Volunteering and community service can also be a great place to make connections and impress supervisors who may be able to provide the recommendation letter that sways the admissions committee in your favor. There are many qualified applicants who are not admitted on the first attempt, second attempt, third attempt, and so on. It can be very discouraging, but know that you are not the only one going through the process. You may get lucky and learn more than you expected.
Neatly package and organize your application and make sure it arrives prior to the deadline, preferably quite a bit prior. Check, double check and triple check your application packet to make sure it is complete.
In the coming years, there is expected to be high demand for registered nurses. The real obstacle to increasing the workforce is often at the educational level: having enough classes, enough locations for clinical training and enough nursing instructors.
Meanwhile, nursing programs screen their applicants carefully: Who has what it takes to be successful?
However, ADN programs typically do have admission standards that go beyond those of the school they’re housed in. Expect some prerequisites at either level, but more for BSN programs.
Common prerequisites at the ADN level include anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and developmental psychology; there will likely be some science courses required. ADN programs are more likely to set the minimum somewhere in the 2.0 to 2.75 range.
(A starting place is the site of the Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers.) If you’re still in high school, you can opt for nursing camp – some are absolutely free.
There are also HOSA chapters in high schools and colleges; the organization develops skills and leadership ability in future health practitioners and giving them opportunities to network.
BSN programs are often more academically competitive.
Higher level nursing programs are also more likely to ask for a resume, personal statement, and references.