What To Expect From A Career In Nursing
Nursing programs at Ontario colleges come at varying levels for those in or interested in the field. Courses meet the needs of current Registered Nurses looking to diversify their skills as well as future nurses looking to get started.
Patient care demands exceptional attention to detail and a compassion for those in need. If you have these things and you see yourself starting or continuing in nursing education, heres what you need to know.
Submit An Accurate And Complete Application
Avoid an application or resume with grammatical or spelling errors, as these can disqualify an applicant immediately.
The resume is the best piece of the application. Be sure it is up-to-date, accurate, and without a lot of extra “fluff.” Remove any track changes as this can lead the college to assume the applicant is not committed to nursing. Include any work history, volunteer hours, leadership activities and education and have it reviewed by a professional for a nominal fee.
Do Nursing Prerequisites Transfer
Many colleges accept transfer credits from similar schools, allowing students to receive full or partial credit for previously completed academic work. While a growing number of community colleges and four-year programs have made it easier for students to transfer credits, some nursing schools are more selective about what prerequisites they will accept.
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How Long Will An Online Program Take
It depends on the program, but in most cases, online degrees take the same time to complete as traditional ones. You could reduce your time, however, if you choose an accelerated program or have previous credits you can apply to your current program.
Heres a breakdown of the credits and time it takes to complete an associate, bachelors, and masters degree.
Associate Degree: 60 credits over 18 months to two years
Bachelors Degree: 120 credits over four years
Masters Degree: 30 to 40 credits over two to three years
Wrapped into these credits are your clinical hours, which include labs and clinical rotations working under the supervision of nurses in a healthcare setting such as a hospital, outpatient care clinic, or rehabilitation center.
Clinical requirements can vary by program. Both an associate degree and a bachelors generally require 700 to 800 clinical hours and in many cases more. A masters degree requires 500 to 1,000 clinical hours.
Eat Sleep And Breathe Your Prerequisites
Keeping your GPA up is going to be difficult if you are sleep deprived and living on a diet of ramen noodles and goldfish.
For example, a diet low in saturated fat can be linked to better memory, whereas diets high in saturated fats tend to impact our cognitive function.
Make sure you are reaching for healthy, whole foods and getting 8 hours of sleep each night.
Scheduling a set amount of hours each day is also a good idea to help make sure that you get as much study time as possible. It’s a lot to commit to, but it’s worth it in the end!
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Identify The Level Of Nursing Education Youll Need
As you inch closer toward determining the type of nurse youd like to become, youll want to start looking into the specifics surrounding the educational commitment that will be expected of you. If youre looking to become an LPN, for example, you can earn your diploma in as few as 12 months.*
If youre more partial to the job responsibilities and opportunities that could await you as an RN, you can earn your ADN in as few as 18 months, while the traditional BSN route is more likely to take as few as 33 months.* If youve already obtained a bachelors degree in a different field and youd like to pursue a BSN as your second degree, you can complete a program in closer to 18 months.*
There is also an option for practicing RNs who are not yet baccalaureate-qualified to earn a BSN in as few as 18 months with online RN to BSN programs.* And finally, if youre hoping to take your career even further with an MSN, youll need to first earn your BSN and then complete at least another 18 months of schooling to become Masters-qualified.*
The Situational Judgement Test
The College of Nursing requires applicants to complete an online situational judgement test. This test, called Casper assesses non-academic attributes and inter-personal skills essential for success in nursing.
The situational judgement test involves a series of video-or text-based scenarios and asks test-takers what they would do and why they would do it. The test assesses for communication, collaboration, equity, professionalism, problem solving, empathy, motivation and ethics. There are no wrong answers.
To take the test, applicants must create an account and reserve a test date. Government-issued photo identification is required.
This test must be completed by applicants in the year for which they are applying. Applicants who do not complete the test by the document deadline will be ineligible for admission.
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During The Nursing School Application Cycle
Once you’ve narrowed the list of schools you want to apply to and have your materials in order, follow these steps to submit your application.
- Confirm the application deadline for the schools you’re applying to. Dates and application cycles vary from school to school.
- Get applications and complete the application packets you receive in full. If you have questions about the application for a specific school, contact the school directly.
- Return the completed application packet. Don’t forget to include any entrance exam scores, letters of recommendation, and any other required items. Be sure letters of recommendation are addressed to individual schools.
- Continue to work and volunteer as you wait for results. You can also use this time to prepare for potential nursing school interviews. Check out this guide to internships and volunteer opportunities for prenursing students.
After you do these basic things, the NursingCAS will verify your application and release the information to the different schools, usually within four weeks of receiving it.
The specific amount of time it will take them to review will vary, but applying for nursing school early will often help to ensure that your application is viewed more quickly and with more detail. In other words, applying early is to your benefit.
Nursing Career Outlook And Salary
According to nursing job projections from the BLS, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
The increase in nursing jobs is due in part to the aging baby boomer population, which will need additional nursing care as they continue to develop chronic conditions that need management, such as diabetes, dementia and heart disease.
According to salary data for registered nurses, the median annual wage for RNs was $75,330 in May 2020. The lowest 10% earned less than $53,410, and the highest 10% earned more than $116,230.
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Academic Requirements For Nursing Programs
Expect some prerequisites at either level, but more for BSN programs. Common prerequisites at the ADN level include anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and developmental psychology there will likely be some science courses required. At the baccalaureate level, statistics is a common prerequisite. Science requirements may include anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and biology. Chemistry sometimes makes the list.
What about grades? BSN programs often set the minimum GPA at 3.0. ADN programs are more likely to set the minimum somewhere in the 2.0 to 2.75 range. Grades in prerequisite courses may be considered separately. *These are minimum requirements and to be competitive you should aim much higher.
When interest exceeds available spots, grades are often an important factor. This can happen at both levels. Its not uncommon for students with GPAs far above 3.5 to be turned away from BSN programs. Still, nursing admission is like college admission: Different programs put weight on different things. Exceptional students are sometimes admitted to bachelors programs with less than a 3.0. Community colleges, meanwhile, do sometimes give priority to students who live in their service area.
Brandy Gleason Msn Mha Bc
Brandy Gleason, MSN, MHA, BC-NC, is a nursing professional with nearly 20 years of varied nursing experience. Gleason currently teaches as an assistant professor of nursing within a prelicensure nursing program and coaches graduate students. Her passion and area of research centers around coaching nurses and nursing students to build resilience and avoid burnout.
Gleason is a paid member of our Healthcare Review Partner Network. Learn more about our review partners here.
NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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Research Your Options And Career Paths
Define and establish what you want out of nursing. Ask yourself these questions:
1. What setting do I want to work in?
2. What type of nursing degree program do I want to pursue?
- Associates degree in nursing
3. Where am I in my career journey?
- High school graduate looking at colleges
- Some college courses/Associates Degree deciding on my major
- Bachelors degree in another field considering a career change
Nursing School Gpa Requirements
Erica, thank you so much for visiting and I love that you find my nurse blog helpful.that means a lot to me The program you mentioned called the abc sounds awesomeI wish they had something like that here in TN that would help out so many people.
Now to your question: I dont know what the GPA requirements are for the school that you will be going to but I can give you my experience from my college with the GPA stuff and admission. At my college they did NOT take my high school grades into consideration for me to get into nursing school.. only my pre-requisite grades that I received prior to admission to nursing school. Im in a four-year nursing program. The first two years consisted of taking university core classes and then when I was done taking those classes I applied to nursing school . So they accepted everyone based on their GPA up to that point with the core classes. However, in order for me to get into the university they required like a high school GPA of 2.? and a decent ACT score but this was to get into the university so I could take my pre-requisites so I could apply to nursing school. The lowest GPA I think they allowed to get into my nursing school was a 3.0.
If I were you I would call the hosptial where you are getting your RN and ask what they go by in order to get accepted then gofrom there. I wish you much luck and hope everything works out for you. That is awesome you already have a phlebotomoy cert.you will excel in the IV & drawing blood part.
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Is Financial Aid Available For Online Nursing Programs
If youre worried about paying for your education, there are financial aid options to consider. These apply to online and traditional programs.
Federal aid: Students attending an accredited school and program can get financial aid through the federal government in the form of loans, grants, and work-study programs.
Scholarships: There are many scholarships available, some for students in all fields and some designed specifically for nurses.
If, after graduation, you find work with a nonprofit organization, government agency, or in a region that has a critical shortage of nurses, you might also qualify for student loan forgiveness after a certain period of time.
How Hard Is Nursing School
Nursing degree programs are known for their rigorous coursework. According to the AACN, in a university or college setting, the first two years of a traditional BSN program include classes in the humanities, social sciences, basic sciences, business, psychology, technology, sociology, ethics, and nutrition.
In the junior and senior years of university, the curriculum focuses on the nursing sciences, and emphasis moves from the classroom to health facilities. This is where students are exposed to clinical skills, nursing theory and the varied roles nurses play in the health care system.
Courses include nurse leadership, health promotion, family planning, mental health, environmental and occupational health, adult and pediatric care, medical and surgical care, psychiatric care, community health, management and home health care.
While nursing school can be a challenge, it is important to prepare students for their licensing exam, as well as a rewarding career in nursing.
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How Long Is Certified Nursing Assistant School
Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, are also referred to as Nurses Aides, Patient Care Assistants or Nursing Assistants. As the title indicates, they report to and assist Registered Nurses or Licensed Practical Nurses.
Completing a program to become a CNA generally takes 4-12 weeks. You can become a Certified Nursing Assistant by taking a state-approved training program offered through local hospitals or at community colleges.
After you complete the CNA program, you will be eligible to take a state-administered competency exam that consists of both a multiple-choice written exam and a practical skills exam. Once you have passed this exam you will be certified and eligible to apply for a CNA job and to begin working.
Full Time Vs Part Time
If you are able to dedicate yourself to your education on a full-time basis you will complete the program in the shortest period of time, but your personal responsibilities or financial situation may make that impossible.
Fortunately, studying part-time offers a solution to both of those challenges, reducing the costs and providing the flexibility to continue working, caring for your family, or attending to whatever other commitments you have.
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How To Prepare For Nursing School
Nursing school is notoriously tough. And with more and more students pursuing nursing degrees, preparing for the competitive pace of nursing school is no easy feat.
But nursing is also an incredibly rewarding profession, making going to nursing school well worth the effort. The even better news is that your time preparing for school is made easier when you have the right tips and tools for success.
In this guide, youll gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to get ready for your nursing career, as well as uncover some bonus tips for making nursing school a breeze.
Set Yourself Up For Success In Nursing
Becoming a nurse starts with finding the right nursing school. As one of the oldest nursing programs in the south, Mercers Georgia Baptist College of Nursing has a history of nursing excellence. If you already have a non-nursing bachelors degree, our accredited ABSN track in Atlanta could be your quickest path to a career in nursing one that will rigorously prepare you to be a skilled, compassionate nurse leader. Give us a call today to find out if Mercer ABSN is right for you.
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Good Luck Nursing School Is Worth It
Nursing school is hard. There is no doubt about it. Everyone will tell you how much it sucks. Especially those late night studies where you arent really sure if youre going to pass or fail. But, the important thing to remember is how rewarding it can be once you finish.
Not only will it be emotionally and physically rewarding when you know youre helping people heal and live better lives. But, it is also monetarily rewarding.
With nursing, not only do you start at an typically high starting salary. But you also have the potential to grow. You can go back to school and get your MSN or DNP or PHD. This potentially doubles or triples your salary! CRNAs are some of the highest paid masters degree recipients out there!
If you think that you will struggle, there are a lot of tips to help you get through nursing school! You will meet friends in your classes that will help you get through as well. In addition, talk to nurses who have gone through it or talk to the school prior. Ask if they think it is the right fit for you based on your prior education.
Just remember to stick with it, you got in for a reason, you can do it!
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Lpn/lvn Certificate Or Diploma
A licensed practical nurse certificate is a nondegree diploma offered at vocational schools, community colleges, and sometimes at hospitals themselves. In Texas and California, this role is known as a licensed vocational nurse .
Both LPN and LVN programs prepare you to work under the supervision of RNs and perform the following key duties:
- Take vital signs
- Change wound dressings and insert catheters
- Assist with tests, sample collection, and procedures
- Administer medication and injections
- Improve patient comfort
In addition to clinical applications, youll also learn about general medical topics that include anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and emergency care. Specialty certifications in areas such as IV therapy, long-term care, pharmacology, and breastfeeding support are also available.
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Attend A Nursing Information Session
Many schools will provide nursing information sessions for prospective students who are looking to learn more about their program. In fact, some of them require it if you plan to enroll in courses at their school.
At these sessions, youll have the opportunity to meet some important members of the faculty, you will learn more about the nursing school requirements and what you can expect from that particular program. Youll also have the chance to ask any additional questions you may have. Even if this isnt technically a requirement for your school of choice, its always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the program and gather additional information.