Rejected from ASU post-bacc nursing program, need some advice?

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    Hey all, thanks for taking the time to read this. I'll give you some background first.

    I graduated from a state university a couple years ago with a BS in Biological Sciences. During my years as an undergraduate, I had to work 30 hours per week in order to put myself through school due to lack of funds/federal loans. As a result, my GPA suffered a little bit. I finished my undergraduate degree with a 2.9 GPA. Definitely not great, I'm not super proud of it and it absolutely could have been better if I didn't have to work so much. That being said, I applied to ASU's post-bacc BSN program and was rejected due to low GPA. Their minimum requirement is a 3.5. The admissions rep emailed me the rejection saying that I should choose another degree program. The problem is this: I spent 4 years in college, I have a ridiculous amount of debt, and I frankly can not afford to do another 4 years in college. It is not financially possible for me and actually quite redundant in my opinion.

    My plan (when applying to the post-bacc BSN program) was to do a year in the BSN program, then apply to ASU's Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (DNP) program. Is there a way to still achieve this without going through a full four year program? Is there a way to raise my GPA enough to be a viable applicant into the program? I am absolutely okay with going to school for a year to raise my GPA enough, but I'm unsure if it actually works that way.

    I'm in a much better place in my life now than I was when I graduated from college the first time. It is definitely not that I'm unintelligent, or not dedicated. My low GPA is due solely to the fact that I had to work a lot of hours during college. I am now married and able to focus only on education, but is it too late? Relocating is not an option, as my husband is in the military, we just got married a few months ago, and I am not willing to leave him to go to school.

    Any opinions, advice, etc would be greatly appreciated. Again, thank you for taking time to read this.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Sep 15, '12
    Joe V likes this.
  2. 7 Comments so far...

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    ASU is not the only accelerated program out there. I'd try to take some science classes to raise your GPA while applying to other programs.
    Jory likes this.
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    Are you referring to Arizona State University?

    I agree with hiddencatRN, take some science courses at a community college to raise your GPA and make you a more viable candidate. CC courses are not as expensive as university courses, and are good to raise your GPA because they are typically 4 and 5 unit courses. If you have already taken these courses before, you should have a good basis for making As the second time around. You didn't state your prerequisite GPA, so retaking those prereq courses would be a good place to start if you are looking to retake courses. You may want to volunteer in healthcare, get your fingerprint card, and other non-academic things that should help your application profile.

    Have you considered a traditional BSN program? The pace may be better suited for you to have any kind of a life with your husband. I applied to, and was rejected from, an accelerated master's entry to the practice of nursing program, but was accepted my first time applying to a traditional BSN program. I'm very grateful for my rejection, because I feel that I am absorbing the material so much more than I would have had I been accepted to and enrolled in the MEPN program.
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    If I were you, since you already have a BS in biology, apply to PA programs instead of nursing programs; you can skip the whole floor nurse part this way, and you'll be grateful for it. Since you want to work in psych, why not be a psych PA?

    However, you're right; your gpa is just not good enough to get into any of these programs; however, prove to them that you can do the work and achieve all A's or mostly A's by re-taking anatomy and physiology and a few other courses, and your working in school interfered. Make sure you take all the courses the PA programs recommend, and also volunteer, and work in healthcare in some way before applying. PA programs will be more academically rigorous and more demanding of your time, and also more expensive, but will be worth it in the end when you make almost twice as much or at least a third again as much, hours are better (depending on specialty), and you won't have to work nights for a few years after graduating (unless you choose a specialty that requires it).

    If you really, really want to be a nurse, that's great, especially if you enjoy night shifts, and not always getting a chance to eat or urinate (though you usually will be able to both eat and urinate during your shift lol; I do most of the time, but not every floor is created equal; some on here say they never get to eat). I find patient care rewarding, but I don't really have any worthwhile free time working nights. There are the few that love nights, though. Just my 2 cents. I imagine that all of this will take you a year to do prior to applying for either program.

    Oh, and all NP grad programs require nursing experience...unless you apply into the direct entry master's programs. But, those take 3 years, and PA programs take 2 years.
  6. 0
    Quote from Good Morning, Gil

    Oh, and all NP grad programs require nursing experience...unless you apply into the direct entry master's programs. But, those take 3 years, and PA programs take 2 years.
    Not all NP programs require nursing experience. For example, Maryville doesn't require work experience.

    OP, good luck in pursuing your DNP!
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    Can you clarify your location? I am in Arizona with a friend in the ASU post-bacc program and I am in the accelerated BSN program at Grand Canyon University. If you are in Arizona too, I would highly recommend speaking to one of the Maricopa Community College nursing counselors. They have a concurrent enrollment program between MCCCD campuses and a university, such as NAU or UoP. You get a BSN and it isn't as competitive as ASU and GCU programs. I have friends that were rejected by GCU with 3.3+. Also, many of these programs only let you retake one to two classes, making it harder to bump up your GPA. I know someone in the current enrollment program at GCC/NAU. All she had to do was get onto the MCCCD Nursing wait list, which is simple once you have the pre-reqs. After you are on that list, you can attend the next scheduled CEP info session and apply into a CEP program. She bypassed the ADN wait list and went right into the CEP program. You will also find that the CEP program (at least the one between MCCCD and NAU) is remarkably cost effective at around $12,000 total cost.

    Good luck in your journey!
    Last edit by cherryobebe on Sep 14, '12 : Reason: typo
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    Thanks everyone for the replies! Yes, my location is Phoenix, AZ. I was looking into ASU because they have both the post-bacc program plus the graduate Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (DNP) program. As it turns out, the rejection they sent me was very premature. I spoke with an adviser today (not super in-depth, just about the program options in general) and as it turns out, they do not accept/reject students based on your cumulative GPA. They determine their future students based on a "select GPA" and the student's TEAS score. Each value carries 50% weight. I was given a list of the pre-requisite courses that they draw your select GPA from (they use 8 scores out of a possible 10.) It seems that I have only completed 3 courses on their list of 10, so I wouldn't have been accepted either way. The good news for that is that once I fulfill the pre-req requirements, they will only draw from the top 8/10 scores. So my 2.86 GPA becomes irrelevant. They also require you to submit a couple of essays prior to their determination. The confusion came in because on their website they do not specify any of these facts, so I sent my transcripts and applied online. There was no mention of essays or "select GPA" at all!

    Considering that my situation has changed, and I still have 7 courses to take before I reapply, I'm 100% sure my GPA will be acceptable. I have nothing but time to study now, thankfully, and a lot of the pre-req courses seem like things I've had some exposure to during my Biology undergrad. Most of the stuff I don't have because it wasn't relevant to my non-clinical research program.

    Anyway, it's definitely good news for me. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read/respond!
    hiddencatRN likes this.
  9. 0
    Moved to Arizona State Nursing Programs Forum, as better suited to this inquiry.


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