Nursing: what it takes


Ashley Jorgensen

BYU College of Nursing ranks as a popular and competitive program, and allows students to graduate with hands on experience, accreditation and the skills required to succeed.

There is a legacy within the College of Nursing that dates back to the year 1952. At the turn of 2012, the college will celebrate its 60-year anniversary at BYU. Many students interested in nursing apply to the program every year. BYU’s program provides experience to be involved in nursing internationally.

“The faculty and professors are amazing,” said Camille Greenan, a junior in nursing. “They are all so knowledgeable. I want to be like them someday.”

Many students are interested in graduating in nursing, but the program is very competitive. With a handful of requirements for admission, students start working early in their college career to complete what it takes.

“All of our students are very motivated and dedicated to getting into the program,” said Mark White, an adviser for the College of Nursing.

Before students are admitted, they have to take a year of prerequisites that include an intro course, chemistry, nutrition, biology and psychology. After these two semesters, the application, a proctored essay and service hours are submitted to be reviewed. GPA and ACT scores are also considered in the admissions process. Although the program is highly competitive, a total of 64 students are admitted twice a year, fall and winter.

“The average number of applicants each semester is 125 and the students that are admitted have an average GPA of 3.87,” according to Cara Wiley, Advisement Center Assistant for The College of Nursing.

Students can apply more than once after improving their application.

“Yes, the program can be hard to get into, but the high standard the program demands is much like the high demand of the career,” Greenan said. “It shouldn’t discourage anyone from applying. Being accepted provides a sense of satisfaction.”

After being admitted, six additional semesters are required. Students work each semester both in class and labs. One of the unique opportunities that BYU offers is a simulation lab where students work both on tasks and in simulated patient situations in their first semester.

“Students work both on procedures and working together as a team,” said Patricia Ravert, associate dean of the college.

During the next few semesters students begin working clinically in local hospitals and nursing homes. Hands-on experience with real people allow students to get a feel for what nursing is all about.

“We learn skills that help keep people alive,” Greenan said. “You have to be organized.”

Another unique facet of BYU’s program is the international experience the college offers, though it adds an additional spring term, six-week requirement. Those in nursing work during the term in global health and human diversity locally and abroad. Students work on the Navajo reservation, and locally with refuges, those at risk and veterans. Nursing students also have the chance to work in countries such as Tonga, Taiwan, Ecuador, Finland, Guiana and India.

“We want to help the people in their own environment,” Ravert said.

After graduation, students are required to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses before they can start working as a registered nurse. The faculty said they are confident that the program prepares the students for the exam.

“The pass rate is 95.8 percent, which is among the highest in Utah,” said Rose Ann Jarrett, public relations supervisor for the college.

In the program students to learn and grow through experiences both on and off campus. Many go on to do additional graduate work and are successful in their nursing careers.

“We have some of the best students on campus,” White said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email