Nursing programs require a standardized entrance exam. There are several tests that may be required: TEAS, HESI A2, KNAT, GRE, ACT or SAT. Since each school is different, please consult the school's website to make sure you are taking the correct test for the schools you are wishing to apply.
You will be required to have 2-3 letters of references/recommendation. You will need a letter from a nurse or nurse practitioner (not a doctor), a letter from either a major or hard science professor (doesn’t matter which one) and you may possibly need a letter from a supervisor or someone who can speak to your work ethic. NONE of these letters should be written by family members. Each letter should speak to your ability to become a nurse, your work ethic, and your personality (as it relates to becoming a nurse).
While most programs do not require a set number of hours, it is advised that you have about 100 hours of shadowing experience, in various clinical settings. Therefore, you are highly encouraged to seek out shadowing or volunteer opportunities at local hospitals and clinics to gain insight into the nursing profession.
Extracurricular activities, such as clubs and volunteering (clinical and non-clinical), are a large portion of the application that should not be neglected. Nursing schools are looking for students who not only demonstrate that they can manage rigorous courses while staying busy, but also those who are compassionate, enjoy working with people, and are dedicated to serving the community. You should keep in mind that depth of commitment and leadership experience are also considered. As a result, it is best to focus on strong engagement in few activities rather than to spread yourself too thin or compromise academic perform.