There are so many factors, and are different at each school.
Some don't want you to apply until all your pre-req's are done, with good grades. That includes Alegebra and Chemistry if you didn't get good grades in them in HS, no matter how long ago (this was true for 2 schools I applied to. I took them 19 years ago, got a C in both, so they were accepted.)
It also depends on the number of spots in the nursing program, whether you want day or evening classes, or if you are doing a AD or BS degree.
Some require a pre-admission test, like the NLN or ACT or NET. Most also require a private interview. One program I applied to required applicants to go to an information session with 2 of the nursing instructors before you would be granted a personal interview. They wanted to know everyone was clear about what happened, where clinicals are done, and what was required in terms of grades to go to the next class.
I applied to 5 programs this time, not including the LPN program I may apply to also. I organized everything into folders, giving one to each school, and wrote all the dates I did stuff and talked to people on the inside of the folder. I also put all the relevant info for that school in there, along with copies of my NLN, college transcripts, HS transcripts, and copies of my course catalog for courses I've completed (sometimes they want to see this, not just your grade, to see if the credits will transfer). All letters from the school also went into the respective folder.
BTW, even though I had transcripts in each folder, I had to have copies sent to the schools directly, otherwise they are not considered "official". I kept them in each folder so if by chance they misplaced something, we could still go over something until they got another copy. I used my copy of my NLN test scores in almost every interview I went on.
So then when I did an interview, I grabbed a folder and went.
Anyway, I've gotten way off topic here! :chuckle
Don't let being put on a waiting list discourage you from applying elsewhere. The more applications the better, even though it may pinch your pocketbook.
Good luck to you!