3 Ways to Increase Chances of Getting into Nursing School

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Nurse wearing red scrubs standing in patient room

Finding the right nursing program can be tricky. It’s hard to know what to look for in a program and how to tell if you’ll be a good fit. Each program has its own set of requirements, and sometimes it can be confusing to sift through all of them.

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at University of St. Thomas Houston has three requirements for admission. The best part? You’ll have a dedicated and knowledgeable admissions counselor to help you through each step. They’ll verify your eligibility for the University of St. Thomas Accelerated BSN program and make sure you don’t miss application deadlines or forget to submit necessary paperwork or documentation.

Our 12-month ABSN program in Houston allows you to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing on an accelerated timeline, even if you have no prior healthcare experience. Our requirements to get into nursing school ensure you’ll have a solid foundation on which to build your nursing education. We’ll outline them below.

1. Find the Right Program for You

The first step to a rewarding career as a nurse is finding the right program for you. If you’re ready to become the best version of yourself by using your existing bachelor’s degree or college credits to earn a BSN in as few as 12 months, we think the University of St. Thomas is the best place to do just that.

ABSN@UST is a rigorous program designed to prepare you for a rewarding career as a nurse on an accelerated timeline. The program blends online coursework, onsite skills labs and clinical rotations to help you hone your skills and become a capable and confident nurse.

Our program may be right for you if you’re looking for:

  • Hands-on learning through skills and simulation labs at our ABSN Learning Center North
  • Three start dates a year to accommodate your nursing education plans
  • Flexible online nursing theory coursework
  • Nursing educators who are available and dedicated to your success.

2. Meet Program Requirements

The requirements to get into nursing school vary from school to school. ABSN@UST streamlines the process to ensure you are prepared to begin your nursing coursework as soon as possible.

Complete the Prerequisites

Before you’re able to start on your path toward becoming a nurse, you need to have a balanced and strong academic background to prepare you for the BSN curriculum. As such, to qualify for enrollment into ABSN@UST, you first need to submit proof that you have completed 10 prerequisite courses through an accredited college, university or community college.

An ABSN@UST admissions counselor will review your unofficial transcripts from your previous education and check to see if any of your prior undergraduate credits count toward this requirement. If they don’t, you may need to complete prerequisites before you’re eligible to apply for our ABSN program.

The ABSN@UST admissions team will guide you in determining exactly which ABSN prerequisite courses you may need to complete. We understand you’ll probably want to start your ABSN coursework as soon as possible; your dedicated admissions counselor will work hard to help you create a plan for completing these courses in time for your target start date in our program.

Once you complete your needed prerequisite courses with a C or better, you can cross this requirement off your list and prepare for the next step of enrolling in your ABSN coursework.

three students standing at black board

Have a Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or Higher

The second requirement for admission into UST’s Accelerated BSN program is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. If you don’t initially meet this requirement to get into nursing school, it’s a good idea to mention it to your ABSN@UST admissions counselor. They’ll be happy to work with you to see what may be achievable for you to raise your GPA through prerequisite courses or other avenues.

Luckily, ABSN@UST offers three start dates per year — in January, May and August — so if you need a little more time to work on raising your GPA, another start date is always near.

Earn a Score of 80 or Higher on the HESI Exam

An additional requirement for admission into ABSN@UST is passing the Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) Admission Assessment exam with a score of 80% in each of the following sections:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Math
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Taking an entrance exam such as the HESI is a fairly standard nursing school admissions requirement, so it’s important to do all you can to adequately prepare for it. After all, it’s to your advantage to earn the highest score you can to increase your chances of getting into nursing school.

That said, here are a few tips for preparing for the HESI:

  • Study early and often. Setting aside some time each week dedicated to studying for the HESI can make you more familiar with it and help cut out any test anxiety you might have.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Take a HESI practice test to get to know what to expect on exam day. A practice test will help you improve and show you which areas you may need to brush up on.
  • Confidence is key. Go into your test confident in the work you’ve put in and in your commitment to becoming a nurse. If you’ve studied and taken practice tests, there’s no reason you shouldn’t pass the HESI test with flying colors. But rest assured, if you don’t pass on the first try, you will be able to take it again. You can actually take the HESI twice, and if you’re still having trouble, you can wait at least 6 weeks and then get approval to take it a third time. If the third time isn’t the charm, you may be advised to take the TEAS exam.

3. Talk to an Admissions Counselor

ABSN student in lab

If the University of St. Thomas feels like it might be a good fit, you owe it to yourself to learn more about enrolling in the ABSN program in Houston, Texas, and taking the next step toward becoming a nurse.

The admissions counselors at ABSN@UST are here to answer any questions you may have about our 12-month ABSN program and help you determine which requirements to get into nursing school you may need to fulfill. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you start your nursing journey.