Advice about becoming a nurse? UIC?


Ok so I am a junior in high school and for years I have dreamed of becoming a nurse. Its the only career I can actually see myself doing and I love to help others and am fascinated with medicine.

My question is, where do I start? All I know for sure is that over the summer after I graduate high school I am going to get my CNA at my community college. I really want to go to University of Illinois - Chicago and would love to get into their nursing school, as it is one of the best in the state. I have the grades and ACT to get into their college but the nursing program depends on college grades so I don't know about that yet. I know it's very competitive but what can I do to get ahead? Will being a CNA boost my chances? I want to go from CNA to BSN, you can do that right? Also, am I supposed to apply to their Liberal Arts college and say I'm a nursing major or do I say pre-nursing? Sorry so many questions, but I am at the point of junior year where we need to come up with our college plans so I want to know the details!

Also could you provide me with some more information about the job? I've read just about every thread on allnurses lol but any more info about nursing school, some stories, and the job in general would be awesome! Thank you so much.


19 Posts

I don't know anything about that university I'm sorry. However, you can always pull up the application for their nursing school to see what they require. For instance some look for volunteering or job experience. You could also email advisors through the university to get information like that. Just look them up in the directory on the website or under future students.

when I was in high school I did shadowing and volunteering at my local hospital to observe what the job would be like and what it entailed. I volunteered in about four or five different areas. Pull up the website to your local hospitals and type in volunteering and you can apply through there!

Its really important to keep up your grades in college and keep in contact with your advisor to make sure you are on the right track. For the universities I applied to, it didn't matter if you had your CNA. That's more looked at if you go the LPN route. Good luck!


105 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

I'm sorry I can't be of help as far as the track to take - I just went to a 4 year college and got my BSN. I didn't have previous experience and was never a CNA. That can definitely help and many people say you should...I just didn't b/c I wanted to focus on school.

As far as the job? You will get varying opinions. It is a stressful job, but I truly feel fortunate that I am a nurse. I love working w/ and helping patients (most of them lol) and you just can't beat the hours. If you get a hospital job, you really can't beat the pay for working 3 days a week. Yes, they are long hours, but it goes by so fast and then you get 4 days off a week.

That being said, just know that there will be good days and bad days. There are times that I go in to work and all of my patients can care for themselves, so I just need to do assessments and give medications... Other days I'm running around from start to finish w/ a patient or two crashing, or some that are bed-ridden. So, some days, I go home and say, "This is a great job!!" and other days I say, "What have I gotten myself into?!?!" lol But it balances out. Yes, you will have both kinds of days. The good days do out-weigh the bad.