How to get into nursing school a complete guide 2024

Starting a nursing career can be challenging and fulfilling, whether you’ve recently graduated from high school or are considering a career change. Getting into nursing school requires careful planning and dedication. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the essential steps to help you enter nursing school smoothly, kickstarting your journey to becoming a registered nurse (RN) or even a nurse practitioner (NP). Let’s explore this journey together and set you on the path to success in the world of nursing!

What Are The Most Common Nursing Degrees?

As a profession, nursing offers a diverse array of educational pathways tailored to suit various career aspirations and academic backgrounds. A comprehensive understanding of the most common nursing degrees is crucial in making well-informed decisions regarding your educational journey.

A. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN):

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) stands out as one of the most highly sought-after degrees in the nursing field.

This program provides a robust and comprehensive education in nursing, preparing students for a wide range of roles within the healthcare sector.

BSN programs often emphasize critical thinking, leadership skills, and a broader understanding of healthcare systems.

B. Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN):

An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is an entry-level option for those looking to embark on a career in nursing.

This program focuses on developing core nursing skills and is a foundational step for individuals aspiring to pursue higher degrees, such as a BSN or advanced practice roles. 

ADN programs often offer a quicker pathway to becoming a registered nurse (RN), making them a popular choice for those eager to enter the workforce sooner.

C. Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs:

For individuals with aspirations for advanced practice and specialized roles beyond the traditional RN level, Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs are the ideal choice.

These programs equip nurses with the advanced knowledge and skills needed to diagnose and treat patients, often allowing for specialization in areas such as family medicine, paediatrics, or gerontology.

NP programs open doors to a broader scope of practice and increased responsibilities within the healthcare landscape.

Understanding the nuances of each nursing degree option is essential for tailoring your education to your career goals. Whether you choose the comprehensive BSN route, the entry-level ADN path, or aspire to advanced practice through NP programs, each offers a unique trajectory towards a fulfilling and impactful nursing career.

What Are The Steps For Getting Into Nursing School?

Step 1: Finding Your Perfect Program Match:

Tailoring Learning Preferences:

Discussing factors that influence your learning style, such as choosing between online and in-person learning, considering accelerated versus traditional programs, and evaluating the program’s proximity to your preferred healthcare settings.

Researching Accreditation:

Providing resources and guidance on exploring accrediting bodies. This includes offering links or names of relevant organizations that can validate the quality and standards of the nursing program.

Step 2: Building Your Academic Foundation:

Beyond Core Subjects:

Recommending the inclusion of additional courses beyond the core curriculum. This involves suggesting courses like statistics, ethics, and communication skills to enhance your academic foundation.

Strategies for Science:

Offering practical suggestions for improving your understanding of scientific subjects. This may involve utilizing online resources, participating in study groups, or seeking tutoring assistance.

Step 3: Diving into the Healthcare World:

Volunteer Opportunities:

Suggesting specific places where you can gain hands-on experiences, such as hospitals, clinics, hospices, or community health centres. Volunteering can provide valuable insights into the healthcare field.

Transferable Skills:

Highlight the skills you can acquire through healthcare experiences, such as time management, teamwork, effective communication, and meaningful patient interactions.

Step 4: Conquering the Entrance Exams (TEAS or HESI):

Study Resources:

Provide examples of resources that can aid in nursing  exam preparation, such as websites, practice tests, study guides, and courses designed for the specific entrance exams like TEAS or HESI.

Study Timeline:

Advising on the importance of starting early and maintaining a consistent study schedule to prepare for the entrance exams effectively.

Step 5: Gathering Your Cheerleaders (Letters of Recommendation):

Choosing Recommenders:

Recommending individuals who can vouch for your qualifications, such as professors, employers, or mentors. These recommendations play a crucial role in portraying your suitability for the nursing program.

Strong Request Tips:

Providing guidance on how to approach potential recommenders, including providing them with a copy of your resume and emphasizing your strengths and accomplishments.

Step 6: Application Assembly – The Final Puzzle Piece:

Application Checklist:

Listing the essential materials required for your application, such as transcripts, test scores, essays, letters of recommendation, and any program-specific requirements.

Proofreading Tips:

Emphasizing the importance of having someone review your application materials for errors to ensure a polished and professional submission.

Deadline Awareness:

Stressing the significance of adhering to application deadlines to avoid any negative consequences and ensure your application is considered.

Step 7: Interview Prep – Show Your Superhero Spirit!:

Mock Interview Questions:

Providing examples of common nursing school interview questions to help candidates prepare and practice for their interviews.

Confidence Tips:

Offering guidance on presenting yourself confidently during the interview, including advice on dressing professionally, making eye contact, and effectively showcasing your passion and communication skills.

Program Research:

Encouraging candidates to research the nursing program thoroughly, including understanding its mission, values, and unique offerings. This knowledge can be valuable during the interview to demonstrate genuine interest and alignment with the program.

How hard is it to get into nurse practitioner school

The Challenge of Entering Nurse Practitioner School

Becoming a nurse practitioner (NP) offers a rewarding career path with increased autonomy, advanced clinical skills, and a significant impact on patient care. However, reaching the summit of NP practice requires navigating a challenging entrance point: admission to NP school.

Academic Foothold:

Admission committees first assess your academic foundation. Strong undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate GPAs are key, with most programs seeking a minimum of 3.0. Competitive programs often see averages closer to 3.3. If your past grades raise concerns, consider retaking relevant courses or pursuing post-baccalaureate studies to demonstrate your ability to handle rigorous coursework.

Standardized Stepping Stones:

Standardized tests like the GRE or the NP-specific MAT may be required. Prepare thoroughly to achieve a score that reflects your critical thinking and analytical skills. This can significantly strengthen your application, especially if your GPA needs a boost.

Clinical Climb:

Beyond academics, clinical experience is your climbing harness. Most programs demand a minimum of several years of registered nurse (RN) experience, often in the specific area you wish to specialize in as an NP. Seek diverse clinical opportunities to showcase your expertise and adaptability. Strong letters of recommendation from clinical supervisors can further validate your skills and potential.

Personal Pinnacle:

Admissions committees also seek well-rounded individuals with the passion and dedication to thrive in a demanding program and future career. Craft a compelling narrative in your application essays that highlights your motivation, leadership qualities, and commitment to serving patients. Research your target programs and tailor your application to demonstrate alignment with their specific values and goals.

Competition and Contingencies:

Be prepared for a competitive landscape. Acceptance rates vary, with top programs receiving hundreds of applications for a handful of slots. Research acceptance rates, application deadlines, and program requirements well in advance, and consider applying to a range of schools to increase your chances.

Financial Fortitude:

The climb involves financial considerations. Research tuition fees, scholarship opportunities, and loan options to plan for the significant investment required. Remember, completing NP school leads to a rewarding career trajectory with strong earning potential.

Embracing the Challenge:

While the path to NP school is undoubtedly challenging, remember that it also holds immense personal and professional satisfaction. With careful planning, strategic preparation, and unwavering dedication, you can scale the summit and reach your goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. So, take a deep breath, equip yourself with the right tools, and start your ascent – the rewarding view from the top awaits!


How do I get into nursing school?

Entering nursing school involves a strategic approach. Follow these steps:

  • Research Programs: Explore accredited nursing programs that align with your goals.
  • Complete Prerequisites: Fulfill required courses, ensuring you meet academic criteria.
  • Gain Experience: Seek healthcare experience to enhance your application.
  • Prepare for Exams: Ace entrance exams like TEAS or HESI.
  • Secure Recommendations: Obtain letters of recommendation from relevant individuals.
  • Submit a Comprehensive Application: Ensure all documents are complete and submitted on time.

Is it hard to get into nursing school?

Admission to nursing school can be competitive due to high demand. However, meticulous planning, meeting prerequisites, gaining relevant experience, and preparing a strong application can improve your chances.

What is a good GPA to get into nursing school?

While GPA requirements vary, a competitive GPA for nursing school admission is typically around 3.0 or higher. Some programs may have higher GPA expectations, so research individual requirements.

What is the average salary of a nurse?

The salary of a nurse varies based on factors like location, experience, and specialization. On average, registered nurses earn a competitive salary, with nurse practitioners commanding higher salaries.


Challenges on the road to nursing school are hurdles you can overcome with grit and a well-thought-out plan. 

It’s not just about earning a degree; it’s about making a positive difference in lives and contributing to the world of healthcare. 

Wishing you the best of luck on this exciting journey; the world is eager for caring individuals like you who will shape the future of healthcare.

Sophia Brownie is an adept researcher. She offers customized Online Class Help to students. She has years of experience in this field and knows how to create personalized studies. Also, she provides proofreading and editing services at I Want Online Class Help USA. She knows how to provide Professional assistance that entails a deep understanding of the topic.