Relocating for Nursing School?

Students Pre-Nursing


Hello all,

So, here's my situation. I'm currently finishing my last few prerequisites, and I will be finished at the end of summer term 2014. I started my A&P sequence a term too late to apply to nursing school for fall 2014, which is fine, because I'm going to take this gap year to boost my volunteering and work experience as a CNA. But now, I'm trying to gather all my things to figure out where I will be applying to so that I can hopefully enter a program fall 2015.

I live in Portland, OR, where there is a ton of competition. I have a good GPA (around a 3.7), a small amount of experience as a CNA from about 4 years ago (with more to come once I hopefully find a new job after this term). But I know I'm up against a ton of highly qualified individuals, and that my chances of getting into one of the 7 or 8 local college programs are not that great, simply because of the sheer amount of competition. Add to that my desire to travel... And I'm definitely considering moving to attend a program somewhere else. Nowhere is off-limits to me!

So, what I'm really asking is some insider information. I know tons of people who have applied to my local programs, so I know the nuances of how they work and what kind of students they are looking for, but I know nothing about any other states...

What kind of places have you considered?

Are there tons of applicants, or is the competition less stiff?

Are there cities (or states) that I should absolutely avoid (and why)?

Or anything else you would like to share!

I've seriously made a list of all of the state-approved nursing programs for each state, and I'll definitely be going through them as I have time. But I would appreciate some input as to where to start looking! :)



3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology.

Be aware that many programs are not accepting out-of-state applicants. Most programs around the country are impacted. I would say to apply to as many programs as possible. Narrow your search your own way. Look at the kinds of areas, eliminate places you don't want to live, etc. More specific questions can leaf to more specific answers.


8 Posts

For sure! We (my partner and I) are slowly narrowing down the places that we would want to go and then I will be figuring out schools from there. But it's just difficult since I am willing to go anywhere, which leaves me with practically 50 states worth of nursing schools to sort through! Eeek!


173 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Rural, OB.

Look into colleges that are in less populated areas but have larger class sizes. I had the same problem as you only I was from the Seattle area. Many people applying, not enough spots in the many colleges around Puget Sound so I branched out and applied to many of the schools in Eastern Washington as well. I was accepted to two schools in Eastern Wa. Once I started I realized that many of my classmates had only applied to that school. The competition is not as great as it is in the big city. On top of that it is one of the best ADN programs in the state.

Apply to the University of the Virgin Islands! It is an accredited, U.S. Institution. The next class does not start until next January. There is no wait, and not too much competition. However, island life gets to people. So if you are not the ''hardy" type, you might not last. You will probably have to either live on campus or share an apartment with someone. Were 50 miles away(by air) from Puerto Rico (for decent shopping). The culture down here is very different from the states.


8 Posts

Oops! I commented on the wrong post and can't delete this... Ha.


8 Posts

I never would have thought about the Virgin Islands! It sounds like an adventure for sure! How would you describe the cultural differences from mainland USA? If you don't mind me asking. :)


8 Posts

For sure! We lived in Seattle for a year. I love it, but there was no way I was going to make it in nursing school there. So we moved back to Portland for schooling and family reasons. I'm not completely hopeless about getting into any of the Portland schools, but I know it's stiff competition. I get nervous. Ha!

Eastern WA is something I didn't even think of, silly as it is! My cousin was accepted to Gonzaga first try, and I think that was the only place she sent an application, so it definitely should have been more on my mind. Thanks for the reminder!

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