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Resources | Pre-Nursing Students

I recently updated my "Pre-Nursing" (Nursing > Pre-Nursing) page with resources, and I thought it would be helpful for me to explain how each of them helped me get from pre-nursing student to nursing student.
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❥ CA Board of Nursing Approved RN Programs
When looking for an accredited or legit nursing school to apply to, it is always best to search an unbiased database (ie. the California Board of Nursing website). Some schools may claim that they are accredited and post images of the accreditation seal (which they probably found online). Don't be tricked by such schools. Check with the source first! The California Board of Nursing website lists up-to-date information about accredited private and public schools throughout California that provide Associate Degrees (ADN), Bachelors (aka Baccalaureate) Degrees (BSN), and Entry Level Masters Degrees (ELM or ELMSN). The list is organized by the type of program and then alphabetically. This list is definitely something to check out before applying, especially if you don't want to find yourself paying for the application fee and finding out that you wasted money on a non-accredited school as you will not be able to take the NCLEX (national licensing exam).

Since I was still attending UC Berkeley at the time and wanted to become a nurse, a college advisor recommended this website for me. This website is helpful if you're trying to figure out if a class from one public California college/university transfers to another public California college/university. It breaks the information down by showing you the class department and number from one to the other. This tool really came in handy for me when I was trying to figure out if the classes I took at UC Berkeley would transfer over to another UC/CSU when applying for nursing school (since I already have a first bachelor's degree). In addition, it was also helpful for me when I was trying to figure out which anatomy, microbiology, etc course at a community college would transfer over and meet the anatomy, microbiology, etc requirement at different UC/CSU nursing programs. Unfortunately, this tool only works for transferring courses between public California colleges/universities. To find out whether a course would meet a pre-requisite for a private university, I called the academic adviser of the private schools I wanted to apply to and inquired about it. Some of the private schools also had a PDF of courses that would transfer over and meet the requirements posted on their website.

❥ Allnurses has been my go-to forum for everything nursing -- from the pre-nursing days to my job hunt for a new graduate RN position. It was really helpful for me to search for information about schools and to find resources throughout school.

❥ CA NCLEX Pass Rates by School
Part of the school hunt is considering their NCLEX pass rates. The NCLEX exam is the National Council Licensure Examination that must be passed in order to become a registered nurse. Basically, you can't become a registered nurse until you pass this exam, no matter how high your GPA was during school. To me, I consider NCLEX pass rates as an indicator of how well schools prepare their students to take the NCLEX exam, so naturally, I sought out and applied to schools with higher pass rates. One thing to caution, though, is that schools may have their way of manipulating the numbers (ie. some schools have a test during each or during the final semester that must be passed, otherwise the student will not be able to get their degree and cannot take the NCLEX exam). This is why the pass rates should be part of the consideration but not the final determinant.

❥ TEAS Exam Preparation
Depending on which school or nursing program you decide to apply to, you may need to take the TEAS examination. I used ATI's "TEAS Prep Package" (the one that includes the study guide and two online tests) to help with studying. I purchased it after noticing that many others on recommended it as a study tool. I personally did not end up using or trying the online exams, but I did use the study guide and found it helpful for studying. The TEAS examination is delivered by ATI, so why not study from material by them?

❥ GRE Exam Preparation
Depending on which school or nursing program you decide to apply to, you may need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Back when I was applying to nursing schools, I considered both the ABSN (accelerated bachelor's in nursing) and the ELM (entry-level master's in nursing) route, so I took this exam. To help me prepare for the exam, I looked at the GRE website to get an idea of the exam format and structure, and to familiarize myself with what to expect for the exam. To study, I used Barron's GRE book. (I provided a link to what the book looks like, but you'll need to check for the "newest" version, as it comes out.)
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I hope these resources will be helpful for you in your journey! If there are any errors, please feel free to correct them in the comment box below. What resources have you found helpful in your journey from pre-nursing student to nursing student?
- Nicole G.


Note:  The screenshot was from my blog when it was called "nicolescence."

 I am in no way affiliated with the above websites. These are just resources I found on my own as a pre-nursing student that were helpful to me.

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