How To Get Into Nursing School

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If you’re curious about how to get into nursing school, you should know that all programs have slightly different requirements. In general, you may gain admittance to an Accelerated BSN program if you have non-nursing college credits, meet the course prerequisites and obtain a Basic Life Support certification.

nurse writing on a clipboard

A nursing career can offer the opportunity to make it your life’s work to help other people in need. If you’re excited to pursue a meaningful career in the healthcare industry, it’s time to think about heading back to school to earn a nursing degree.

When you’re thinking about whether becoming a nurse is the right choice for you, you may have dozens of questions running through your mind. “What are my chances of getting into nursing school?” and “How long will nursing school take?” are a couple of common examples. First, you should know that not all nursing programs are the same.

Some students enroll in a four-year BSN degree program after high school. However, other nursing schools are designed for non-traditional students. For instance, if you previously earned non-nursing college credits, you might not need to enroll in a four-year program. Instead, the ABSN program at CSP Global is designed to build on your previous education, allowing you to graduate with a nursing degree in as few as 16 months.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how to get into nursing school if you have previous non-nursing college credits.

  • Review your college transcripts to ensure you meet the minimum credit requirements.
  • Check whether you already meet the prerequisites.
  • Complete any lingering prerequisites (e.g. microbiology, human anatomy).
  • Complete the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam.
  • Obtain a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Demonstrate English language proficiency if English isn’t your native language.
  • Submit the application along with all required supporting documents.

You can learn more about how to get into nursing school in the tips section below.

Concordia St. Paul ABSN students working in sim lab

Check out this blog for some tips on thriving in nursing school once you’re here.

Why Is It So Hard To Get Into Nursing School?

Nursing schools like CSP Global need to establish certain criteria for admission to ensure that the students who are admitted will be able to keep up with the academic requirements. One reason why it can be difficult to get accepted to nursing school is that nurses are quite literally responsible for their patients’ lives. It’s necessary to establish rigorous requirements because this is in the best interests of the patients.

The good news is that the admissions advisors at CSP Global’s ABSN program are friendly and knowledgeable professionals who are eager to help nursing applicants with career aspirations. Even if you’re not sure whether you can meet the admission requirements right now, you can contact an admissions advisor for help getting started.

woman sitting at desk with laptop

Curious about the admissions process at CSP Global? Get six tips for applying to nursing school at CSP Global.

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting into Nursing School

Are you wondering, “What are my chances of getting into nursing school?” You won’t know for sure until you apply, but there are concrete steps that you can take to increase your chances of getting into nursing school. Consider the following tips.

1. Know Why You Want to Be a Nurse

You know why you want to be a nurse. But can you articulate it? Stories are powerful. Simply being able to explain why you are passionate about becoming a nurse can help increase your chances of getting into nursing school.

When you first speak with an admissions advisor, they are going to ask you why you want to be a nurse. How you answer says a lot about the effort you’ll put in as a nursing student. Not to mention, many nursing schools require applicants to submit an admissions essay or — in the case of the CSP Global ABSN — attend an in-person admissions interview. Putting some thought into your “why” this early in the process will make that essay or interview a little easier when the time comes.

2. Research Options and Choose a Program That Fits Your Needs

Where you choose to earn your nursing degree matters. It almost goes without saying that you need to ensure any nursing program you consider is accredited and has an excellent reputation. You should also take a look at a program’s NCLEX-RN® pass rate.

However, while necessary, quality should not be your only concern. Before you begin your search, a little self-evaluation is in order. For example, some learners prefer the convenience and flexibility of online learning, while others would rather learn via campus-based lectures. (Do note, however, that while nursing coursework may be completed online, nursing school does require an in-person presence for skills labs and clinical rotations.) Knowing your needs and preferences will help you to find the nursing program that is right for you.

Another factor to consider is location. Since you cannot complete the entire ABSN program online, you will need to either choose a program that is already within commuting distance or consider relocating for school. Sometimes, relocating for the purpose of choosing the right nursing school for you is the best option, particularly if the nursing schools near you do not offer ABSN programs or have lengthy waiting lists. Students who plan on attending CSP Global can choose from the ABSN Learning Centers in Oregon or Minnesota.

nursing students on laptop

3. Prepare to Contact the Admissions Office

Another way to impress your admissions advisor is to have your unofficial school transcripts handy (and be familiar with them) the moment you pick up the phone for that initial call. Coming prepared shows you are serious, and it will help speed up the admissions process.

Knowing your cumulative GPA and how many college credits you have completed going into your nursing school search can save you the time of applying to a program for which you aren’t eligible. However, don’t despair if your GPA is just slightly below that required by a school or program. In some cases, simply retaking a course (or fulfilling prerequisite courses — more on that in a bit) may be enough to raise your GPA. When you talk to an admissions advisor, they will help weigh your options and make recommendations on how to improve your chances of getting into nursing school.

4. Talk to an Admissions Advisor

By now, it’s probably quite apparent that talking to a school’s admissions advisor is a must. For many programs, like the ABSN program at CSP Global, it’s the first step in the nursing school admissions process. We’ve already shared how your admissions advisor will work with you to determine whether the program is a good fit, but it’s worth going into more detail.

When you first call CSP Global, you will be assigned a dedicated admissions advisor to guide you through the admissions process. You will be in close contact during this process, so build a good rapport with him or her. We also cannot stress enough the importance of being honest and upfront about any issues of concern. A previous nursing school start, failed classes and legal troubles — while potentially uncomfortable — should be discussed now.

5. Fulfill All ABSN Prerequisites

Accelerated nursing programs allow you to earn your BSN degree quicker by leveraging your past college credits. However, you may still need to take a few prerequisite courses depending on the area of your previous study. Before enrolling in any outstanding prereqs, be sure to talk to an admissions advisor to ensure you are a good fit for the ABSN program. They will also provide you with valuable guidance on how best to meet any additional ABSN requirements so you can start your nursing education sooner.

Speaking of other requirements, while they vary from program to program and state to state, many programs (including CSP Global’s ABSN program) require you to obtain Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. Again, when you talk to an admissions advisor, they will help you come up with a plan for tackling any outstanding requirements.

nurses in sim lab

Additionally, many programs require you to take an admission test. For example, to get in CSP Global’s Accelerated BSN program, applicants who do not have a completed bachelor’s degree must complete the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS).

Talk to an Admissions Counselor for Advice

If you have at least 54 college credits from an institutionally accredited school and meet the additional requirements, you may be able to earn your nursing degree in as few as 16 months with CSP Global’s ABSN program. Call today to find out how you can start your nursing journey sooner.