The Key to Successfully Applying to Nursing School

There is a myriad of reasons why people are flooding the nursing schools with applications for admittance; first, one of the fastest growing industries in the United States is health care. Notwithstanding these facts, nursing schools are not prepared to handle the influx of students who want some type of nursing degree.

The nursing shortage of a few years ago created by a health care delivery system crisis, coupled with a need for additional nurses due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) are all contributing to an emerging crisis in nursing schools across the nation.

Thousands of applicants – which includes you – are seeking admission to nursing programs. So, if you are applying to a nursing school, how do you make sure your application is not one of those that gets rejected, that you get noticed and eventually are selected?

Following is a summary of some pointers taken from an interview with the Admissions people from the Emory University School of Nursing, specifically from the Associate Dean of Enrollment and the Chair of the Admissions Committee. These are suggestions from two experts whose job it is to actually plow through, pour over, and pick from hundreds, if not thousands of applications for admission to nursing school.

While these suggestions will not guarantee acceptance into a nursing program, they will provide you with insight that should get you closer to your goal of getting selected to participate in some of the top nursing programs.

  • How the admissions committee evaluates applications – The committee tries to assemble a class made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Each application is evaluated separately for key parts, such as: academic performance and preparation, personal life and experiences, professional and work experience, ability to write, and personal recommendations.
  • Type of approach to reviewing application package – a holistic approach is taken; although, before submitting an application, you should meet the GPA criteria and have completed prerequisite courses. They also take into consideration leadership qualities, life experiences, and community service that is viewed very positively.
  • The review committee looks carefully at your essay for the reason why you are interested in becoming a nurse. They are especially looking for a well-written and thoughtful essay that will convince them that you potentially have what it takes to meet the rigors of the scholarly part of the program.
  • Most common mistakes on application – Rushing when filling out the application shows up in the following mistakes: important questions with incomplete answers, letters of recommendation missing, written personal statements that are hurried and shallow, disorganized resume.
  • Importance of volunteer activities – This factor is viewed so favorably that if you are strong in this area and submit only an average application, it could be what makes the difference in whether you get accepted.
  • How your application can set you apart — A great application arrives before the deadline with all questions answered, is correctly assembled with all academic records enclosed, plus you must satisfy all requirements.
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