What to Expect at Each Stage of the MSN (Entry Into Nursing) Application Process

What to Expect at Each Stage of the MSN (Entry Into Nursing) Application Process

Written by Ashley White

You decided to become a nurse. Congrats! It’s a great decision. Now it’s time to dig in and map out your nursing education – researching the right program, applying and then matriculating before you even get down to the serious business of learning.

If you’re wondering what to do next, you’re in luck! Here’s what to consider at each stage of research and application.

Step 1: Determine what program is right for you

At this part of the application process, you are in the search phase. This is the time where you research institutions and programs, attend information sessions, review websites, and reach out to admissions for preliminary questions about the application process.

Gather information on what is required for the applications of each program you are considering. Check on the prerequisites you need, what activities boost your application package, and more.

Step 2: Apply to your schools of choice

Now you should have a solid list of preferred schools. Go to their websites to learn how to apply. Many nursing schools use NursingCAS— this is the only way to apply to programs at Johns Hopkins,.

Gather the documents you need for your application (transcripts, essays, resumes, recommendations, and additional information that may be useful) and prepare to submit them for the admissions committee to review.

Step 3: Submit your applications on or before the deadlines

Now that you have gathered all of your documents, you are ready to send in your application. We recommend submitting your application before the deadline so that you can check in on any last-minute updates.

Make sure your recommenders are aware of the deadlines so that your applications are not held up. Don’t be shy about poking recommenders to remind them to submit your application—you can remind them through many online application systems.

Step 4: Press submit and await your decision

Once you submit your application, the next thing you can do is BREATHE! You have completed your applications and that is a huge accomplishment!

You can track your application online since you will have access to it all the way through until a decision has been released. You can also continue to learn more about the programs of the schools you’ve applied for and ask admissions about their decision timeline.

Step 5: Decisions have been released, now what?

Typically schools will send you an email notification letting you know that your decision has been released. There are four possibilities:

  • Admit: If you have been admitted, CONGRATULATIONS! Now you should be get information on the next steps (enrollment deposits, financial aid information, Accepted Students events, etc.). If you received multiple offers, compare them and pick the institution that will be the best fit for you.

  • Conditional Admit: This admission decision means that you have been admitted under the condition that certain criteria have been met. Typically the conditions of your admission can be found in your decision letter. Reach out to admissions if you need clarification on your next steps. As long as the conditions are met you can follow the same steps as the students who were directly admitted.

  • Waitlist: This decision typically means that your application has potential but there may be some additional information we may need to make a final decision. Reach out to admissions to see how they use their waitlists. Some institutions may not pull from their waitlists at all, as every admissions cycle is different. In this situation, it is okay in most cases to apply for a later semester. We recommend reaching out to admissions to see what you can do to strengthen your application for resubmission.

  • Deny: If you have been denied, it is okay! You are more than welcomed to reach out to admissions to see where your application fell short. Also you are still a great student and there are many nursing programs out there that may be a better fit for you. Do not give up on your dreams if being a nurse is for you. Know that there are doctoral programs and other MSN specialties that you can be considered for after you obtain your RN licensure and entry degrees. So a deny is not always bad news, this may just be a sign to do more searching until you can get to where you want to be.

Admissions Talks is a series by the admissions team at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Hopkins nurses are full partners and leaders in the health care process, and their role in patient care is unmatched. The admissions team is here to offer advice and guidance on how to be a competitive applicant. Admissions & Financial Aid at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

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Ashley White is Assistant Director for Diversity Initiatives at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Contact her at 410-955-7791 or [email protected].

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