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Tips for Writing Your Nursing Program College Essays

This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Giebien Na in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.

 

What’s Covered:

 

 

If you know you want to be a nurse, you probably have quite a few reasons for that. Instead of merely relying on your academic and test performances to tell your story, you get the opportunity in your essays to share exactly why you’re so passionate about nursing. Writing about this can be a clarifying and even exciting process. This article explains why college application essays matter and how you should write about why you want to become a nurse.

 

The Importance of Your College Essays

 

Grades and test scores matter when you’re applying to college, but your essays can help improve your chances of admission. They’re how you can express your experiences and make your desire to become a nurse clear and personal.

 

If your prospective school doesn’t have supplemental essays, it’s a good idea to include your interest in nursing in your Common App essay. This could mean that you end up with two different drafts of the essay: one for if there are supplemental essays where you can discuss your interests in nursing and one for if there are not. You’ll change them out depending on whether you also have to respond to specific prompts about why you want to pursue nursing. This may not sound like much fun, but it will help you be admitted to your school of choice.

 

It might seem exciting to apply to a place where you don’t have to write extra essays—it’s less work! If you don’t do that additional work, though, you’ll have fewer chances to explain yourself. You might not be able to share exactly why you think that you’re the right fit for a certain college or program. 

 

If you are writing supplemental essays for the colleges that you’re interested in, you can include more details about your passion for nursing. You’ll often be asked, “why this major?” or “why this school?” When you have those opportunities to share your specific reasons, you can let yourself get personal and go deep into your passion. Use that space to share important details about who you are.

 

General Advice for Writing Your Nursing Essays

 

Start Broad

 

When writing essays entirely about why you want to pursue nursing, try to start from a broad interest, then slowly work your way to telling specific personal stories and goals. 

 

When first thinking about your general interest in nursing, ask yourself what attracts you to the work of being a nurse. This can lead to powerful potential responses. Maybe you like taking care of people in the community. Perhaps you’ve always known that you wanted to make a difference in the healthcare profession, but you don’t want to be a doctor. You’d rather make patients’ healthcare experiences as comfortable and pleasant as possible. 

 

After you’ve described these broad, overarching motivations for wanting to go into nursing, consider any personal experiences that have made you want to be a nurse. Think about moments you’ve had during hospital visits or checkups or an anecdote from a time that you decided to volunteer in a healthcare role. Once you’ve written these stories, you can end the essay by discussing your planned major and career goals.

 

Discuss Your Future Goals

 

If you know what your end goal is, be sure to include it. You can write about becoming a registered nurse or maybe a nurse practitioner. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but sharing a final ambition can help anchor your personal narrative. Writing about the future that you want can help the admissions officer reading your essay see how you view yourself. If they can do this, they’ll better understand your values and motivations and see you as a real candidate for their school. 

 

You don’t have to follow this pattern exactly. For example, it can be powerful to begin your essay in the middle of the action—you can dive right into an anecdote and get the reader interested in your story from the jump. 

 

While you should avoid dramatization, starting with a few clear, memorable scenes or a line or two of dialogue can make for an instantly interesting essay. All of this helps you show your passion, rather than simply explaining what intrigues you about a nursing career. 

 

Once you’ve led with your narrative, though, remember to ground it in clear reasons for your intended career and what you want your future to look like. A good essay will be balanced between the past, present, and future. It’s how a college will see who you are and everything that you have to offer.


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At CollegeVine, experts host weekly livestreams on college admissions topics, including application advice, essay writing tips, and college information sessions. To register or check out more livestreams, visit www.collegevine.com/livestreams.