Nursing is one of the most in-demand fields to enter today. Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, private practices, and other medical facilities all need nursing professionals to help them manage patients and provide care and it’s one of the few jobs that one can earn a degree in and go virtually anywhere to find work. Earning a graduate level degree only helps to sure up a nurse’s future. However, because of the numerous rewards offered by this career it is becoming harder than ever to get accepted into a graduate program in nursing. The competition is fierce, and acceptance rates compared to number of applicants reveal the harsh truth.
In order to have the best luck at succeeding in your application to a graduate level nursing program, you need to stand out. This can be tricky, but it’s far from impossible. Keeping a few key tips in mind prior to and during the application process can have a big impact on your ability to stand out from other nursing graduate applicants and get the acceptance letter you’re hoping for. Here are just a few things to keep in mind when you’re serious about your future.
- Start As Early As Possible – If you’re still in high school but already know that your passion for nursing will lead you to a graduate degree, you’re in the best shape to make a difference in your application. Show that you’re eager and serious about the medical field. During high school, make the best grades you can and enroll in as many health and medical oriented programs as your school will allow – and that you can handle. Also try to volunteer at clinics, nursing homes, or hospitals. As soon as you’re old enough to work try to find a job at a medical facility. All of this can go on an application and will really help you stand out.
- Make An Impression – Whether you’re in undergraduate nursing programs or employed at a hospital, making a solid impression on teachers and employers is very important. Graduate program admission requirements usually involve submitting letters of recommendation, and when you’ve made a real impression on your superiors you’ll be able to get much more impressive letters to send with your package.
- Apply Early – One of the easiest ways to stand out from the crowd is to ensure you’re not part of the crowd. The closer the deadline for applications, the more people will be applying. The earlier you send in your application the better the chance that you’ll get more than a quick glance from admission officers. Plus, you’ll display eagerness and initiative that they’ll remember.
- Meet The Board! – Even if you can’t meet the admission board, there’s a lot to be said for paying a visit to the school you’re really hoping to get accepted into and meeting some of the professors and administrators. If you do meet some of the personnel in charge of admissions, you can really make an effort to impress them. Be honest and not pushy, but with a little effort you can really stand out.
- Make your Application Shine – Be sure that you turn in the perfect application, or at least as close to perfect as you can muster. Type it out to avoid handwriting issues, highlight all of your volunteer work and experience, and paint yourself in the best light possible. Don’t soft-sell yourself. This is your one chance to really shine.
These are just a few tips worth remembering when you apply for nursing graduate school. There are plenty of different things that will impact your acceptance or rejection, ranging from your qualifications to pure dumb luck. But keeping these points in mind will certainly help you improve the odds of getting that acceptance level.