How to Strengthen My Application for Nursing School?
Is your goal to get into nursing school?
You already know the basic requirements for admission to the nursing school you want.
You will have to pass one or two semesters of anatomy and physiology with lab, a couple of semesters of general biology with lab, a semester each of microbiology and chemistry, again, with lab, English composition, developmental (also known as life cycle) psychology, an intro course in nutrition, psychology, and statistics.
You know some of the “tricks” of choosing the right cohort for your nursing school class.
Nursing schools that offer several start dates yearly have more last-minute openings for students on the bubble for admission.
You know why you want to get into nursing, and you have practiced what you will say to an admissions officer. You have taken the time to write a stand-out personal essay.
And, of course, you have found opportunities to spend time with patients to validate your desire to be a nurse/
All these things are essential for getting into the nursing school of your choice. But if you don’t pass the exams for nursing school, all your work will come to naught.
At The Adkins Academy, we specialize in preparing you for success with the make-or-break exams that open the door for your nursing career.
To fulfill the prerequisites for almost any nursing program, you don’t just need to complete the right courses. You need to complete them with good grades. A GPA of 2.5 to 2.75 on your general education requirements is good enough to get you into an ADN program.
But to get into a BSN program, you will need a 3.0 or higher. And although the most selective nursing programs look at more than just grades, they will require a GPA of 3.25 to 3.5 and sometimes (but not always) give preference to students with an “A” average.
When you are working on your grades, focus on science courses first.
Nursing schools consider your foundation in biological sciences essential to your future success in nursing school and later in the profession. But academics aren’t enough to show you are headed for success in nursing, particularly if you intend to get into critical care nursing.
What Are Three Important Skills for a Critical Care Nurse?
If your stated intention is to get into critical care nursing, your future nursing school will be looking for three kinds of competencies. No nursing school will expect you to be able to practice nursing before you even get into nursing school! But every nursing school will be looking for three soft skills.
As a critical care nurse, you will have to be able to communicate with doctors. You will have to be able to communicate with other nurses and support staff in allied health professions. You need to be able to communicate with patients. And you will also need to be able to communicate with family members and visitors.
Communication skills are something you develop through practice. You can participate in simulations of patient care at school and online. You can develop your communication skills by asking appropriate questions whenever possible. Expect your communication skills to be objectively graded. You won’t depend on some admissions officer liking what you say.
Compassion, also known as therapeutic engagement
Nurses tend to be compassionate people. You will be expected to demonstrate a caring attitude in every situation. But your nursing school may be looking for indications that you can continue to be compassionate even in the face of burnout on your job.
When it comes to compassion, don’t try to fake it. But learn to take time for yourself that recharges your ability to serve your patients. And study the ways that you can show that you are fully engaged with your patients’ therapeutic outcomes.
The third attribute that nursing schools look for in applicants for admission is attention to detail. The simple fact is attention to detail can make the difference between life and death for patients in critical care. You need to clearly understand words and numbers as they relate to following the plan of care for your patients.
The Three C’s of the ANA Leadership Competency Framework
Another way in which the Adkins Academy can help prepare you for success in nursing school is by drilling the three C’s of the American Nursing Association’s Competency Framework: communication, compliance, and competence activity.
Of course, you have come across these before. Communications in this framework focus on the ability to communicate safety information. You must hone your ability to communicate actionable information to doctors and colleagues at the right time.
You will need to understand compliance with the rules of good order required of all institutions certified by the Joint Commission. (Don’t know what the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation or JCHA is? This would be something you need to look up.) These concerns include patient advocacy, adverse event reporting, and workplace violence prevention.
And you will need to demonstrate that you are on your way to basic competencies. These are things like inserting an IV, reading an ECG, and following a plan of care.
Students Often Ask
Do you fail NCLEX with a 75?
What is a good score on the CCTST?
At the Adkins Academy, we aren’t aiming for barely passing. We are here to help you make the highest scores possible on your nursing exams to get the best possible placement in nursing school and your future profession.
Talk with Dr. Adkins
The Adkins Academy is ready to help you strengthen your application for nursing school whenever you are ready.
Call us at (301) 960-4950 or request more information online.
Dr. Adkins will be happy to speak with you directly about The Adkins Academy Online TEAS VI Test Review Course, HESI A2 Review Course, or the NCLEX Review Course.