I intend on applying to my school that I would just LOVE to go to... deadline is June 1st. I have all the pre-req's done and the lowest grade that I have is a B. That doesn't necessarily set me above the rest of the applicants. The overall average GPA for students admitted into the program is a 3.42 +/- .13. Right now I am at 3.8 and I hope to get all A's (of course) this semester and next. So... question is: should I go find a volunteer position at the hospital or the nursing home to get that extra edge? I'm sure someone out there will have experience similar to my situation! Please?! I have called the pre-nursing advisor and am waiting to hear back from him. Any opinions welcome!
-I should probably say that of course volunteering will help my application but since I spend majority of my time studying and taking care of my family and my house, will it be so much worth it to take time away from my already busy life?
Feb 10, '11
I can only speak from my experience with schools I applied to, but admission seems to be mainly decided by grades (current pre-req grades and transcripts from prior degrees you completed), a clean background check, interview and your score on whatever entrance exam they give. Unless the pre-nursing advisor tells you that this specific school REALLY wants to see volunteer experience on applications, I take time away from your other obligations for it. Besides, if you started volunteering now it would be glaringly obvious on your application that you suddenly took it on to pad your app, so it might even count AGAINST you. Just focus on getting the best grades you can.
Feb 10, '11
For some reason, it didn't occur to me that it would look silly if I just started volunteering right before I apply. Thanks for the insight. Yes, I will focus on getting A's! Thank you
Feb 10, '11
I can't say for sure, that was just one possibility (that it could look like you want to pad your application). On the other hand, even if it doesn't help it's possible it can't hurt, especially if you'd truly enjoy volunteering long term.
Mar 7, '11
Hi there! This is my first post here but I felt like I needed to post a reply
I think that you should look at the requirements for your school before you decide to volunteer or not. I'll be applying to UW-Seattle and they tell the applicants over and over again how important it is for them to see LOTS of experience. They require 100 hours, but they remind you that many of the people that apply have 1000 hours. They think highly of this because it means you really know what you're getting yourself into.
So, in my case, volunteering/working in health care is not an option, it's just what I need to do.
Mar 8, '11
Quote from anon695
Besides, if you started volunteering now it would be glaringly obvious on your application that you suddenly took it on to pad your app, so it might even count AGAINST you.
This was my thought exactly when I read the OP's post. And this happens a lot. Admissions committes are hip to this too. I started volunteering as an attempt to validate my desire to enter nursing, which in essence was a wise move and I love it. By the time I started applying to nursing school, I had at least 18 months volunteer experience at the hospital (this month makes 2 years I am there, which coincides with the same time I joined allnurses.com). That would clearly not be considered padding, and I believe in my case it was a plus on my applications. If you're going to volunteer, make sure you're doing it for the RIGHT reasons - or else it's just going to be a drag on your time.
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