It’s great to see more people like you interested in nursing. While there are several different paths you can take to join the profession, this blog post focuses on tips for getting into nursing school as a second-degree student. So if you hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you should definitely continue reading.
1. Find an accessible program.
These days the amount of applications nursing schools receive far outweigh the number of seats they have available in their programs. It’s a situation where schools are turning away or waitlisting top candidates because there’s simply no room for them, which is unfortunate given the high demand for nurses in this country.
You can increase your chances of getting into nursing school by applying to an ABSN program that has multiple start dates a year. Here at Xavier, we enroll students for our 16-month ABSN program three times a year.
“For me, this was the program where I could start the fastest and be done the fastest,” said Sarah, ABSN program, class of December 2018. It’s also worth mentioning that Sarah relocated to Cincinnati from Portland to attend our accelerated nursing program.
Furthermore, we accept applications for our ABSN program on a rolling basis, which means we review materials as they come in. So if you turn in your application well ahead of the deadline, your chances of getting into your preferred cohort are much higher.
2. Look at the admission requirements.
Nursing schools with limited capacity tend to give precedence to students with very high GPAs, which creates a highly competitive landscape for even well-qualified students.
Here at Xavier, since our enrollment capacity is higher than most nursing schools, we’re able to look at our applicants holistically and see beyond the numbers. But to be eligible for our ABSN program, you do need to have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7.
Bear in mind that if your undergraduate GPA is below 2.7, we may still consider you for the program if you earned a GPA of 3.3 in your natural science courses.
3. Consider the number of prerequisites.
There are nursing schools out there that require you to complete as many as 15 prerequisite courses before you can apply to their ABSN programs. Here at Xavier, we only have four prerequisites: human anatomy, human physiology, microbiology, and statistics.
This is a big deal for a couple of reasons. First of all, the more prerequisites you have to take, the longer it will be before you can actually start nursing school. Secondly, you could potentially waste a lot of time and money if you complete 15 prerequisites and, for whatever reason, don’t get accepted by the school.
“I chose the Xavier ABSN program for several reasons, with fewer prerequisite requirements being one of them,” said Greg, ABSN program, class of December 2018. “I looked at other ABSN programs in the area, but they required more prerequisites. I could get started quicker at Xavier.”
It also helps that you can complete the four Xavier ABSN prerequisites online through our university. And by doing so, you may qualify for provisional admission into the program. Also be aware that in order for you to be eligible for our ABSN program, you need to earn a “C” or better in each prerequisite course as well as maintain an overall prerequisite GPA of at least 2.7.
4. Gauge the level of admission support.
More times than not, you can tell if a nursing school is overwhelmed by applicants based on the response times of its admission staff. For example, if an admission person doesn’t call you back in a timely manner and/or fails to follow up with you on a regular basis, then it might be best to go with another school.
Here at Xavier, we have a team of admission counselors dedicated to ABSN students. As a potential student, we pair you up with a counselor whose job is to provide you with personalized support every step of the way, ensuring you submit the most competitive application possible. Think of this individual as your secret weapon for getting into nursing school. Someone who goes above the call of duty to champion your future in nursing.
“From my first admissions call, I knew I wanted to go to Xavier,” said Erin, ABSN program, class of May 2018. “My counselor called me often to make sure I was keeping up with the application process. She helped me through it all. It wasn’t intimidating. She made it easy for me.”
Other Helpful Hints
While every nursing school is different, many require you to provide a personal essay and current resume as part of the application process. It’s what you’ll have to do if you decide to apply to the Xavier School of Nursing. So as you sit down to put these materials together, consider the following:
There’s a good chance other applicants will have the same academic qualifications as you. Therefore, you should think of your personal essay as the platform that separates you from the herd. It’s an opportunity for us to get a better sense of who you are as a person and why you’re a good candidate for our program and the nursing profession.
While your transcripts provide insight into your academic qualifications, your resume should reflect other skills and experiences that would position you as a standout nursing student, from carrying out a leadership role to performing community service.
Ready To Get Started?
If you think you have what it takes to accelerate into the nursing profession, contact our admission team to schedule a preliminary interview. And don’t worry, this interview is a casual phone conversation where you and an admission counselor discuss your academic qualifications and future goals. It’s all about making sure we’re a good fit for each other. You can also use it as an opportunity to get more tips for getting into nursing school.