Baccalaureate nurses are in higher demand than ever, with the Institute of Medicine calling for 80% of nurses to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) by 2020. Unfortunately, there are more nursing students applying to school than there are programs to educate them. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), more than 30,000 qualified applicants have been turned away from nursing education programs every year since 2002. The situation seems especially dire for nursing school applicants in California. In 2009, 60 percent of applicants who met the admission criteria weren’t accepted.
When nursing programs can’t accommodate the full number of qualified applicants, many of them “wait list” the remaining students for a future term, which may have a start date that’s months or even years away. If you find yourself on a wait list for a nursing program in California, here are three steps you can take to regain control of the process:
Confirm the school’s wait list policy.
Each nursing school approaches their wait lists differently. To see where you stand, find out how decisions were made about those who weren’t offered a seat. If acceptance is based solely on merit, investigate ways to strengthen your application that would increase your chances of joining the next cohort. This might include repeating one or more nursing prerequisite courses to raise your GPA or retaking a nursing entrance exam like the Test of Academic Skills (TEAS) to improve your score. However, if candidates are selected through a random lottery system, there’s literally nothing you can do but wait for your name to be selected.
Get a head start on the curriculum.
This might be a possibility if a new start term has been assigned to you by the school, if you’ll be exempt from upcoming changes to admissions criteria and if the school allows you to complete requirements independently. (That’s a lot of ifs!) The school may allow you to complete corequisites or take another action that keeps you engaged while you wait to officially begin classes. Talk to the admissions staff at your California school to investigate your options.
Apply to a nursing program that doesn’t have a wait list.
If you’re ready to start your nursing education, there’s no reason to wait, especially when there are accredited nursing programs that can accommodate you now! Roseman’s accelerated nursing program in Las Vegas doesn’t have a wait list, and it was designed for those with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to complete a BSN in 16 months so you can enter the RN workforce faster. To integrate professional theory with hands-on experience, our program follows a hybrid model of online classes, bedside care practice and clinical placements in hospitals and healthcare sites in Southern Nevada. Better still, you can take your BSN from Roseman and become licensed as an RN in any state, so if you decide after graduation that you want to practice in California, that option remains open to you. But the longer you wait to get started, the longer you wait to begin your career.
The time you spend on a nursing school’s wait list in California could be used to complete your BSN in Las Vegas! To learn more about Roseman University nursing, give us a call at 877.885.8399. You can also download our free ABSN roadmap, which outlines everything you need to know about the admissions process.