7 Tips to Write an Effective Nursing School Essay

A great nursing school essay can increase your chances of getting into nursing school. Tips for your essay include planning, making yourself stand out, sharing your dreams, showing you care about people, explaining your qualifications, sharing why you want to attend that program, and having a friend edit your essay.

Northeastern ABSN student using computer

When applying for accelerated nursing programs, some of the best advice we can give you is to know how to optimize your ABSN application so you can increase your chances of getting accepted. While the application process requires you to consider prerequisites, GPA, and other general admissions requirements, there are also several factors to consider that go beyond hard data.

Writing an excellent nursing school essay is just one of those factors. Many accelerated nursing programs require a nursing school essay that outlines why you’d like to be nurse and why you are a good candidate for the nursing program. The essay shows who you are as an individual, providing a more well-rounded perspective of your career goals and your passion for nursing. This will help the admissions committee see whether you are a good fit for their program.

Learning how to craft an effective nursing school essay can yield great results when applying for nursing school. Follow these seven steps when writing your essay to help you get ahead.

1. Plan Your Nursing School Essay

Writing a good nursing school essay is important to getting your application considered and accepted. To do this effectively, you should spend a good deal of time planning your accelerated nursing school essay. Highlight the items you want to include in your essay, summarize your personal story, and incorporate your qualifications.

Start your essay with an attention-grabbing first topic statement to draw the reader in. You want to let the reader get an idea of who you are and what nursing means to you. So, plan out your main reasons for choosing nursing, and elaborate from there. Create an outline to work from, as this will help you stay focused and cohesive in your writing.

2. Make Yourself Stand Out

Effective nursing school essays express your personality while convincing the reader you are the right candidate for the program. A great way to do this is by sharing a story about yourself. You could also discuss an experience you had that led you to the decision to apply for nursing school or launched your desire to be a nurse.

Northeastern Charlotte ABSN Student, Ellen

You want to use your essay as a tool for showing why you should go to their school rather than simply telling why you want to go there. Use personal examples to make your essay more candid and intriguing. Share your motivation for wanting to attend that program and what inspires you.

3. Share Your Dreams

Getting into a good accelerated nursing school and earning your degree is essential in making your dreams of becoming a successful nurse come true. Your personal statement should include the long-term goals you have for your career in nursing. If your goal is to help children, or if you wish to advance your degree to become a specialty nurse, express this.

Admissions committees are interested in hearing about your long-term goals; goals illustrate that potential students are determined, which can lead to a better performance in school. Be as specific as you can with your goals.

Set education goals for your nursing degree in 4 easy steps

See our tips on setting education goals for your nursing degree program so you can share those goals in your nursing school essay.

4. Show that You Care about People

As a nurse, your job will consist of caring for people around the clock in a positive and friendly way while efficiently taking care of their healthcare needs. It takes a certain type of selfless person to become a nurse, and you want to show you that you are that kind of person. Give examples of times when you went above and beyond to care for a loved one or a stranger. Let the committee know that you are passionate about caring for others. Empathy in nursing is a great quality to have.

5. Explain Your Qualifications

Your academic and work qualifications are recorded for review on your transcripts, test scores, and resume. However, those qualifications are only listed and don’t go into detail, which means the admissions committee may not understand what you took out of those experiences.

The ABSN admissions requirements at Northeastern include a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 62 non-nursing college credits, plus a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. You’ll also need to complete a number of prerequisite courses, including:

  • Microbiology with Lab
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II with Lab
  • Introduction to Chemistry with Lab
  • Statistics (inferential stats and hypothesis testing)
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences (100 level or above)
  • Developmental Psychology (lifespan)
  • Nutrition

Use the essay as an opportunity to go into more detail about your education and how you’ve set yourself up academically to succeed in nursing school. You can also show how your participation in volunteer opportunities or internships taught you lessons that you can apply to your education at the nursing school. If you are looking for ways to beef up your resume and nursing application with experience, look into these volunteer opportunities in health care.

Two ABSN students studying online together

6. Tell the Admissions Committee Why You Want to Go to Their School

For some applicants, simply getting into a good nursing school is the most important factor. For others, going to a specific nursing school, such as Northeastern University Bouvé College of Health Science, is very important to them. Whatever your reason for applying to that specific nursing school is, you want to include those reasons in your essay.

For example, if you’re aiming to attend Northeastern, you could talk about how the hybrid online learning model appeals to you, or you could talk about how earning a degree in as few as 16 months will help you start your new career sooner. You could share about how attending a school with such a quality reputation will set you up for your future career. Share stories about your mother who was a graduate of the program or a friend who suggested you go there.

Telling the admissions committee why you chose their school will help them understand your motivation and make it easier when deciding whether to accept you as a student.

Northeastern ABSN student smiling with text 'get ready to apply yourself'

Interested in getting into the ABSN program at Northeastern? See what it takes to get accepted to our accelerated nursing program.

7. Have a Friend Edit Your Essay

Editing your nursing school essay before submitting it is vital to ensuring you submit the best essay possible. After all, even the best writers make mistakes and miss things when writing. By having another person review your essay, they’ll pick up on mistakes and point out areas of confusion. Choose an editor who will be honest and provide good feedback, such as a family member, friend, or even a past teacher.

When having a second pair of eyes look over your work, be sure to receive their feedback openly. After all, you want to hear an objective opinion about your writing, as this will help you make it better.

Ready to Begin Your Nursing School Journey at Northeastern?

By following these application tips for how to write an exceptional nursing school essay, you’ll increase your chances of getting into the nursing school of your dreams.

Two Northeastern ABSN students with a maternity simulation manikin

If you’re interested in pursuing your degree with Northeastern University through our accelerated nursing program near Boston, MA, or in Charlotte, NC, call us today at 1.866.892.3819 or fill out our online form so we can contact you. Now is the time to take the first step toward a rewarding nursing career!

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