how to get into a registered nursing program?

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Good day people ?! Well i just began my prerequisites in a community college. I wanted to know what things should I keep in mind or what things should I do that will help me get into a nursing program. I have volunteered in a local hospital last year for about 4 months. I plan to begging volunteering again next semester and afterward begging taking Cna courses. If all goes well I should be working about a year before I apply for the nursing program. I am currently attending part time in order to focus fully on every class. Is there any tips any of you have for me? Anything that I should add or focus? Any other classes that will help me? Anything will be appreciated!

RunBabyRN

3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Are you thinking of attending school NOW part time, or do you think you can while in the nursing program? Now it's smart, but when you get to the program, you won't have any say over the curriculum or at what pace you can take the classes. You'll want to build your way to full time in your prereqs so that you can learn how to manage your time and handle the courseload.

GPA is VITAL, so your idea of being able to focus on your courses is very smart, particularly when you get to anatomy, physiology, chemistry and microbiology.

Getting your CNA is very smart, and it'll help you to learn some of the basic fundamentals and to get comfortable touching patients, two big humps for many students when they get into a program. Also, some programs (like mine) require a CNA cert in order to attend the program!

The only thing I would suggest taking in addition to your prereqs is Spanish, especially since you're in CA. It would be SO helpful when you get into the hospital, as many of our patients don't speak any English, or it's not their primary language. It's nice when you can understand what they're trying to tell you, as much of the time, they don't know how to explain it in English, even if they do speak some English.

Make sure your English skills are solid as well. You'll be writing a lot of papers in nursing school, and you will be docked for poor grammar and word choices.

Look at more than one program, and make sure you're taking everything required for all of those programs. As you may know, nursing programs, especially in CA, are HIGHLY impacted, so applying to several programs is pretty much the standard these days. Apply anywhere you'd consider attending and go from there.

Good luck!

Damianmyjoy

8 Posts

Thank you so much. Well I already began school I just finished my first semester taking 11 units and I feel it's very possible to take and my lowest grade was a B. However for my prerequisites I feel that B is not acceptable. Therefore I decided to lower the load so I can focus completely on two classes instead of one. I am also planning on getting some tutoring on math. Writing essays comes somewhat natural to me and I enjoy biology so I am actually looking forward to those classes:) AlSo I am Mexican (bilingual) however I am still planning on taking Spanish just to sharpen up my Spanish speaking skills . By the way thank you so much on your input! Is there anything else that you feel helped you?

Damianmyjoy

8 Posts

Sorry I meant *focus on two classes instead of three.

RunBabyRN

3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

If you can, get certified as a medical interpreter. That will help A LOT when you're looking for work. Once you're working as a CNA, I wouldn't spend a ton of time with the volunteering, because you won't get a lot of hands-on patient care experience, but some schools do give you some extra points if you have volunteer experience. Do your homework and see what programs you're considering look at.

Do you have any ideas of which areas of nursing interest you? Getting some experience in those areas can be helpful, and if you have entrance essays (not many schools do this anymore, but some do), it can be helpful to beef up your essay with these experiences.

It sounds like you're on the right track! :)

knnyz

133 Posts

Be extremely meticulous with details to your science prereqs. In most schools, the science requirement is used to weed out those that are fit for the program and those that aren't. Especially anatomy/physiology. Good luck :)

Has 7 years experience.

If your in CA and applying for nursing programs, what's more important besides aiming for a 3.7 science gpa, leadership, volunteer work or learning spanish?

RunBabyRN

3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.
If your in CA and applying for nursing programs, what's more important besides aiming for a 3.7 science gpa, leadership, volunteer work or learning spanish?

Depends on the school. I haven't seen any offer extra points or credit for languages, but it helps when you get into clinicals, and the nurses love you for it, and it helps when you're looking for RN work. Some schools award extra points for volunteering, but not all. Leadership I haven't seen as an app booster with the exception of the opportunity to include it in an essay, which, out of the 10 CSUs to which I applied, only one required.

You'll also want a 3.7+ cumulative GPA, not just in the sciences.

When you start applying for RN jobs, that leadership experience is very good. It will also show when you're in your program, and it can help you stand out when you're in clinicals, and those in the hospital see how you perform. Consider every moment you're in the hospital part of a job interview!

Has 7 years experience.

Thanks for sharing @runbabyrun. I know Mt. Sac college gives a point for foreign language on their point system criteria, but that's the only school know. I will keep all that you said in mind for the future. First, I need to get into a program..lol

So overall, focus on having a solid gpa 3.69+ and great letter of recommendations. Any suggestions on who to ask for a stellar recommendtion? I've heard science teachers, employer, faculty, the nurse you shadowed..

Last but not least, what's the weighted criteria for an award from a science project?

So let's say an applicant applying for nursing school has a 3.69 science gpa and overall, works part time during college, has cna work experience,50 hours shadow and 30 hours community service, plus a science project award ,may help set an applicant apart from the rest?

@runbabyrun

Did you ever talk about your interest in music? I know you and I are songwriters and wanted your feedback.

pmabraham, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 2,559 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Good day, Damianmyjoy

I've found https://allnurses.com/pre-nursing-student/how-get-any-846733.html to be extremely helpful for every single class. Check with your advisor for classes outside of the prerequisites that can be helpful; I also recommend checking with fellow classmates from whom you find out are also going for nursing to see what they recommend. At the college I'm attending, while not required, fellow classmates recommend medical terminology and abnormal psychology.

Thank you.