Requirements for Undergraduate and Graduate Nursing Schools Admission

Be prepared to meet the degree and school requirements and you have a better chance of your nursing school application process running smoothly—no hitches. Find out what entrance exams are necessary, required components for an application, and tips for ensuring success.

What You Need to Get Into Undergraduate Nursing School

Undergraduate nursing school requirements are quite similar to any other college requirements:

  • Complete your application and have it submitted by the deadline.
  • Complete your application for federal student aid (FAFSA) by the deadline.
  • If you have an option to visit the campus and participate in an admissions interview, do so. Some nursing schools don’t have the resources to interview every student so when you have the chance you should take it.
  • Any applicable transcripts must be included.
  • Know what exams you must have taken, ie. SAT, Nursing School Entrance Exam, and any others.
  • Apply for any applicable scholarships or grants through the school or other sources
  • You must have a high school diploma or a GED.
  • Meet any GPA requirements.

Nursing School Applications

Applications for nursing school or any type of college degree for that matter demand the utmost attention. Incomplete applications are often not considered, especially for competitive nursing programs.

Tips when completing your application process for nursing school:

  • Attend any nursing workshops, informational sessions, open houses and admissions seminars that become available at the schools in which you’re interested. Besides access to some insider tips and information on the program you might be able to meet admissions officers face-to-face.
  • Write the application deadline on a calendar or date book and don’t miss it! Nursing schools take this date very seriously AND it’s an indication of your motivation and commitment to a degree in the first place. Miss it and you’re done before you even hit the pavement.
  • Some nursing schools only accept students on the basis of their application and academics; which means you don’t have the opportunity to “wow” them in a face-to-face interview. Leave nothing blank on an application, get your head screwed on straight for all essay questions and get it postmarked on time.
  • Most nursing schools prefer students with above average scores in the sciences and math.

Nursing School Entrance Exams

All nursing schools do not require you take a nursing school entrance exam. But should you be required you’ll find an assortment of potentially required tests:

  • PAX-RN, or the Pre-Admission Exam for RN students, developed and delivered through the National League for Nursing (NLN). The exam is broken down into 3 major parts: verbal, science, and math skills.
  • TEAS, Test of Essential Academic Skills, includes 4 major parts: reading, math, English, science.
  • NET, Nurse Entrance Test, tests candidates in 6 areas: reading, math, stress, social interaction, testing abilities, learning skills.
  • Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) exam

Requirements for Applying to Graduate Nursing School

Graduate level nursing has become more popular especially given the rise in distance education. More and more Masters nursing programs are available as online degree programs for working RNs and students located in areas not local to a nursing school.

  • BSN degree from an accredited nursing school, or Bachelors degree in a non-related field
  • RN license
  • Complete application submitted by the deadline
  • Attached transcripts
  • Any required letters of recommendation included
  • Any required exams completed, i.e. GRE
  • Any required application fees included
  • Statement of career goals and/or specialization

Nursing schools don’t really cut you breaks with the application process. The best advice is to read all the requirements of all the schools to which you’re applying and follow them to the letter. Combine a solid application with a good academic record and you have a fighting chance at breaking into a respectable nursing school program.

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