So, I know I wrote a post detailing about the physical steps and process for applying to the Baton Rouge Community College’s (BRCC) nursing program.
Today, I wanted to do something a little more personal and in line with my HESI experience. I’ll be talking about what my nursing school application looked like, and my personal experiences during the application process while waiting to hear back from the school. Along with some of the difficulties I initially ran into even before applying.
So the two biggest things to remember are that for BRCC, their nursing application opens the first Monday of January and closes the first Friday of February.
For the 2018 nursing cycle, the applications opened January 8th and closed February 2nd.
I originally went back to school on Fall 2017 after a 5 year break. And, when I enrolled, I spoke with the nursing advisor who helped me set my schedule so that I would be able to finish all of my prerequisites in time. And, I also took the time to verify that my old credits from Louisiana State University (LSU) were still applicable towards BRCC. Luckily, everything went without a hitch there.
I was enrolled in A&P I, Statistics, Introduction to Psychology and World Mythology (required general humanities) for my first semester back in school. This would allow me to finish my prerequisites that fall semester, and then I could take my co-requisites like Microbiology and A&P II the next semester. Unfortunately, I ended up having to drop out of A&P I and Statistics because my mom had already planned a week long trip for us in Paris in September not knowing that I would return to school. Due to the pacing of the content of A&P I and Statistics, it made it really hard to catch up on the material after missing 3 classes, and I decided it would be better to drop them versus risking a C.
Then during my spring semester I went ahead and retook A&P I but this time took Microbiology and Psychology of Development. I originally assumed I would not be able to apply into the nursing program since I technically had not finished taking A&P I.To be very honest, I was very disappointed knowing that I would have to wait another year to get into the program.
However, I found out that I was in fact eligible to apply into the program after talking to another student, and I found this out three days before the application deadline. I basically ended up running around town trying to get all my transcript copies so that I could submit my application before the deadline. I don’t think my stress levels have been quite that high in a while. I was really worried that I would get caught in traffic, or that I wouldn’t be able to get a required paperwork in order to turn in my application. There were a lot of things that could’ve gone very wrong and messed up the entire process for me due to the time frame I was working with.
On Friday, February 2nd, I paid all my application fee, signed up for the HESI A2 and submitted my tentative nursing application. I say tentative because I was still enrolled in A&P I at the time with no final grade yet, and I still needed to take the HESI A2. Therefore, my application while submitted was not complete or official quite yet.
Then, I took my HESI A2 in March.
Couple things to note, while BRCC requires 5 classes to be completed as part of their prerequisites, my ACT scores tested me out of two classes and gave me credit for them anyways. My prerequisite GPA was calculated based off my grades in the 3 remaining required classes, and BRCC tends to favor their own students. They do use number of classes taken at BRCC as a deciding factor when determining student acceptance into the program.
Since BRCC allows you to be enrolled in your prerequisites at the time of enrollment, decisions cannot be made until the final grades for the spring semester have been submitted. On May, final grades were submitted and my application finalized looked like this:
Prerequisite GPA: 3.6
HESI A2 Score: 94.8
Prerequisite Classes taken at BRCC: 3
All communication with the admissions office and previous students of the programs stated that decision letters typically send out in the second week of June. When I called the offices, I spoke to three or four different people who all stated that letters had been mailed that Monday in the second week of June.
Lucky for me (or unlucky?), our letters had not actually been mailed. And instead, they were sent off the following week on the Monday of the third week. So, I spent a whole week and a half wondering if my application had just been thrown in the trash or rejected due to some error on my part.
On June 21st, I finally received my acceptance letter into the nursing program!
I had set up informed delivery from USPS a few weeks before, and I knew the morning of that day that the letter was coming. I’m honestly not sure if it was worse that I knew it was coming that day but I still had to wait the hours for the mail to be delivered in my mailbox or knowing that there was no letter from BRCC in the mail in the days leading up to delivery.
The last couple weeks of June leading up to receiving that letter were incredibly frustrating. The nursing school would not answer their phones, and if I did manage to speak to someone, I got a lot of misinformation. Secondly, even after the third week, the school refused to give out results over the phone. And, the school would not send out or disclose admission decisions via email either. They would only communicate the decisions out via paper mail.
For the sake of the application process, I felt that organization could’ve been better and that the nursing school should have taken the additional time and responsibility to make sure that the individuals answering phones knew for sure whether letters had or had not actually been mailed. I also think that the nursing school admissions office would probably benefit more from using technology and digital services for their admissions process. An entirely digital application would’ve made submitting my application much easier, and it would have allowed for students to find out their admission results via email to cut down on misinformation and unnecessary decision delays. They could have also announced on the school of nursing page that decision letters were being delayed.
Instead, I was just left in the dark to twiddle my thumbs and hope for the best.
Overall, while I found a lot of the stress to be unnecessary, I got extremely lucky in that I did get accepted into my first choice nursing program on my first application cycle considering I only applied to that one program.
I hope this helps some people have and idea of what to expect for the months following submission of the nursing application and reassures you that delays do not mean your application was trashed, because I sure believed it.