How to Get into Nursing School in 5 Steps

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Nursing admissions is simplified with these five steps for how to get into nursing school. Marquette University is here to help you as you research, speak with admissions, complete requirements and prerequisites, and submit your application before finally getting into nursing school.

woman writing and using laptop

If you are beginning your journey toward getting into nursing school, you probably have questions about what your experience will be like and how you can optimize your application. How hard is it to get into nursing school? What are the requirements to get into nursing school? You must complete a few steps before getting accepted into a program.

At Marquette University’s Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, our admissions policies, process and staff are oriented toward helping you better understand how to get into nursing school. Our goal is to inform and support you throughout the process as you begin on the path toward earning an MSN degree and entering the field as a practice-ready nurse. This post will explore five steps you must take before being admitted into nursing school.

1. Research Nursing Programs

When it comes to earning a degree and pursuing a nursing career, you can pursue myriad practice areas and levels of education. Degree options can range from an associate degree in nursing to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to an advanced degree such as an MSN or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Which one you choose will depend on your previous education experience, the time you want to spend in nursing school, the nursing practice areas you might want to pursue, and the dedication you can commit to the program.

Generally, the more advanced the degree, the more qualified you become for specialized or advanced practice nursing positions. A traditional nursing program most often takes the form of a BSN. An MSN degree usually requires a previous BSN and nursing experience, but this is only true of some MSN programs.

Marquette’s Direct Entry MSN program is designed for students with a previous non-nursing bachelor’s degree. It is an excellent option for those who would like to pursue an advanced degree without previous nursing education or experience.

nurse smiling and shaking hands with coworkers

Why choose an MSN over other degree programs? Learn more about what you can do with a Master’s in Nursing.

When choosing a school, find one that aligns with your values and priorities for becoming a nurse. Take location into account as well to ensure it is feasible with your living situation. Lastly, look into area hospitals to ensure the program provides a quality clinical rotation experience.

2. Talk with Admissions

Once you find a school that you think might be a good fit for you, contact the admissions department to learn more about the admissions process, determine your eligibility, and have any additional questions about the program answered. When you contact admissions, you are not making any commitments. You are simply evaluating your options and getting a feel for what that nursing school offers.

Your admissions adviser will be your primary point of contact throughout the process. They are your advocate and will be available to help map out all the steps you must take before submitting your application.

3. Complete Eligibility Requirements

nursing students reading textbooks

After speaking to an admissions adviser, you will better understand whether you are ready to enroll and what timeline you would like to start. Your adviser will help you make those decisions and prepare your application. While each school will have its own requirements, all will require you to demonstrate preparedness and a solid dedication to the program.

To be considered for admission into Marquette’s Direct Entry MSN program, you should be located near northern Illinois or southern Wisconsin and:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater
  • Complete all prerequisite courses within our requirements
  • Submit official academic transcripts, an updated resume, three letters of recommendation and an admissions statement via the Marquette Graduation School application portal

Did you know many nursing schools take your resume into account during admission? Here are five resume tips to help you stand out.

nurse looking at laptop smiling

4. Complete Prerequisites

In a traditional nursing track, you might spend up to two years completing prerequisites before being admitted into the program. Marquette’s Direct Entry MSN program utilizes previous credits to count toward your MSN degree so you can earn your master’s degree on an accelerated timeline. However, you may have a few remaining classes that must be completed before you are eligible for admission.

Speak with your admissions adviser to determine the dates, time, and modality that is best for you to complete prerequisites. They will help you determine which prerequisites you’ve already taken and how many you still need. Your program start date will depend on when you have passed every prerequisite.

Marquette nursing student putting on gloves

5. Submit Your Application

When you have fulfilled all admissions requirements, finished your prerequisites, and feel confident in your preparation, it is time to submit your application. You will know whether you have been admitted into the program as soon as a decision has been made.

Upon acceptance into the program, you will officially have completed your admissions journey and can begin your new adventure as an MSN student.

How to Prepare for Your Time as a Marquette Student

At Marquette, we want you to have a seamless transition into the program. While you can be sure you will experience a supportive environment, you can do a few things during the admissions process to prepare yourself for nursing school.

Here are a few tips for success before you get started:

Keep a Calendar

Forming good habits now will help you be more successful during admissions and serve you during nursing school. Make sure you organize your life effectively, set up your weekly schedule, and put important dates on your calendar so that you are planning for important admissions due dates.

Invest in Your Community

Admissions is a busy time, and maintaining relationships during the nursing program may only get more difficult. However, your relationships with friends and family are so important. Don’t forget the people who encourage your dreams and support you. They will help you find balance and keep going when things get hard.

smiling portrait of nursing student holding clipboard

Use Your Resources

Marquette is here for you in all of the challenges that you will face. Your admissions adviser is here to help you at any time, whether to help build your application, set due dates, or even call to answer questions and provide encouragement. We are your advocates and want to see you succeed in the program.

To learn more about how to get into nursing school at Marquette University’s Direct Entry MSN program, contact us today by filling out our online form. An admissions adviser will contact you shortly to help answer your questions and get you started on your own nursing admissions journey.