I started the process for applying to nursing schools by researching several schools through the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (link listed below). The site always has the most current information on the different type of programs as well as the accreditation status of each school. Some things I looked for in schools were the amount and/or type of science prerequisites needed to apply, the length of programs, the degree awarded at completion, and the overall cost. Additionally, there are many route to become a registered nurse. The two options that were most attractive was the accelerated bsn and msn programs. The length of these programs are anywhere from 16 to 24 months and is ideal for career changers. This is ultimately how I formulated the list of schools I was interested in.
Next, I signed up for open houses when it became available. I took this opportunity to gather all the facts needed to make an informed decision to apply. Also, this was a chance for me to get to meet some of the faculty.
After completion of the opening houses, I had a clear idea which school I realistically wanted to attend. However, knowing how competitive schools can be, I played safe and applied to a couple of schools. I gathered all the required documents needed such as, recommendations, transcripts, and personal statements. I have successfully submitted all documents by the application deadlines and now I wait! 🙂