Online RN to MSN
Clinical Systems Leadership

5 Ways to prepare for the admission process

As a nurse, or a current student studying nursing in an undergraduate program, you might already be thinking about graduate school. That’s great – the earlier you think about it, the more prepared you’ll be. Many students enter the graduate school application process not knowing what they’re in for. They might provide the wrong documents, or write the wrong things in their essays. Are you ready for the admission process? Use these five tips to prepare.


1. Make sure statement of purpose is written well before the due date
Like any other paper, many students will write their statements of purpose right before they’re due to admissions offices. However, this isn’t a good idea. The earlier you write your purpose paper, which essentially tells why you’re interested in a certain program, the better crafted it will be. You’ll have more time to set it aside and come back to it, allowing you to truly realize where your learning goals lie and whether they are well articulated in the paper. If an admissions officer doesn’t understand your appreciation for a certain field, he or she won’t be interested in letting you into the school. Try to find a problem in the industry that you want to help fix instead of focusing on yourself. You will show your passion for your field as well as the knowledge you have about it.

2. Consider the costs
Long before you begin to apply, you should look into the cost of a master’s of science nursing degree. Some programs may offer better deals than others, or could have financial aid programs. Find out which program will give you the most bang for your buck. Looking into this early will also give you time to consider your financial options and apply for loans if need be. Grants and scholarships can also take a long time to process, so it’s wise to think about your financial choices as early as possible.

3. Always interview
Most graduate programs will offer students a chance to come in and interview with admissions officers before they complete the application process. If this is an option, go for it. Taking the initiative to show up to the campus and interview shows that you’re dedicated to your field and willing to go the extra mile to get into the program. It will only help you – if you prepare, that is. If you do poorly in the interview, it can definitely hurt your chances. Do your research. Find out everything you need to know about the program as well as what makes their curriculum stand out. Find out if there are any common questions officers are likely to ask. That way, you can better prepare by running through a few answers in advance.

4. Follow directions
Though it seems like a no-brainer, students sometimes overlook critical pieces of the admissions process. Before beginning, look over every step required for each program. Write out the steps of each process on a piece of paper. As you complete each step, cross it off the list. Review this paper in full before you submit your application. You don’t want to miss a detail – big or small – that could hurt your chances of getting in. If the essay has a certain word count, don’t go over it. If the application asks for online and print copies, do both. Ignoring these steps could aggravate admissions officers.


5. Prepare your references
Pretty much all applications ask for a few references. Prepare these references well in advance. Some people may take longer than you think to write up a few nice paragraphs. As a fair notice, give all of your references a heads up at least one or two months in advance. That way, you won’t have to worry about your recommendation arriving on time and your references won’t feel rushed and annoyed.


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