– Is Nursing School Hard? –
Is it hard to become a nurse? Nursing school is notoriously difficult and it’s not for everyone. So, read on for a list of things you should know about this degree.
It’s natural to be nervous about going to school if you’re thinking about getting an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, or if you’re a working registered nurse thinking about getting your graduate degree.
Nursing demands more dedication than many other professions. However, it is one of the most rewarding jobs available.
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How Hard is it to Get into Nursing School?
There is no simple answer to this question.
Every nursing program has different admissions requirements, and your particular situation and background may make you more attractive to some schools than others.
The good news is that there are several levels of nursing and hundreds of nursing schools and graduate nursing programs across the country, so if you don’t get accepted by one, try researching others.
Ultimately, your ability to get into nursing school or grad school will come down to these factors:
Even though the demand for nurses is high, the competition for seats in nursing programs is even more intense.
In 2018, over 75,000 qualified applicants were turned away from undergraduate and graduate nursing programs due to a lack of faculty and classroom space.
Given this competition, the more prerequisites you have finished before applying to school, the better chance you have of getting accepted.
Research early on which prerequisites you need so you can get ahead of the game.
Any experience you have in the health care field will help your application.
If you don’t have clinical experience yet, consider volunteering at a clinic or hospital.
How Hard is Nursing School?
Nursing school should be hard. Good programs take a rigorous, immersive approach to preparing you for patient care.
There are pressing deadlines to meet, lab skills to master, and challenging exams to take.
You may have moments of feeling exhausted, burned out, or defeated. You must be smart with the way you manage your time.
If you are thinking of going to grad school to earn your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), expect to put in the work.
Graduate coursework can be very challenging because you are learning more advanced material.
However, the level of difficulty will depend on the school and how well your prior education and work experience have prepared you.
It also depends on the BSN program’s flexibility. Some programs have self-paced options that allow you to accelerate your time to degree completion by proving your competency in areas of knowledge.
Or, you may be able to take a lighter course load to more comfortably balance your work and life responsibilities.
How to Increase your Chances of Getting Accepted into Nursing School
Alongside having a high GPA and completing prerequisite courses, there are a few other steps you can take in order to boost your chances of being enrolled in nursing school.
Obtain Relevant Certifications
Depending on the school, having some relevant certifications may be mandatory or at least highly recommended.
For instance, obtaining a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification or a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification shows commitment to learning and a genuine interest in helping others.
It will also make you more competitive among other candidates.
Volunteering, especially in a healthcare setting, not only looks good on the application form, but it’s also a great opportunity for you to gain some experience and take a glimpse at the nursing profession.
It’s not unusual for hospitals to have open volunteer opportunities, so, with a little bit of research, you can find a volunteering gig in lots of medical settings, from working in the ER department to assisting with childcare.
Volunteering shows commitment, and it proves to schools that your interest in nursing is a thought-through plan, a passion which you nurtured and in which you’ve invested time and energy.
There is no specific requirement for the amount of time you should volunteer, but generally, anywhere from one hundred hours to multiple hundreds will give you an edge over other applicants.
Become a CNA
Becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant not only looks good on a resume, but it also serves as a great entry point into the nursing field.
This certificate program typically takes a few months to complete, but it provides valuable insight into the life and responsibilities of a nurse.
Working alongside Registered Nurses and other healthcare professionals as a Certified Nurse Assistant is a great way to get you excited about a career in nursing.
As a result, if you decide to pursue a degree program, such as an ADN or BSN, it will be because you have demonstrated the necessary experience in the field.
You’ll have a much better chance of getting in as a result of this.
Another advantage is that your experience as a CNA can count as transferable credit for further education (depending on the school).
Conclusion and Call-to-Action
Everyone’s journey through nursing school is unique: some find it easier, while others find it excruciatingly difficult.
It is not for the faint of heart, but if you are passionate and driven, you will not only survive, but thrive in nursing school.
Nursing school is designed to prepare you to be the best nurse you can be. Is it difficult? Without a doubt, how difficult is it? That is ultimately up to you.
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