Are you wondering, “What are my chances of getting into nursing school?” While nursing school can be competitive, accelerated nursing programs with multiple yearly start dates make it more accessible. Plus, with the right strategies, you can make your application stand out to the admissions committee.
Becoming a nurse is one of the most rewarding decisions you could make. But getting into nursing school often poses a challenge for prospective nursing students. You may be wondering, “What are my chances of getting into nursing school?” The highly competitive nature of traditional nursing programs means nursing schools often have to turn away qualified candidates.
Thankfully the advent of accelerated nursing programs with multiple start dates a year, like College of Mount Saint Vincent’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program as well as robust admissions support, makes the admissions process easier.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how hard it is to get into nursing school and then offer a few tips to increase your chances of getting in.
Is it Hard to Get into Nursing School?
Nursing school is known for being a competitive and challenging field of study. Nurses are intelligent and dedicated, and they need to have sharp technical skills and people skills. Because of the great responsibility nurses hold and the high standards of the profession, many nursing schools are very selective when choosing students.
While this high standard remains the same, the demand for nurses is expected to rise in years ahead. It’s more important than ever to have capable and qualified nurses in the workforce.
As you may have already noticed, the nursing school admissions process can be saturated with waitlists and rejections simply because programs are at capacity. So, the major question that nursing schools are currently facing is, “How do we graduate more nurses to meet the growing need while making nursing school more attainable for qualified students?”
Thankfully, some programs like the ABSN program at College of Mount Saint Vincent have taken measures to make nursing school admissions less competitive and more accessible for students. One way we do this is by offering three start dates per year, which substantially increases the number of students we can accept every year.
How to Increase Your Chances of Getting into Nursing School
Getting into nursing school can be hard, but there are a few ways you can make it easier. If you’re asking yourself, “What are my chances of getting into nursing school?” here are a few nursing school application tips for you.
1. Meet All Program Requirements
If you want a good chance of getting into nursing school, you’ll first need to meet all the program requirements. Accelerated nursing programs have various requirements, ranging from prior college credits and minimum GPA to prerequisites and entrance exams. Each program has unique requirements, so reflect on what you’ll need before applying to your target program.
To apply for the ABSN program at Mount Saint Vincent, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree in any non-nursing discipline from an approved institution.
- Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
- All non-science prerequisite courses must be completed with a “C” or higher. All science prerequisites must be completed with a “B” or higher no more than five years prior to your intended admission term.
- Submit the electronic application form with all required components.
- Provide official transcripts from undergraduate institutions attended.
2. Be Willing to Relocate for Nursing School
Attending nursing school away from home can be a great way to increase your chances of getting into nursing school. By looking outside your geographic area, you can expose yourself to more programs that may be more aligned with your timeline and goals. For example, your local programs may have limited enrollment capacity or only have a traditional four-year timeline. But relocating can give you access to a facility such as Mount Saint Vincent’s ABSN learning site in New York City.
3. Choose an Accessible Program
Another key element of boosting your chances of getting accepted is to apply to a program that’s accessible. Many nursing programs are inherently competitive because they have a low enrollment capacity and only offer one start date per year. However, programs with multiple start dates per year can accept more students, so you’ll have better chances of getting in. The ABSN program at Mount Saint Vincent offers three start dates per year.
You’ll also benefit from having onsite nursing courses, in which you can ask questions in real time during lectures and provides collaboration opportunities with fellow cohort members. You’ll also practice and develop what you learned through the nursing simulation labs. Finally, you’ll put all of this into practice during clinical rotations at top regional hospitals.
Here's what to expect in nursing clinicals.
4. Share Your Why for Nursing
When you’re applying for nursing school, you want to have crystal clarity about why you want to become a nurse. Think about what inspired you to take this career path. Maybe it was a person or experience that led you down this path, or maybe you’ve always felt drawn to patient care.
Communicate your why clearly in conversations with your admissions counselor, in your nursing school application, and in your interview. While your resume and transcripts provide an objective view of your life, your why gets at the heart of the matter and has the power to resonate deeply with the admissions committee.
5. Work Proactively on the Admissions Process
Another little-known way to put your best foot forward to the admissions committee is to work efficiently to begin nursing school as quickly as you can. If a student lags and takes years to submit their nursing school application, that can come off as lack of true interest or motivation to enter the program. Once you make an admissions plan and timeline with your admissions counselor, work hard to stick to it and enter nursing school as soon as you finish prerequisites. This will show the admissions committee your dedication to becoming a nurse.
6. Create a Stellar Personal Statement
While your academic and professional records help determine your eligibility for the ABSN program, your personal statement gets to the core of who you are and why you want to become a nurse. Do not underestimate the power of an effective personal statement to tell your story. Spend time thinking about why you aspire to be a nurse and the impact you hope to make as a nurse. Share your story, for it’s what sets you apart from other students.
Before you submit your personal statement, have someone you trust read it and provide feedback. Having another set of eyes look over your statement is a great way to check the clarity of your message and identify any areas that could use refinement. Once you receive their feedback, make edits, and refine your essay as needed until it’s polished.
Here are 10 tips for preparing for nursing school.
Embark on Your BSN Journey at Mount Saint Vincent
Now that you know how to stand out as an applicant, you don’t have to worry about the question, “What are my chances of getting into nursing school?” If you apply to the right program and do the work to show the admissions committee that you’re a qualified and passionate applicant, you’ll be on your way to achieving your goal.
Our Accelerated BSN program for non-nurses makes it possible for motivated students to earn their BSN degree in as few as 16 months. With locations in Riverdale and Queens, the program offers three start dates per year, in January, May, and September. While prior healthcare experience isn’t required for entry into our program, you still must fulfill our ABSN program requirements and complete prerequisites to qualify for admission.
Contact our admissions counselors to learn more about applying to our ABSN program in California.