Incoming Western Nevada College nursing student Tahnya Ballard has done what it takes to pass critical standardized tests and enter the program, and she is willing to help other aspiring nursing students succeed, too.
Ballard will offer a free, weekly one-hour Tame the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) webinar at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29, to help applicants succeed. It covers a wide range of topics, with the first one focusing on organizational skills and establishing a priority list for studying.
â€œI thought Iâ€™d have something to offer other people who are trying to get into nursing school,â€ Ballard said. â€œIf they really have a passion for being a nurse, they shouldnâ€™t let a standardized test stand in their way. If you score poorly on the TEAS, it diminishes the likelihood of getting into a nursing program.â€
Ballard earned a decent score in her first attempt at the TEAS but decided to take another shot at the exam.
â€œI wanted to perform to the max so I could get into nursing school,â€ Ballard said. â€œThe second time I studied and I did much better, scoring in the 98th percentile.â€
TEAS is one of the admission requirements recognized nationwide by Nursing and Allied Health programs, including WNCâ€™s. Students can take the TEAS test only once per semester, so there is pressure to earn a passing score.
â€œIt covers quite a bit: reading comprehension, 10th and 11th-grade-level math, a number of different areas in the sciences, grammar, spelling and word usage,â€ Ballard said.
Students shouldnâ€™t focus all of their studying on weak areas, she advises.
â€œI focused on what I did know, too. If you try a little harder on something you know at a 90 percent level, you can get that up to 100 percent,â€ she said.
Nursing isnâ€™t Ballardâ€™s first professional career. The Gardnerville resident practiced law in Nevada and California for 25 years and decided that she wanted a more hands-on career where she could directly care for people.
Along with the TEAS exam, she has been busy taking prerequisite classes to earn admission into WNCâ€™s nursing program.
â€œItâ€™s a huge change,â€ Ballard said. â€œI wanted to go to the WNC nursing school because it has a great reputation, and the nice thing about nursing is you can do it in any of the 50 states.â€
Students can learn more about Ballardâ€™s webinars by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or going to tametheteas.com.
â€œIf there is interest, Iâ€™ll keep on doing them,â€ she said.
Ballard is also trying to arrange a monthly Tame the Teas Bootcamp through WNCâ€™s Continuing Education Department.