New nursing college approach helps all

GVL / Archive
Former nursing student Meghan Jordan (2014)

GVL / Archive Former nursing student Meghan Jordan (2014)

Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof College of Nursing is taking on a refreshing new approach to how applicants are accepted into the program. The new holistic admissions process looks more into the individuals skills and values rather than academic standing alone.

The nursing program at Grand Valley is arguably one of the most difficult programs to get into, requiring a minimum grade point of average of 3.5. 

With the program accepting only 80 students in the fall semester and 80 in the winter, many students aspiring to join the program often do not make the cut.

“There will be like 200 applicants but only 80 spots at a time,” said one student admitted into the program. 

Prior to the updated holistic approach, students found the application process intimidating and extremely competitive. Those not admitted into the Kirkhof College of Nursing often have to choose new paths of study or transfer to different programs or universities. 

Admission into the program is based off of three components: grade point average, total number of credits and an interview with faculty. This means students who earn better grades are more likely to be admitted regardless of experience, values and perspective.

This emphasis on academic excellence poses a problem that admitted students may not exhibit the type of compassion and drive that is beneficial for health care workers. Many students also find that the competitive atmosphere fosters hostility between students, making the learning process that much more difficult. 

“Nursing at GV isn’t for sensitive people or people who have a big heart,” said one nursing student.

Moving forward, this new holistic admission approach is geared more towards selecting students who exemplify quality interpersonal skills that will benefit them in the nursing field. While academic standing will still be a factor into the admission process, the student’s unique background and skills will also be taken into consideration.

“We saw a need to develop a process that still ensures students’ academic preparedness but takes other equally important factors into account as well,” said Kristin Norton, Director of Kirkhof College of Nursing’s Office of Student Services. 

This change will foster more inclusion into the Kirkhof College of Nursing and produce a more enriching learning experience among students with a variety of backgrounds. The admission process follows a national trend that puts an emphasis on diversity in the workplace that in turn creates a healthcare environment that feels welcoming to all. 

Overall, this is a win for the program, the university and for students alike. More people can be considered for admission into the incredibly competitive program which drives up the desire for students to better themselves, better preparing them for the equally-competitive field after graduation. Obviously, this helps the program and GVSU by making their students smarter, obviously increasing the credibility of Grand Valley and their colleges.