How To Get Into Nursing School, Regardless Of Your GPA
Updated: Nov 19, 2018
Getting into nursing school is a major accomplishment. The lifestyle of a student nurse is busy, hectic, and very stressful. What many nursing students forget with all of the stress is just how lucky they are to be in a program. There are many students who wish to be in a nursing program, but have not been able to because they either don't have a good enough GPA, they didn't pass their HESI of TEAS, or they are not able to physically qualify. (Most nursing schools in America have requirements for your health, such as your eyesight). If you are either nervous about getting into nursing school, or you have tried to get in and haven't yet, here are four ways to help you get into nursing school regardless of your GPA.
#1. Apply to multiple schools.
When it comes to picking out a nursing school, there are always benefits of being "picky" and being at a good school. While you should be picky, and selective of your college that you apply to, don't apply to just one school. Nursing programs have a limited amount of seats available for each class. In order to get into one of these seats you will need to be a good candidate, in the right place at the right time. Sometimes schools change their programs structure, leaving a gap where applications are being admitted or rejected. Some schools, usually universities, have a very large amount of students applying, where the average GPA for admission can be above 3.7.
Regardless of where you are now in college, you will be able to save yourself time if you apply to multiple colleges and get into a program. If you get rejected from the college of your first choice, you might not have time to apply to another college for the upcoming semester, which could potentially put you back an entire year to reapply to another nursing school. So apply to multiple colleges, and ask their admissions counselor what your odds are of getting in, or being on a wait list.
Even if you don't get into the college of your dreams, or the big university that your friends are going to, your years spent as a nurse will be much more than your years spent as a student. Being in a good school is important, but if you don't get into a school at all you will never be able to sit for your NCLEX and you will never be a nurse.
Applying to nursing school seems like it should be a simple process, and in some ways it might be, but there are a lot of other factors that can affect your odds of being admitted. Your GPA will always play a role in your admission packet, but if you can get to meet the people that will be reviewing your information they will have a personal connection to you, and will be able to understand your character before they decide to either enroll you, or shred your application.
Getting to know the people in charge of the nursing program at your school will help, but this might be hard to do for many student's. Nursing directors are busy people, and it is not always possible to get a meeting with them before you send in your application. This doesn't mean, however, that you can't get to know the people that work with them. Doing service, or other work at your school where you will be able to spend time with people that are either in the healthcare programs or not will help you have opportunities to meet these people. Ideas for doing this include being in student government, working as a teachers aide, or signing up for service that the healthcare programs are included in.
Working as a CNA can potentially help you with your networking. You will be able to work directly with other nurses who might have personal connections to the college they graduated from. Having a solid reference like this is vital to having a good application. Remember that it is not just the GPA that the people reviewing your application are looking at. They want to make sure that you will be a quality nurse that represents the college when you graduate. So having references that say you will be a great nursing student will help you get in.
#3. Ace your anatomy and physiology courses.
If you have not done well in your math or literature classes but have aced anatomy and physiology you can prove to your school that you can pass hard classes. Some schools will also have a set of points that your application is based on. Getting an A in your semester one and two anatomy and physiology courses will give you more points than an A in your speech class.
If you study super hard for your anatomy class and take it seriously you will be able to get an A. RnMindset promotes a program for passing anatomy and physiology that is very affordable, and it is something that you will be able to use throughout your entire nursing career. Click on the link below to buy the program. It is a set of DVDs that you will be able to print off the material as much as you want for under $40. This material is really hard to come by for this price, and if it helps you pass one of the hardest classes with an A then of course it is worth it.
#4. Look for wait list schools.
While being accepted into a program that has a wait list can be frustrating. Remember, however, even having to wait sometimes multiple semesters before getting started in your program, if you get your RN, you get your RN! While GPA isn't everything you need to have a solid application, nursing school is very difficult, and nursing programs want to make sure they have students who are capable of passing the hard exams, and eventually the NCLEX. Many community colleges, or technical colleges have nursing programs where you need to have a basic score on HESI or TEAS, and a base letter grade in your classes, such as a C or above, and then you qualify for the wait list.
During your semesters of waiting you can either work, and save up money for college, or you can work on classes that you will need for your BSN, such as chemistry, or statistics. The time that you will need to wait may make you frustrated, but remember that if your goal is to be an RN, there are ways for you to be an RN, even if you can't get into the college that you wanted. The time is going to pass anyway, so start now, and apply to all the colleges you can and become a great nurse!
#1. Apply to multiple colleges.
#3. Ace your anatomy and physiology classes.
#4. Apply to schools with a wait list.