There are certain things to remember when discussing how to increase your chances of getting into nursing school, the different paths you can take to become a nurse, and what to expect once you are in the nursing program.
Number 1. It is very important for any aspiring student to make sure that they keep their grades up. As obvious as this may sound, a great number of people let their GPA slip for one reason or another. If you really want to get into great nursing program, you have to keep that GPA up. In every class, every prerequisite you take, make sure you’re striving for that A, and I know grades aren’t all that matter, but it sure will help you get what you want, the school want or at least very close to it.
The minimum to apply for most nursing programs will be a 3.0. And to be considered a competitive candidate you need at least a 3.0 GPA.
Number 2. Try to get a good score on your nursing entrance exam. So this will probably be the TEAS or the HESI.
There are study guides and books to help you prepare for this exam. Take it seriously so you can get that really good score.
Number 3 Get experience in the field. This can be through work, you can work s a CNA, a patient transporter, or the unit secretary in your hospital or through volunteer work. Volunteering looks really good on your application, it helps you network and it’s just an amazing experience. You’re doing a really good thing for the patients, the families, for the hospital, and you’re giving back to your community.
Number 4 Find a mentor in the Nursing field. An important aspect many overlook finding a mentor preferably someone who’s already a nurse and can show you the ropes. It can even be a professor of nursing or science. Just build that relationship with them, and seek words of wisdom and encouragement. When you’re applying for a nursing programs, they’ll most likely ask you for letters of recommendation. This can be from employers or from, like, mentors or old professors.
Number 5. Apply to more than one school. You may have a dream school or a dream route to wherever you want to get to, but keep your options open. Make sure that you have several options available to you. Selecting 4-7 schools will be optimal. Just apply and you never know where the world will take you, what opportunities will show up. Just take them as you go.
These 5 simple but hopefully helpful tips can increase your chances of getting into nursing school of your choice. You have to be prepared work for it.
Equally important in your journey to becoming a nurse is the path you choose to get there. There are many nursing programs one can choose from depending on your circumstance and choice. These different routes into nursing school serve their purpose depending on your very own situation, choice and preference. It will be very helpful and important to know and understand the difference between different RN programs and LVN.
The LVN route. The Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) is an optional program one can get into right after you graduate high school. There are little to no prerequisites and the program is 9 months to 1 year depending on the school. You take a program to become a licensed vocational nurse. You still have to take the NCLEX and there are certain things that LVNs can’t do, like in school they don’t teach you how to do IVs, but you can get a certification for it. But there is one thing to bear in mind when choosing this option depending on where you reside or hope to locate to for employment. Some regions may not be actively recruiting for LVNs within the hospital industry but there are opportunities amongst and within the Nursing Home communities. It is still very possible to get a job in the hospital, but the opportunities are dwindling as it is more of a fast rout with great number of applicant pool especially within large metropolitan areas. It is an easier route to a nursing school because it is not as competitive to get into the programs. It is a great bridge program if you wish to continue your education as there are a lot of LVN to Registered Nurse (RN) bridge programs. The drawback is that when you do the LVN program you don’t get an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. It’s like a vocational school, so you get a license rather than a degree.
The next option is the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). It is program that allows you to obtain an associate’s degree in nursing. These programs are offered by many community colleges where you get your associate’s degree once you finish the program. And you would still become a registered nurse once you pass the NCLEX. The length is 2 years. It’s usually cheaper than BSN programs. There’s not as many prerequisites as compared to getting into a BSN program, but it’s still very competitive to get into these programs.
The third option would be a bachelor’s of science in nursing. This program allows you to become a registered nurse and get your bachelor’s degree. This program also is a 2 year program and is offered by a lot of universities. The amount of prerequisites to get in is a little bit longer and more extensive While it is also a 2 year program, the difference between this and the associates degree, is you would have a lot more opportunities to advance into your nursing career, as a bachelor’s degree prepared nurse. The advantage of this program is that you can transition easily into graduate school, if you wish to go on to higher education in nursing. Many schools offer accelerated BSN programs. Accelerated nursing programs provide a fast track to a nursing degree. This is for people who already have a degree, a bachelor’s degree, and it can be in anything. It can be in English or something else. So as long as you have a bachelor’s degree, you can apply to this program and it’s only 1 year long and then you become a nurse and get your second bachelor’s degree but this time in Nursing.
Many people get confused about the so many varying degrees of nursing and not just one level, that people often get confused with the different prerequisites for nursing.
It is understandable that one would have so many questions when applying for nursing school. Seek out people in the industry and pick their brain to get an sight in the program that interests you.
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