If you’re looking at a degree in the health industry, you’re probably going to need to start with a solid education. And while admission requirements vary with different programs, there are a few tips for meeting these requirements and making it through the admissions process.
While not all people going into the health industry need a college education, anyone interested in diagnosing and treating areas are among the most educated workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So it’s vital to make sure that when you apply, you do it right.
Your GPA. Most colleges will want to see a minimum GPA of 2.0 or 2.5 or better with no grades below a C. If you didn’t do so hot in high school and have no college education, taking a course to show your higher commitment to academic excellence may be a great way to start. For nursing students who lack recent experience, many schools recommend taking an RN refresher course prior to enrolling in clinical nursing courses.
Transcripts. You’ll need these whether you’re going for a Bachelor’s or a Master’s in the health field. Make sure to give the schools you’ve attended enough time to generate these documents before your admission deadline.
Recommendation letters. Get prepared to make people sing about you. This is a great time to draw upon any health-related experiences you’ve had. Get in touch with a supervisor or colleague and explain to them your situation. Give them enough time to generate a letter and make sure you give them specific instructions for submitting these letters—some may send it directly to the school while other programs require that you submit your own letters with your admissions package.
Essays. Some programs will require you to write an essay. The most important thing aside from the message of this document is that it is proofread and free of errors. Make sure a friend gives it a look-over before you submit it.
Fees. It’s very likely that you’ll have to pay an admission fee. This is standard for any program and will hopefully be in the $100 range, though many programs charge less.
Copy your licenses. If you have an associated license for the health field you’re applying, many schools will want to see a copy of it. For example, registered nurses with an associate’s degrees or diploma in nursing may pursue the BSN degree, but will be required to submit a copy of their existing license. Prepare to head to a photocopier to make a copy of this document.
Stay smart. Should you be looking at getting into Master-level programs, you’re probably going to need to make sure you’ve taken exams such as the GRE or TOEFL. Make sure you register for these courses to give yourself enough time to pass, possibly retest, and still make the admissions deadline.
Get grilled. If you’re going for the gusto and preparing to become a doctor, you’ve got to prepare for an interview. Dress well, be yourself and stay professional.
The most important thing you can do when applying to a program is follow the directions. You may have to submit two applications to different sources, as well. Make sure all forms are complete and check with the school to ensure you meet their requirements. Then it’s off and you can wait eagerly for that acceptance letter!