Nurses, in general, need the acquired attributes and experiences so as to perform proficiently in the workforce.

This coming fall, Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof College of Nursing will implement a new holistic admission process focusing on heightened student diversity, highlighting different backgrounds and life experiences, producing more inspirational learning experience.

In a report, Kristin Norton, Director of Kirkhof College of Nursing’s Office of Student Services, said that these changes in admissions are supported by the Association of Colleges of Nursing and are being applied in universities across the country.

“Holistic admission review processes are being successfully and more widely used in other health profession admission processes,” Norton said via email. “The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) supports the practice and is challenging its member institutions to develop their own. Its aim is to produce a well-prepared health care workforce by assembling a diverse student body – diverse not only in race, ethnicity, and gender, but also in experience, socioeconomic status, and perspective,” she said. Norton continues, “Our admissions process to date relied most heavily on the academic success of an applicant. We saw a need to develop a process that still ensures students’ academic preparedness but takes other equally important factors into account as well.”

Also, Norton stressed that students are not only considered for admission on academic staanding, but as well as, going along with strong interpersonal and other “soft skills” setting the candidates apart.

“An holistic admission process considers each applicant’s unique life experiences and personal attributes alongside traditional measures of academic achievement”, Norton said. “The process is designed to allow us to consider a broad range of factors reflecting the applicant’s academic readiness, contribution to the incoming class, and potential for success both in school and later as a professional.  Nurses must possess a unique skill set; it’s both an art and a science. The science side speaks for itself. The art side requires a level of competency in leadership, problem solving, interpersonal communication, decision making, intercultural awareness, and empathy/compassion for each patient-to name a few.”

Norton said, continuous change of demographics in the US plays a part for the said decision, as hospitals and other medical practices increasingly desire qualified individuals who are aware of cultural differences and customs.

“There is an understanding at the local and national level that nursing students should possess the background, qualities and skills to provide culturally-effective care and meet the needs of a rapidly diversifying patient population,” Norton said. “Holistic review can help us identify applicant experiences and attributes that will contribute to a more effective nursing workforce."


Erudite Nursing Institute™ supports GVSUs new way of considering nursing applicants not just by their academic standing, but it also goes well with strong interpersonal and other “soft skills,” setting them apart from other professionals in the workforce.

The institute believes that with this holistic approach, students with unique set of talents, skills, experiences, and other attributes, can eventually perform well in their field as trusted stewards of healthcare.






Note: The foregoing article is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in part or entirety without advance written permission. For permissions or editorial corrections, contact: Ms. Kelsey Hanna, khanna@EruditeNursing.education









Leave a Reply