Nursing School According To Mikayla Rooney

AHS Alumna on Nursing School

Jason Kinniburgh, Contributor

I remember the fall of 2014 vividly.  Each day I watched my sister, Mikayla Rooney (AHS Class of 2014) anxiously await the mail delivery.  She was hoping to receive acceptance letters from the colleges she applied to.  Mikayla wanted to be a nurse “more than anything,” she would say. Her future depended on acceptance to a college nursing program.  Mikayla felt apprehensive because colleges had extremely high standards for acceptance. According to her, most schools require a 3.8 GPA or higher for admission to the nursing program. And, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing has stated that in recent years, less than 40 percent of completed nursing applications have been accepted.

Nursing is hard. …when my non-nursing friends are going out …, I have to stay in and study.”

— Mikayla Rooney

The tuition for state universities is much lower than private universities, so denial to state nursing programs is common. This made Mikayla anxious about her odds of getting into an affordable program. Nursing had been her dream major since she was in the seventh grade. Finally, in January 2014, she was accepted into Fitchburg State University, her number one choice. She realized that she had been anxious for nothing.

“Nursing is hard, and a lot of work. In order to stay in the program, I must maintain a minimum grade of 77 in all of my nursing classes. I took many pre-requisite classes freshman year prior to beginning my nursing courses. Some of my freshman classes included: anatomy and physiology, psychology, sociology and chemistry. (During my) sophomore year, my class schedule has been more complex, including classes such as pathopharmacology, foundations of nursing, health assessment, microbiology and medical surgery,” said Mikayla.

Time management is critical. “These courses are extremely difficult, and require almost all of my time.  When my non-nursing friends are going out and having fun, I have to stay in and study for all of my exams.”

Nursing is a very popular occupation in the U.S..  According to the U.S. Nursing Workforce, there are over 3.1 million registered nurses in the U.S., and 2.8 million of them are currently employed.  Being a nurse is the most popular occupation in the medical field, and the average nursing salary is approximately $66,000 per year.


Serving as a nurse is no easy task.  Mikayla says that common duties include  “caring for patients and being able to respond to their needs, administering medications and helping to save people’s lives.” She says her favorite part of school is “clinical, when I care for patients in a hospital setting under the direction of a registered nurse.”

“Becoming a nurse has always been my dream, and I am currently halfway through my sophomore year, which is considered the hardest year of the nursing program. I am enrolled with a great group of friends and an amazing staff of teachers.  I can’t wait to see what the next two years bring, and I can’t wait to graduate.”

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