and showcase your passion for nursing, your understanding of the field, and your readiness for the challenges of nursing school.
  9. Submit Your Applications: Complete and submit your applications to the nursing schools on your list. Double-check that you have included all required documents and met all deadlines to ensure your application is considered.
  10. Wait for your acceptance letters!

We hope this list is helpful to understanding how to apply to nursing school. There are many steps and this can be quite a long process, especially if you haven’t completed prerequisite courses yet, but there are many resources on the internet that can help you, including