Applying to Nursing School
Identify Schools of Interest
Use the American Association of Colleges of Nursing webpage on accelerated programs to identify possible programs of interest. You may wish to use the following criteria in selecting potential programs.
- Test requirements – Many schools require the GREs, while others may ask for the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS), Health Education Systems Incorporated Admissions Assessment (HESI-A2), or the SATs/ACTS.
- Start dates – Programs vary in start dates, the most common being January, May, and August.
- Duration of the program – Programs range from 12-18 months
- Tuition - Tuition information is provided on each school's individual website.
- GPA – Majority of schools require a minimum GPA of 3.0, though some schools may specify an applicant needs a 3.0 science GPA.
- Location – Consider where you would like to live for the next few years as well as where you may want to practice in the future
- Prerequisite courses – Schools vary considerably in terms of prerequisite courses. Identifying which courses are required by the schools you are interested in can help you reconsider any schools that require extra courses or courses you do not wish to take.
- School Mission – While you are considering what criteria you look for in a school, the school mission statement can give you insight into what qualities they look for in a student. For example, a school strongly rooted in addressing medical needs in rural areas of New York State may be something you are passionate about, or conversely something you have no connection to at all.
- We recommend creating a spreadsheet to track potential schools' prerequisites, test requirements, minimum GPAs, program length, program start date, application deadlines, letters of recommendation, application fees, or other factors that are important to you.”
Prepare to Apply
- Identify reference writers - Identify a list of potential reference writers and confirm their willingness to support your candidacy. Since the number and type of recommendations vary from school to school, check these requirements for each program you are interested in before submitting. For instance, one school may require two letters from professors and one from a supervisor, whereas one school may require one letter from a health professional, one from a supervisor, and one from a professor.
- Begin thinking about your personal statement – what makes you a good candidate for nursing and why you want to enter the field.
Create account at each school of interest
- The majority of accelerated programs do not use a universal application, although many schools will require an applicant to create accounts through individual university portals. Thus, each application must be treated as a separate entity.
- Transcript(s) - Schools vary in terms of how transcripts need to be submitted: some will require official transcripts sent directly from the registrar(s) or some may accept unofficial transcripts during the admissions process. Check each school individually to see what they require, as transcript deadlines are essential to meet.
- Essay - Most schools will require you to write a personal statement expressing your motivation to become a nurse. Essay length varies for each school and there may also be additional questions you need to answer.