How to Increase Your Chances of Getting into Nursing School

two people shaking hands

Applying to nursing school, while an exciting and worthwhile endeavor, is a big undertaking. The second-degree Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Xavier University aims to provide students a streamlined admissions process — but we understand that you aren’t making this decision lightly.

If you’re wondering what to look for in your nursing education and how to boost your chances of being accepted into a respected program like the 16-month ABSN program at Xavier, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five steps to increase your chances of getting into nursing school:

1. Apply to an Accessible Program

These days, the number of applications nursing schools receive far outweighs the number of seats they have available in their programs. It’s a situation where schools have to turn away or waitlist 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.

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. If you turn in your application well ahead of the deadline, your chances of getting into your preferred cohort are much higher, and you’re less likely to be stuck on a waitlist for an unspecified amount of time.

2. Consider the Number of Prerequisite Courses

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 graduate. “I looked at other ABSN programs in the area, but they required more prerequisites. I could get started quicker at Xavier,” he said.

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 B in Microbiology, B in Anatomy and Physiology I II and C in Statistics with only one repeat of the sciences.

3. Research Different Programs

In addition to researching how many prerequisite courses you’ll need to complete, here are a few key areas you should compare between programs:

  • Admissions requirements: Nursing school admissions requirements can vary on the GPA required, background tests, entrance exams, and number of college credits previously earned.
  • Quality of in-person education: Great nursing programs offer in-person learning through collaborative nursing labs to help you learn and practice nursing skills. Also look for high-quality clinical hours to ensure you get the hands-on experience to be a practice-ready nurse.
  • NCLEX pass rate: A great ABSN program should prepare you to sit for the NCLEX exam confidently. After all, you’ll need to pass to become a registered nurse. Make sure you know the institution’s pass rate and what resources they offer to help you get ready for the big test.
  • Instruction delivery: Depending on your learning preferences, you’ll want to know if coursework is delivered online, in-person, or a mix of the two.
  • Support and guidance: 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.

4. Draft a Personal Essay

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 how you can use your personal essay to increase your likelihood of getting into nursing school.

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.

5. Update Your Resume

You can also use your resume as a place to display unique strengths when applying to nursing school. 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, such as carrying out a leadership role or performing community service.

Ready to Get Started?

If you think you have what it takes to accelerate into the nursing profession, contact Xavier’s 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 goal of becoming a confident nurse.

Xavier ABSN simulation lab

ABSN 101 Guide

Download our ABSN 101 Guide to help you successfully navigate the accelerated path to nursing.