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What is the best way to stand out from others when applying to colleges?

As someone who wants to study nursing in college and knows how competitive the field is, how do I differentiate myself from others applying? This also goes for the workforce, when I'm applying for different jobs how should my resume and my work experience stand out to make me look like the best candidate?

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Sophia’s Answer

Hi Brianne,

I think one of the best ways to stand out from others when applying to colleges, especially in the medical field, is by having clinical experience. I would reach out to local doctor's offices, medical centers, or hospitals. One way I stood out when applying to college was by becoming an emergency medical technician (EMT). I became an EMT at 16 and started volunteering at my local ambulance corps which I think made me stand out greatly. But, it doesn't have to be this much. You could try working as a receptionist at a doctor's office or volunteering once a week at your local hospital. Also becoming an emergency medical responder (EMR) is much less time-consuming than being an EMT and it gives you a great amount of clinical experience!
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Sallie’s Answer

Hey Brianne,

When applying to colleges, youll want to ensure that your records from high school can reflect the studies in which you are trying to pursue. Make sure you taking electives best catered toward your career of choice, completing some form of volunteer work also helps. Look at the requirements for your field of choice and be sure that your current behavior now reflects those requirements. Additionally, keep in mind that the competitive nature of nursing doesn't just end at getting into college so make sure youre prepared to study hard. Many hospitals and medical facilities only take a certain number of students from graduating classes to have onboard that year. My partner is a nurse and something as simple as being one point lower than your colleague could be enough to get you overlooked so make sure you are mentally prepared for the difficulties of the position as well
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Michael’s Answer

Hi Brianne,

So, college applications are very similar to courtship. So, part of what you need to do is tell them why you are perfect for their program, and whatnot. Have you taken courses like Anatomy and Physiology or other courses that lend themselves to the health field? Have you looked at internships or volunteered as a Candy Striper at a local hospital or maybe at a Senior Living facility? These are the things you need to consider when applying because schools are starting not to care about SAT and ACT scores.

The workplace question is slightly different since most of what you will rely on is your experiences as a nurse- like externships, etc. to obtain work. Also, some of my nurse friends have said that having a wide array of experiences also makes you more sellable so working on the Psych ward, in the ER, in Pediatrics, etc. Furthermore, Travel Nurses seem to be very popular right now, which is another way to secure employment if you enjoy traveling with the goal of working across the country. Anyway I hope it helps.


Michael recommends the following next steps:

Look at Nursing Program Requirements
Look at sample Nursing School Applications
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De'Jahnique’s Answer

Hello Brianne,

Make your application personal, talk about life struggles and how you overcame them. Talk about what is going to make you different and stick out from the other applicants. While waiting you should look into internships and and receptionist positions in hospitals and or doctors offices to help get your foot in the door early.
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