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Just how competitive is it to get into nursing school (undergrad)?

madeofearth12madeofearth12 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
edited May 2011 in Nursing Major
I am interested in majoring in Nursing and have contacted several schools in my area and have asked them what is their acceptance rate and average GPA. From what I have gathered, most Nursing schools have an acceptance rate of about 10% and an average GPA between 3.6-3.8.

But from the pool of prospective Nursing students, how many of them get accepted to at least one school?

Thank you.
Post edited by madeofearth12 on

Replies to: Just how competitive is it to get into nursing school (undergrad)?

  • NeonzeusNeonzeus Registered User Posts: 1,234 Senior Member
    There are a lot of 0-4 BSN nursing schools, and some of them do have admissions criteria that are lower than 3.6 or better than 10% chances of admission. You just may have to research schools a little further from home to find them. You may have to do some tradeoffs though - for example, by going to a smaller school or a school in a location that is further from home.

    There are also 2+2 programs, which do tend to have higher criteria but give candidates a chance to excel in the first 2 years of college.

    You also have to ask about SATs, since high SATs might be weighed against a lower GPA and vice versa. Another strong factor for nursing admissions is hospital volunteering or other proof of interest in nursing.

    If a candidate's GPA and SATs aren't in the ballpark (some people also do this for financial or other reasons), then it might be possible to become a RN by training in a CC or hospital nursing program, and then applying to RN to BSN programs.

    D applied to approximately 10 schools for nursing, since she was concerned about the odds of being accepted. She got accepted to 7, and was waitlisted at 2. We thought the larger number of applications was good since it gave her flexibility to compare financial aid packages and nursing schools (she waited for some visits until after getting admitted).
  • charlieschmcharlieschm Registered User Posts: 4,282 Senior Member
    The main conclusions I've read from this forum are: a) many people seek direct entry programs because they fear not getting into a 2-2 program, b) for less selective colleges, it typically is much harder to get into the RN program than the regular admissions, c) for very selective colleges, it used to be easier to get into nursing, but now the admissions difficulty is similar to most other programs at those universities, d) get applications in early, particularly for colleges with rolling admissions, e) do volunteer work or part-time work in a related field that will show you are serious, and f) apply to lots of schools, including a few safeties.

    Something like 40,000 applicants a year apply to RN programs each year but don't get into any program. I imagine many of those are marginal students who would be better off in a LPN program.
  • MwallenmdMwallenmd Registered User Posts: 1,229 Senior Member
    Another bit of advise that I could give you would be to take as many Honors/AP classes as possible during your HS years (and of course do well in them). Many more competitive BSN Programs also look for trends in a student's GPA thruout HS (increasing or at least not decreasing would be best, of course). These programs look at the rigor of a students HS courses and feel more comfortable with accepting students who can show that they can handle more advanced course work.

    You should also be aware that over the last 5 years (at least) Nursing BSN curriculums have been evolving to be much more academic in nature as the Nursing Field itself has been evolving into a distinct Healthcare Discipline on its own, separate from its historical role as just providing clinical care based on following physician orders. BSN curriculums now place a much greater emphasis on critical thinking; clinical problem solving; differential diagnosis; research; and the development and evaluation of Nursing best practices and standards of care. The development and teaching of these skills requires some degree of didactic training prior to their clinical application. Many students applying to BSN Programs tend to compare programs based on how quickly students become involved in clinical settings and the total number of clinical hours in the program, assuming that the programs that provide early clinical involvement and/or a large number of clinical hours are therefore better as a result of this. This might not be necessarily the case, as students need time to be educated in these new skills in order to be able to fully integrate/apply them as part of their clinical training experiences. The best approach from an educational perspective would be a program that provides progressive involvement in clinical settings as these new skills are taught and learned by students. This approach can minimize the potential for students feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. "On the job" exposure to clinical settings without adequate preparatory training is a prescription for failure. The utilization of nursing simulation labs is an important component in this preparation. When looking for programs to apply to I would recommend those that provide graduated involvement in clinical settings following appropriate preparatory educational components.

    Best of luck to you in the future.
  • cecilturtlececilturtle Registered User Posts: 197 Junior Member
    thank you MWAllendMD. I know that thank you posts are not useful, but this was terrific information; it was worthy of another 'mille grazie' out to you.
  • madeofearth12madeofearth12 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I am actually a community college student in California and I hope to go to a nursing school in the state. The figures I mentioned in the first post were collected from schools here in California.

    I'm extremely nervous about nursing. If I don't get in, I won't really have anything else to fall back and will have to look into a different major.
  • charlieschmcharlieschm Registered User Posts: 4,282 Senior Member
    The availability of nursing programs varies greatly from state to state. It is possible that California has a smaller supply vs. demand than some other states.

    If needed, a logical fallback position is to become a LPN or one of many other health specialities. There are some employers that will later subsidize a LPN if they take classes to further their career.
  • LakemomLakemom Registered User Posts: 2,946 Senior Member
    Another consideration is applying to a nursing program in another state. Cost may be a consideration but I know a nurse from CA who got her degree from Virginia I think because she had trouble getting into a Calif program.
  • charlieschmcharlieschm Registered User Posts: 4,282 Senior Member
    There are some private colleges with nursing programs that have reasonable tuition and that do offer financial aid. You may find the net cost is similar to an in-state California program in some cases. In any case, apply to lots of schools, and apply as early as possible.
  • smarts1smarts1 Registered User Posts: 681 Member
    It isn't really...
  • aglagesaglages Registered User Posts: 2,633 Senior Member
    Keep in mind the above is posted by a "pre-med" college student that just finished her freshman year....not someone with nursing school experience.
  • shopgiftbasketshopgiftbasket Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I know that a few years back the University of Delaware only took 120 kids out of over 1000 that applied. Don't know what it's been like in recent years.
  • charlieschmcharlieschm Registered User Posts: 4,282 Senior Member
    I think you will find that the public university programs with the most reasonable tuition have some of the lowest acceptance rates. However, there are many nursing programs at private universities that are mid-priced in their tuition (as opposed to high-priced very selective private universities). Those mid-priced private universities don't have a very prestigious name, but many have good nursing programs, and they may have less difficult admissions.
This discussion has been closed.