Applying to Nursing School? 4 Steps to Complete Beforehand
If you’re thinking about applying to nursing school, there are a few things you need to know. Nursing is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country. It can offer you great pay, career mobility, personal satisfaction, job security and more. So, we understand why you want to begin a fruitful and rewarding nursing career.
As you take the first steps toward the nursing school application process, knowing where to start can be unclear. The process is strewn with an abundance of information and can be hard to navigate, so you’ll want to find a nursing program that is transparent about the process and committed to your success from the start.
This is where Concordia University–Portland’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program exceeds most. Our dedicated enrollment specialists work one-on-one with students to help them complete each step of the application long before they even interview to apply to the program.
Whether you plan on applying to nursing school in the near future or months from now, here are the steps you must complete before submitting your ABSN application.
Step 1: Confirm Program Eligibility
Applying to nursing school is not something that should be taken lightly. “I would advise students to know exactly what they are getting into,” says Jenny Chodola, Enrollment Specialist for Concordia University’s ABSN program in Portland.
Before applying to the ABSN program, you’ll want to consider your:
- Previous Education: Do you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or 60 college credits?
- Availability: Do you have the availability to dedicate up to 40 hours a week to a blended curriculum consisting of online coursework, hands-on labs, and in-hospital clinical rotations?
- Nursing Career Goals: Do your nursing career goals involve earning a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree?
If you have all of the items listed above, now may be the best time to move forward to step two of Concordia’s ABSN admissions process – connecting with an enrollment specialist.
Step 2: Connect With an Enrollment Specialist
Expect the first phone call with your enrollment specialist to be pretty casual – almost like speaking to a friend. To kick off the conversation, your enrollment specialist will ask you a series of questions all about your goals and interests, including:
- Why do you want to become a nurse?
- What are you looking for in a nursing program?
- How do you learn best?
Your enrollment specialist wants to help you in the best way that he or she can, so it’s crucial that you are truthful when answering their questions. “We want to get to know our students as a person in the same way we want our potential nurses to get to know their patients,” says Jenny. “It really is the personal connection students receive that make them feel part of the Concordia community.”
Some students find this support to be one of a kind and a reason to continue in the process. “I’ve gone through enrollment processes at other schools, and you don’t talk to anybody – you just submit paperwork and wait,” says Vickie Waadevig, a Concordia Accelerated BSN student. “Through this program, you have someone holding your hand through the whole process.”
“With Concordia, there’s no waiting, no secrets, and no surprises. You work consistently with one enrollment specialist for sometimes a year at a time to make sure that you have the best chance possible.” – Jenny Chodola, Concordia ABSN Program Enrollment Specialist
Step 3: Develop an Academic Plan
Once your enrollment specialist confirms that the ABSN program is a good fit for you, they will help ensure you have or are working towards all the requirements to formally interview.
“We don’t want to guide students down the admissions process if this is not a good fit for them in the long run,” says Jenny. “If they are a good fit, we are going to help them every step of the way to give them the best shot they have.”
To give your enrollment specialist a better idea of where you stand in the process, you’ll want to email your academic transcripts to CUPTranscripts@absn.cu-portland.edu or mail them to 9600 SW Barnes Road, Suite 300 Portland, OR 97225.
Before you can formally interview to apply to the program, you will need to:
- Have all general education requirements completed
- Have at least 80% of the math and science pre-requisites completed
- Be registered for any remaining prerequisites
As your academic plan unfolds, your enrollment specialist will do everything in their power to keep you informed and up-to-date on all requirements needed to submit the best application possible.
“The enrollment specialists make you feel really prepared,” says Kevin Writer, a Concordia ABSN student. “They let you know what classes you may be missing before you can apply, what certifications you will need, what immunizations, and other non-class requirements that you will need to have.”
As you work to complete your application, some requirements may be more challenging to achieve than others. For example, before you can enroll in Concordia University’s ABSN program, you will need to have proof of a certified nursing assistant (CNA) course completion. Keep in mind that the license is not required.
According to Jenny, this requirement is the biggest hurdle in the admissions process for most students. “CNA training is not focused on biology or anatomy, it’s focused on learning how to assist a nurse,” says Jenny. “There’s a lot more in-depth, hands-on experience involved in the CNA course completion.”
Not many other programs require this, but with Concordia, it’s that depth of hands-on knowledge that’s needed to help serve the patients you’ll be working with by week five.
“What we’ve heard from students is that it’s the best training they’ve had to prepare themselves for the accelerated program because when they come face-to-face with their patients around week four or five for their clinical training, they know what to do. They see it with a new lens, not just as a CNA, but as the nurse.”
Step 4: Apply to the ABSN Program
Once you’ve satisfied the steps listed above, you’ll be ready to submit your application and formally interview for Concordia’s ABSN program. This interview will be more formal than the one you had earlier in the process with your enrollment specialist. At this stage, qualified applicants will interview with Concordia’s Nursing Faculty. This is one of the final steps before an admission decision is made.
Have Faith in Your Nursing Potential
As you wait to hear back from your enrollment specialist regarding your admission decision it’s best to be patient. Keep yourself busy and try to think positive. Most importantly, have faith in your nursing potential.
Applying to nursing school will certainly challenge you, but if you remain dedicated to following the steps listed above, your nursing future will be within reach.
Contact us today about accelerating into the nursing profession with Concordia University-Portland.