How do I become competitive to enter a nursing school to become an RN?

Opinion from a student nurse and RN. Hope this helps with decision-making. Best of luck to you, whichever path you choose ?


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ou don’t mention if you have a specific school or schools in mind, or whether you want to sit for your state RN board exam after you graduate with an ADN or BSN degree. These are things you want to decide before proceeding with a nursing school plan, because it’s going to impact the amount of money you’ll pay for your education, your future earning potential, and how long it takes for you to finish school.

There are no right or wrong answers per se, only what is going to work best in your particular circumstances.

The short answer is, to become more competitive you can check off boxes in the following two main categories:

First, if you are not or were not at least a B student in high school , you can take core classes in science and math at your local junior college to shine up your GPA. Just check with a school guidance counselor first so you know the coursework will transfer to the nursing schools to which you want to apply.

Secondly, if not already done, become an active member of a charity or community outreach organization in your current school or in the community at large. Healthcare educators love to see prospective healthcare students proactively helping others to improve their quality of life.

If you choose to attend a 2-year junior college nursing program, you will actually spend 3–4 years in school, as you must complete course prerequisites and general education coursework prior to or in some cases, in tandem with, your nursing core courses and clinical rotations. The advantage of attending a JuCo to get an ADN isn’t so much the time saved over attending a 4-year college or university to get a BSN; it may end up being the same amount of time.

The ADN, however, will put you in a whole lot less student debt.

If you plan on eventually going into nursing management, maybe you want the BSN so you don’t have to go back to school part-time at some later date if your employer insists all nurse managers must have a Bachelors in nursing. On the other hand, if you suspect informatics or public health administration may be a better fit for you, you can always do an RN to MSN program, or get your Masters in public health.

You hear a lot of Yang about how all nurses should be at minimum, BSNs. Some organizations pay their BSNs a dollar more an hour than their RNs, or so I hear.

Bottom line: ADN and BSN graduates Sit.For.The.EXACT.Same. State Boards, and the pass/fail scale is the same.



Elle Riego

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