5 Steps for How to Get into Nursing School After College

If you’re considering changing your career to nursing, we outline steps on how to get into nursing school. We can connect with an ABSN program that best suits your needs. Then, make sure you meet admission requirements, complete prerequisites, and prepare financially for nursing school before applying.

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Are you less than satisfied in your career? Do you want to build on what you studied as an undergrad? No matter which category you fall into, if you want to change your path and become a nurse, there are program options that can accelerate you into the profession. We’ve got the lowdown on these programs and can show you how to get into nursing school after college.

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs

If you are a career changer, already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, or have at least 60 college credits, you may be eligible for an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program.

Nursing schools across the country offer ABSN programs that typically take 16 months of full-time study to complete. Due to the rigorous nature of these accelerated programs, the students who apply to these programs tend to be mature and highly motivated.

How to Get into Nursing School

If an accelerated nursing program sounds like a right fit for you, it’s time to start to put together a plan on how to get into nursing school. We’ve outlined the steps you’ll need to follow to get started with this exciting journey.

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1. Search for ABSN Programs

Before you can take steps to meet nursing school requirements, you must search for ABSN programs and narrow down your top choices, as the application process will vary from school to school. When it comes to finding the right accelerated nursing program for you, here are some things you should look for:

  • Consider your desired timeline for completing nursing school and factor in the time it will take to complete prerequisite courses.
  • Ensure the school and program maintain appropriate accreditation status.
  • Make sure the program has first-time NCLEX pass rates that are above average.
  • Look at programs that have multiple start dates a year.
  • Consider programs which have an online component, as they can accept a higher volume of students and so are less likely to have waitlists.

Just doing a quick online search of ABSN programs may produce an overwhelming number of results. That’s where we come in. By instead filling out the form on our website, we can connect you to a quality ABSN program that best suits your needs and help you narrow down your choices in a much more efficient way.

2. Meet Your Program’s Admission Requirements

Before you can start the application process, it is important to make sure that you meet, and ideally exceed, the admission requirements for your program of interest. While the specifics will vary from program to program, most nursing schools require a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to qualify for their ABSN programs. However, there are some schools that are willing to accept students who have between 54 and 65 college credits. Minimum cumulative GPA requirements for ABSN programs range between 2.75 and 3.0.

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Doctor talking with patient in office

It’s also common for nursing schools to have ABSN prerequisite requirements, which brings us into step three.

3. Complete Outstanding Prerequisite Courses

While the prospect of taking prerequisite courses may not be the most exciting, all quality ABSN programs will require anywhere from four to 10 courses that must be satisfied prior to admission. These courses will provide you with the foundation in math and the sciences you will need to be successful in your advanced nursing coursework.

Again, the exact requirements will vary depending on your chosen program, however you can expect to see courses such as anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, physiology, and statistics on the list of requirements.

4. Prepare Yourself Financially for Nursing School

No matter where you go to school, the cost to attend an ABSN program is something you need to plan and budget for. Full tuition costs for accelerated nursing programs can range anywhere from $52,000 to $76,000, depending on the school. But that’s not all. ABSN programs also come with a set of ancillary fees, such as technology and supply fees, that can add a pretty penny to your nursing school bill.

ABSN students do not qualify for federal, state or university grants. However, there are still financial aid options for you in the form of federal loans, private loans, or third-party scholarships.

While this can seem like a hefty upfront cost, going back to school for nursing is one of the best decisions you can make, both in a financial and personal sense. Think of earning your BSN as a wise long-term investment, rather than a short-term strain on your pocketbook. After all, nursing is one of the most rewarding and diverse professions available today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nursing will grow 6% from 2021 to 2031 and found that the median salary for nurses in 2021 was around $77,600.

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Further explore the costs associated with nursing school and how to best finance your education.

5. Submit Your Application

After you are positive that you meet your desired program’s admission and prerequisite requirements and have a financial plan in place, it is time to submit your application. Many ABSN programs have admission staff who are available to help you during the application process. Be sure to use those resources to ensure your application is as strong as possible before submitting it.

After submitting your application, should you be accepted, what will nursing school look like?

What to Expect from the ABSN Program Curriculum

ABSN program curriculum typically involves a rigorous blend of fundamental nursing courses, which may be delivered in an online or in-person format, hands-on nursing skills and simulation labs, and in-person clinical rotations in diverse areas of nursing practice.

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Learn more about the specifics of how accelerated nursing programs work.

Your Path to Nursing School After College Starts Here

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or a decent amount of non-nursing college credits, we can help connect you with an ABSN program that aligns with your qualifications. Simply complete our online form and be prepared to be contacted by schools that match your criteria. There is no cost to you, and you are not obligated to attend any of the nursing schools that contact you.