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Graduate Nursing School Essay | NYU Personal Statement
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Graduate Nursing School Essay | NYU Personal Statement

Nursing school is highly competitive. I hope this helps.

If you are attempting to write a nursing school essay, this will help.  My undergraduate nursing essay for the University of Texas in Austin is HERE (the comment section has great tips) and my New York University graduate school nursing application essay is below.

Both UT and NYU are amazing schools and provided me with enriching experiences.  It is my hope that by publishing my application essays, you may better understand what admission boards are looking for.  The following essay was submitted for admission to the full-time Adult and Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Practice Nurse, Master’s of Science Degree program at NYU for the Fall of 2013.

Yeah, it is a little cheesy, but it’s all true and it worked.  So well, in fact, that NYU gave me a financial scholarship because of it.  I’ve used asterisks for privacy, but otherwise, it has not been edited.

June, 2013 PERSONAL STATEMENT by Gail Ingram, RN:

Nursing is More Than a Job—It’s a Relationship

I grow both personally and professionally through my relationship with nursing.  Unlike many other careers, the growth is reciprocal.  Nursing gives me the freedom to venture into uncharted territory and in turn, nursing’s boundaries expand.  As the field of nursing develops and strengthens in new areas, unique and rewarding opportunities become available to me.  While I achieve a Master’s of Science in Adult Primary Care from New York University the profession of nursing will, in return, be rewarded with a valuable contributor.     

My nursing relationship began after a successful yet uninspired career in fashion and media production.  As the first person in my family to attend college and self-fund it, I am especially proud to have graduated cum laude from the University of Texas with a BSN in December 2004.  In school I maintained a 3.69 GPA in my major, received scholarships and awards, worked as a nurse’s aide, volunteered in the community, and participated in student associations.  My first staff position was in a busy ICU Step-down Unit in Seattle, WA.  I participated in a 10-week regional critical care consortium and welcomed leadership roles as a charge nurse, code first responder, preceptor to nursing students, and Pressure Ulcer Prevention Unit Educator.

I was looking for a greater challenge when I came to New York City in the spring of 2007.  As a travel nurse I completed contracts at Mt. Sinai, New York-Presbyterian Columbia and Cornell, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, Beth Israel, Terrance Cardinal Cook medical and dental clinics, and Southampton Hospital.  In addition to my charge nurse and preceptor roles, I served as a consultant for Southampton Hospital in 2009 to create and implement a nurse retention plan for summer staffing.  In early 2010, I began private duty nursing in Manhattan and discovered the need for a service that offers more than a typical staffing agency can provide.

With improved patient care as my motivation, I began attending classes and workshops through the Small Business Administration at Baruch College.  I founded Nightingale Wellness, LLC in 2010 to provide patient advocacy, case management and medical stewardship for clients in Manhattan.  In a tight-knit word-of-mouth community, reputation is my best asset.  I have a growing client base which includes the New York State Court System/*** which protects victims of elder abuse, ***, *** at the ***, and a world famous *** to name a few.  Transitioning Nightingale Wellness into a private practice after becoming a nurse practitioner seems natural.

I also started a blog,, in order for clients and their families to become better acquainted with me.  My writing focuses on healthcare and wellness and receives more than *** hits per day without promotion.  Readership has grown organically, the site is *** and is ***.  My effort to establish transparency with clients and their families is developing into something much larger—ideally transitioning into a syndicated health-related column after I continue my education at NYU.

I have appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, as a guest on Good Day New York, and on ABC 7 Eyewitness News with Dr. Jay Adlersberg.  Dr. Jay Adlersberg has encouraged me to draw upon my past career in modeling and on-set production to become the first nurse health correspondent.  He and I agree that it makes sense for nurses to deliver health-related information in the media.  The public wants information from reliable, honest and ethical sources and nursing has ranked the most honest and ethical profession in 13 out of 14 annual Gallop Poll surveys.  After bolstering my education and credentials at NYU, filling the vacancy in television is something that I would consider.  Teaching is one of my favorite aspects of nursing and I could reach a much broader audience using this forum.

However, I want to be clear, I am not focused on self-promotion.  I am interested in health promotion; health promotion through my business, my writing and the media.  A graduate nursing degree from NYU combined with my business acumen and previous career experience will give me the confidence and credibility to advance in all of these areas. 

Equally important, while promoting health, I am also promoting the profession of nursing.  As the number of nurse-owned businesses grows, so does the scope of possibility for potential nursing students and new nurses.  Furthermore, nurse practitioners are becoming the doctors of tomorrow in the midst of a general physician shortage.  They are taking over many of the functions of MDs and this will lend more respect to nursing.  Also, astute, savvy and poised nurses in the media will begin to eliminate old stereotypes. 

I have an established record of excellence and will continue to challenge myself at New York University.  The process of further education will profoundly impact my life as a nurse practitioner and I will make a significant contribution to my patients, my family, the community, and to the profession.  I am fortunate to have a solid foundation from which to build and a promising future doing something that I love.  I am truly grateful for my relationship with nursing and the opportunity to grow within it. 

Since writing my graduate nursing school essay and being accepted to New York University, I started the first health column in any NYU publication (–the student blog), changed the format of to become a reliable source for on-line health information, brought together a team of nurses who empower and promote one another, altered the way public health education is delivered, met with TV producers, was featured on the RNFM Radio Show, and won an NYU President’s Service Award for innovation and leadership.  NYU was the springboard for many of these accomplishments and I am graduating in May 2015 with no regrets.  My program is ranked #2 in the U.S. and I’m proud to have been a part of it.

Gail Ingram, NYU President's Service Award, NYU John Sexton, nursing school essay, NYU graduate school

 Gail Ingram and NYU President John Sexton

We are a health and wellness website, but to see more of our behind-the-scenes nursing posts, click HERE.


  • Loved it, Gail! You certainly are a pioneer in the field. And your work is your gift to others. I love how you walk your talk and also really enjoyed the title of the post- about nursing being a relationship. Great job and congratulations on your many, many accomplishments. You should be very VERY proud of yourself!! Thanks for sharing this resource with others looking to advance their careers.

  • All I can say Gail is you rock!

    As you know, I work with nurses and nursing students with disabilities. Many struggle with what to say on an essay or personal statement. I will be sharing this with our non profit groups on

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • Gail Ingram NP Gail Ingram NP says:

      Thank you, Donna! You are doing wonderful things for a special niche in nursing and I hope this helps someone! I appreciate your comment. All the best!

  • What a well-written and inspiring essay, Gail! I love how you are role modeling and paving the way for nurse leaders and health care itself!

    • Gail Ingram NP Gail Ingram NP says:

      Thank you, Beth! I wrote the essay with the intention that it would become reality. The real (hard) work happens after graduation and I’m glad to have your support.

  • Avatar Kelly Payne says:

    Gail, I learn more and more each day all the possibilities there are in the field of nursing. I really enjoyed reading your essay and love how you have turned your entrepreneur mind and focused on health promotion. I have NP school on my radar and plan to apply to a school in October! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Gail Ingram NP Gail Ingram NP says:

      Thank you, Kelly, for the kind comment. Come write for us so you can boost your grad school resume! (Not like you need it, though.) Take care!

  • Avatar ANJALI D THANGAVELU says:


  • Avatar April D. C. says:

    I am a 43 yr old RN, BSN applying to NP school and I came across nurse while searching for ideas and inspiration for writing me essay for the application. Reading your essay and other writings on your blog has truly inspired me, and given me relevant ideas about writing my essay. For example, I too am the only person in my family to obtain any education after high school, and, I too worked and paid my way as well.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience, I’m certain that I am not the only person you have given hope to. (Frankly, before viewing your blog I was so discouraged and anxious about my essay that I could not think of anything interesting to say. What I had mainly written was about how long I have been a nurse–twenty one years–and the rest was blah in my opinion.).
    Please keep posting, you are performing a great duty!

    Be blessed,
    April Claxton, RN, BSN

  • Avatar Salwa says:

    All I can say is that I am jealous of you, envious of you, looking up to you, inspired by you and want to be like you. I am an RN, BSN and venturing into NP school this coming spring. Applying to the FNP program is daunting and I am haunted daily by not being accepted due to my lack of experience in hospitals. I’ve only worked in nursing homes and skilled nursing rehab for adults and geriatrics. How can I convince them that I am a great candidate for the FNP program when the bulk of their essay question asks for how my experiences prepare me to be an FNP? I’ ve come upon your essay and now I have ideas flying through my head and still don’t know how to start. UGGHHH!


    • Gail Ingram NP Gail Ingram NP says:

      My colleague wrote her essay to get into Case Western about the subject of golf. She was her state champion in high school and believed that parallels could be drawn between her golf experience and the worlds of nursing and healthcare. You can pick anything you are good at and write about how those traits will compliment your nursing practice or impact the profession. My golf-loving colleague was accepted into Case Western and graduated with honors. She is now a nurse practitioner at the Cleveland Clinic. So, you see, you can write about almost anything as long as you highlight your passion.

    • Gail Ingram NP Gail Ingram NP says:

      Oh, and Salwa, THANK YOU for the kind words. Very generous!

      Here is another idea to bolster your resume. You are a credentialed expert in health so why not become a published writer on the topic? Check this out:

  • Avatar Anita Fru says:

    Hello Gail ..thanks for sharing your knowledge with us all. am a young nurse from Bismarck ND and am applying to NP school for next fall . Your Essays are encouraging and hopeful.

  • Avatar olivia fair says:

    Thanks a lot ! Very useful article !
    When writing content for your essay, you need to pour in your heart on it. Write not because you want to impress them, but write so they would know you even further. Writing an entrance paper is really challenging.

  • Avatar Mira says:

    It is consider too late to become a nurse practitioner when over 50 years old.
    Thank you

    • says:

      Depends on your personality, disposition, focus, drive, support system, and goals. Most NP classes are at night and you can take them one at a time while you continue to work if needed. Gail Ingram believes there should be no point in one’s life where learning stops. Find a comfortable pace. Best to you!

  • Avatar Amy says:

    Gail, this is really inspiring and motivating! I especially enjoyed this part of your personal statement: “Equally important, while promoting health, I am also promoting the profession of nursing. ”
    Thank you so much!

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