The desire to attend nursing school is one that you share with many other eager learners. While this fact means that you can work with a dedicated and motivated cohort, it also means that you’ll encounter some competition getting into nursing school. While you do want to focus on your grades, experience and extracurricular activities when submitting your application package, placing an emphasis on your nursing school admissions essay is of utmost importance too.
Nursing School Admissions Essay Tips
1. Answer the question.
Sometimes, students will sit down to write their application essays and begin crafting a piece about how much they want to be a nurse or how their family history influenced their career decisions. However, the question on the application might ask about volunteer experience, critical learning moments in the classroom or internships. Failure to answer the question or questions presented on the application seriously increases your chances that you won’t get in.
2. Follow the directions.
In addition to posing a particular question, the application is also likely to provide specific guidelines for the essay. For example, you may be required to stay within a certain number of words or characters. The instructions may provide specific details on how to submit the essay. Just as failure to address the question can have deleterious outcomes, so can an inability to adhere to instructions. Consider how important following directions and methods precisely is in the medical field. If you cannot follow the guidelines of a paper, you can come across as careless.
3. Write truthfully.
You might want to invent a tale that is sure to captivate your audience and perhaps even create an emotional effect. However, the goal here is to tell your story, not an invented one. Lying on an application is a serious offense. You might think that the admissions committee will never know, but you must consider the fact that they are experts in spotting false application packages. Furthermore, the committee members might call on you to provide evidence of the claims you make in the essay. On top of all of these reasons, you should realize the major ethical issues with starting your nursing career by lying.
4. Don’t assign blame.
In your essay, you might need to account for low grades that you earned during your academic career, or you may need to explain why you did not participate in any internship or volunteer opportunities. Blaming other people and situations for these problems is not a good idea because you come across as incapable of taking responsibility for your actions. Concisely identify the cause of the issue; take responsibility for it. You can say what you learned and how you will not allow such problems to arise again. State your plan for preventing these issues in the future.
5. Watch for excessive sympathy.
Your story might be a sympathetic one, and generating emotion is certainly a method that can work in writing. However, trying to get the admissions committee members to let you into the school because they feel bad for you is a strategy that is unlikely to work. Remember that many other people might submit tales of difficult circumstances too. You don’t know if your situation is worse or better than theirs. Furthermore, the committee must admit you based on fairness and criteria, not on how badly they feel for you.
6. Don’t copy and paste.
When you’re applying to multiple schools, copying and pasting the same essay from application to application seems tempting, and this strategy will certainly save you time. However, it might not get you into nursing school. Admissions committees can often spot when prospective students have simply copied material from another one of their applications. Also, the applications might ask different questions and have different requirements. While you don’t necessarily need to change all of the content, you do have to tailor the essays to the individual schools.
7. Include program details.
As you’re trying to tailor those essays to the individual schools, you might wonder what you should include. Again, you must look at the essay question posed. However, applications do sometimes ask why you want to attend that particular school. You can include information about classes at the school you’d like to take or internship opportunities that you would like to have. Bringing in this information shows that you have researched the school and that you are writing for the specific school.
8. Use the right style.
Admissions essays typically do not require citations, but you may find a need to include some in your paper. The nursing field tends to use the style of the American Psychological Association, which is frequently known by the acronym APA. Do carefully read the instructions to see if they state what style to use. Using APA could potentially bolster your chances because you’re showing that you know the style of the field. Of course, you must consider the school, the specific program and the application requirements.
9. Visit the Writing Center.
If you are still in college, you probably have a writing center on campus that can assist you with your essay. Tutors are often available to help you brainstorm ideas, organize the concepts in your essay, review sentence structure and so forth. Even if you have already graduated, check to see if your old school’s writing center serves alumni because some such centers do.
10. Polish the grammar.
Submitting an essay filled with grammar errors, typographical problems and proofreading issues is absolutely negative. You are showing your readers that you do not know some basic grammar rules, and you are also suggesting that you did not take the time to review your work. These perceptions can certainly make you an unattractive candidate for the program.
Your admissions essay is truly an important part of the application process. Failure to put the necessary time and effort into this essay can leave you with a desk full of rejection errors. Make sure to follow some tips and advice for acing the essay, thereby increasing your odds of getting into nursing school.