A process that’s streamlined—and free
Applying to graduate nursing school can feel like a daunting task. The application fees can add up, as well. But not at USAHS. It’s easy and free to apply to our Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. This post details how.
The Entrance Essay
One of the most important aspects of the application is your entrance essay. If you are a new BSN graduate, your essay should be a minimum of 500 words; if you’re a working nurse, it should be longer, in proportion to your experience. Tell us about the positions you’ve held and the kinds of patients you’ve worked with to date, including your current role. State which program and role specialty you are applying for and why, and tell us why you think USAHS would be a good fit for you. As you look ahead to your ideal nursing position, explain how studying in your chosen program and role specialty would help you achieve this career goal.
Most of our students continue working while studying. And our programs are rigorous, requiring a significant time commitment. We know how exciting—and demanding—this can be. Tell us how you plan to adjust your work and life responsibilities to ensure success. How will you manage your time? Where can you draw on support?
If there are any inconsistencies in your background, such as gaps in academic or work history, please explain these for the admission committee.
Before sending your essay, run it past a few nurse peers or writer friends. Be sure your essay meets standards of professional writing, with correct punctuation and grammar. You may want to use a grammar checker.
See this page for essay requirements in list form.
The Documents You Need
Start by reviewing admissions requirements for your chosen program (the MSN or the DNP) and ensuring that you meet them. Next, gather your transcripts from all the higher education institutions you’ve attended. (For the MSN to DNP track, we need only your MSN transcript, plus the transcripts from any schools that transferred courses into your MSN.) Ask each institution to email the transcript to USAHS or send it through snail mail. We will calculate your cumulative GPA. The following courses matter most:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Physical assessment
- We will need to verify your nursing license.
You can use the Nursys database’s free service to obtain a copy to upload—there’s no need to choose the paid option. Update your professional resume, including details about each position, such as the duties you performed and the patient populations. Finally, you will need to line up two professional references who are nurse educators or nurse supervisors. We do not accept peer or physician references.
See this page for USAHS addresses and more details.
Fill Out Your Application
Begin filling out the free online application on our website. Select your program, campus (“distance”), and start date. Create your account. Follow the directions to upload all the necessary documents: your nursing license, resume, and essay. In the “Admissions Documents” section, input the names, job titles, and contact information for your references. You’re ready to submit!
Stay in Touch with Your EA
After you click “submit for review,” be sure to contact your enrollment advisor (EA) so they can review your application before moving it forward to Admissions. Speaking to an EA is a required part of the process.
We have dedicated EAs for each program who are available to answer all your questions and help you with your application every step of the way. They can guide you through the process of choosing the program and specialization that best fit your career goals. For the DNP, contact Brittany Pickwoad, 760-410-5284, [email protected].
We Look Forward to Meeting You!
We’re excited that you’re interested in USAHS, and we look forward to meeting you! Earning your advanced nursing degree can be a gateway to expanded roles in the profession. It’s hard work, but worth it. Know that there’s no back seat in our classes; everyone participates, and you’ll be in continual contact with your peers and our faculty mentors, who are working nurses. Students get top-notch support from their advisors throughout their USAHS journey—and it starts with the application process.