Direct-Entry Nursing Major (Upenn, UCLA, UCI, etc.)

Hello. I’m a high school student hoping to become a future Nurse Practitioner. I’m looking into direct-entry nursing programs but I’ve decided to post on this forum because I couldn’t find a lot of updated or information in general online.

I really want to get into a program straight out of high school because I don’t want to worry about transferring in junior year or doing an ABSN. I have quite a few questions so anything would be greatly appreciated!

For background information, I want to become a pediatric or family Nurse Practitioner. My top choices so far are Upenn, UCI, UCLA, Northeastern University, and Arizona State. Would any of these programs be good for my career choice? Do you have any insight into any of these schools?

Also, are there any direct-entry nursing programs with a 25%+ acceptance rate? I’ve searched around, but the numbers seem to be inaccurate or not updated. Northeastern University is listed as 13%, but I heard from a friend that it’s way lower this year. I also know that the UPenn nursing acceptance rate was around 5% for the class of 2025 but it’s listed as 25% online. I also know that UCLA and UCI’s is lower than the listed percentage. Also, all of these percentages dropped drastically from last year. Do you predict that it’ll continue to drop or rise back up for the class of 2026?

Also, does gender play a role in admission since nursing skews female? What activities have gotten you into a direct entry nursing program? Thanks in advance.

UCI’s admit rate for BSN Nursing 2020 was 1.6%
UCLA’s admit rate for BSN Nursing 2020 was 1%.

Are you a CA resident?

Some direct entry nursing programs have aggressive weed-outs. For example, Arizona State nursing requires its direct admits to earn a 3.5 college GPA each of the first four semesters to avoid being weeded out. Investigate weed-out criteria for each direct entry nursing program you consider.

Hey! I’m not an expert or anything, but I’m currently a HS Senior who applied as a Nursing Major and will be attending UCI with the Regents Scholarship and going into their honors program as well this Fall. I also want to become a future Nurse Practitioner!

Not too familiar with the rest, but UCI and UCLA both definitely amazing schools with strong nursing programs. Both schools have multiple organizations/clubs specifically for nursing (ex. NSSA at UCI, Alpha Tau Delta, etc), health related causes and so much more outside of the medical field. Because the group is so small for nursing, I heard you also form a really close bond with your class, and you also have an advantage to resources and opportunity to talk with nursing faculty compared to bigger majors which makes it hard to do so. Our class of nursing majors have already started up an Instagram groupchat trying to find all 30 of us haha, you get the vibe I’m trying to say.

For UCI specifically, I can personally say that they offer pretty good financial aid. It depends on income & everything but they were willing to cover 2/3s of my Cost of Attendance, and soon in June or July I’ll hopefully hear back regarding the scholarship application I filled out for their school as well. So if you apply for lots of scholarships including the app for UCI, you can cover a lot of your future fees which is helpful.

Anyways I keep rambling, but don’t let the percentages deter you. Go for it. I was certain I would get rejected to all the direct admit programs, although fortunately, I managed to get into UCI Nursing, SDSU Nursing (5-10% acceptance rate, solely based on GPA/Grades this year pretty much), waitlisted to CSUF Nursing (also a 2-5% acceptance rate, denied the waitlist offer later on after I heard from UCI), accepted to CSUCI’s non-direct nursing program, and rejected to UCLA Nursing (I recommend starting the Statement of Purpose VERY early. I set myself up for destruction by doing it the week of, so I wasn’t surprised).

That said, I definitely recommend considering adding CSU Fullerton’s and San Diego State University’s nursing programs on your list, as competitive as they are, because they’re both really great programs with high NCLEX pass rates too. I know San Diego has specific housing for all its nursing majors, and probably the easiest program to apply to, as they require 0 essays.

I do not believe gender plays a role at all. It’s just all on your essays and activities, and of course grades are another factor. I wish you luck, you’re doing to do great, and you’re going to end up at the best college meant for you. I’m here to message if you have any questions or once college season comes up for you. I know I was scrambling online when I was applying this past Fall for any info on nursing. You got this!

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Are you a CA resident and gender is not a consideration for the UC’s or Cal states?

I can’t answer to your nursing program choices because I’m not very familiar with those schools but definitely look for DA and don’t spend a ton of money for the program since you’re looking to continue to an NP program. It doesn’t matter where you get your BSN whether or not you get into an NP program depends on your working experience and likely your grades, boards and GRE scores. I work in healthcare and lots of my coworkers got their BSN through capella which is a for profit degree mill and plenty of them have moved onto advanced practice programs or other masters programs and/or got jobs at some of the top hospitals in the world (Children’s Hospital of Philly, DuPont and U of Penn) When researching schools try and find out where they send their students for clinical rotations. You want to do a program with ties to good hospitals vs some who send their students to long term care facilities or nursing homes. Honestly, you’ll learn more in your first year working than in your rotations. Good luck!