I am currently researching 2nd degree ABSN programs around the country. However, I have not been able to find too much information about what exactly helps in the applications for people who have little to no direct exposure to healthcare in their current careers but are interested in going back to school for their BSNs. All I know is that the programs are competitive.
A little background on myself and what I hope to talk up to the admissions committees:
I graduated with a B.S. in May 2012. I majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology while in the Honors Program and completed a senior research thesis before graduating. I graduated cum laude with a 3.7 GPA. I was fairly active with student research and presentations. I was involved in my sorority, Psychology Club, Psi Chi and was an APA Student Affiliate. I have done quite a bit of volunteer work throughout college up until the present, but mostly in mental health rather than healthcare. I have also worked quite steadily since college up until now (usually 2 jobs at a time) and have experience in customer service and administrative services in professional settings.
At the moment, I am working part-time as a Research Assistant with Vanderbilt University, as well as full-time as an assistant in the Personal Trust group at a major bank.
Originally, I had planned to continue on with my education in hopes of eventually receving a doctorate in psychology, but in the past year and a half, I have decided that I would actually like to pursue nursing because I am more interested in a more holistic view of patient care rather than just the mental and/or academic focus that would have come with pursuing graduate studies in psychology.
Now that I have come to this decision, I still need to complete a few pre-requisites in science before applying to the nursing programs that interest me. I also plan to start volunteering at a hospital until I apply to programs. Other than about 64 hours of volunteering in a hospital when I was in high school, I have not really had any direct experience in a health care setting.
Obviously, more is better in terms of healthcare experience when applying, but I haven't really found any information on the backgrounds of people who are accepted into 2nd degree accelerated programs in terms of their previous careers and experiences.
Any advice on increasing my chances, or even personal experiences/backgrounds of those who got in to programs would help shed some light for me during this process. I'm really wondering how competitive I am at the moment, and what areas I really need to work on. Also, I noticed that hardly any of the programs I have looked at require standardized test scores. Does that sound right?
Sep 20, '13
The ABSN schools look at your college performance and grades they don't need the standardized testing you already took. I am curious why did you choose nursing?
Sep 20, '13
I am interested in nursing because I think it is a challenging, but rewarding field. I had wanted to pursue psychology at first because I genuinely like counseling and helping people, and I am good at crisis management. I find myself more drawn to nursing rather than graduate school in psychology at this point because I feel as though I would enjoy working in a healthcare setting rather than just doing research for the rest of my life. Ultimately, I think a background in healthcare along with my mental health knowledge/experiences would allow me a more fulfilling career in terms of direct patient care in multiple aspects rather than addressing only mental health issues.
Sep 21, '13
I'm in a similar situation. I would say to volunteer in your intended field (peds, gerontology, etc) and when you write your essays really show that you understand the scope and practice of a nurse and understand fully the career that you are entering. Show passion in your interests and volunteering. They know that you do not have a background in healthcare, so don't worry about not having a ton of hours. Just really research nursing and have a plan for your future (BSN, MSN, DNP, etc)
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