Tips for Writing an Excellent Nursing Personal Statement

Drafting your nursing personal statement can take so much time, effort and several revisions before you can submit it. So don’t leave it right up until the deadline to start work on it. Combining a high quality nursing personal statement can be hard, but we have broken it down into manageable sections below to give you some ideas of how to get started.A nursing personal statement is a short essay that a candidate writes for a nursing program application. It complements their grades and other quantifiable factors, providing a more personal look at a candidate’s dedication, passion and work ethic. Applicants can use this space to describe why they’re interested in a specific nursing program and why their experiences make them a good fit for the program.As a nurse, you will need to manage multiple workstreams, including both administrative tasks and patient care, as well as organize proper treatment steps and potentially other members of the healthcare team. Therefore, a well-developed nursing personal statement that is logical and polished reflects that you have the right mindset for the profession.Personal RemarkAlthough you want to refrain from telling the story of your life, you still want to make it personal. Be sure to illustrate with specific and unique examples why you are cut out for this career and the specific program you are applying to. There are many things that can be included in this category, not all of them will be right for each applicant to discuss or appropriate for the prompts that each individual provides. However, this list should give you an idea of what the evaluators are looking for in a strong candidate:Educational backgroundConsider elaborating on any relevant education that makes you a strong candidate. For example, you could discuss your experience taking a biology class or a CPR certification class in school, including the practical skills these classes taught you and why they made you want to pursue nursing. Or you might write that learning about underfunded medical services in other countries has inspired you to become a nurse overseas.Did you take advanced biology classes in high school? If so, you may want to highlight this background and how it demonstrates your devotion to health care.Have you gone out of your way to learn relevant skills? Perhaps you can discuss your CPR certification training.Have you been administering insulin to a diabetic cat for years? This demonstrates a devotion to health care and the ability to learn transferable skills.Volunteer workVolunteer work is typically not an admission requirement, but you can write about it to show your dedication to nursing. For example, if you’ve been volunteering at a nursing home, you could write that you’ve learned about administrative tasks or healthcare facilities and that you have experience working with patients. You could also describe the personal growth you may have experienced while volunteering, such as developing a sense of purpose while caring for the elderly.Volunteer work at a hospital is likely a common point of discussion for aspiring nurses. Ensure to tell a story about a situation that makes you stand out which solidified your certainty that this is the right field for you.Assisted living facilities, caring for special needs children, working at animal shelters, or volunteering at homeless shelters (among other things) may also be sources of inspiration that allow you to highlight why you should be accepted into the program.Supervisors in these types of positions may also be great resources for recommendation letters or potential proofreaders for the initial draft of your personal statement.Work experienceYou can also include a section about work experiences that have helped you develop skills to succeed in a nursing program. For example, if you’ve learned about teamwork and responsibility through your work in retail, you can write about how you’ll apply these skills to nursing.If you have worked in a related field in a paid position, this should definitely be not only included in your essay, but considered a potential source of a particularly persuasive letter of recommendation.Your employer may also be an excellent resource to ask for feedback regarding rough drafts of your personal statement.Relevant acquired skillsIn your personal statement, you can describe any skills that have prepared you for a nursing career. For example, if you’ve developed the ability to make wise decisions under pressure, you could use your personal statement to describe a situation where you’ve used this skill.Have you acquired a particular skill set relevant to nursing outside of traditional means? This is the time to highlight that achievement. Perhaps you have experience working in a pharmacy or have proven yourself in high-stress situations; these characteristics translate well into the field of nursing.Unique traits that make you stand outYou can also use your personal statement to describe unique traits that you believe can make you an excellent nurse or an excellent candidate for a specific nursing program. For example, if a program specializes in pediatric nursing, the personal statement could be a good place to describe your love of working with children.Thousands of applicants to nursing programs write that they have “always wanted to go into nursing”, sometimes even in their opening line. Find a way to stand out.For example, in my personal statement, I wrote about how I actually did not have a traditional story that culminated in my pursuit of higher education.Is it suitable for you?As with any educational program, fit is important when looking into pursuing a nursing degree. Demonstrating that you have researched the program, and illustrating in your essay why it is the place for you, will set you apart from other applicants. Additionally, if your long term goal is to be an ER nurse, for example, and you are applying to a program known for a different type of nursing, application reviewers will see this in a negative light.In some cases, colleges and universities will give you a specific prompt for this essay or ask for a series of short essays addressing particular questions. In these cases, be sure to answer their questions thoroughly and be aware of formatting guidelines and word count limitations. Equally important, be sure to demonstrate ways in which you are a good fit for not only the program, but also the nursing profession.Essay topicsThis is a position that is both incredibly personal and physically demanding, but also a situation where you need to be cool under fire and fastidious with your work. Use any opportunity you can to demonstrate that you possess these characteristics in a way that makes you a highly competitive candidate and a potential star in your chosen field.How to write a nursing personal statementYou can follow these steps to write your personal statement for a nursing program:1. Research the programKnowing specific details about each program you’re applying to can help you explain why you’re a good candidate. Consider researching the nursing program’s areas of expertise and its teaching methods that appeal to you. This research can help you write personal statements to fit each nursing program.2. Read the directionsPrograms often have specific directions for their personal statements, so reading the directions is an important step that shows you can pay close attention to detail. Understanding what the program is asking you to write can help you get through initial quality checks. This can also be useful when applying to different programs, since they may have different requirements for their personal statements.3. Think about your motivationsThink about your experiences and motivations for becoming a nurse so that you have a list of everything you could write about in your personal statement. Then you can look through your list and choose the strongest topics that closely fit what each program is looking for.4. Tell a storyTelling a story in your essay can help you add a personal element to it. Try writing an anecdote to introduce your passion for nursing and reference it throughout your statement to structure your essay as a story. For example, you could tell a story about a specific moment when you realized you wanted to become a nurse. This format can make your essay easy to read and potentially memorable for admissions committees.5. Review before you submitBefore you submit your personal statement, read it multiple times to see if it makes sense and conveys what you want the admissions committee to know about you. You might also consider sending your personal statement to a trusted advisor to review it and offer advice on how to improve it.Your nursing personal statement should be a window into your life. Use it to share specific experiences that have influenced your decision to advance your nursing education. Adhering to professional standards and presenting yourself in a positive, open, and honest way will help the admissions committee determine your fit and future. In case you need more help, be sure to visit for further assistance.    

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