Quote from abe82
I am currently considering going into the nursing field. I would like to enter one of the accelerated BSN programs. I am about to graduate with a biochemistry degree but a not so hot GPA. If I was to get volunteer hours, EMT or CNA certification would nursing schools take this into consideration during the application process? Any advice on the application process would be helpful! Thanks!
My opinion. For a BSN program, they want to see:
1) Medical experience of any kind -- EMT, CNA, paramedic, CMA, OR tech, etc...
2) Good recommendations from people within the nursing field, preferably BSNs/MSNs. Make sure at least one letter is from a nurse. The other letters should be from professors or a boss, if you did research while in school.
3) An essay that shows maturity & a well thought out reason why you want to be a nurse & how you feel you would contribute to the profession. Don't just say "it's my calling" without giving good reasons why you believe so. Also, make the essay seem logical & professional. You want to show them that you can write papers for research, and that you know how to think & communicate. Another good thing to do is to flip through some nursing books at Barnes & Noble, and choose some of the nursing terminology to use in your essay -- show that you know what this field is all about. For example, how does is the nursing process similar to the scientific method (something in which you are already well-versed)? How does your background in biochem work as an asset for you (ex. it would be especially beneficial if you plan to do nursing research)? But since nursing is both an "art & a science", make sure you include ideas about compassion/caring, ethics, confidentiality, whatever... Also, describe exactly what you plan to do with your nursing degree (show that you have a vision). Don't be too idealistic -- balance lofty goals with a clear understanding of the realities of nursing.
4) If not a great previous GPA, then pull out your strengths in terms of the classes in which you excelled. Did you perform well for the nursing prereq's? Also, did you work full or part-time while in school? Did you have significant personal issues (ex.marriage, death, baby)? Emphasize what you are capable of, your new-found maturity & focus, and how you plan to exceed in nursing school (ex. not working).