5 Tips for Your MSN Application
If you're a licensed nurse with a BSN or ADN looking to advance your career, a Master of Science in Nursing empowers you to move into positions of greater leadership. That translates not only into higher earnings but also the chance to have a greater impact on patient care, nurse work environments and more.
The first step is your application to an MSN program, and the 5 tips below will help you nail it.
1. Polish Your Personal Statement
Unlike the forms or resume you'll submit in your application, your personal statement gives you the opportunity to really share who you are and what you value in the promise of an MSN degree.
Give yourself time to start by sketching out your ideas then writing at least a couple full drafts. Have someone you trust and respect review each draft and offer feedback.
Keep in mind that your personal statement should be straightforward and, of course, personal. Don’t try to make it poetic or literary. Don't talk about nursing in a general or abstract way. Write from the heart and write in your natural voice.
2. Highlight Affiliations & Activities
Do you volunteer for your local blood drive? Are you a member of a local or national nursing organization?
Sharing relevant professional and personal affiliations strengthen your application, showing where you invest your time and energy and demonstrating your commitment to helping your community and/or profession.
For the online MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership program, please make sure to detail these connections. Be sure to also note why you became a member or got involved and how your experience with each initiative impacts your life.
3. Show You've Done Your Research
Your MSN is a significant investment in your career and future well-being. The first big contribution toward that investment -- one of time, energy and heart -- is your program application.
You've found a program that aligns with your career goals and fits your available time and resources. Now make sure your application reflects those understandings.
MSN programs are in high demand, so treat your application as one to your specific program, not something generic. Ultimately, you want to show faculty and other stakeholders that you and this particular MSN are a perfect fit.
4. Give Attention to Detail
Mistakes stick out on applications. Before submitting your application materials, comb through everything for typos, inaccuracies or other mistakes. Use spell check where you can, but don't depend on it to catch everything.
Again, it's a great idea to have someone you trust look over your materials before you send them off. You may even want to sit with them as they review so you can answer any questions along the way.
5. Start Early
Applying to an MSN program doesn't need to be stressful. By starting early and setting aside some time to work on it each week, you'll feel comfortably in control as you complete it.
Starting early also means more time to bolster your resume, complete pre-requirements and more. For programs with multiple start dates throughout the year, applying early can help secure your place in the cohort of your choice.
Finally, starting early means no last-minute rush to finish. You'll have time to go through everything carefully and methodically before sending it off, giving you the confidence that it reflects your very best!