The month of November is bittersweet for high school students as Thanksgiving warrants a week off from school, but not without a price; submitting college applications. The initial steps of the process are a breeze as you type your personal information and academic history into little text boxes. That is, until you reach a blank page titled “Personal Statement,” where you are expected to summarize your past, present, and future under 650 words. A common mistake among students is saving this part for last without allocating sufficient time to properly articulate their hopes and dreams. Each student has the capability to craft a well-developed personal statement, and we have researched key topics that will help you distinguish yourself from other applicants.

Research and Outline

We recommend starting your essays the summer prior in order to secure an ample amount of time to brainstorm and edit. There are forums that post personal statements for free that model the ideal structure and content that college admission officers look for. Oftentimes, students find themselves writing way above the word limit because they want to include all of their academic and personal achievements. 650 words warrants you 4-5 paragraphs, so think about key moments that will benefit your narrative on being the ideal candidate for the program.

Include Relevant Experience

What have you done that demonstrates your dedication to becoming a registered nurse? Admissions officers want to see examples of you taking initiative and genuine interest in the duties expected of a nurse. Briefly describe any volunteer work, educational courses, or personal experiences and expand on the skills you have acquired throughout its duration. In addition, this provides you the chance to showcase your personality – compassionate, determined, out-going – that aligns with the qualities of being a healthcare provider.

Any Impactful Moments

“I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was young” is a trope that universities are tired of seeing. Rather than mentioning the times you used to play pretend doctor, include instances that truly inspired you to pursue a career in nursing. This is not limited to medical experience; mentioning times of failure is a good stepping stone to talk about what you’ve learned and how it has motivated you to actively seek a higher education in healthcare. Not only does this illustrate your ability to persevere through adversity, you are able to offer a more sincere perspective on your humble beginnings.

Assets Only You Can Bring

Colleges absolutely love to read about your upcoming career goals, especially if it can bring great recognition to their public image. Talking about what you can do for them, i.e. generating discussions on improving our current healthcare system or delving deeper into a specific aspect of nursing that you are passionate about, indicates you are committed to the nursing program. Keep in mind that having big dreams is great, but keeping them realistic and grounded is just as important. You can talk a big game, but if you don’t have the skills and experience to back it up, it will cause more harm than good.

Revise, revise, revise

It is unrealistic to write the perfect personal statement on the first pass. That is why we suggest you to start your essay as soon as possible. This gives you time to go through it a couple times and check for any spelling or grammatical errors. It doesn’t hurt to get a second and third pair of eyes on it to catch any mistakes you may have overlooked. That’s also a chance for you to get feedback on areas that may need improvement. Don’t let your outline restrict you from replacing ideas you initially had; if it is more compelling, add it in.

Pursuing your bachelors in nursing (BSN) is only the beginning. Search for opportunities to work and advance your career at our world-class medical center by visiting our Career page.

Originally posted on 18/3/2020

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