For the vast majority of Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) programs, which one must undertake if one wants to practice in this particular field of nursing, the applicant will be required to submit an essay in order to be accepted into the program. Although the application deadline may still be months in the future, this is something that you should get started on as soon as possible, as it is probably the most important factor in determining whether or not you will be able to achieve your career goals. If you have already applied to one or more schools, you will need to get through mountains of paperwork, completing your personal information, getting all your transcripts together and having hundreds of copies of your letters of recommendation. Although this is a lot of work to do, it is the easy part. Writing the essay, however, is something that sends many prospective students into melt down. What is expected of you? How do you present your essay? What does the university want to hear?
The questions you are likely to need to answer are the hard ones we all hate. For instance, these include questions as to why you want to become a FNP or demonstrating how you have once overcome a relevant challenges. It can be difficult to really put into words why you feel you have a calling for nursing or to eloquently describe how a conflict was resolved, without disclosing private information as well. Naturally, you cannot avoid these questions. Simply indicating that you like the idea of a decent salary and that you will decide what you want to do with the rest of your life later is a sure fire way to get rejected by your university of choice.
So what do you do? How do you get the message across that you really should be given that place at the university?
The following are 7 tips for writing the perfect FNP essay, which hopefully will be of benefit to you.
1 – Be Specific
When you receive your essay questions, you will notice that they are reasonably generic questions. What the university is looking for, however, is how you turn that into something very specific. Hence, don’t just outline your overall feelings about a full topic. Instead, go into details and use specific examples from your personal experience that truly demonstrate the answers that you would like to provide. Not only would this be a better way of answering the question, it also means your essay will be far more interesting. It will properly showcase your personality, which is something that is very important in nursing.
2 – Be Specific But Keep It Simple
Always remember that you are writing an essay and not the next great saga. Very often, there will be a word count limit, but even if there isn’t, you shouldn’t write every little detail that you come up with. What matters is that the information is complete and that it doesn’t go off topic. Stick to the guidelines that are provided, as they have been given for a good reason (one of them is to test you on how well you can follow instructions). Additionally, you must be concrete in your answers. Never use words like “might” or “hope” and this demonstrates that you aren’t entirely sure about what you want to do. Instead, stick to words such as “will” and “can,” which are far more powerful. Do make sure you follow all the directions that have been provided to you. The school may request your essay in a certain format, for instance, which may mean you will need to get to know some different software packages before you hand it in.
3 – Learn About the Various Roles of a Family Nurse Practitioner
Although you will be studying towards becoming an FNP, the university will want to know that you already have an understanding of what that job requires. You need to make sure that your responses represent the overall roles of FNPs. It is likely that you are already employed in a health care setting if you want to be an FNP, as it is a master’s degree, so perhaps you might want to interview someone in your employment before writing your essay.
4 – Be Personal But Not Too Much
It is very likely that you will be asked how you overcame something very difficult in your life. Usually, what they are looking for is something that happened during your career, and not necessarily in your personal life. Although you can use personal challenges, try to avoid true personal hardship, such as having a history of abuse, coming from a broken home or having financial difficulties in your personal life. If you struggle to find something that you would class as a true difficulty outside of your persona life, then pick something that was perhaps not entirely insurmountable but still challenging. So long as it is not trivial, you can use it as an example
5 – Show Off But Don’t Be Arrogant
Your essay is an opportunity for you to show what you are made of. Highlight all the things that are good about you, such as your education, your career and other experiences. Perhaps you have done voluntary work, or you have already been employed in the medical field. It is always a good idea to give some examples of the experiences you have had to demonstrate why you are good at what you do and why you want to become a FNP.
6 – Use as Many Facts as Possible
You will need to describe who you are in your essay as well, and it is best to use facts rather than just descriptive words. For instance, saying you are hardworking may sound really good, but it is much better to given an example of how you have worked hard in your experience. You need to prove any claim you make about yourself.
7 – Edit Again and Again
Finally, once you have completed your essay, proofread it. After that, give it to someone else to proofread and then edit it once more yourself. Misspellings, typos and layout problems are a sure fire way to have your application denied because they show a lack of attention to detail. Share your essay with as many people as possible and ask for their suggestions and edits before you finally submit it.
Remember that the faculty members of the FNP program you are applying for will also look at how well you can write. This is because FNPs often have to deliver reports and work in educational programs. Hence, you have to make sure that it is well-reviewed and well-written. This is your chance to shine and really show them what you are made of, so make sure you don’t hurt your chances in any way by making small and silly mistakes. And this is also why you should start as early as possible, as this is not a job that can be rushed.
Your graduate school personal statement may initially get only five minutes of an admissions officer's attention. In those five minutes you have to show that you are a good pick for the school.
Writing an amazing graduate school essay is probably far more straightforward than you might think. Graduate school admissions officers aren't looking for gimmicks. They're looking for passionate, motivated, and prepared applicants who are ready to hit the ground running in their program. Read on for more details in creating your best graduate school essay. If you're looking for one-on-one assistance, check out EssayEdge.com.
Know what the admissions officers are seeking
Don't make assumptions about your graduate school personal statements. Many programs simply ask you to submit a personal statement without any further guidance. Other programs will tell you exactly how they want the essay structured along with word count limits and formatting requirements. Review the prompt thoroughly and plan your essay before you begin writing to ensure that you create an essay that will be an effective and persuasive addition to your application package.
What should you do if the program doesn't give you any specifics? With greater numbers of applicants to graduate programs, the trend is toward shorter essays. This is especially true of graduate programs in the STEM fields. Unfortunately, longer essays tend to be skimmed rather than read thoroughly, and most any admissions officer will tell you that the best essays that they've read are always shorter essays. Think about what is absolutely essential, and write about those aspects of your experience with passion.
Personal, personal, personal
Did we mention personal? Some graduate programs will ask you to write an additional essay about an issue within your chosen field. However, your personal statement should be about you as an individual. Write about issues only if they relate specifically to your personal experiences. For example, 'In Africa, a child dies every minute. This stark statistic prompted me to join an NGO aimed at providing nutrition and healthcare for children in Namibia.'
Keep your anecdotes focused on your life after you began college
It is common for graduate school applicants to start their personal statements with an anecdote about something that happened during childhood or high school. On the surface, this makes sense because that event was what started the journey that has culminated in an application to the program. However, graduate programs are for professionals, and writing about your childhood is more appropriate for an undergraduate essay than one for graduate school. If you feel that you absolutely must include something from your childhood, use it as the starting sentence of your concluding paragraph.
Know your program and make connections
Securing acceptance into a graduate program is more about being the best match than about being the most highly qualified. Among applicants who meet the program's minimum requirements, they'll choose an enthusiastic and informed applicant over one with higher test scores and a better GPA who doesn't seem to know much about their program.
During your graduate studies, you'll likely do research, and graduate programs want to know that you can both participate in ongoing research as well as find a mentor for your own project. In your essay, write about professors in the programs whose work interests you and why. Also, there is life outside of the classroom. Does the school have a close-knit traditional college campus? Is it located in the heart of the city? Especially if you will be moving with your family, show the admissions officers that you will thrive in their environment.
Finish with a strong statement about why the school is your top pick
This doesn't necessarily mean that the school is your only pick. However, generic essays have no place in the graduate school application process. Form letters aren't persuasive, and generic essays won't help your application package. If you can't sincerely write that the school is a top pick, then why are you applying there? Instead, focus on creating stellar essays for the ones that actually interest you. Help the admissions officers understand your overarching vision for your future career and how your time at the school will prepare you to realize these goals.
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