Nursing School Resources

Our fact sheet for nursing school is compiled from reputable internet sources and based on our work with previous students in the field. We hope it helps you navigate and simplify the cryptic admissions process.

Nursing School Resources

Central Application Website

Top 10 Schools (US News)

  • Duke University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Emory University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Washington
  • Yale University
  • Columbia University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Maryland - Baltimore

Degree Duration (typical)

  • 2-3 years

Application Opens

  • August 23

Application Deadline

  • Various - August 18 (following year)

Standardized Tests Required

  • GRE (some programs)

Profile of a Successful Applicant

Recommended Test Score

  • 152+ verbal
  • 152+ quant
  • (300 minimum for some programs)
  • 4.0+ writing

Recommended GPA

  • 3.3+
  • 3.0 (a minimum for some programs)

Course Requirements (varies)

  • 1 semester of general chemistry with lab
  • 2 semesters of biology with lab
  • 1 semester of microbiology with lab
  • 1 semester of human anatomy with lab
  • 1 semester of physiology with lab
  • 1 semester of nutrition
  • 1 semester of statistics
  • 2 semesters of English
  • 1 semester of psychology or sociology

Letters of Rec

  • 2-4 letters required based on program
  • (letters often come from nurses, science professors, or healthcare/work supervisors)

Recommended Experience

  • CPR and first aid certification
  • 100-150+ hospital volunteering hours
  • 100-400 total observation/shadowing hours
  • 1-2 leadership experiences (work/extracurricular)

Typical Essay Requirement

  • Personal Statement (500 words)
  • Supplemental essays (some schools)


6+ Months Before Applying

  • Take all pre-requisite courses (finishing by the date you apply is ideal)
  • Decide whom to ask for letters of recommendation
  • Make a GRE Prep Plan
  • Sign up for a GRE test date
  • Last chance to boost your profile by getting additional exposure to the field, leadership positions, etc.

0-3 Months Before Applying

  • Write your personal statement (allow yourself at least six weeks if possible)
  • Identify a list of schools to apply to - 5-10 is ideal
  • Order official transcripts from all undergrad institutions to check for errors and help fill out NursingCAS
  • Fill out NursingCAS
  • Touch base with letter writers
  • Submit your application early - the earlier the better!

After Applying

  • Send official test scores to schools (if necessary)
  • Complete school-specific essay questions
  • Practice your responses to sample interview questions, and do at least one mock interview
  • Update schools with any developments in your grades, employment, or activities
  • Fill out financial aid paperwork
  • Send in deposit to schools of your choice


Programs List

Overview of the Profession

NursingCAS FAQ