JMU Nursing program hopes to increase diversity through new admissions approach

Published: May. 1, 2023 at 10:00 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - In the fall of 2024, James Madison University will implement a new holistic admissions process. Staff at JMU say it comes with a goal to increase diversity while looking beyond GPA and other metrics.

“We will look at life experiences, like does someone have a military background? Do they serve in the community, have they earned a certification? We found that people who’ve done those things, it really displays some perseverance and some grit that is a factor in success in nursing school,” Director of undergraduate programs for JMU’s school of nursing Jamie Robinson said.

Another big change, the overall GPA will be dropped from the process. Instead, the university will consider a weighted average of pre-requisite courses and will take into account those who speak multiple languages, are first-generation college students, or are eligible for certain financial aid awards.

Robinson says there will also be an essay portion where those applying can speak to the school of nursing on their background and experiences, which will help allow students who fall below the metrics cutline to potentially get into the program based on other factors.

“It is a very competitive major to get into here at JMU, and you know we really want to make sure that we’re allowing everyone who can be a successful nurse the opportunity to do so,” Robinson said.

The nursing program is restricted to just 113 students each fall and spring. For more information, click here.