Figure out what is important to you.
- Is it NCLEX pass rate?
- Is it cost of the program?
- Is length of the program?
- Do you want an ADN or BSN?
- Do you want to stay local?
- Do you have plans to get an advanced degree in the future?
These are all great questions to help you get started in your search. For me, I knew I wanted to graduate with a BSN, attend a college with a high NCLEX pass rate, stay local, and spend as little on tuition as possible.
Once you have all of this criteria, you can start searching for programs and looking at their specific prerequisites. As I already have a bachelor’s degree, my situation was a little different. I didn’t need to complete any of the general required courses. All I had to focus on completing was the science and nursing specific requirements. I completed them at a local community college (I made sure they would be accepted by the school I chose). I had to take:
- Anatomy and physiology 1 and 2
- General and development psychology
I also had to take the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) and pass with a certain score. The higher the better. The program I applied to only looked at GPA and the TEAS score, for admission purposes.
I applied after I completed all the requirements and got in on the first try! If you don’t get in at first, talk to an admissions counselor and see if there is anything you can do to make yourself more competitive, and reapply. You can do this!
Always remember to breathe.