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Three Steps for Increasing Your Entry into Nursing School

Taking TEAS testTo increase your chances of getting accepted into the competitive field of nursing, it’s imperative that you understand today’s admission requirements. Like anything you plan to invest your time and money in, being prepared is of the utmost importance. With this in mind, consider the following steps as you pursue entry into nursing school.

Taking the Pulse: Entry into Nursing School

In 2017, nursing schools rejected nearly double the average number of qualified candidates they turn away, affecting over 56,000 undergrad applicants. These numbers aren’t designed to scare you – they’re here to paint a clear picture of the acceptance landscape.

This increase in rejections is driven by lack of resources. There are nursing faculty shortages in many parts of the country and schools also face limited clinical sites willing to accept students for clinical placements. Cost containment in healthcare is one variable that influences this limitation.  Nursing schools have been inundated with applicants, making it difficult to keep up with growing application. As such, it’s critical that you make thoughtful choices as you pursue your education in nursing.

Where to Start

1.   Selecting a Program

Something that makes nursing unique are the many education paths that can lead to a career in this field. With this in mind, be sure to assess which education satisfies your needs. For instance, are you considering launching your career as a registered nurse through an Associate Degree Program, or do you plan to dive into a Bachelor’s of Nursing? While associate degrees are good launching points, they’re often complemented by a bachelor’s or master’s degree that allows for advanced career placement in the field of nursing.

Fact: If you’re considering the latter, some accelerated associate programs can be successfully completed in as little as two years.

Regardless of the path you choose, be sure to select a nursing program accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Also make sure the state’s Board of Nursing approves the program. 

2. Understand Entrance Requirements

When it comes to accepting nursing school candidates, most institutions require a few standard criteria. This usually includes the following: high school diploma/GED, an application, minimum-required scores (or higher) on the school’s standardized testing, college transcripts, and a minimum-required score (or higher) on the ATI TEAS Exam, this exam tests academic performance in Science, Math, Reading and Language Skills.

3. Find the Right Match

If you don’t fulfill all of the criteria, don’t sweat it – chances are, you can still become a nurse. There are flexible entry solutions available for non-traditional students. For instance, some schools like Northwestern College, grant “conditional entrance” into their nursing programs.

This means that students can enroll in the nursing program and begin taking their general education credits. To stay enrolled, students must maintain the minimum-required letter grade (or higher) for at least two quarters of pre-nursing coursework. And then, only after securing the required ATI TEAS score, will students be officially admitted into nursing school.

Learn More

There are no guarantees of getting accepted into a nursing program, but these steps may better position you among other qualified candidates. With the United States requiring an estimated one million more trained nurses by 2022, this is your chance to enter one of the fastest growing fields in healthcare.

To learn more about Northwestern College’s nursing program, complete the form on this page.