The Nursing Program: How To Be A Competitive Candidate

This one is for my prospective nursing students from the class of 2019! I have been getting several emails and messages on Hope on Facebook regarding applying to the nursing program, so I thought I’d blog about it! It’s all in a Q & A format. At the end, I also have some advice from current junior and senior students. I hope you all find this useful, future Hope nurses.

1. How difficult is it to get into the program?

No sugar coating here. Hope College’s nursing program is a competitive one. And as the years go on, it gets even more competitive. Because more people hear about how amazing the program is, more people apply. Simple math. But the department can only take a handful of students. These students are the ones who are the most competitive in the applicant pool. To answer this question, it is competitive to get into the program, but for good reason!

2. When do you apply for the nursing program?

Great question! Applications can be found on the nursing website and the application process starts in the FALL of your freshman year. Applications are due SPRING of you freshman year. Details on application dates can be found on the nursing website. Applications come out early so you can perfect it. It is important to establish connections and relationships with your professors and faculty because you will NEED references, so make them great ones! When you submit your application, your grades from fall semester play an important role. There is a GPA requirement, so you’ll need to do well in your classes. Also, you will have to take a test, termed the TEAS. This merely measures foundational knowledge so it will give the department an understanding of your knowledge.

3. What classes should I take for pre-nursing?

Read up, this is important! If you are applying for the program, make sure you apply for the classes that are needed to apply for the program. The department has established a “Plan of Study.” This outlines which classes need to be taken each semester in order to graduate. It also lists the name of the classes and whether they are offered only during the fall, spring, or both semesters. When you register for classes later on, you will know for sure which classes to take!

Now, for some advice! I hope these quotes will help you out!

As a freshman you’re excited about being away at college for the first time and there’s so much freedom & opportunities that can fill up your time. Although it’s important to build friendships & find extra curriculars you enjoy, school & grades are important in your first semester at Hope if you’re going to apply to the nursing program. I would recommend maybe picking one extracurricular your first semester to give yourself a break from homework, but focus on school. That first semester is a quick 4 months that can effect the rest of your college career; have fun but work hard so you have the grades to show you’re committed & deserve a spot in this wonderful program. – Junior Nursing Student

Advice #2

Involvement in volunteer services is key! Gain experience through shadowing opportunities, volunteering in the community and CNA/medical office work. Buy the TEAS study guide book and use it to take practice questions. It will help to boost your score on the TEAS as well as prepare you first NCLEX-style questions in nursing school. – Junior Nursing Student


Advice #3

Get ready to work your butt off. It’s going to be difficult at times, and you will definitely want to quit. I have thought about quitting on several occasions. But the result of working hard is success! Because of my hard work, I was able to have great grades and was accepted into the program. Make sure to focus on academics, but get involved. That’s why its hard. Involvement makes you a well-rounded individual, and those make the best nurses.

-Senior Nursing Student


I hope that this blog gives you some comfort about the application process. If you have any more questions, please please please do not hesitate to email me or message me. I tweet and post instagram pics quite often regarding my everyday life in the nursing program. If you want to follow me on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15 or follow me on Instagram at MarvSolberg, that’s always an option!

My friend Molly and me as freshmen. Now are are seniors in the nursing program!
My friend Molly and me as freshmen. Now are are seniors in the nursing program!

Published by Marvin Solberg

Greetings! My name is Marvin Solberg and my hometown is Traverse City, Michigan. I am a Hope College senior studying nursing, and aspire to obtain my Ph.D. in nursing research with the ultimate goal of becoming a professor. At Hope College, I am involved in Student Activities Committee (SAC), Student Blogging at Admissions, Ballet and Hip-Hop Club, Hope College Immersion Trips, and I am a nursing teaching assistant (TA)! I love God, my family, and friends. There's truly no place like Hope College; I call it my home away from home!

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