www.advanceweb.com | 2018 | FOCUS ON EDUCATION 37 details such as personal information, transcripts, prior coursework, and other basics. This information is then distributed to the appropriate schools. But with the level of competition for admission to nursing school, many institutions are now requiring secondary or supplementary appli- cations featuring resumes, essays, personal statements, and other com- plementary materials. Adam Sadri is the director of Tutor Nerds in Irvine, CA, a service that offers everything from classroom-style tutoring to mentoring through an application process like those faced by students returning to school for a BSN, MSN, or other nursing degree. After an initial meeting, Sadri and TutorNerds will match an individual’s current skill set and educa- tion level with an expert in their area of interest, who in turn guides the potential applicant through an effective plan of action. As it pertains to nursing, Sadri quotes a 97 percent success rate in helping students gain admission to a qualified program. This is accom- plished through an overall philosophy of customizable approaches designed to yield a positive outcome. For example, TutorNerds’ 10-step student guarantee outlines what clients can expect with one overriding goal—achieving results. Sadri also notes that “One challenge with nursing schools is that it’s an unconsolidated field, meaning there are so many different entry points,” said Sadri. But generally speaking, when it comes to nursing, extended schooling means extended career opportunities. With that in mind, many of the TutorNerds consultants have experience working as admissions counselors or advisors and know exactly what your school or program of choice will be looking for in the application. Put simply, there are key points you need to hit to make your applica- tion standout. The unfortunate reality is that no matter what you may have accomplished throughout your academic or professional career, and no matter what you may be capable of achieving in the future— your worth as an applicant is basically reduced to how much of it you can represent on that application. Of course, this works both ways, as any weaknesses or ‘areas for improvement’ can also be deemphasized. As the TutorNerds website reads, the goal of consulting is to bring out the best version of you on the application. “Our definition of exceptional counseling…is presenting you in the best possible light.” “Typically, potential students will come to us a few months before they’re ready to apply,” said Sadri. “It’s a confusing process. They’re look- ing to us for clarification, guidance, and strategy.” No matter what school or program you choose, hitting the right notes with the admissions committee can be applied across the board—again, the goal of presenting the best version of yourself never wavers. Perhaps that focus helps to explain the 97 percent success rate TutorNerds boasts. Sadri, however, attributes that to a client-centric philosophy. “If we encounter an applicant whose background simply can’t com- pete with other applicants,” he admitted, “we are going to be honest and not waste that person’s time.’ “There are other services out there who will take your money and work with a noncompetitive candidate but that’s not really ethical. For us, our clients’ best interest is the priority.” ‘Highlighting your best self’ means being able to supplement your weakest areas with appropriate strengths. For example, a student with a 3.8 GPA might be able to overcome some weak spots in their resume or levelofexperience,whileastudentwitha2.0GPAwouldbewell-advised to list some impressive work-related accomplishments or experiences. Finally, an impressive, face-to-face interview can salvage a number of mistakes or missteps along the way. Experts agree the most common question in face-to-face interviews is some derivative of “Why do you want to be a nurse?” Luckily, this shouldn’t be too difficult to answer for a field like nurs- ing—and if it is, it might be time to reevaluate altogether. But experts advise being as specific as possible in your answer: • You don’t want to “help people”; you want to enable families to grow and develop. • You don’t want to “make a difference”; you want to foster healthy communities. • You don’t want to “make the world better”; you want to address leading issues such as mental health. Providing specifics allows your passion and desire to shine. Anyone can repeat a couple clichés about being the ‘best person I can be’ but show- ing a clear, concise plan for becoming that difference maker can, in turn, make all the difference for you as an applicant no matter where you are in your career. n Rob has 15 years of experience writing and editing for healthcare. He pre- viously worked for ADVANCE from 2002 to 2012. FOCUS ON EDUCATION  |  ADMISSIONS Enroll Now! • 120 Credit Hours required for degree completion • Certified by Association of University Programs in Health Administration • Minors available in: ¡ ¡ Long Term Care ¡ ¡ Health Information and Informatics Management • Available Online or On-Campus or contact Robert Broomfield, Allied Health Specialist 618-453-7287 email: broomr@siu.edu For more information: sah.siu.edu/undergraduate or sah.siu.edu/graduate Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management • 45 Credit Hours required for degree completion • Graduate in as little as 2 years • No GMAT or GRE required • Want Both Graduate Degrees? ¡ ¡ Earn the 2nd degree with only 21 additional credit hours • Available Online or On-Campus Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Master of Health Informatics (MHI) • In-State Tuition for all online students regardless where one lives • Students can start the program any semester