Today we’re going to be talking about all the little requirements that have to be met in the months leading up to nursing school. This is after you’ve been accepted, but before the actual start date of your program. When you get your acceptance into nursing school, it’s so exciting, because you’ve worked so hard to get to that point, and you should celebrate! But, that acceptance is conditional on you completing a bunch of other requirements and turning them in by different due dates. I’m talking about things like immunizations, drug testing, and getting your fingerprints taken. Nursing schools do NOT mess around. All of these things have specific due dates, and if you don’t get even one turned in on time, they WILL give your spot to someone else.
Keyword: nursing school tips, nursing school essentials
8 Things To Do After Getting Accepted Into Nursing School
There are a lot of little requirements that have to be met in the months leading up to nursing school. So this is after you’ve been accepted, but before the actual start date of your program.
When you get your acceptance into nursing school, it’s so exciting, because you’ve worked so hard to get to that point, and you should celebrate. But, that acceptance is conditional on you completing a bunch of other requirements and turning them in by different due dates. I’m talking about things like immunizations, drug testing, and getting your fingerprints taken. And you guys, nursing schools do NOT mess around.
All of these things have specific due dates, and if you don’t get even one turned in on time, they WILL give your spot to someone else. This may be their way of weeding out people before the program even starts, because we all know nursing school has a ton of due dates itself, so if you can’t handle these onboarding tasks, they probably think you can’t handle being a nursing student. But, that’s not going to happen to you, because you are going to be prepared and get everything done in a timely manner.
So, what are the required things that your school will ask for?
- Most schools are going to want you to immediately change your major, or your “degree plan” to say “nursing”. You can usually do this with just a few clicks on whatever online Learning Platform your school uses.
- Your school will definitely ask for a current CPR certification. There are a few different kinds of CPR certifications, and you want to make sure you sign up for the right class. The one you need for nursing school is the American Heart Association Healthcare Provider Basic Life Support certification. Just make sure it’s listed as CPR/BLS and not just Heartsaver First Aid and CPR. The Heartsaver class is not for healthcare professionals, but it’s geared more toward a babysitter, or a fitness trainer. If you already have a CPR certification, that’s great. You can use it, as long as it’s not going to expire before the end of your program. So, for example, if you’ll be graduating in December of 2021, like I am, your certification can’t expire before then. CPR certifications are usually good for two years, so chances are, you’re gonna have to get recertified before classes start. It costs about $55 to get CPR re-certified, and takes somewhere between 2-4 hours, depending on if you’re getting re-certified or you're getting that initial certification.
- Another thing you will need to have done is a health physical and immunizations. The immunizations you’ll need are: measles, mumps, and rubella; varicella, hepatitis B, tetanus, and tuberculosis. I know this sounds like a lot, at first I felt pretty overwhelmed, but you’ve probably already had most of these. So dig up your shot records, or request them from your doctor. In my case, the only shots I still needed to get were Tetanus, and the TB skin test, which you’ll need to get that TB test every year anyway. I’ll warn you though, your insurance probably won’t cover these shots. I wound up spending $165 on my two shots, and a physical exam.
- Speaking of costs, you will need to actually register for your nursing classes for the next semester, and you should expect them to cost much more than your pre-req classes did. I was shocked when I saw that my classes are costing me 2 to 3 times as much as my pre-req classes did.
- Your nursing school will want to know that you aren’t a criminal, so you’re going have to get your fingerprints taken. This will cost you about $70, and You’ll also need to sign a form so they can run a background check on you.
- The school also has to make sure you’re not on drugs, so they will require you to go to a clinic and have a drug screening test done for about $30. The test screens for marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, codeine, barbituates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines. My school gave us almost 3 months to get this done. We could do it on our on time, but they had to have the results straight from the clinic by the due date. You cannot fail this test. If you fail the drug test, you will automatically be dismissed from the program.
- You’ll have to disclose any visible tattoos and piercings to your school. Some people might say this is ridiculous and out-dated, but it’s typically not because of the school’s policy, but the policy of the clinical sites that they’re affiliated with. Most clinical sites still prohibit what they call, the “disruption of mucocutaneous surfaces”, ie, tattoos and piercings. You’ll have to report any visible piercings (besides on the lobe), ear gauges, lobe expanders, and tattoos. This does not include any tattoos that will be covered up by your scrubs. This is only tattoos that will show. I know some people use a bandaid to cover up, say, a small finger tattoo or something. But if it’s something bigger, you do have to report it, and the Program Department Chair will contact you to let you know if you can continue in the program or not. Either way, you will have to remove or cover up any ear gauges and lobe expanders, certain types of piercings, and visible tattoos while you’re in the program.
- Beyond those things, you will need to sign a few consent and disclosure forms for whatever clinical sites you’ll be at, and possibly go to a separate orientation for those particular hospitals.
Alright, that was a lot of information, but it covers what you will be expected to complete in the months leading up to nursing school. So don’t procrastinate with these things. You want to get them done and turned in right away, so you can just focus on the excitement of starting nursing school, and not be stressed out that you’re going to forget a due date and, heaven forbid, not get in because of something you could have easily done.