BSN admissions: common reasons for denial

We thank you for taking the time and effort to apply to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program for 2015. Because we are unable to speak with every applicant individually, we are posting the most common and consistent reasons applicants were not offered admission to this year’s BSN program. Many factors contribute to why the admissions committee may have denied an applicant.

Please carefully review this list of common reasons for denial. Be sure to take into consideration that though a majority of applicants meet the minimum criteria and are generally competitive for admission to the program, each applicant is scored and considered in relation to their competitiveness within the entire pool of applicants. The UW School of Nursing received 479 applications for 94 spots, so we are unfortunately unable to admit every applicant:

  • 94 applicants were offered admission
  • 15 were placed on the waitlist
  • 370 were denied admission

Common Reasons for Denial

  • The applicant did not meet minimum requirements. For example, an application was submitted despite not meeting stated prerequisite, grade, GPA, or application completion criteria. Or, if minimum requirements were met, it is possible that an applicant was denied based on a low ranking within the entire applicant pool.
  • The BSN program is extremely academically, clinically and personally rigorous. Success in the program requires that a student excels in a full time program of study including multiple and competing demands such as classroom, clinical, group projects, and community service. An applicant may have been considered an academic risk if they have repeated and/or withdrawn from several natural world courses in order to meet the minimum GPA requirement for the program. Or, there may not have been evidence that an applicant could adequately handle a demanding workload. Though the applicant may have met the minimum requirement, a pattern of repeats, withdrawals, or inconsistent performance makes them less competitive within the context of the entire pool that applied at the same time.
  • The applicant may have expressed minimal or less relevant health care experience in relation to their stated goals and/or in relation to the pool of overall applicants. 
  • The applicant did not clearly articulate how their background, experience, and goals have prepared them to succeed in the program and in the profession. For example, several applicants did not follow directions for how to format their resumes, and as a result, the admissions committee was unable to ascertain information about an applicant's health experience, community service and involvement, leadership, and trainings and certifications. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide evidence in the application that they are a solid fit with the program and profession.
  • The applicant submitted inconsistent essay responses between the personal statements and proctored essay by not indicating a clear line of thinking with supported rationale, evidence of critical thinking and self-reflection, and/or problem solving.  Some applicants failed to respond to the actual essay prompts. 
  • The proctored essay serves as an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their on the spot reading comprehension, writing, math and critical thinking skills. Applicants were not considered competitive if they failed to answer all of the questions in the essay prompt or if the style and quality of independent writing skills were vastly different than the writing submitted in the application.
  • The BSN program requires students to be able to calculate dosages and medications in both the classroom and clinical settings. Performance in math and/or logic courses along with successful completion of the word problems in the proctored essay are carefully evaluated. Applicants with deficient math/logic grades in combination with incorrect proctored essay word problems and/or multiple incorrect word problems were considered uncompetitive.
  • The overall presentation of the application did not indicate to reviewers a level of maturity, self-awareness, and/or self-reflection necessary to succeed in the BSN program, which is academically and personally demanding.

This is not an exhaustive list, but does summarize and highlight the most common reasons for denial of admission to BSN 2015. If you are considering applying to the program at a later date or if you seek more information about how your file was reviewed, we highly recommend that you attend and/or listen to an ABSN/BSN Information Session. In the sessions, we give tips on how to submit a competitive application.

Additionally, we go over each application requirement with the aim of informing applicants exactly how and why the admissions committee weighs each applicant fairly within an extremely competitive pool. Visit our information session web page to find ways to improve upon your application should you decide to reapply next year.  We wish you the best.