Preparing for Nursing School in High School

It is never too early to begin considering the best choices to make in order to get into nursing school.  Nursing school admission is a highly competitive process and making choices during the high school years that can give one a competitive edge is one of the best ways to smooth the transition from student to nurse.


Algebra is used in the daily life of a nurse, so it is important to take this course in high school.  Geometry, physics, chemistry, and biology are also classes that should be considered before entering college.  Computer skills are vital to a nursing career, so it would be wise to take computer classes while still in high school.  When possible, taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes is a good option.  Since getting admitted into a nursing program is such a competitive process, maintaining the best grades in the most advanced classes you can handle will look very good on your application.  Nursing programs tend to be rigorous, so it is also important to establish good study habits during the high school years.  Of course, grades and coursework are not the only factors to consider when preparing for nursing school admission.


Nursing schools require a variety of entrance exams, so it is important to prepare for the SAT and ACT.  In addition to these traditional standardized tests, some nursing schools are offering National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Examination (NLN PAX) or the Entrance Exam for Schools of Nursing.  Although not every nursing school requires these additional exams, select schools might and it is best to research that and prepare for the tests as early as possible.  Nursing entrance exams may test for more skills than the SAT and ACT, which is also why taking the most advanced high school classes possible will be beneficial.


Volunteering at a hospital, veteran’s home, or nursing home facility is also a wonderful way to prepare for a career in nursing while in high school.  Even working in the front office can give a realistic picture of what life as a nurse will look like.  Also, volunteering is a good opportunity to find a mentor in the nursing field and you may discover scholarship opportunities, as well.  While any kind of community service is beneficial on college applications, it can be even more positive when the nursing school applicant has volunteered in a nursing environment.  This activity may demonstrate that the applicant’s desire to become a nurse is rooted in reality and that the applicant has some idea of what a nursing career entails. 




A career in nursing can be extremely rewarding and the sooner you begin preparing to succeed, the better.  Nurses are in high demand and the demand is growing every year.  Getting admitted into a nursing school can be a complicated and challenging process, so take advantage of the high school years and give yourself an edge over the competition.