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How to Get Into Your Top Choice Nursing Program

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The Stats (Grades, Experiences, and Activities) That Got Myself Into My First-Choice Nursing Program

Specializes in ER, NP. Has 7 years experience.

Did you get into your top choice nursing program?

How to Get Into Your Top Choice Nursing Program

Dear Prospective Nursing Students,

I am sure you are dying to ask me this: "What were your stats?". I know that was the first question that popped into my mind when I began to consider nursing. After finding out how small the size of the programs were and how competitive they all seemed to be, I just did not know how well I matched up. To help those of you who are anxious about how competitive you are as an applicant, I invite you to compare yourself to my stats.

I plan to breakdown my statistics into three categories: academic, work experience, and extracurricular. Additionally, to show how diverse program-worthy statistics are, I will compare my achievements with my girlfriend Holly's stats. The statistics below are what admitted us into the University of Miami's Accelerated Nursing Program starting in May 2016, with a class of 70 students.

Academic Profiles:

Me:

Bachelors of Science degree in Health Science with a concentration in Informatics from Stony Brook University. I graduated with a GPA of 3.17 with a D in Calculus, which I later retook the course and got a B-, and a D in Cellular Biology. I was named onto the university's Dean's List only 1 semester and I received a partial athletic scholarship all 4 years.

I fulfilled many of my nursing pre-requsite courses at Stony Brook University and the remaining courses were completed at Delaware Technical Community College, including the reattempt of Chemistry to turn it from a C at Stony Brook University to an A at the community college. I finished with a 4.0 GPA and was named to the university's President's List. My overall nursing pre-requiste GPA is a 3.6.

Holly:

Bachelors of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Stony Brook University. She graduated with a GPA of 3.39 with a D in Physics, which she later retook the course and got a B+. She was named onto the university's Dean's List 6 times and received an academic grant all 4 years, while also receiving a partial athletic scholarship that lasted 2 years.

She completed a majority of her nursing-prerequisite courses at Delaware Technical Community College, finishing with a 4.0 GPA average and named to the university's President's List as well. Her overall nursing pre-requisite GPA is a 3.9.

Work Experience:

Me:

I completed a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) program with a class size of 7 students at Delaware Technical Community College, receiving experience as a student CNA in a long-term care facility if Milford, DE that lasted about 4 months, totaling 75 clinical hours. Additionally, I am certified in BLS/CPR.

Following the program, my attempts to find a CNA position were not in my favor and instead I got hired as a crew member at Dunkin' Donuts and Chipotle, which I both currently work at (Dunkin during the mornings/days and Chipotle during the evenings/nights).

Holly:

She completed the same 4-month CNA program as I did, completing 75 hours of long-term care facility experience as a student. Additionally, she is certified in BLS/CPR.

Following the program, she got hired as a CNA at an assisted living center, which she currently works at.

Extracurricular Profiles:

Me:

During my undergraduate career, I was a member of the NCAA women's Division I soccer team at Stony Brook University for 4 years. I was apart of a mentorship program run by student-athletes for student-athletes for 1 year. I gave back to the Long Island community through annual sports-related events that I attended with my soccer team, including training sessions at an elementary school and a National Women and Girls Sports Day function. Lastly, in my senior year, I presented personal research on Diabetes/Nutrition at the university's Health Science Annual Symposium along with 30 other health science majors.

Holly:

During her undergraduate career, she was a member of the NCAA women's Division I soccer team at Stony Brook University for 2 years. She gave back to the Long Island community through annual sports-related events with the soccer team, as well as with a Sandy Relief club. In her junior and senior years, she devoted her time as a lab assistant to professors within her major of Biomedical Engineering.


Also to consider, we each wrote an essay about our personal, professional, and academic goals, and neither of us had a letter of recommendation completed by our references.

I have no idea how the University of Miami selected the both us, given our diverse profiles in my opinion; however, I hope that what you can take from this information is that grades are absolutely not everything, being involved in virtually anything is beneficial, and hard work is valued much more highly than you think.

All I can say is stay hungry, stay humble, and take advantage of every opportunity you can, in both nursing and non-nursing related activities.

Good luck,

Eliza Mendoza

Eliza Mendoza is a Mexican-American who attended Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York where she received her Bachelors of Science degree in Health Science. Eliza got admitted into the University of Miami’s Accelerated Nursing Program (ABSN) in May 2016 to become a Nurse Practitioner.

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4 Comment(s)

Thank you very much for this article! It helped me to have more clarity on what I need to do, and to know that all hope is not lost since my grades are not that high. I will have to retake some courses though.I am also a Stony Brook student majoring in Health Science woohoo! Congratulations on your acceptance. 😄

NurseEmmy

Has 11 years experience.

Congrats on your acceptance.

For future reference I would leave off all of the identifying information in regards to yourself and your friend. Change your names, names of the schools you went to, etc. There are too many mentally unstable people out there. If the information you listed is true it would be easy to figure out who you both are (or at least her), where you went to school before, and where you will be going soon.

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

Not all ABSN programs take work experience, extra curricular activities, and essay in to account when selecting students. Mine used prior BS GPA, science GPA, and TEAS score. They didn't care about any of the other stuff.