The first and most important step in applying to your chosen college for a nursing program is to ensure that you currently meet or will be able to meet their entrance requirements.
Across colleges and universities, the admission requirements for nursing programs will vary, but in most cases a high school diploma or equivalent will be a prerequisite. Most accredited colleges look at SAT scores along with high school GPA (grade point average). A strong academic showing in science subjects and mathematics is generally preferred by nursing schools. Specific and detailed admissions requirement information will be available by making contact with your chosen college or university or by researching them on the internet.
It is always advised to make contact by telephone wherever possible with your chosen college to speak with an admissions counselor so that you can ask all the questions you may have about the program, the college or the funding and to kick start the enrollment process. They will take you through the application in as much detail as you need and help you to get started.
Accreditation of the nursing program is a very important aspect of the process of choosing a college. Accreditation, or the lack of, could make a major difference in your future career within nursing and you should look at both the accreditation of the university or college and the accreditation of the nursing program itself. Without accreditation by regulatory bodies, your qualification will not stand up to a great deal of academic scrutiny by prospective employers in the future and will in effect hinder your chances of securing employment.
Although gaining accreditation by universities and colleges is a voluntary process, access to federal loans and scholarships is only available for students undertaking an accredited program. In addition, most graduate schools will only accept students who have earned degrees from accredited schools.
Accreditation itself is a kind of quality assurance that ensures that schools meet certain national standards for academic provision.
Admissions counselors take into account a variety of activities, employment, and references, as well as consider your academic achievements, and so it is important not to neglect these when completing application documents or when you are preparing for an interview should it be required.
In order to be able to represent yourself at your best when completing an application, college essay or attending an interview you should consider the following questions of yourself and be prepared to answer them in detail:
At its heart, the nursing profession is all about helping and caring for people, but it covers more than just patients. You will be required to work with family members, people from other branches of the health profession, nurses on your team, doctors and administrators. If you can answer these types of questions in a positive and enthusiastic way on paper and then articulate those feelings during an interview, then you will be able to demonstrate that you have considered your choices carefully and are aware of the potential pitfalls and the benefits of a career in nursing.
Find out more about Nursing at SBBCollege
Further Nursing School reading: