36 FOCUS ON EDUCATION | 2018 | www.advanceweb.com W hat’s the biggest hurdle to get- ting into a program at any level? Is it grades? Test scores? Recommendations? None of the above. The biggest hurdle peo- ple face is working up the courage to apply to a program in the first place. Over the years, hundreds—probably thousands—of poten- tially great nurses have been discouraged from advancing or lost altogether due to intimi- dation stemming from the admissions and acceptance process. Maybe it’s a good thing. After all, someone coming out of high school who can’t make it through an application process may not sur- vive multiple years of schooling or 14-hour shifts once they’re in the profession. But for those determined to get started and those who really want to advance their degrees, there are a few steps that can ease your fears. For those just staring out, Nursing College Application Service (NursingCAS) is nursing school’s equivalent of the common applica- tion, and covers all the basic, prerequisite-type The Challenges of School Admissions A closer look at the process—and how one company is trying to ease the stress By Rob Senior ADMISSIONS  |  FOCUS ON EDUCATION ISTOCK