5 Tips for Navigating the Nursing School Process at Concordia University

Before applying to our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, it’s crucial that you know how to navigate the nursing school process, starting with admissions. While there are several key steps you must go through to start the application process for the ABSN program at Concordia University – Portland, the process itself is very straightforward.

The beginning of the nursing school process sets the tone for your entire nursing education. With the right tips and advice, you can begin the process with confidence. Here are five tips our enrollment specialists want you to know about the process.

1. Plot Out Your Nursing School Needs and Wants

Before you begin the admissions process at Concordia University-Portland, you may want to create a personal inventory outlining your wants and needs. This is a great way to see if our ABSN program aligns with your nursing school goals.

For example, if you’re a career changer looking to enter the nursing profession as soon as possible, you may categorize “flexibility and speed” as a need. Through our online nursing coursework, you have the flexibility in terms of when and where you participate in class. Plus, because our curriculum runs on a 16-month time frame, you have the opportunity to earn your BSN degree quicker than most nursing graduates.

If you view nursing from a holistic perspective that embodies caring for a patient’s mind, body, and spirit, you may choose “faith-based education” as a want. Our Lutheran-based education will invite you to be part of something bigger than yourself. Giving you the tools needed to become a sought-after leader, our core values will teach you how to practice with integrity and a strong sense of purpose. You’ll be prepared to use your talents to not only serve a variety of patients, but transform the world of healthcare.

It’s also important to consider your self-discipline. In a traditional on-campus BSN program, classroom times are set, whereas our ABSN program requires you to manage your online class time wisely. You’ll need to stay organized and meet deadlines set forth by your professors.

After establishing your needs and wants, you’ll want to make an appointment with an enrollment specialist to discuss next steps.

2. Get to Know Your Enrollment Specialist

Your enrollment specialist is your most valuable resource during the application process for our ABSN program. Think of them as a strategy consultant, coach, and cheerleader all rolled into one. They will be the first person you speak to about the program, so you will get to know them well.

“I went through the application process, and they were so helpful,” says Stephanie, a student in the Accelerated BSN program. “They called frequently to check up week to week to see if I needed anything.”

Your initial conversation will be a very casual phone call. You may feel as though you are speaking with a friend instead of an enrollment specialist. Right away, your enrollment specialist will ask you a variety of questions about you and your goals, including:

  • What inspired you to become a nurse?
  • What factors attracted you to the ABSN program?
  • How are you planning to manage your time throughout nursing school?

Your answers will help your enrollment specialist get to know you and determine if the ABSN program is right for you. Given all of the variables involved with our ABSN program, this may take a few phone calls.

If it is decided our ABSN program is the right fit for you, your enrollment specialist will then work with you to develop an academic plan.

3.  Be Open and Honest When Applying to Nursing School

When speaking with your enrollment specialist, transparency is key. His or her job is to make sure you turn in the most competitive nursing application possible, so be sure to provide relevant personal information. To get started on the right foot, you can send your academic transcripts to CUPTranscripts@absn.cu-portland.edu.

If parts of your transcripts need more explanation, be specific with your specialist so he or she can see the full picture. For example, if you scored low in math or science, they will need to know this as soon as possible. This information not only helps your enrollment specialist put the transcript discrepancy into proper context, but it helps them determine which prerequisite courses you will need to complete before applying to the program.

Your enrollment specialist may also ask about your family life. Our ABSN program is both rigorous and fast-paced, so your specialist will want to ensure you have a solid support system in place to be successful in the ABSN program. Sharing this information with your enrollment specialist is important so you can make a plan that overcomes personal obstacles.

4. Apply With a Sense of Urgency

Even though our ABSN program has a higher enrollment capacity than most nursing programs in Oregon, it’s still critical to maintain a sense of urgency during the admissions process. Staying motivated and meeting all deadlines will give you leverage over other students applying for the same start date.

During the admissions process, you will work with your enrollment specialist to pinpoint a specific start date. Because our program offers three start dates per year, you can expect to start in either January, May, or August. Your start date will depend on the number of prerequisite courses you have to complete.

5. Be Prepared to Make Sacrifices

In order to be a successful Accelerated BSN student, you must be willing to put certain parts of your life on hold. Keep in mind that this is only temporary – the academic foundation you gain from our program can far outweigh many of your personal sacrifices.

As your nursing education progresses, you will adapt to a routine. While some weeks may be easier than others, there may be weeks where you spend up to 60 hours on your nursing theory coursework. Here are a few ways you can prepare:

  • Make sure your support system is aware of the changes that lie ahead.
  • If you are a parent or caregiver, get everyone as stable and comfortable in their routines as possible before your start date. Tapping into your pre-constructed support system will be key to navigating the ABSN program.
  • Have a back-up for your back-up Don’t let lack of preparation set you up for failure.

Now that you have the proper tips and advice to help you navigate the nursing school process, one question remains – are you ready to get started? With the steadfast support of your enrollment specialist, becoming a student in our Accelerated BSN program is closer than you think.

Contact us today about accelerating into the nursing profession through Concordia University-Portland.

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