Whether you've long dreamed of exploring the country as a travel nurse, if you've always wanted to work with younger patients, or even if you feel like you have the compassion and bedside manner to help keep patients and their families calm in a crisis situation, you know that nursing is the right career choice for you.
The field of nursing is growing at an incredibly rapid pace, so now is a wonderful time to consider nursing school.
But what are the requirements to get into nursing school, and what kinds of exams will you need to take? What can you do to boost your confidence and build your academic skill set as you prepare for these exams?
The Exams That Make Getting into Nursing School Possible
It's true that nursing is a booming field at the moment -- in fact, when compared to the average industry-specific employment growth rate of 7%, the field of nursing is expected to grow by roughly 31% by 2024.
However, just because there's a greater demand for nursing professionals doesn't mean that the entrance requirements for getting into nursing school have gotten any easier.
In fact, most nursing schools require applicants to pass one of two entrance exams: the HESI or the TEAS. These exams are designed to give nursing schools a sense of your general knowledge about a variety of subjects, in order to determine if you're a qualified candidate for the nursing profession.
Let's quickly go over a breakdown of the differences between the two now.
An Overview of the TEAS Exam
Only about 44% of the applicants for nursing school are actually accepted into their programs.
Passing the TEAS exam with flying colors will help to increase your chances of admission, and will make you feel much more prepared once you get into the classroom.
The TEAS exam is made up of 170 questions, four different sections, and you'll have 209 minutes in total to complete it (however, each specific section has its own time limit and a specific, varied number of questions.)
The four sections are reading, mathematics, science, and English/language usage.
Your TEAS scores (which are usually immediately available after you've taken the test electronically) are compared with the national mean to determine how well you scored in comparison to others.
An Overview of the HESI Exam
The HESI exam is a bit more detail-oriented than the TEAS exam and contains 326 questions in total. It takes a total of 5 hours and 15 minutes to complete your HESI exam.
In general, you'll need to get a minimum score of between 75-80% to be considered for acceptance to a nursing school.
There are ten different sections on this exam and, as with the TEAS exam, each section will have a different number of questions.
Sections are anatomy and physiology, mathematics, biology, chemistry, grammar, learning style, a personality profile, reading comprehension, and vocabulary/general knowledge.
Common Concepts That You'll Need to Master
Though the formats of the two tests are a bit different, for the most part, you'll need to study up on similar concepts and academic subjects to understand how to get into nursing school by passing these exams.
For example, you'll need to be able to convert measurements, understand Roman numerals, and correctly calculate dosages.
When it comes to reading comprehension, you'll need to show that you can draw conclusions from the information provided and make judgments based on what you've read, and prove your understanding of the material.
You'll also need to master nursing and medical terminology, demonstrate an understanding of basic grammar, and learn about different anatomical systems and parts of the body.
The Best Way to Prepare for These Exams
If you need to take the TEAS or HESI exam to be able to apply for nursing school, then you need to give yourself as much time as possible (at minimum, between 203 weeks) to prepare.
This starts by familiarizing yourself with the actual format of the test so that, when you walk into the testing room, you know exactly what to expect. You should also ensure that you fully understand the exam registration requirements of the nursing school you're applying to, and even take a "practice drive" out to the testing site.
However, the very best thing that you can do to pass these exams is to enroll in a course preparation program online. This means that you can study on your own schedule and that you can study wherever you'd like.
Top courses (like the ones that we offer) also come with a prep book that makes it even easier for you to grasp the concepts the exam covers.
Another thing that will help you to prepare is to take as many practice exams as is possible.
We encourage you to time yourself while you move through these practice tests so that you'll know how to pace yourself when taking the real thing.
Practice tests will also help you to identify the areas that you're performing strongly in, and those that need a bit more attention.
Let Us Help You Learn How to Get into Nursing School
Above all, a huge part of understanding how to get into nursing school -- and even how to succeed in the nursing career -- is keeping yourself calm at all times.
We think that the best way to feel confident and relaxed on your test day is to be as prepared as you possibly can be. That's why we designed our incredible nursing exam prep programs.
Whether you're preparing to take the TEAS, HESI, NET, or NCLEX exams, we have some of the best study materials created by experienced professionals who have been in your shoes.
We're so confident that you'll have success with our guides that we even offer a money-back guarantee.
Now is the time to start going after the career you want. Order one of our test preparation packages to make sure it happens for you.