7 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting into Nursing School

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If you are exploring how to increase your chances of getting into nursing school, you have many options. Ways to do this include researching programs right for you, boosting your GPA, preparing ahead of time, and getting in contact with an admissions representative.

nursing students sitting in class

It’s no secret that nursing school can be notoriously hard to get into. We get that sometimes situations pop up that aren’t ideal, like maybe you started a degree before that wasn’t right for you, or maybe you were a great student later in your schooling but not so much during those first exciting freshman and sophomore years.

At Utica University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, we understand that there are valid reasons students may not have had high GPAs and it’s not because they were poor students, but rather just because life happened — and we‘re here to help!

Even if you don’t meet the GPA requirements for our program, we can help you increase your chances of getting into nursing school. Additionally, our Transfer BSN pathway is for transfer students with at least 65 non-nursing credits, making your journey toward becoming a nurse more accessible than ever. Even if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you still may be eligible to enroll.

Explore these seven nursing school tips for how to improve your chances of getting into nursing school.

1. Do Your Research

If you want to increase your chances of getting into nursing school, you need to be sure you’re applying to a program that’s right for you and how you learn. Start by researching each program’s requirements to see where you stand and if you qualify.

student nurse with workbook

You should also choose a program that matches your goals. For example, some ABSN programs can be completed in 12 months and some in 16.

If you’re looking for nursing programs that accept transfer students, such as the Utica Transfer BSN pathway, you should also ensure the school has a smooth process for that. Another thing to consider is whether you want a program that is online vs on campus. The Utica ABSN program and Transfer BSN pathway feature a three-part hybrid curriculum:

  • Nursing theory courses lay the groundwork for your nursing education via a dynamic online learning platform.
  • On-site nursing simulation and skills labs provide hands-on learning with faculty in a risk-free mock clinical setting.
  • Clinical rotations at top area healthcare facilities where our program sites are located allow you to care for patients in advanced medical settings.
professor showing with nursing students in class

Is an Accelerated BSN right for you? Learn more about the similarities and differences between an ABSN and BSN to help you make the decision.

2. Find the Right Location

Even if you’re looking for an online-based program, you’ll likely have to be on-site for labs, so choosing a location that’s easy to get to is important. This could boost your chances of getting into nursing school because you’ll be able to attend any in-person interviews early and will be nearby just in case you ever need to drop off paperwork or chat with someone face to face. Our locations in Central New York offers lots of public transportation options.

As you can tell, choosing the right location to match your goals can make or break how well you do as a student. To increase your chances of getting into — and succeeding in — nursing school, you’ll want to be excited about the program and the location it’s in and be able to navigate it well.

3. Be Prepared

Gathering important documents, transcripts and letters ahead of time will help you show to admission representatives that you meet the program requirements and bode well for getting accepted into the program. The Utica ABSN program will require official transcripts from the previous university you attended that shows a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. The Transfer BSN program pathway requires either a minimum of 65 credits from a regionally accredited college or university or a conferred associate’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

It’s also important to set aside some funds for any application fees that may be associated with the program you choose. Utica University’s ABSN program and Transfer BSN program pathway require a $40 application fee and a $150 non-refundable admissions deposit. However, your admission representative may be able to waive your application fee if you complete a simple survey.

people studying in library

Prepare yourself for nursing school by learning these 8 tips for how to study well in the nursing program.

4. Check Nursing Transfer Requirements

Another way to increase your chances of getting into nursing school is to transfer some credits in from previous school experience. As we’ve talked about, since you may need to take some prerequisite courses anyway, you’ll have a great pathway to enter our program as a transfer student.

When you agree to complete your ABSN prerequisites through our 100% online through Utica University, we grant you provisional admission into our accelerated nursing school.

That’s right: By completing your prerequisite courses through Utica University, you don’t have to wait for an admissions decision — you’re a Utica University nursing student with a guaranteed spot in the ABSN program or Transfer BSN program pathway for your target start date.

However, to be eligible for provisional admission, you must meet the qualifications for the ABSN program or Transfer BSN program pathway, meaning you must complete each of the prerequisite courses within all specified requirements and have that GPA up to meet the requirement. We do, however, allow one retake of any two prerequisite courses.

5. Get Organized

Staying on track and meeting all the deadlines for admission into the program are two other vital ways to increase your chances of getting into nursing school. Our ABSN program and Transfer BSN program pathway have three start dates a year, each with their own set of application deadlines. Make sure you’re on top of these dates by making a list or buying a planner.

Establishing deadlines will also help set the tone for your nursing school experience. The accelerated program is fast-paced and will require you to self-advocate. Part of this is making sure you are responsible for your own nursing school schedule and are prepared for future due dates.

utica student studying

6. Improve Your GPA

We’ll also look at your cumulative GPA. Our program requires a 2.8, but if you have something lower than that, don’t worry. There are ways to raise your GPA to 2.8 as well as make the rest of your application more appealing, which can help increase your chances of getting into nursing school.

Talk to your admission representative to explore options to help raise your GPA by completing additional coursework. This might mean completing your prerequisites or adding in additional courses that are not necessarily required, but will improve your overall GPA. Make sure that during these courses, you do your best to earn high scores.

You may also help improve the rest of your application by gaining experience in the healthcare field and meeting all other admissions requirements. This will help demonstrate to nursing admissions that you would be a good fit for the program and for a career in nursing.

7. Talk to an Admission Representative

No matter what program you choose, you’ll want to talk to someone in admissions to establish a connection, discuss your goals and ask questions. However, the level of support and care you get is dependent on the program you choose. At Utica University, the application process begins when you meet with an admission representative to discuss your academic experience and future career goals. This representative will serve as your main point of contact during the entire admissions process and show you how to get into a nursing program as well as be a source of support.

Transfer a Non-Nursing Degree or Credits to a B.S. in Nursing

The Utica ABSN program and Transfer BSN program leverage your non-nursing college experience so that it becomes possible to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in as few as 16 months. If your previous degree or college credits just didn’t give you the right path in life, we can help.

Utica student smiling while in a clinical setting

If you think nursing is right for you, talk with one of our admission representatives to determine what the application process will look like for you. It’s time to follow your dream of becoming a nurse.

Once admitted into our ABSN or Transfer BSN program, you’ll transition from working with your admission representative to working with an academic success coach. Unlike other programs that leave you on your own to figure things out, your success coach will be there to advocate for you, help you increase your chances of getting into nursing school, and help you navigate any questions or concerns that come up during the 16-month program.

Take the first step of your nursing school journey by getting in contact with an admission representative today.

The Ultimate Nursing School Admissions Checklist

Ready for nursing school but stressed about applying? We recommend downloading our free admissions checklist to learn the important ins and outs of applying to accelerated nursing school.

The ultimate nursing school admissions checklist