When you imagine what you’d wear if you were a superhero, does it include a cape? It shouldn’t, according to Edna Mode, superhero outfit designer to the stars.
As stated by Edna, simpler is better, and nothing is more simple than a pair of comfortable and (possibly patterned) scrubs.
Confused? Don’t be—nurses are superheroes in disguise. Like superheroes, they often save the day, put other people’s needs before their own, and are always there when someone needs them.
It’s a lot easier to become a superhero nurse than you think it is, as long as you use the tips on how to get into nursing school, below.
How to Get Into Nursing School
Even if you didn’t think of yourself as a real-life superhero before, we hope you do now. All that’s between you saving lives and helping people get well is an application process and a few years of school.
That’s not to say those few years are going to be easy – it takes a lot of work to become a nurse. And if you go into any medical clinic anywhere and ask a nurse if all that hard work was worth it, 100% of them will say yes.
Ready to start your journey? Ace your application process by…
1. Get Your Diploma or GED
If you didn’t finish high school, you need to test and receive your GED before applying. If you did finish high school but are worried about your grades, don’t give up just yet.
There are ways around bad grades, like showing a consistent history of nurse-related volunteering work or even taking a few health-related classes at a community college to prove you’re motivated.
Consider your grades and how they play into your timeline before you fill out any applications.
2. Think About What Kind of Nurse You Want to Be
Nurses go into the field to help people, and at the beginning, it’s okay if you don’t know how exactly you want to make a difference.
Some of this will be taken care of through your classes, but it’s not a bad idea to do some pre-research.
Look up what kind of nurses there are, what kind of hours they work (the hours get better the longer you’re a nurse, p.s.), and what the need is in your area.
The need shouldn’t be an issue—there’s a global shortage of nurses, which means your chances of getting a job after graduating are very good.
This step also includes looking at nurse salaries. There are different tiers of nurses, such as nurse-aids, nurses, specialized nurses, and the highest level, nurse practitioners.
As you go up in rank, you also go up in time spent in school and overall costs for education.
That’s a decision you have to make based on your resources and the knowledge that you can always go back to school and specialize at a later date.
3. Find Schools in Your Area
Now that you’ve completed all the steps above, you can finally start the exciting part: looking at the schools you want to apply to.
There are two main ways people become nurses: you can get a two-year degree called an “Associate of Science Degree in Nursing,” or you can get a four-year degree.
The four-year degree is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). It costs more and takes longer to complete, but it increases your likelihood of making a higher salary.
It’s entirely possible to apply to both types of programs, as long as you’re okay with paying more application fees.
4. Jump Through the Hoops
Both two year and four-year nursing schools want to make sure you’re motivated before they admit you to their program. They do this by making their application process thorough, which sometimes feels like they’re making you jump through hoops.
Don’t worry—if you pick the right schools to apply to, you only have to go through this process once for each program and can forget all about it when your acceptance letter comes in.
5. Practice for and Take Your Entrance Exam
Just like many other academic programs, some schools require you to take an entrance exam. There are plenty of resources available to help you prepare online, including this free practice HESI A2 exam.
Taking a practice exam is a good idea even if your school doesn’t require it, as it shows that you’re motivated and are willing to put in the work it takes to achieve your goals.
Plus, a high score will help you stand out among other applicants and who doesn’t want that?
6. Meet With an Admissions Counselor
Most schools have admissions counselors who you can meet with at no cost to talk about how to make your application as strong as possible.
Doing this not only gives you a glimpse into what the school is looking for, but it helps put a face to a name, which can help your chances more than you think.
If at First You Don’t Succeed…
While using the tips on how to get into nursing school above will increase your chances of getting accepted, they’re not foolproof. If you don’t get in it could be for as simple (and non-personal) a reason as you applied too late in the application cycle.
If being a nurse is your dream, don’t give up. You will get in if you keep trying and that waiting period will increase your motivation to help people even more.
We hope this helped and we can’t wait for you to start your career. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to have you as our nurse one day. You never know!