11 Questions to Ask Nursing School Admissions

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Nursing admissions can be intimidating, so it is helpful to know what questions to ask nursing school admissions. See some recommendations, as well as how Utica University can help you jumpstart your career in nursing through our ABSN program.

Utica nurse

If you are exploring nursing school requirements, you may need help figuring out where to start. The admission process can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be if you know what questions to ask. Your first step in exploring nursing school is contacting the admissions department.

With the Accelerated Bachelor of Science (BSN) program and Transfer BSN program at Utica University, you won’t be alone in this process. Our team of admission representatives is equipped to help you every step of the way. Here are 12 questions to ask nursing school admissions when getting started.

1. How Long Does It Take to Complete Nursing School?

You might wonder, “How long does it take to become a nurse?” If you have specific goals for your nursing career, you will need an idea of the timeline. A traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program may take up to four years. However, there are alternative options. Utica University offers an Accelerated BSN and Transfer BSN curriculum designed to be completed in as few as 16 months so that you can become a practicing nurse as soon as possible. Some programs take more or less time, but choose one that best fits your personal timeline and lifestyle.

2. What Are the Program Start Dates?

Each school and program will have differences in their start dates. It is crucial to know these dates to plan accordingly. Knowing your start date options will help you understand when to apply and keep you from missing deadlines.

utica nursing student holding syringe

If you are entering the nursing track from another school or program, you may want to either take time off or get started right away. If these factors are priorities, you must know your program start date options.

3. Is the Program Accredited?

Since you ultimately want to find work at a reputable hospital, you need a degree from an accredited institution. Accreditations ensure that your program is high caliber and will prepare you for life as a nurse. These accreditations can be on the state, regional, and national levels. Make sure that your nursing program is recognized by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This will be a good indication of the program’s quality.

4. What Are the Admission Requirements?

Everyone comes to their nursing program with different experiences and education. Ask your admission representative what it takes to be admitted into the nursing school to ensure you have the best chance possible. If you are missing any admission requirements, your representative will help you find the best path toward fulfilling them.

5. What Support is Available During the Admission Process?

Nursing admissions can be a stressful time. You are working to meet the requirements and processing a significant life change. As such, you will want a support system to walk you through the admission process and be your advocate. Find out what support the nursing program offers and how your admission representative can help from when you express interest to when you are admitted.

6. What Associate Degree Should I Get for Nursing?

To enter a nursing program directly, you will need to complete specific degree requirement (formerly called prerequisite) courses. These ensure you have a strong foundation in the sciences and math. Utica’s Accelerated BSN program and Transfer BSN program require Anatomy & Physiology, Statistics, and Microbiology. Once you have completed your degree requirement courses, you will be ready to apply to the program. If you choose this program, an associate degree in biology or public health are great starts to help you complete those degree requirements.

7. What Technology is Available to Me in Simulation Labs?

utica nursing student shining light at manikin

You will work with patient manikins during your simulation labs, practicing what you learn in a controlled environment. This is a stepping stone between your classes and in-person patient care at clinicals. It will help you practice nursing skills, receive input from your instructors, and grow in order to provide better care to real patients. Consider looking for newer, high-tech manikins to get a more realistic experience and better prepare for modern nursing.

8. What Facilities Does the Program Partner with for Clinical Rotations?

An important part of your experience in nursing school will be clinical rotations at a local hospital or medical facility. Find out where you will complete your clinical hours and research more about the hospitals because you will spend a great deal of time there. You will want to make sure it is a good fit and will be a place to build career connections.

nurse using stethoscope to check patient's heartbeat

Want to learn more about clinical rotations? Read about what to expect in nursing clinicals.

9. What Are the NCLEX Pass Rates for Past Graduates?

The NCLEX-RN® pass rates are a telltale sign of the quality of a nursing program. When all is said and done, and you have finished your nursing degree, you still need to pass your licensure exam. Your nursing program must prepare you for success on the NCLEX-RN® so that you can start your career without any complications or difficulties.

Utica’s nurses have historically passed at higher rates than the national average. In 2022, our NCLEX-RN® pass rate was 88.9%, while the national average was 79.9%. You can rest assured that at Utica, you will receive all the necessary preparation to be successful on your licensure exam.

10. Is it Possible to Work During the Program?

Ultimately, it is your decision whether you have the capacity for school and work. However, suppose you choose to enter Utica University’s Accelerated BSN program or Transfer BSN program. In that case, it is generally not recommended that you attempt to work at the same time. It is a very rigorous program, and it can be easy to lose sight of your goals with too much on your plate. Ask about the workload for the program to see if taking time to focus on school is an option for you.

11. What Financial Aid Do You Offer?

Utica nursing student smiling holding book

Nursing school is an investment in your future, but it can be an expensive path to pursue. If finances factor in your decision to enter nursing school, ask what financial aid the school offers. Make sure to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year so the school can provide as much assistance as possible. Finances can certainly be a factor in your decision-making, but they should not inhibit your path to becoming a nurse.

How Utica Can Help You Jump-Start Your Nursing Career

In Utica University’s Accelerated BSN program and Transfer BSN program, you will be supported every step of the way throughout the admissions process. Our programs will allow you to graduate in just 16 months.

Now that you have learned the best questions to ask nursing school admissions, it’s time to get some answers. Reach out to a Utica admission representative today to take your first step.

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