BSU, compared to a lot of schools
I've read about here on allnurses, has a really straightforward application process - no entrance exams, no letters of recommendation, no interviews - basically you need a transcript and, going forward, an essay.
One mistake I think a lot of students make is not having the appropriate classes taken in the correct order. On the nursing website, there is a class matrix to follow if one wishes to graduate in 4 years, however, there are very few (I have yet to meet any!) that follow it exactly. The most important thing to pay attention to is what needs to be completed BEFORE the semester you apply and which classes you can take during the semester you apply and plan accordingly.
I can't stress enough the importance of great grades in A&P, math and chem! The other pre-reqs are important but getting an A in nutrition will in no way offset a C in chemistry. Some students mistakenly think that it will make a difference - it won't. The essay is the new application variable that I can't speak to personally but if I had to guess, I would say that the A&P/chem/math GPA is going to continue to carry nearly all of the admissions weight.
Lastly, I'll speak to patho specifically - I just finished it even though I don't start until fall. I know of many people who took it during their first semester in the program and had great success with it but my personal preference was to get it out of the way. It wasn't particularly difficult but it was relatively labor intensive and I figured I am going to be overwhelmed enough with all that goes into nursing school
so clearing my plate as much as possible made sense!