This is a guest post from our director of pre-admissions.
Over the past 13 years, I’ve helped thousands of students get into nursing school. My career in admissions is something I find motivating, rewarding and challenging. One of the biggest challenges is helping students overcome their fears of returning to school. Going back to school to become a nurse is a big change, and all change can be scary. However, being scared is normal; every student I’ve talked to has at least one fear about making this step.
Here are 5 common fears of prospective nursing students that shouldn’t keep you from going back to school to become a nurse:
1. I don’t have the time.
The truth is, you don’t have the time NOT to go back to school. Life is short, and your goals aren’t going to disappear; thus, you have to make time for school. It will require rearranging your schedule and making sacrifices (both you and your support system). However, you can make time for things that are worth it, and if you want it badly enough, advancing your career with more education is definitely worth it! If you’re worried about fitting school into your schedule, re-evaluate how you spend your time and create a plan for adding school into the mix. One of my favorite calendars can be found at http://coewww.rutgers.edu/osp/MoI/TimeManagement.pdf.
2. I’m too old.
I’ve heard this fear/excuse over a thousand times—and if you think about it, it doesn’t make sense. You can’t control your age, and the years are going to pass regardless if you’re in school or not! So instead of spending that time thinking about your goals, why not take action?
Age is just a number. It doesn’t define who you are, and it has no bearing on how you’ll perform when you go back to school or enter a new career. Throughout my time in admissions, I’ve enrolled people as young as 17 and as young as 81! Students don’t succeed or fail based on their age; in fact, sometimes maturity can help! Life experience offers certain perspectives that can only be gleaned over time. So know that other people are wondering the same thing, and remember that only one person can be the oldest student in the class; chances are, that won’t be you! (And if it is, so what?)
3. I don’t have enough money.
The vast majority of Americans don’t have money saved for college tuition. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a person who does have the means to pay for school without any financial assistance at all. That doesn’t mean you can’t make it happen! The Utica College accelerated nursing program offers several options for students to finance their education; however, it requires research. I’ve seen MANY students go back to school, and all of them had very different financial situations. So, use the tools available to you—check out www.simpletuition.com, www.fafsa.ed.gov and www.fastweb.com to start—and see what’s out there. You’ll be surprised at all of the options!
4. I’m not smart enough.
In admissions, we look at a variety of criteria to determine an applicant’s level of preparedness for nursing school, including previous bachelor’s degree earned, grade point average and completion of nursing prerequisites before you start the program. If you meet our eligibility requirements, we’re confident you can succeed in the program. You should be confident, too. Click here to learn about Utica’s eligibility requirements.
5. I might not find a job after I graduate.
This fear is understandable. After all, there are no guarantees you’ll find your dream job just because you go back to school. But there are no guarantees in life. And while you can’t know ahead of time that going back to school will pay off financially, you can look to the current data and research that says registered nurses are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that employment of RNs should grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. And career opportunities for nurses with a bachelor’s degree are even higher – the Institute of Medicine is advocating to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020. I’m sure you’ll be excited by what you read!
To learn more about earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing in just 16 months through Utica’s second degree accelerated nursing program in New York, contact us at 866.892.6747. We can’t wait to talk to you!