For some, applying for nursing school can feel like a huge hurdle that could potentially stop them from becoming a registered nurse. The application process can seem daunting, not to mention all of the requirements and prerequisites. However, applying for Utica College’s Accelerated BSN program doesn’t have to be hard. By following these application tips for accelerated nursing school, you can painlessly move through the application process and get started on your nursing education sooner.
1. Speak with an admissions advisor.
Before you do anything, make sure you speak to an admissions advisor. You and your advisor will develop a personalized plan that will get you started on your education as soon as possible. He or she can guide you through every aspect of the application, from determining a goal start date to helping you understand your various financial aid options to guiding you through your prerequisites.
Your admissions advisor is one of the most valuable assets you will have during the ABSN program enrollment process. He or she will help determine your eligibility and outline what prerequisites you may be required to complete. Once you’ve started your prerequisite courses, your advisor will be able to offer advice on achieving success in those classes. He or she can answer any questions you may have about the program and will let you know what you can expect from your online classes, your simulation labs, clinical rotations, exams, the NCLEX, and the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in general. Your relationship with your advisor may last well into your nursing education as well.
If you haven’t already talked to someone, set up a time by calling 866.892.6747.
2. Get organized.
When you speak to your admissions advisor, take notes and save your emails. Anything physical you collect, such as notes or informational flyers, should be kept in a single folder. This way you can go back and look at what information you already have before spending too much time researching something you already know but may have forgotten, such as potential start dates or the prerequisites you need to complete. You should also create a folder within your email to save correspondence between you and your advisor. This is a good starting point for staying organized during nursing school, which can make a huge difference in your success.
You should also buy a planner or calendar or find an online schedule management app or tool if you don’t already have one. Your planner will keep you organized throughout every step of nursing school, from your first calls with your advisor to the day of your pinning ceremony when you graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Write down all appointments you have with your advisor and keep track of goal start dates, homework due dates, and application deadlines. Staying organized can make the application process a lot easier and a lot less confusing.
3. Work on your prerequisites.
You may feel like the prerequisites you take aren’t necessary for success in your nursing education, but you would be wrong. Your prerequisites will provide you with a strong foundational knowledge that puts you and your fellow nursing students on the same level, regardless of prior background. Especially if you have a low GPA, your prerequisites can help bring that up, which improves your accelerated nursing program application.
You may find that you’ve already taken some of the prerequisite courses while earning your first degree. Your admissions advisor can help determine whether your credits can transfer over, allowing you to start your nursing education sooner.
All students have different strengths and weaknesses, so the prerequisites may be a bit more or less challenging for you than for your classmates. You may find that you have to devote more time to your classes and less time to work to do well in your prerequisites, or you may need a quiet environment to study in. Consider setting up a study group with your classmates. Luckily, your prior education has already taught you what to do and what not to do when it comes to studying.
Prerequisites include general courses, such as Ethics, Life Span Development, and Nutrition, as well as natural science requirements, such as Microbiology I and Anatomy and Physiology. These courses are all instrumental in your success as a nursing student, so they should be taken very seriously.
If you find that you are struggling with your prerequisites, make sure to take the necessary steps to improve your study habits early on. Your advisor can offer guidance on which courses tend to be more difficult, so take what he or she has to say to heart. Be sure your advisor knows how you are progressing throughout your studies as well. Otherwise, you may find out that you are jeopardizing your acceptance when it’s too late to do anything about it.
4. Collect letters of recommendation and write your essay.
Some applications may require a letter or letters of recommendation or an essay to be included in your application. While you are completing your prerequisites, begin thinking about these two very important aspects of your application.
Letters of recommendation should be written by those who have worked directly with you, either in a professional or academic environment. Consider asking professors or employers for a letter of recommendation. If you know of a professor or employer who you think would write a good letter of recommendation, set aside some time to speak to him or her privately and ask for one. Be sure to detail exactly when you would need the letter of recommendation and in what format, and make sure you give him or her plenty of time to write it. It doesn’t do anyone any favors if you ask for a letter of recommendation with a day’s notice.
If you are writing an essay, you may be able to choose your own topic, or you will be assigned one. Ask your advisor about the essay, and start working on it early. You don’t need to be Stephen King or Emily Dickinson to write a good essay, but you should be clear and concise in your writing. Ask a family member, friend, peer, or even an old professor to take a look at it before you send it in with your application. The more eyes, the better. Start early so you have plenty of time to focus on your essay and complete any necessary edits.
5. Complete the online application.
Once you’ve completed your prerequisites, you can officially complete the Utica College application for the Accelerated BSN program. Prior to starting the application, make sure you have everything you need in front of you (or at least easily accessible.) You can find the application online. When you apply, be sure to:
- Read through the entire application prior to filling it out, if possible
- Fill out every single section
- Include all necessary documents, such as letters of recommendation and essays
Take your time when you’re filling out your application. If you rush through it, you may miss something important.
You must also submit a $40 non-refundable application fee when you apply for the program.
6. Order your official transcripts.
Your advisor may ask for an unofficial copy of your transcripts to help determine your eligibility for the ABSN program, but you must have the official transcripts sent to Utica College. To send your transcripts, you should contact the registrar’s office of all colleges/universities you attended and ask for official transcripts to be sent directly to Utica College. Transcripts must:
- Be sent to Utica College at 290 Elwood David Road, Suite 200 Liverpool, NY 13088
- Arrive in the original sealed envelope
7. Apply for financial aid.
Everybody’s financial aid situation is different. Your advisor can help you navigate the financial aid terrain, which offers many options for financing your nursing education. At a minimum, you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines your eligibility for federal student loans. The FAFSA should be filed each semester. Be sure to check out the guide on the FAFSA and questions about student aid to help you during this process. Your advisor can also help answer any questions you may have.
If you follow these application tips for accelerated nursing school, you can pass the first hurdle to becoming a registered nurse without becoming overwhelmed.
If you are looking for more guidance in the application process or want to learn more about Utica’s accelerated nursing programs in Florida and New York, contact an advisor today.