What Do You Need to Apply to Nursing School?

What Do You Need to Apply to Nursing School?

Mar 24, 2015 | 10:00 am

If you’ve decided to become a nurse, the next natural step is to apply to nursing school. This path will look different depending on if you start as a first-time nursing student or if you already hold a non-nursing degree and pursue nursing as a second career . Let’s take a look at what you need to apply to nursing school in both scenarios.

Undergraduate Nursing Student

After earning a high school diploma or GED, you can apply to nursing degree programs such as an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN/ADN), which takes two years to complete or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which takes four.

First, visit the school’s website and find their admissions page. Some sites have printable applications to mail while others have an online admissions process, such as The University of Maryland School of Nursing, which also requests these common requirements for application:

•School-specific application accompanied by application fee
•Academic records and test scores as requested
•Letters of recommendation
•Personal statement or other writing sample
•Resume or summary of life experience
•Application for in-state status classification if applicable

Other types of nursing schools for first-time students include diploma programs at local hospitals or college military programs where you can train for two, three or four years in an ROTC nursing program. Each program’s application requirements may be different, but the above are the most common.

Second Degree Nursing Student

If you earned your degree in a field other than nursing and then decided to change careers, an accelerated nursing program might be your best path to catch up on credits. Accelerated programs—such as BSN and Direct-entry MSN—build upon previous education and experience, offering the quickest route to licensure. So what do you need to apply to nursing programs like these?

While the application is much the same as for undergrads, there are a few exceptions. University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing requests these common application necessities:

•School-specific application
•Personal statement
•Two letters of recommendation
•College transcripts
•Standardized test scores, depending on the program
•Interview if requested

When you apply to nursing school, whether it’s as an undergrad or career changer, admissions experts from Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff’s School of Nursing say that along with a timely application package that has been carefully completed and a personal statement that tells a story of your interest in nursing, the most impressive applications are from those students with “excellent academic backgrounds and consistency with work and volunteer experiences,” adding, “They also have very supportive recommendations.” If you’re preparing to apply to nursing school, the time to start your research is now.