Is the waitlist at your local college or university preventing you from getting a move on your nursing education? You’re not alone. Nursing schools across the country are turning down highly qualified applicants in droves because these institutions don’t have the means to accommodate them. But don’t give up just yet. Perhaps these four unconventional tips for getting into nursing school can help set your education in motion.
1. Consider relocating for your nursing education.
It’s becoming increasingly common for students to pack up their belongings and move to another state to get started on their nursing education.
In 2018, for example, 225 students enrolled in our 16-month ABSN program near Boston — and not all of them were from the East Coast. We had students come all the way from California, Oregon, and Washington to attend our accelerated nursing program.
We also saw a similar pattern with the students who enrolled in our 16-month ABSN program in Charlotte, North Carolina. Take Miranda, for example. Not able to get into an accelerated nursing program in her home state of California, she found the accessibility and enrollment capacity of our Charlotte program to be a huge draw. “I just didn’t want to wait,” she said.
Miranda applied to our Charlotte ABSN program in February 2018 and found herself in the Queen City a short two months later. “I just packed up all my stuff and drove.” Today, she’s well on her way to the nursing profession, with an expected nursing school graduation date in August.
2. Look for online-based nursing programs with multiple start dates.
With three start dates a year (January, May, and September) at both of our site locations, our ABSN program can handle a higher influx of nursing applicants than most schools — all without compromising the quality of education and personal attention a student receives.
And because our accelerated nursing students complete their fundamental coursework online, our faculty can teach more students without the need for additional classroom space. We essentially leverage modern technology to bring our nursing education to more students.
It’s common for students to come into our ABSN program feeling uneasy about the online learning process. Once they become familiar with the learning management system, however, they end up loving the flexibility that online coursework provides.
“I was hesitant when I found out the program was partially online,” said Sarah, a student in our Charlotte ABSN program. “I thought I was a type of student who had to be taught in the classroom, but once I got into the swing of online learning, I enjoyed the luxury of being able to study at my own pace.”
Miranda had similar feelings about the program’s online learning component. “I was actually surprised by how much I liked it. While instructor deadlines still apply, I think it’s awesome to be able to learn at my own pace. I feel like I’m learning more class-wise in this program than I did showing up to class during my undergraduate.”
3. Seek out schools with strong clinical partnerships.
Despite our country’s mounting nursing shortage, another reason many schools can’t accommodate as many qualified students as they would like is due to the fact that they don’t have enough clinical placements to go around.
Thanks to our strong clinical partnerships with top healthcare facilities in and around Boston and Charlotte, our ABSN students have ample access to diverse areas of nursing practice, such as adult health, obstetrics, pediatrics, mental health, acute care, and public health.
“I think clinicals are the most important part of nursing school because you get to apply your knowledge in the real world,” said Ellen, an ABSN student in Charlotte. “Nurses are there for patients and their families in both good times and bad, and you can only learn so much about the profession in a textbook or video. It’s invaluable to be able to see firsthand what nurses go through on the job.”
Rachel, another ABSN student in Charlotte, feels the same way. “Clinical rotations are important because you really get that hands-on experience with your patients. You get to see how patients react to certain procedures as well as apply your clinical skills under the guidance of an assigned registered nurse.”
4. Let your admissions counselor be your guide.
If a nursing school has limited faculty and clinical placements, there’s a good chance it doesn’t have enough admissions staff to keep up with a high volume of inquiries or consider the individual circumstances of every applicant.
But that’s not something you have to worry about at Northeastern. Our university has a dedicated team of admissions counselors who only work with prospective ABSN students. In fact, we hear a lot of students say that our admissions team was a major deciding factor in choosing us for their BSN.
“I loved my admissions process,” said Rachel. “My counselor was always there for me. She was like a guiding step stone who made the application process so smooth. I didn’t feel nervous about anything going through her. I really felt that Northeastern cared about me.”
Ellen felt the same way. “My admissions counselor was one of the main reasons I decided on attending Northeastern. She was just so supportive all the way through, calling me at least once a month to see how my application was going. She helped me submit a great application and even checked in with me after I started school.”
Not to mention, Miranda moved to Charlotte sight unseen because her admissions counselor made it easy and comfortable for her to relocate. “My counselor offered to look at apartments for me and gave me recommendations on places to live. She was awesome and very available whenever I needed her.”
Ready to Take Action?
If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and a solid GPA, you just might qualify for our 16-month ABSN program near Boston, Massachusetts, or in Charlotte, North Carolina. But the only way to really know if you’re a good fit for our program and if we’re a good fit for you is by contacting our admissions team. And should you decide to apply, your counselor will be prepared to give you all the tips you need for getting into nursing school.