How To Get Into Nursing School

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Wondering how to get into nursing school if you have non-nursing college credits? The requirements for nursing school differ from one program to the next, but generally include a minimum number of college credits within a grade requirement, prerequisite courses and possibly an entrance exam.

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A nursing career can offer the opportunity to make it your life’s work to help other people in need. If you’re excited to pursue a meaningful career in the healthcare industry, it’s time to think about how to get into nursing school.

When you’re thinking about whether becoming a nurse is the right choice for you, you may have dozens of questions running through your mind. “What are my chances of getting into nursing school?” and “How to get a nursing degree with non-nursing college education?” are some common examples.

First, you should know not all nursing programs are the same. Some students enroll in a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program after high school. However, other nursing schools are designed for non-traditional students. For instance, if you previously earned non-nursing college credits, you might not need to enroll in a four-year program.

Instead, the Accelerated BSN program at CSP Global is designed to build on your previous education, allowing you to graduate with a nursing degree in as few as 16 months. Here, we’ll take a closer look at how to start nursing school.

Concordia St. Paul ABSN students working in sim lab

Check out this blog for tips on thriving in nursing school once you’re here.

What Are My Chances of Getting Into Nursing School?

Nursing schools like CSP Global must establish certain admission criteria to ensure admitted students can meet the academic requirements. One reason it can be challenging to get accepted to nursing school is that nurses are responsible for their patients’ lives. Establishing rigorous requirements is necessary because this is in patients’ best interests.

The good news is that the admissions advisors at CSP Global’s ABSN program are friendly and knowledgeable professionals eager to help nursing applicants achieve their career aspirations. Even if you’re unsure whether you can meet the admission requirements right now, you can contact an admissions advisor for help getting started.

Curious about the admissions process at CSP Global? Get six tips for applying to nursing school at CSP Global.

woman sitting at desk with laptop

Requirements for Nursing School

Here’s a quick snapshot of how to start nursing school if you have previous non-nursing college credits.

  • Review your college transcripts to ensure you meet the minimum credit requirements.
  • Check whether you already meet the prerequisites.
  • Complete any lingering prerequisites (e.g., microbiology, human anatomy).
  • Complete the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam.
  • Obtain a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Demonstrate English language proficiency if English isn’t your native language.
  • Submit the application along with all required supporting documents.

The admissions advisors at CSP Global will help you navigate this process. Your advisor can also ensure your application package is complete before you submit it.

How to Get Into Nursing School in 5 Steps

Not everyone follows the same path toward becoming a nurse, but some universal elements hold regardless of your background or choice of school. Explore how to get a nursing degree in the following five steps.

Concordia St. Paul ABSN student standing in front of university logo

1. Know Why You Want to Be a Nurse

You know why you want to be a nurse. But can you articulate it? Stories are powerful. Simply explaining why you are passionate about becoming a nurse helps increase your chances of getting into nursing school.

When you first speak with an admissions advisor, they will ask why you want to be a nurse. How you answer says a lot about the effort you’ll put in as a nursing student. Many nursing schools require applicants to submit an admissions essay or attend an in-person admissions interview. While this is not the case at CSP Global, knowing your reason why is important for getting through the rigorous academic nursing program. It helps you “keep your eye on the prize” while you are balancing life and academics.

2. Research Options and Choose a Program That Fits Your Needs

Where you choose to earn your nursing degree matters; you need to ensure any nursing program you consider is accredited and has an excellent reputation. You should also take a look at a program’s NCLEX-RN® pass rate. (CSP Global proudly maintains above-average first-time NCLEX pass rates.)

However, while necessary, quality should not be your only concern. Before you begin your search, a little self-evaluation is in order. For example, some learners prefer the convenience and flexibility of online learning, while others would rather learn via campus-based lectures. (However, note that while nursing coursework may be completed online, nursing school requires in-person presence for skills labs and clinical learning.) Knowing your needs and preferences will help you to find the nursing program that is right for you.

Another factor to consider is location. Since you cannot complete the entire ABSN program online, you will need to either choose a program already within commuting distance or consider relocating for school. Sometimes, relocating for the purpose of choosing the right nursing school for you is the best option, particularly if the nursing schools near you do not offer ABSN programs or have lengthy waiting lists. CSP Global students can choose from the ABSN Learning Centers in Oregon or Minnesota.

csp nursing students in sim lab

3. Prepare to Contact the Admissions Office

Another way to impress your admissions advisor is to have your unofficial school transcripts handy (and be familiar with them) when you pick up the phone for that initial call. Being prepared shows you are serious and will help speed up the admissions process.

Knowing your cumulative GPA and how many college credits you have completed going into your nursing school search can save you the time of applying to a program for which you aren’t eligible. However, don’t despair if your GPA is slightly below what a school or program requires.

In some cases, simply retaking a course (or fulfilling prerequisite courses — more on that in a bit) may be enough to raise your GPA. When you talk to an admissions advisor, they will help weigh your options and make recommendations on improving your chances of meeting the requirements for nursing school.

4. Talk to an Admissions Advisor

By now, it’s probably apparent that talking to a school’s admissions advisor is a must. For many programs, like the ABSN program at CSP Global, it’s the first step in the nursing school admissions process. We’ve already shared how your admissions advisor will work with you to determine whether the program is a good fit, but it’s worth going into more detail.

When you first call CSP Global, you will be assigned a dedicated admissions advisor to guide you through the admissions process. You will be in close contact during this process, so build a good rapport with them. We also cannot stress enough the importance of being honest and upfront about any issues of concern. A previous nursing school start, failed classes or legal troubles — while potentially uncomfortable — should be discussed now.

Before connecting with an admissions advisor, have your questions ready. This way, you can determine if CSP Global’s ABSN program is right for you right off the bat.

CSP nursing student standing outside

Should you choose to move forward, your admissions advisor can help you develop a personalized plan for the admissions process based on requirements for nursing school, such as:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Completion of all prerequisites within the grade requirement
  • Minimum number of 54 college credits from an accredited institution

5. Fulfill All ABSN Prerequisites

Accelerated nursing programs allow you to earn your BSN degree more quickly by leveraging your past college credits. However, you may still need to take a few prerequisite courses depending on the area of your previous study. These prerequisites include science classes such as microbiology, developmental psychology and human anatomy and physiology.

While other requirements vary from program to program and state to state, many programs (including CSP Global’s ABSN program) require you to obtain Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. Again, your admissions advisor will help you devise a plan for tackling any outstanding requirements.

Additionally, many programs require you to take an admission test. For example, to get into CSP Global’s Accelerated BSN program, applicants without a non-nursing bachelor’s degree must complete the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS).

CSP nursing student in sim lab

Once you’ve fulfilled these requirements, you’ll be ready to submit your application package. Be sure to check in with your advisor first, as they will help ensure your application isn’t missing any important documentation.

Pursue a BSN Degree With CSP Global

Getting into nursing school isn’t a cakewalk, but it’s not as complicated as you might think. Finding a program that supports you and allows you to get started as soon as possible is important. CSP Global’s admissions advisors are committed to your success from day one. CSP Global is the place for you if you have the drive and willingness to do what it takes to enroll.

Learn more about our ABSN program and determine the next steps to take by contacting an admissions advisor at CSP Global today.