Panel encourages nursing students to make transfer plans early

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Panelist Devon McLendon from UT Health responds to a question about the requirements for getting into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program during the transfer fair Sept. 18 in Room 218 of the nursing complex. Some of the requirements, he explained, include students maintaining a 70 percent or better GPA. Texas Tech University and Baptist Health System School of Health Professions were also in attendance to inform students about the requirements of transferring to a four-year university. Marcia Taylor

Nurses are in demand now, experts said.

By Orlando Torres

Students interested in transferring to a senior institution after receiving a nursing degree from this college should start researching programs now, a panel of six representatives of institutions offering a bachelor’s degree in nursing agreed Sept. 18.

With some programs, students can apply only twice a year and if not accepted there is a waiting period. Other programs will allow students to apply right after a semester.

TRAC, this college’s transfer center, sponsored the panel in the nursing and allied health complex. About 25 students attended.

Representatives were Shayne Futujma, Wayland Baptist University; Elliott Powell, Texas Lutheran University; Manuel Santa-Cruz, Texas Tech-El Paso; Allsion McDaniel, Baptist Health Systems; Aricka Cano, Texas Tech-Lubbock; and Devon McLendon. UT Health San Antonio.

Each representative had similar answers on how their institutions work, but not all of the schools require the same information when applying.

While nursing programs do look at TEAS scores, some programs will accept a lower score than others. TEAS stands for Test of Essential Academic Skills.

“Sixty-five is the minimum for TEAS scores, but to be really competitive, score an 85,” McLendon said.

Other universities might accept a lower score, but having a higher GPA helps students while they go through the application process.

“Seventy percent is the lowest that we take while you’ll also need a minimum 3.0 GPA,” Powell said.

Nursing students do need an RN license before applying for a BSN program.

When asked about what life for students with full-time jobs is like, the representatives shared experiences they have seen other students go through.

“We find that students who work full-time don’t do so well,” Futujma said.

There have been students who were successful in balancing full-time work with nursing, but there are a lot studying and reading that is required to be successful in this field, panelists agreed.

The demand for nurses now is high.

Cruz said there is a nursing shortage. The need for travel nurses is rising.

Each representative at the panel was vocal when letting students know to ask for help if they had questions or concerns once they get their foot in the door.

“I’ve seen lots of students think they’re super human once they go into nursing, and after a while look lost and confused. Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Cruz said.

Universities also provide assistance when it comes to prepping the students for the interview process, writing their résumé and cover letters.

“Your résumé is a big key piece. Before universities see you, they’re looking at the format and the key points,” Cano said.

Cruz said that when speaking with a program to talk about a hardship you’ve been through or your passion about nursing to make yourself stand out.

For more information on the nursing program at this college, call the program at 210-486-1144.


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