How come its so hard getting into USA nursing school vs Canadian ones!

  1. Hey,

    Im from Ontario Canada and im not sure about the other provinces, but all we needed from high school was a pretty good grade average (usually 75 or above) to get into nursing school.

    Here they look only at your grade 12 marks when applying to university. They dont require you to take any special tests, exams and they dont look at any EC's you may have really. For example when i applied to nursing school in toronto, I just clicked on a box on an online form called OUAC saying my school's name and then my guidance councellor sent my grade 12 transcripts in. No interviews, forms to fill out, etc

    I dont understand why its so much harder to get into USA nursing schools...from what i hear its insane! All these interviews, admission tests, etc . I had a friend that got into a CC with a 65 % avg in grade 12 for a 4 year BSCN program. I dont get the huge difference between the two countries since Canadian Nurses are highly regarded around the world. I know of course that there are many more ppl applying to USA nursing schools obviously because of the difference in population but it just seems crazy hard! to acutally get in. Congrats for all the individuals who worked so hard to get in - it must have been great to hear that you were accepted since its so competitive!

    Any thoughts?
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Much has to do with the number of applicants that are applying. Ontario actually requires the BSN for entry as an RN. In the US, you can still go to a two year college and then work as an RN with that two year degree, that is one reason of the higher number of students that want to go to school for nursing in the US.

    Some programs have quota systems, some have lotteries, and some go strictly on grades. Each is free to set up their own standards for admission as well as policy.
  4. by   Multicollinearity
    So true. I've been offered admission to a Canadian university's BScN program. I have a real Sophie's choice moment here. Go to Canada (I'm a US citizen with Canadian relatives) and take out private loans, or stay in the US and take my chances here. I'm applying to two BSN programs in the US here at home. One accepts 1/6 students and the other 1/5.

    I'm thinking that it's a simple supply v. demand answer why the Canadian schools aren't as impacted. Nurses make more in the US, so more applicants.
  5. by   GardenDove
    Is this a new thing, to have difficulty getting into nursing school? I don't remember that being a problem back in the early 90's when I applied. I went to nursing school at College of the Desert in Palm Desert CA, which is a community college ADN program. I also took my pre-reqs through that college. Yes, I had straight 'A's in all my pre-req courses, but I don't remember anyone else having trouble either.
  6. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from GardenDove
    Is this a new thing, to have difficulty getting into nursing school? I don't remember that being a problem back in the early 90's when I applied. I went to nursing school at College of the Desert in Palm Desert CA, which is a community college ADN program. I also took my pre-reqs through that college. Yes, I had straight 'A's in all my pre-req courses, but I don't remember anyone else having trouble either.

    OMG!!! The community college in my county is up to a three-year waitlist. It takes 1-1.5 years to do your prereqs, then you apply, then you wait 3 years to start the program. I hear it's like this at many if not most community colleges in the US. There are pockets...certain schools in certain areas that aren't impacted, but those are the exception and not the rule.

    I wish I had the link to a USA Today article talking about how over 150,000 qualified students who applied to nursing programs in the US were declined due to lack of faculty and too many applicants.
  7. by   GardenDove
    I started nrsg school in 1991. I don't remember anyone having difficulty getting in. Maybe it was just the school I went to. I took 1 1/2 years for my pre-reqs. I don't remember the details, I saw a counselor ahead of time, to see what I needed to do to get in. There was no break from finishing pre-reqs and entering the program
  8. by   AggieQT
    Lets just say its a lot different now than back in the early 90s. In my part of the country you can kiss your chances at being a nurse goodbye if you have less than a 3.5 gpa. There are 4 BSN programs and at least 10 ADN programs within 2 hours of me and all only take in about 1/5 of the application pool, if that. Most programs have enough 4.0 GPA applicants to choose from that if you don't have at least a 3.8 GPA then you get an auto- "Thank you, but sorry" letter in the mail. There are just so many people wanting to become a nurse and not enough room in schools with the student teacher ratios that are in place.
  9. by   CanadaProud
    This is an interesting discussion.. I was wondering it myself. Two years ago I was in a program that was taking me no where (I was really unhappy with it), so I applied for a BScN program in Ontario. Within 2-3 months I was accepted into the two programs I had applied for.
    So my question is, if Canada doesn't really have waiting list why aren't more Americans coming to our schools? Is it that they don't believe in the programs, or don't want to leave home? I have noticed that there are at least 1-2 American students in my classes.. so that is why I was curious.
    I couldn't imagine waiting years to get into nursing.. boggles the mind.

    Take Care
  10. by   rach_nc_03
    Quote from CanadaProud
    This is an interesting discussion.. I was wondering it myself. Two years ago I was in a program that was taking me no where (I was really unhappy with it), so I applied for a BScN program in Ontario. Within 2-3 months I was accepted into the two programs I had applied for.
    So my question is, if Canada doesn't really have waiting list why aren't more Americans coming to our schools? Is it that they don't believe in the programs, or don't want to leave home? I have noticed that there are at least 1-2 American students in my classes.. so that is why I was curious.
    I couldn't imagine waiting years to get into nursing.. boggles the mind.

    Take Care
    Good question. Is the process for qualifying for a student visa to go to school in Canada any different from the process for getting a visa for going to school in the states?

    My own experience was much like the others here who graduated in the last 5-10 years. I had a choice between:

    1. accelerated BSN program with 3-year mandatory hospital commitment; tuition paid up-front (upwards of $20K). I understand they later changed the tuition policy, but if I had $20K in my pocket, I'd be using it to pay my living expenses while in school!
    2. normal BSN program at a handful of local universities- all had extensive waitlists (1-2 years), and none would accept any of my gen ed courses from 15 years ago. Would've taken me almost 4 years to finish, to the tune of $9k.
    3. CC programs that had a variety of admissions processes (waitlists, lottery, testing, GPA requirements). I chose a school over 1 hour away because it was the only one that admitted based on testing and GPA alone. I had a 4.0 in my pre-reqs and a perfect score on my admission test (wasn't the NET, but one of the other ones). Closer schools had 2+ years waiting lists. My school accepted 16 out of 350+ applicants. I know of no one in my program who came in with an entrance test score below 85%, and a GPA of at least 3.75. Oh, and the state paid for my tuition because I'd been laid off from the tech sector; they would pay for any degree or cert. program no more than 2 years long, if you took a job in the state in a high-demand field (like nursing, obviously.)
  11. by   ExCorporateRN
    My university received over 1000 applications for 76 spots. So everyone in my class had a 4.0 in the pre-req's to get in.

    There is a huge shortage of instructors. Plus, a large number of applicants.
  12. by   blueyesue
    At my 2 year school, anytime in the year you can fill out the application form, take an accuplacer test, get your CNA or show that you had your CNA anytime since 1990, send in your high school transcripts or GED, and then you're on the waiting list. While on the waiting list you take your pre-reqs if you want. (Otherwise they are built into the program) The waiting list is a 3 years. When I signed up on my 33 birthday they said I would start classes in 2010. However I have already moved up to 2009. I will be finished with my pre-reqs and electives fall of 2008. (Just in case I move up another year)
    Last edit by blueyesue on Dec 14, '06 : Reason: Grammar
  13. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from CanadaProud
    So my question is, if Canada doesn't really have waiting list why aren't more Americans coming to our schools? Is it that they don't believe in the programs, or don't want to leave home? I have noticed that there are at least 1-2 American students in my classes.. so that is why I was curious.
    I couldn't imagine waiting years to get into nursing.. boggles the mind.

    Take Care
    It's the cost. I'd would LOVE to attend a Canadian program. Especially since I think about moving to Canada permanently someday. I'd love to be there. International students don't have access to the same financial aid as Canadian citizens (as it should be). I could actually swing the tuition. It's the cost of actually living that is the problem. I'm too old to go live in a dorm LOL.
  14. by   jjjoy
    Wouldn't this be a fun idea? Canada could start recruiting Americans to enter their nursing schools (making special exceptions or whatever so it's more competitive in terms of affordability, etc) while the US continues to recruit trained Canadians to work in the States...

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