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New here, looking for application essay help

Hoping2b1 Hoping2b1 (New) New

Hi, I have to finish one more class before I can apply to the nursing program through my university. I must write a 450 word essay on why I want to become a nurse.

I'm having a hard time on what to focus on though. I have the basics jotted down but it feels like I'm repeating myself. I work in a nursing home already so a lot of my desire to be a nurse stems from that. I just feel like it's not enough.

Are there any tips on what to stay away from when writing an essay like this? Like everybody else I want into clinicals sooooo badly so it's very important I prove myself. Tia

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

Along with writing about where your desire to be a nurse comes from, I suggest you also write about what characteristics you possess that you think are what a good nurse should possess. In other words, what about you is going to make you a good nurse?

Thank you, my toddler is also a Type 1 diabetic. I do not know if this would benefit in my essay or if it something to be left out. I know the experience would be helpful I just do not want them not taking my because of his care he needs daily. Any advice?

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

I doubt that your son's condition would be a problem unless you indicated that you were having to constantly lose days of work because of it. Attendance is something most nursing programs consider. I suggest to prospective nursing students that the nursing school application process is not much different than applying for a job. The school is going to be looking for many of the same kinds of attributes in a nursing student as an employer would in a potential employee. Think about it. If someone has a bad attitude, doesn't seem that motivated and has an attendance problem, why would they get chosen for a job or a nursing program? Otherwise, I would think they would see a desire to have a deeper understanding of diabetes a positive aspect. The number of people with diabetes is increasing and there is a specialty within nursing for diabetes educators. You could cite your experiences with nurses in the care of your son as one of your reasons for wanting to be a nurse. Perfectly valid reason.

I've helped a couple of kids with their essays to get into medical school. One error I noticed was an applicant who waxed rhapsodic about how great medicine was and how much she wanted to be a part of this wonderfulness.

THEY (the admissions committee) already know about the profession. They don't need you to tell them about your impression of nurses and nursing.

One of the successful essays on which I consulted, the applicant basically talked about her determination. She related it to the three or four marathons she trained for and ran while in college. She acknowledged that she knew the medical program would be long and hard, but that she thrived on that kind of challenge. I thought one line she wrote was something like... "You can't finish a marathon on the day you buy your running shoes." It made a great opening sentance.

And I believe that hunger and drive and determination is what they want to hear about. There are so many kids wanting to fill that seat in that first class in nursing school. They have a duty to pick the kids who are determined to finish no matter what.

Should you talk about your son who is diabetic? That can be woven into a good essay. (Nurses who had made a difference once when he was admitted, for instance.) One of the kids I assisted had been in a catastrophic accident that radically altered her life. It made a compelling story. But you need to avoid sounding like you're plucking heartstrings.

We are in a huge Sierra storm right now and I'm closing down before a surge kills my computer.


ChristineN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

I just sent in my application and essay for nursing school a week or so ago. For the "why" I started out honestly by saying as a child I had never thought I'd be a nurse like my mother. However, as I got older and one parent became ill, I was able to assist in the care needed, I found that this was something I enjoyed and that led me to consider nursing. Don't know if that was a good tactic to take or not, but at least it shows that I know some of what's entailed in the care of a patient. :)

Tulip or anybody else, would you consider looking at a rough draft of mine? I do not like how it turned out at all but am not sure exactly what part is bothering me. I'm having a few people go over it and trying to make my thoughts clear.


Specializes in Endocrine (Diabetes), Pediatric Psych. Has 1 years experience.

Thank you, my toddler is also a Type 1 diabetic. I do not know if this would benefit in my essay or if it something to be left out. I know the experience would be helpful I just do not want them not taking my because of his care he needs daily. Any advice?

I would DEFINITELY try to put this somewhere in your essay! Maybe a nurse who helped your family out during your son's diagnosis, or maybe mentioning a diabetes educator, if you have one now, that really helped you out. (It's funny you mentioned this, as I'm applying for nursing school myself, and wrote my essay on my pediatric nurse practitioner who helped me out along the way with my diagnosis of...believe it or not, Type 1 diabetes - for me, 15 years out of 20. What a coincidence, huh!)

Since you've only got 450 words, you definitely want to mention somewhere what inspired you to be a nurse, and characteristics that you think would make you a good nurse. Another thing, make sure you check your grammar and spelling - the admissions commitee won't want to read anything that annoys them in the process!

Good luck!!


I agree with the people who said talk about drive and determination. I used those in my essays and have been accpeted into 3 different nursing schools on the first try (have attended all 3 - DH is in the AF and they keep moving us before they are supposed too - grrrr) They really do like to hear that kind of thing. I think they also like to hear about what inspired you..as people said maybe some one who was your child's nurse. You could also mention a bad experience and how you would like to do your part to make sure that would not happen to anyone under your care. Remember, not only good experiences teach us, we also learn what NOT to do from the bad ones.

Critical thinking is also a biggie in nursing. Be careful using that though. If you use it wrong they will probally see through it.

Oh yes and as a previous poster said - careful with the grammer and spelling. PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON SPELLCHECK. I have seen people do that and get very bad marks on papers. Spell check only checks for very basic things. There can still be tons of mistakes.

EX: I want to make sure patients have more than just there basic needs taken care of during there stays in the hospital.

Spellcheck may not catch a mistake in this scentence that could really bug a person reading it. In both cases there should have been their. I have seen friends do that particular one a lot. They knew the difference in the spelling, they just were not being careful enough when writing, and then relied too much on spellcheck! It is best to get one or more people to proofread it, preferably someone you know makes good grades when asked to write a paper!

Good Luck!

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