Nurses hoping to make more money and work in administrative positions need a graduate degree, but prospective students should look closely at the prerequisites for a Master’s in Nursing. Though every school has its own application process, deadlines and requirements, there are a few things that most programs require. Those who do not meet these requirements will not earn a spot in the program. Here are some of the requirements you will need to review before you submit application materials to prospective graduate nursing programs.
Most graduate nursing programs now require that students take a number of courses before beginning their graduate studies. Some of these required classes are typically associated with nursing, including human anatomy, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and human physiology. You may also need to show that you took at least one advanced math class and science courses with a laboratory component. However, there may be other required classes that are not typically associated with nursing, including communications, sociology, or psychology classes. Some schools require that nursing students take required courses on their campus, while others will accept a passing credit transfer from another school.
Letters of Recommendation
One of the major prerequisites for most graduate programs is at least one letter of recommendation, but some nursing and medical programs require letters from at least three people. While undergraduate programs often ask for at least one letter from a peer, for a master’s program you’ll need to obtain letters of recommendation from professionals working within your field. This might include a nursing supervisor at work, a doctor you previously worked with or one of your nursing professors. Those letters should demonstrate that you have proficiency in the nursing field and the skills needed for graduate work.
Those applying to medical school must take the GMAT, but those applying to other graduate schools need to take the Graduate Records Examination. Also known as the GRE, it consists of three sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing. According to the Educational Testing Service, you can earn up to 170 points on each of the reasoning sections and up to six points on the writing section. If you take the test more than once, you can request that the organization hold your scores and only send your highest scores. Check with the nursing program that interests you about the minimum score needed for admission.
Transcript and Other Requirements
The prerequisites for a Master’s in Nursing also include submission of a transcript from every school attended in the recent past. If you started your nursing program at a community college and then moved to a university, you need to send transcripts from each school. Some programs may also require a personal statement or an essay. Typically, this is providing a response to a specific question provided by the program, such as asking your personal feelings on a new medical law or what you think about new advances in the medical field.
Finishing an undergraduate degree in nursing is just one of the prerequisites required for graduate school. You also need to take the GRE and submit your scores, acquire letters of recommendation from those who know you best, and provide a transcript documenting course completion from other colleges.
Related Resource: 50 Great Non-School Specific Nursing Scholarships