How hard is it to get into nursing school? It’s a question prospective ABSN program applicants ask our admission team all the time. And while it may seem like a simple enough question, it’s tough to answer because it’s all relative. After all, one person’s strength is another person’s weakness. Let these five variables help you come to your own conclusion.
1. Academic History
To be eligible for our 16-month ABSN program, you must have a bachelor’s degree in another field of study, along with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. We build on this previous education so you can make a quick transition into the nursing profession.
As a side note, we factor the ABSN prerequisites into your nursing school GPA. Therefore, if your current GPA is just below 3.0, you could potentially raise your average by doing well in your prerequisite courses, making yourself eligible for the program.
2. Prerequisite Requirements
Even with an existing bachelor’s degree, your ABSN program eligibility also hinges upon meeting our prerequisite requirements. While you can apply to the program with some prerequisites in progress, you must meet the minimum grade requirements for all courses before you can start nursing school.
|Science Prerequisites||Non-Science Prerequisites|
|Organic Chemistry or Chemistry for Health Professionals||Introduction to Psychology|
|Anatomy and Physiology I||Developmental Psychology|
|Anatomy and Physiology II||English (two courses)|
|You must earn a grade of “C” or better in each science course.||You must earn a grade of “C-” or better in each non-science course.|
Your previous field of study pretty much dictates how many of these prerequisites you’ll need to complete before you can begin the ABSN program. For example, if you have a biology degree, there’s a good chance you’ve already satisfied most of the prerequisite requirements, whereas someone from a liberal arts background will have more to complete. Just make sure you speak with an enrollment advisor to see if whatever college credits you have are transferable.
It’s also worth pointing out that if you come from a liberal arts background, you might find the science prerequisites a bit challenging. So if you struggle with the sciences, do yourself a favor by not overloading your schedule with too many of these courses at once. Otherwise, you might have too much on your plate and not be able to meet the minimum grade requirement for these courses.
3. Personal Statement
Once you’ve satisfied all of the admission requirements, you’re ready to start putting your application together, targeting a program start date in January or August. As part of the application process, you’ll need to submit a personal statement, a task many applicants have difficulty with because not everyone likes to boast about themselves.
Keep in mind, however, that while standard application materials tell us about your academic and work experience, a personal statement gives us a better sense of who you are as a person. So don’t be shy about talking yourself up when explaining what makes you an ideal candidate for our ABSN program and the nursing profession.
Consider these points before writing your statement:
- Be memorable by telling us what inspired you to want to become a nurse.
- Be passionate by sharing your dedication toward making a difference in the field.
- Be direct by using clear, strong language that gets to the point.
- Be detailed by closely reviewing every sentence for grammar mistakes.
4. Student Competition
When it comes to ABSN program coursework, you have the option to complete your core classes face to face with faculty at our Maywood Campus or online through our Downers Grove location. Bear in mind that no matter which option you choose, all ABSN students complete hands-on skills labs and in-person clinical rotations.
We can accommodate more students per start at our Downers Grove location because its online learning component expands the bandwidth of our faculty. The student competition is higher for our on-campus ABSN program due to a limited number of spots available in the classroom.
Also, be aware that we review all ABSN program applications upon arrival, rather than waiting for the submission deadline to pass. Therefore, you can expect an admission decision from us within a few weeks. So try to apply for your desired program start date (January or August) as early as possible to help minimize student competition.
5. Background Check
Before you can begin our ABSN program, you’ll need to complete a criminal background check.
Nursing schools, in general, perform background checks on all prospective students to make sure it’s safe for them to work with patients in a clinical setting. It’s also important for schools to know if students have a history of substance abuse because they’ll be around powerful medications during their clinical rotations.
Not to mention, several states require nursing school graduates to undergo background checks before they can sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.
According to a study performed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, nurses with a prior criminal history were almost twice as likely to require future disciplinary action as those without a history of criminal conviction.
Ready or Not?
Because our ABSN students come from diverse academic backgrounds, from biology to psychology, every student has a different perspective on how hard it was for them to get into nursing school. All it takes is one phone call with our admission team to know if the accelerated path to nursing is right for you, from both an academic and commitment standpoint. Schedule an appointment with an ABSN program enrollment advisor today!