How to Fine-Tune Your Nursing Graduate School Application

-By Tanner Gelatt, Assistant Director of Graduate Recruitment 

Applying to a graduate nursing program has a lot of moving parts, and at times it can seem overwhelming. 

Applicants have to balance putting together an application that stands out with submitting all of the required information. Beyond that, many graduate applicants are also working as a nurse or finishing up nursing school. With all of these factors, it can be easy to forget the finer details that can make a great impression on the admission committee.

Here are four tips that you can use to fine-tune your nursing graduate school application.

1. Make sure your application is cohesive.

Think of your application and supporting materials as one document, not several individual documents. When you submit your materials, all of your fonts and formatting should be the same. If you were writing a paper and you changed the font style and size halfway through, that wouldn’t make a lot of sense, right? When the admission committee reads your application, they look at everything together. The more cohesive your materials are, the more professional and clear your application will be. Your application to a graduate program should exude professionalism. So, use basic fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri (never use Comic Sans) and traditional formatting.  

2. Upload high-quality files.

You won’t be typing every piece of your application. Some things, like transcripts, are out of your control in terms of formatting – but the quality of your upload isn’t. It’s often easier to quickly upload unofficial transcripts or photos you snapped on your phone. Even though uploading those is easier, they  look rushed and unprofessional. Always upload clear and high-quality transcripts and other documents so that the admission committee knows you’re serious about applying. When there are multiple applicants to a competitive program, it’s very important that your transcripts are clear so that the committee can properly review you. 

3. Communicate professionally and clearly.

The application process usually doesn’t start when you fill out the application; it starts when you first start looking at programs. When you’re searching for the right program, make sure that your communication with the admissions team is professional and clear. Reread your emails before you send them and make sure they are well written and clear. Being professional and respectful in your communication is the easiest way to make your application stand out and to start the process on a good foot even before you apply. 

4. Double-check your personal statement prompts.

When you are writing your personal statement, make sure that you answer the questions. Not every personal statement is the same, so it’s important to read the questions carefully and really think about your answer before you write your response. By taking the time to think about your answer and map out a response, you will have a much more cohesive answer. On the opposite end, students who don’t have a clear response to the questions will be automatically red-flagged by the committee – which could hurt your application. 

These four steps may seem basic, but time and time again, applicants overlook the small details and sink their application. Remember, you are not the only one applying for this program, so don’t skip the small stuff! 

Published November 17, 2021