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Should someone who has always wanted to be an RN continue to apply to nursing school even if they’ve been turned down twice?



Dear Donna,

I recently graduated with an associate’s degree in Health Information Administration and I have always wanted to be a nurse. I applied to a program twice but I wasn’t accepted. Should I continue to apply or do something else in the medical field?

Wants to be a nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wants to be a nurse,

As you have already discovered, entry into nursing programs is very competitive right now. Just because you were turned down twice by one school does not mean you should stop trying to get into nursing. You know the old adage: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

You should be looking at BSN programs only. Nurses with anything less than a BSN are having trouble finding work. There are many schools to choose among, depending on where you live. I would suggest that you start applying to other programs in your area.

In the meantime, consider doing work as a nurses’ aide or other healthcare position to gain some relevant experience. It can’t hurt and might help your chances of getting accepted into a nursing program. If nursing is what you want to do, don’t give up. Persistence and determination will always win out in the end.

Best wishes,


About Author

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www.

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