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How can I get accepted into nursing school straight from high school?

Hello, I am currently a rising junior in high school. I am very interested in nursing, and becoming an RN. I want to obtain a BSN, and later my masters because I want to specialize in sports medicine or orthopedics. I am currently interning at a rehab facility, and want to find some volunteer opportunities, too (Covid is making it hard to do so). #healthcare #registered-nurses #nurse #nursing #medicine

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Suzanne’s Answer

Hi Erin,

This is Sue and I'm a retired registered nurse. It's been awhile since I applied (LOL), so I looked up some basic information for you. The first answer has some very helpful guidances. I want to elaborate to ensure you have even more information to help you on your way. I also want to add that there is going to be an enormous nursing shortage in just a few years making nursing a highly desirable career. Great choice!

First: I would like for you to work with your high school guidance counselor to make sure you are taking all required college prerequisite courses. Attempt to get great scores and now is the time to develop and keep excellent study practices.

Second: go to your local Red Cross and earn your CPR and First Aid certifications and always keep these current: https://www.redcross.org/local/california/take-a-class/cpr-san-jose-ca

Third: Start looking now at possible nursing schools. Keep a notebook. Write down what is required to apply, application dates and other notable items. You will most likely need to apply to more than one school. I would like you to also review each school's NCLEX pass rate which is a good indicator of that institution's success and teaching quality.

Fourth: volunteering during the pandemic; you are correct. This might be tricky. I would call your local hospital (Regional Medical Center) and ask if they are accepting junior volunteers at this time. Here is their information.
https://regionalmedicalsanjose.com/community/volunteer-activities.dot
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdKKeWqfITr9C-0Llw6df2jOgve3NS_dU_P4E0gqJWLJ_790Q/viewform?c=0&w=1

Also, you may want to check with your local Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/local/california/northern-california-coastal/volunteer.html

Fifth: consider joining the National Student Nurses Association: https://www.nsna.org/prospective-nursing-student-resource-guide.html

Now, here I am going to give you serious advice. Please earn your Bachelor's of Science in Nursing rather than an Associates Degree. Most hospitals now are requiring a Bachelor's for employment. Make sure that you take a NCLEX prep course prior to taking the licensing exam. I would also suggest working at least one full year in an acute care hospital. After that, you will have the experience and insight to select your nursing specialty and pursue any advanced education you might want.

Here are some additional links with good information:

https://atinursingblog.com/how-to-get-into-nursing-school-guide/

https://www.nursinglicensure.org/articles/getting-into-a-nursing-program.html

https://www.rn.ca.gov/

Nursing was the best choice I made in life. I was able to specialize and go on to help thousands of patients. The nursing process and life skills have served me well every step of my life. Learning how to think critically has allowed me to see the world clearly. Practicing nursing with care and compassion have given me real fulfillment. I hope the same for you.

Best,
Sue


Thank you comment icon Thank you for going out of your way to research this topic for me, Sue! It was extremely helpful. I will check out the links for sure :) Athena
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Erin’s Answer

To increase your chances of getting right into a nursing program out of high school, it's important to focus on science courses: Chemistry, Physics and Biology and work really hard to get great grades. It's even better if you are taking Advanced Placement courses. Receive your CPR/First Aid training. Hospitals and Nursing Homes are always looking for volunteers so spend your weekends volunteering or shadowing different professionals. Contact the schools you may be interested in to learn about wait lists. Become a member of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). Also, start preparing for the SAT and ACT.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Erin! This was very helpful. Athena
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Belinda’s Answer

Prior to graduation, do some homework on which colleges offer nursing programs. Some community colleges offer a two year program to where you can obtain an Associates Degree in Nursing, while Universities and major colleges offer a 4 year program , receiving a Bachelor's degree in Nursing. Both will result with you obtaining your RN degree but depending on what you want to do in nursing , will depend on how much time you want to dedicate to school. Good luck!
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