Waiting lists are the simple result of supply versus demand. All nursing programs
are limited in the amount of students they can handle by such things as instructors, clinical space and so forth. When the amount of applicants (those that have met all pre-nursing requirements), exceeds supply of spots available for each incoming class, there will be a waiting list. It was that way in the 1980's and is more so today.
There are also less nursing programs than ten or even twenty years ago, thus you have more students trying to gain entry into fewer programs. Remember it was just ten or fifteen years ago nursing programs were shutting down due to lack of applicants. Programs cannot be ramped up or created just like that, nor can existing schools
always simply increase space.
As for testing, make your mind up to and prepare for it. Most all programs require some sort of pre-nursing exam such as the NLN, and or SAT scores. As another poster stated, such exams weed out those not likely to make it though a nursing program, thus not waste theirs or the school's time and money. Bottom line for all nursing programs is their board passing rate. While there may be exceptions, and one hates to use the phrase, but "garbage in, garbage out", comes to mind. If one struggles through a nursing program, one is likely (at least statistically) to struggle through and or fail the boards. While one could make an excellent nurse, that is neither here nor there if you cannot pass the NCLEX.
The nursing profession has moved from a merely practical one to nurses that not only required to critical thinking skills, but are capable of independent function as well.
Finally there is the fact that the United States educational system is not what it once was. Not all high school graduates arrive at colleges and universities prepared to cope with course material. The areas many are lacking in, math,science, English (reading, comprehension, communication) are the main points of deficiency, and they just happen to be the skills required by today's RN.
Nursing math at best requires nothing more than 8th or 9th grade math (algebra), however that is not to say it is easy. If one cannot understand what is being asked of one in a word problem (which is what med/dose calc mainly is), how to set up and perform said problem, also how to check for correctness, then it is of no use. Many nursing students are tripped up by the math class and never make it past their first semester in a program. Harsh? Maybe, but I certainly wouldn't want any nurse who took several attempts to master dosage calculations administering to me and mine anything stronger than an aspirin.
Rather than seeking an easy program to enter, why not look at it from the other side. Consider being admitted and graduating from a challenging nursing program a source of pride. It means you probably are well on your way to becoming an excellent nurse.