The Nursing School Essay: Application Tips for Accelerated Nursing Programs
By Northeastern University Nursing | Published November 5, 2014
In this two part series, Northeastern University brings you application tips for accelerated nursing programs, starting with nursing school essay advice. While not a guaranteed acceptance, following this advice is a great start to a strong application.
Part I: How to Write an Effective Nursing School Essay
When applying for accelerated nursing programs in Boston, some of the best advice for getting into accelerated nursing school we can give you is to know what to expect in the nursing program application processes. Prerequisites, fees and other procedures are included as general admissions requirements, but the application process consists of various components that look beyond academic performance summarized through transcripts and into who the student applying is and why they wish to attend the program. The admissions committee looks through the applicant’s resume, letter of recommendation and personal statement to get a closer look at an applicant. Many boston college accelerated nursing programs require a nursing school essay that the applicant includes about themselves with details like why they would like to be nurse and why they are a good candidate for the nursing program. This allows the school’s admissions committee to get to know you as a potential student and find out what drives you as an individual. It also helps the admissions committee determine whether their nursing school will be a good fit for you as a future nurse and whether you will be a fit for the school.
1. Plan Your Essay
Writing a good nursing school essay is very important to getting your application considered and accepted. To do this effectively, you should spend a good deal of time planning your accelerated nursing school application essay. Highlight the items you want to include in your essay, summarize your personal story and incorporate your qualifications. Start your essay with an attention grabbing first topic statement to start your essay out strong. You want to let the reader get an idea of who you are and what nursing means to you. So plan out what it is you want to include and elaborate from there. Create an outline to work from that includes the below items.
2. Make Yourself Stand Out
Effective nursing school essays express your personality while convincing the reader you are the right candidate for the program. A great way to do this is by sharing a story about yourself or an experience that you had that led you to the decision to apply for nursing school or launched your desire to be a nurse. You want to use your essay as a tool to show why you should go to their school, versus simply stating why you want to go there. Use personal examples to make your essay more candid and attention getting. Share your motivation for wanting to attend that program and what inspires you.
3. Share Your Dreams
Getting into a good accelerated nursing school and earning your degree is essential in making your dreams of becoming a successful nurse come true. Your personal statement should include the long-term goals you have for you career in nursing. If your goal is to help children or if you wish to advance your degree to become a specialty nurse, express this. Admissions committees are interested in hearing what your long-term goals are; goals illustrate that potential students are determined, which can lead to a better performance in school. Be as specific as you can with your goals. Check out our tips on setting education goals for your nursing degree program for some additional help.
4. Show that You Care about People
As a nurse, your job will consist of caring for people around the clock in a positive and friendly way while efficiently taking care of their healthcare needs. It takes a certain type of selfless person to become a nurse, and you want to show you that you are that kind of person. Give examples of times when you went above and beyond to care for a loved one or a stranger. Let the committee know that you are passionate about caring for others. Empathy in nursing is a great quality to have.
5. Explain Your Qualifications
Your academic and work qualifications are recorded for review on your transcripts, test scores and resume. However, those qualifications are only listed and don’t go into detail, which means the admissions committee may not understand what you took out of those experiences. Use the essay as an opportunity to go into more detail about what your education, practice and participation in volunteer opportunities or internships taught you that you can apply to your education at the nursing school. If you are looking for ways to beef up your resume and nursing application with experience, look into these volunteer opportunities in health care in Boston.
6. Tell the Admissions Committee Why You Want to go to Their School
For some applicants, simply getting into a good nursing school is the most important factor. For others, going to a specific nursing school, such as Northeastern University Bouvé College of Health Science, is very important to them. Whatever your reason for applying to that specific nursing school is, you want to include those reasons in your essay. Share stories about your mother who was a graduate of that program or a friend who suggested you go there. They will want to know why you chose them when they are deciding whether to accept you as a student.
By following these nursing school essay application tips for accelerated nursing school on how to write an exceptional nursing essay, you will be getting into the nursing school of your dreams in no time. If you have decided that you want to pursue your degree with one of the Northeastern University accelerated nursing programs, call us today at 1.866.892.3819 or send us your information so we can contact you.
Becoming a nurse may seem difficult and daunting when you have other things on your plate. Between working, having kids and general life events, going back to school seems like yet another obstacle. You won’t commit to anything you’re unsure of, and nursing school looms like an ominous figure in the mist.
And while nursing school is a big commitment, once you’ve learned the details and gathered the facts, it’s a choice that you can feel confident and sure about. You don’t want to waste time, so we’ve helped make it easy for you. Knowing how to become a registered nurse (RN) is the first step of the process. This guide will help you figure out each step you need to take so you can earn your degree faster and begin the RN career you’re seeking.
5 Steps to become a registered nurse
1. Research nursing program options
Before committing to a Nursing school, you will want to think about your nursing goals. Since there are two major paths you can take to become an RN, you will need to decide what the best fit is for your schedule and long-term plans.
For those that would rather zoom through school and get out on the floor quicker, there is the Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) route. You can earn an ADN in as few as 18–24 months at a career-focused college, saving you time and money.*
However, while the short-term route may seem an appealing option, if you are planning on working in a hospital, you may eventually have to go back to school to acquire a BSN as a result of a mandate pushing for 80 percent of hospital nurses to have a BSN by 2020.
While that may seem like a deterrent, some hospitals will help pay for ADN nurses to get their BSNs. In addition, colleges are starting to increase offerings of RN to BSN programs, which are offered online and can be completed in as few as 18–24 months.*
The other option to become a registered nurse is to complete a four-year Bachelor’s degree program. At the end, you will receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). RNs who hold BSNs are qualified for more jobs than nurses with ADNs, including jobs in research, consulting or administrative positions. The trade-off here is the longer time spent in school.
In the end, both of these degrees lead to a career as a registered nurse. Neither is necessarily better or worse than the other. Your decision simply depends on what’s best for you—how much time you want to spend in school and what your career goals are. One thing to keep in mind is nursing is a profession with a plethora of opportunities, so you can always go back to school to advance your career even more.
2. Enroll in nursing school
Once you’ve decided on which degree you’d like, it’s time to find a Nursing school that aligns with your goals and enroll in a Nursing program. We’ve covered how to get into nursing school, but here’s a quick summary: After graduating high school, you’ll need to research programs, find a school, fill out an application, take the TEAS test and prepare for your entrance interview.
Sound like a lot? It is, but when you break each step down, it’s easy to see your path starting to take shape. Each step takes time and effort, but each is equally important to successfully getting into Nursing school.
3. Complete nursing coursework and clinicals
Once you’ve been accepted into Nursing school, your work isn’t over. For the next 18–48 months, you will take Nursing courses in areas such as chemistry, biology, anatomy, nutrition and more.*
You will also have to complete a series of clinicals to help you gain hands-on experience and see what it’s really like being a registered nurse. You will rotate through several areas of nursing, getting hands-on experience and learning essential real-life skills.
Your main goal in school is to focus on your studies. Don’t worry about choosing a specialty until you’ve graduated. School may seem hard—or even impossible—at times, but you are not alone and graduating with a degree in Nursing will be immensely rewarding.
4. Graduate and pass the NCLEX
At this point, you’re almost done on your journey to become a nurse. Things will start looking up as you cross the finish line, degree in hand. The only thing separating you from a rewarding career as a registered nurse is the NCLEX.
The NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) is a required exam for any prospective nurse. With either an ADN or BSN, you would be qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN. All nurses must pass the NCLEX to be a licensed registered nurse.
The NCLEX-RN contains 75–265 questions that test all areas of nursing, though critical thinking and memorization are key. Expect to spend some time preparing and prepping for this exam, as it’s one of the more important tests you’ll take. Don’t panic though—you will learn everything you need to in your degree program.
5. Find a nursing job
With the NCLEX down and a nursing license in hand, you’re ready to find your first job as a registered nurse. You’re in luck too—registered nursing jobs are expected to grow by 15 percent from 2016–2026. As the population ages, more nurses like you will be needed. So now it’s time to make more decisions: What type of nurse do you want to be? Where do you want to work?
If you went the BSN route, you have a range of specialties you can choose from, from critical care nursing to nursing informatics. Nurses who have ADNs can still specialize, but may be more limited to non-hospital jobs. No fear, as registered nurses are needed in almost every healthcare location—outpatient clinics, physician’s offices, day surgery and much more.
Once you decide what type of nurse you’d like to be and find an opening—apply! Let your resume shine and speak for itself. Before you know it, you’ll be out on the floor and working as a registered nurse.
Which path will you choose?
Now that you know how to become a registered nurse, it’s time to decide how you’ll get there. When you want to earn a degree as quickly as possible, you can’t waste time. Having all the facts at hand will help you make the smart decisions that will lead you on the right path, whether that’s obtaining an ADN or a BSN.
You have all the information you need about Nursing degrees. Now it’s time to move on to finding the right college. Gain the insight you need about earning your nursing degree by checking out “10 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Rasmussen College Nursing Program.”
*Completion time depends on the number of transfer credits accepted and courses completed each term.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally April 2015. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2017.