Everything You Need to Know About Getting into Nursing School

nursing students studying together with whiteboard

Getting into nursing school is completely within reach if you’re willing to work hard and if you can meet the qualifications required to apply to an accelerated program. The Madonna University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program allows you to apply your existing college credits or non-nursing degree to your nursing curriculum so you can leverage that experience to become a nurse sooner.

With Madonna University’s accessible BSN program, you can also be a part of the effort to close the nursing shortage gap. Madonna is creating opportunities to help fill the demand for nurses by educating the next generation of qualified, confident, and compassionate nurses. Will you answer the call?

If nursing is the path for you, earning your BSN can give you a leg up on career advancement, a competitive salary, and the opportunity for further education.

So, just how hard is it to get into nursing school? That all depends on the program you choose to apply to and the path you’re trying to follow.

You may be wondering what exactly you need to do to meet eligibility requirements for Madonna University’s accelerated BSN program.

While you don’t need prior nursing education or healthcare experience to apply for the program, you do need to meet certain academic requirements before you can begin the admission process, including successfully completing ABSN prerequisites.

ABSN Admission Requirements

To begin the admissions process, you must have a confirmed bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum cumulative 2.8 GPA from all undergraduate coursework, or 60 college credits and a cumulative GPA of 3.0. When you’re ready to apply to the program, you’ll need to submit all official transcripts of coursework with your application to the university. Along with that, you’ll need to submit a letter of intent to the College of Nursing and Health.

Once you have those documents together, you’ll also need to complete a criminal background check and obtain a composite score of 75% or greater for reading comprehension and math on the HESI entrance exam. This requirement is effective through April 2021, and will switch over to the ATI test after that date.

From there, you’ll be ready to submit documentation detailing your completion or expected completion of all prerequisites. It may sound like a lot, but your admissions representative will walk you through this process and make sure everything is good to go.

Finally, if you don’t hold a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to complete the Madonna Writing Assessment and any required writing workshops.

Madonna Writing Assessment

In addition to completing prerequisites and completing an application, those who do not hold a bachelor’s degree and cannot transfer over composition credits must complete the Madonna Writing Assessment. From there, admissions will review the assessment and determine if additional writing support is required. Students with existing non-nursing bachelor’s degrees do not have to complete a writing assessment.

Incoming students who are transferring credits are required to write an assessment essay created and scored by Madonna University writing faculty for placement in Madonna’s required writing courses. This is just to be sure you’ll have a solid foundation in written communication — something that will be vital to your success as a nurse. All students must fulfill their writing requirements before applying to the ABSN program.

Although it is an additional step in the process, the free hour-long assessment is convenient, as it can be taken online and can be taken any time that works for you.

Don’t worry about hitting the books right away — no research or special knowledge is required for the writing assessment. You’ll choose one of two prompts and respond with an essay, using your own experiences and observations to support your points.

To avoid the need to sign up for additional writing courses, transfer students must earn a 4T. Even students with low scores can be accepted into the university, but they would be required to take a basic writing class.

If you have previous college coursework, but no bachelor’s degree, you can transfer into Madonna’s ABSN program. However, you must meet all nursing prerequisites, support, and core curriculum requirements.

You’ll want to be sure to chat with your admissions representative to be individually evaluated and notified of transfer equivalencies and any additional coursework requirements you may need to satisfy. They will help guide you through the application process for the program — a great move for your future as a nurse.

Now that you know the basic process of getting into nursing school, let’s talk about the difficulty level of getting in.

Obviously, this can vary from school to school, but at Madonna University we work with you to help you enroll in a nursing program that’s going to change your life. The Madonna University ABSN program is accessible because we offer three start dates a year, making it convenient for you to get started sooner. Our program is also so accessible because it doesn't have a waitlist, so you don’t have to put in the effort to apply only to put your future on hold.

While Madonna’s College of Nursing and Health is proud to offer a nursing program steeped in Catholic, Felician and Franciscan values, we also work to create a diverse environment that is welcoming to all backgrounds and cultures. Bottom line? We focus on academic excellence and uphold respect for the dignity and value of all people.

We’re here to support you in any way we can! A success coach will walk you through meeting all of your requirements and offer advice and guidance along the way. We try to make getting into nursing as streamlined as possible and are always here if you need help.

Four nursing students standing in front of wall

Getting into nursing school is a huge accomplishment, and one you should be proud of! Now that you know how to become a nurse with a bachelor’s degree and how long it’ll take through the Madonna ABSN program, you won’t want to let any more time pass you by.

You’ll want to make sure you’re ready for nursing school, which means making a study plan, figuring out finances and ensuring you’re prepared to work diligently for the next 16 months.

Getting into nursing school can seem like a lot of work between the requirements and admission process, but earning your BSN is worth it, and here’s why.

Earning your BSN from Madonna University is a good step toward becoming a qualified nurse. That’s because more and more healthcare employers are beginning to require a baccalaureate degree, especially hospitals seeking Magnet status, also known as the “gold standard” for nursing excellence.

Pursuing a BSN through our program also sets you up for more opportunities in the future. Whether you want to get out into the workforce right away or pursue a higher nursing degree, your BSN will be a great asset.

Accelerated BSN student at Madonna University

A BSN through our program readies you to:

  • Deliver safe, ethical, and effective care across the patient life span.
  • Collaborate with members of the healthcare industry to provide holistic care.
  • Provide complex, innovative patient care utilizing the standards of social justice.

More Opportunities with a BSN

You might be wondering if getting an associate’s degree in nursing is a good choice, or what the difference is between the two paths. The main difference is that a BSN from Madonna gives you more opportunities both professionally and academically. Getting into our nursing school sets you up to increase your income, job options, and advancement opportunities that you likely wouldn’t have with an associate’s degree.

While an associate’s degree in nursing is the entry-level educational credential needed to work as a registered nurse, baccalaureate-educated nurses generally earn more responsibility and supervisory roles.

A BSN degree is marketable and shows that you’re dedicated to becoming the best nurse you can be. It can make you eligible for a higher salary and is well-respected. Because of the knowledge, experience, and reputation the Madonna ABSN program provides, you might even get put ahead of other candidates with the same level of experience and be confident when negotiating your salary.

Improved Patient Outcomes

Even nurses are advocating for an increase in the number of BSN nurses in all clinical settings on the basis that education affects the quality of patient outcomes, which studies stand behind.

Research has found hospitals and units with a greater percentage of nurses with a BSN degree or higher, rather than an associate’s degree, see lower mortality rates, lower 30-day readmission rates, and lower failure-to-rescue rates. They also discovered nurses with higher levels of education are less likely to make medication errors or stray from procedure.

It’s no wonder why more hospitals are beginning to prefer to hire BSN-educated nurses. In fact, the findings are so significant that the AACN has supported the baccalaureate degree as the minimal preparation for professional practice for almost the last two decades.

All this considered, getting into nursing school and earning a BSN increases your chance for success. If you want to become a capable, highly skilled nurse and provide the best care you can, you need a BSN.

nurse checking child patient's heart beat

A common misconception is that nurses only work in hospitals. However, there are many alternative nursing careers that are outside the hospital. The nursing industry is becoming more and more diverse, opening up a variety of different roles and positions to nurses.

Once you earn your degree through Madonna’s Accelerated BSN program you can practice nursing in:

  • Homes
  • Offices
  • Schools
  • Community Centers
  • Nursing Homes
  • Urgent Care/Walk-in Clinics

Career possibilities are only increasing as the demand for registered nurses continues to grow. A BSN opens many doors both inside and outside the hospital.

As a Madonna nurse, you’ll also be helping to mitigate the national nursing shortage. Nurses are needed now more than ever. Not only does a BSN from Madonna University mean job security for you, it also will help provide the lifesaving care of a capable, compassionate nurse for folks who need them most.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the RN workforce in the U.S. is estimated to grow by 28%, from approximately 2.8 million to 3.6 million in 2030. This calls for more than 200,000 RNs annually to replace the retiring generation.

As you can imagine, even if some states are able to keep up with the demand, there are some regions that are expected to face higher shortages of registered nurses, a pain Madonna wants to be a part of easing.

As you would guess, COVID-19 has been a big contributor to the nursing shortage. A recent article states that even more nurses were needed as COVID-19 began spreading in the United States, creating an unprecedented demand for travel nurses, or nurses from other states to help supplement shifts and fill out specialty care.

Coronavirus-related nursing shortages have hit hospitals nationwide, taking the nurse-to-patient ratio from its recommended 1:1 to 1:4. Due to these kinds of staffing shortages, nurses in some hospitals’ intensive care units are caring for five patients at a time — more than twice their normal workload. By answering the call to nursing, our program can prepare you to help ease this burden and help close the shortage gap.

Aside from the ongoing pandemic, there are a few key reasons why the nursing shortage continues to be a major issue:

  • The population is aging. As people grow older, the demand for complex care grows. As the number of Americans aged 65+ will almost double by 2050, addressing chronic illnesses and natural aging will become more in demand in this demographic.
  • More than 1 million nurses are slated to retire by 2030, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. This process challenges the healthcare industry, as the same article states that the average age of RNs is 51.

After that information, it comes as no surprise that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

nursing student with Admissions representative

If getting into nursing school and pursuing a career as a caring, compassionate, and capable nurse is something that sounds right for you, Madonna University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program is here to help you achieve your goals.

Get started today by connecting with one of our admission representatives. In addition to answering any outstanding questions you may have about the program, he or she will help determine your eligibility and identify any prerequisite courses you need to complete.