The economy has seen record numbers of jobs disappear, but the one field that has seen growth is the nursing field. This has caused many people to consider going into the nursing field. Colleges and Universities are very selective about who they allow enter their doors. The following tips will make you a more desireable nursing school candidate:
1.) If you are in high school you need to take college prep courses in math, reading comprehension, science, and anything that helps you learn critical thinking skills. If this is a second career for you it would be adviseable to test at your local community college to see what skill level you are at in these areas. Tutors or classes are available to get you to the skill level you need to be at.
2.) Many nursing programs operate on a point system. The higher points you earn, the higher your chances are of getting onto their campus. If this is the case for your school of choice, memorize that point system and do whatever it takes to exceed the points, (i.e Lansing Community College gives 5 points to people who have completed a certified nursing assistant program, etc.)
3.) Get a job in a health care facility in another area so that you can make connections with doctors, nurses, and observe what they do. Health care facilities that are the clinical site for your school of choice would be the most desireable. Be helpful to the nursing students as well as their instructors since the goal is to be a nursing student your self one day. You will also learn the culture of health care institutions by doing this. Let your human resource director know that you aspire to be a nurse your self one day. Your facility may offer scholarships, job shadowing, internships, and student loan forgiveness programs if you decide to return to that facility and work as a nurse. I know of two instances where a certified nursing assistant started at a facility and went on to become the administrator of the facility later in their careers.
4.) Many programs require that you write an essay on why you want to become a nurse. If the only reason why you want to become a nurse is because the economy has closed out your present job than be honest and say so in a positive way, (ex: After 15 years of working in management for General Motors, I found myself out of a career due to massive cut-backs in mid-management. My work involved managing groups of people towards positive outcomes of goals, promoting a culture of work place excellence, and helping people achieve their full potential. Nursing seemed a good fit for my experience in management; with the new goal being to promote positive outcomes for patients and their families. Who could turn down a sincere statement? Don’t give in to the temptation of writing what you think they want to hear. Truth be told nursing was not your first pick, so don’t say it was your life long goal to become a nurse.
5.) Look the part. Many schools requires an interview. Dress business-like. Limit make-up, no acrylic nails, cover tatoos, and leave out all piercings. Do not take kids or friends to the interview. Wear hair off your collar and leave your fashion diva at home. The more conservative you appear, the better. Think about interview questions they may ask such as-“Why do you want to become a nurse?’ “Why do you want to attend Everest School of Nursing?” Read about the school and the program. It shows the interviewers that you take admission to their school as a priority. A statement such as, “my on-line research shows that Michigan State University has a higher than average pass rate at the nursing boards”, will show that you are invested in your career as well as their program. Make sure what you say is true.
As a nurse for over 30 years, I can assure you that nursing programs are tough and the decision to enter one should be taken with the up most seriousness. Your life will be that program for the duration of it. I can also assure you that I have had many rewarding moments as a nurse. I never have ever regretted the hard work it took for me to become a nurse. Good luck to you and if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comment section below.