Nursing is a career path on the rise. US News ranks nursing as #17 in healthcare jobs and #22 in the 100 best jobs overall… not bad. Furthermore, there is a great growth outlook for nursing. Here are some quick facts:
- $67,490 MEDIAN SALARY
- 1.5% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
- 439,300 NUMBER OF JOBS
Combine that with a solid work/life balance (working 3 days per week for full time), relatively short education to career time (with the ADN route), and you can see why nursing is a pretty good career choice.
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So how do I get there?
First things first, you have to be accepted to a nursing school. There are multiple types of degrees you can get including BS, AD, and MS. If you want to do it as quickly as possible I would recommend the ADN route. You can read more about these degrees here: Is Getting Your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) Worth It?
Get your prerequisites complete and get good grades
You will want to do well in prerequisite courses. Nursing schools are competitive and you will be up against people with high GPAs. Starting to take school seriously is also a great habit to form before you’re in nursing school because they are notoriously tough programs. Sometimes you’ll also have a crazy grading scale (6-7 point rather than 10) and nursing schools don’t let you pass a course if you don’t have at least an 80%.
Apply to a bunch of schools
Don’t rule out community colleges, as they are often a great value over the more expensive schools. Community colleges will typically only offer ADN degrees, but you can always get your BSN the year after you graduate. There are tons of online options that you can take while you’re out making money, so I think that’s a great option.
Volunteer or work as a nurse tech
If you want to pad your resume when applying to schools, consider working or volunteering at a local hospital. You can make connections for future employment, and get a feel for the career path you’re embarking on.
If you are asked to interview for school, prepare as you would for a job interview. Be professional, have copies of your resume, and appear friendly and interested. Check out these interview articles: How to Nail the Interview, & Interview Tips for New Graduate Nurses. These tips can be applied to any kind of interview (school or job).
You may be rejected a few times before you are accepted into a program. Be positive and keep trying to improve your application. Sometimes schools see an incredibly competitive class one semester, but perhaps the next is less competitive. Just keep meeting the application deadlines for multiple programs to increase your odds. Just remember, you only have to get accepted once.