By Edwina Rochelle
If you are a certified nursing assistant interested in getting into nursing school, you are immediately one of the first to be considered for entry. Despite the fact that there has been a nursing shortage for almost a decade in the US and there are no signs of this letting up, nursing schools often have year long waitlists. You’ve completed all your requirements – Anatomy, Physiology, Statistics, Microbiology – , filled out your applications, gathered your transcripts and apply. Even if you get accepted, you won’t start until two years later. Bypassing this waitlist is a coveted thing. You have what everyone else wants. Don’t be too modest to mention this in your nursing school admission essay.
As you know, you had to not only go through an education program but you had to pass your certification in order to become a CNA. It may have only been a few weeks, but it’s more than many applicants have. This makes your job a career and elevates its importance. A great deal of what you learn in nursing school begins with the basics you got from these classes or trainings. Let this inform your nursing school admission essay with the confidence you need to write strongly about your experiences.
Your work as a CNA has given you first hand knowledge about what it takes to be a nurse. Not only have you watched nurses on the job every day and know what the job entails, but you’ve worked with them and supported them in their positions. You know nurses personally, so you get to see the emotional side of it. You know what they go through on the job and off. You’ve watched them fail and seen them succeed. If anybody is prepared for becoming a nurse, it’s you.
Think through your experiences at work. Is there anything you can think of, a story or anecdote, that you can relate in your nursing school admission essay that is humorous and engaging while demonstrating your knowledge, experience, and ability in the field? Choosing one of these will go a long way toward making your nursing admission essay stand out from the rest.
You’ve paid them. You’ve changed bed pans, given baths, dressed patients, assisted toilet trips, provided incontinent care, and emptied and took care of catheters. You’ve answered call lights of persistent patients, helped people walk down the hall, assisted in daily physical therapy exercises, and done the heavy lifting with wheelchair bound patients. You’ve cleaned up after patients and done everything that the nurses ask of you. You’ve done the work of two to cover the shortage problem and often taken on the duties that should have gone to the nurses. You’ve provided post mortem care, been the nurses eyes and ears, and documented care of patients. You’ve been kicked, tripped, pushed, thrown up on, peed on, bled on – There is nothing you haven’t gone through to get your job done. You’ve paid your dues and you deserve to get into nursing school. Tell them that in your nursing school admission essay.
You’re in it. Special spaces are saved on the nursing school roster for those already in the profession who are looking to move up. Use this to your advantage. Mention the facilities you’ve worked at and who your supervisors are, especially if they have anything to do with the school. Every little bit helps to make your nursing school admission essay jump you over the waitlist and into nursing school.
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