Going Back To School For Nursing - Need Advice

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    10 years ago I left school with a 2.0 GPA. I was 2 credits short of graduating with a history degree. My GPA doesn't indicate this, but I'm quite smart and I'm very capable of handling the course material. I had several academic full-rides to colleges out of high school, went to the number one private college in my state, but my GPA is low because I foolishly ran a recording studio out of my apartment all through school and never went to class. I was young and terribly naive and believed I'd be a big music producer one day.

    I've since grown up - a LOT.

    I know through some life experiences that I'd be a good nurse. And I want to be one very badly. Do I have any chance? Can anyone give me some advice on how to achieve this with my past GPA?

    Should I finish my history degree, and then start a second bachelor's in pre-nursing? Are there nursing schools that will only look at my newest grades? Or will every school also factor in the GPA from my first bachelor's? (I thought I heard there were schools that may look ONLY at your last 60 credits... or was this to mean rather they look MOSTLY at the last 60 credits?)

    Or should I go right into pre-nursing and plan for a dual major with a history/BSN? I could bring up my GPA some, but I don't imagine that 2 years of school could bring it up substantially.

    Is there a better option than either of the two I've proposed? My biggest concern is clearly the GPA i had 10 years ago. I'm a completely new student now, and I will show that with my new grades. But if they average my old grades in with the new... If so, no matter how well do, I'm afraid I won't be able to pull it up to a 3.0 in just 2 years.

    Keep in mind that I'm willing to get certifications and work in whatever capacity is necessary to make getting into nursing school possible. As a CNA, EMT, or whatever other suggested occupation could improve my chances of being looked upon favorably.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I greatly appreciate any and all advice!
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  4. 3 Comments so far...

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    There's hope for you. I applied to nursing school straight out of college (6 years ago) with a GPA of 2.3 with my final semester GPA of 1.8 or something terrible like that. I was accepted into a small school in Illinois with a two year program but didn't go because I was young and didn't want to be at a school in a rural area with no friends or family for two years. Over the last 6 years I had gotten used to receiving denial letters in the mail but this fall I finally started nursing school at La Salle University in the Achieve program. They have a GPA requirement listed on their website but they also require you to take the NLN PAX-Rn exam. When I met with the admissions counselor and she review my transcripts in front of my face, she did not seem to be appauled with my past grades. She just told me which classes I would need to take. I asked her what I should do to increase my chances of getting in because of my academic history, and she just suggested doing very well on it and having a recommendation sent in (not required). The only things I did from her advise that day was take the required classes I was missing and score in the 97th percentile for the entrance exam. My pre-req GPA probably was somewhere around a 3.2 but of course my overall GPA can't be more than a 2.5.

    I think you're looking like a program like mine because you're not required to have a bachelor's degree to be admitted and I think the admissions committee puts more emphasis on pre-req grades and the entrance exam than overall GPA. The application is free, there is no essay, and the program is part time so you can still work while in school. It takes 2 full years and a semester to complete. I don't know of other programs like this but I'm sure they exist. I wish I found mine earlier Good luck on pursuing your nursing career!
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    There are some programs that give the grades in your per-requisite sciences (Micro, Anatomy, Physiology) the lions share or even all of the GPA consideration weight. As for the bachelor's degree thats a personal choice. Some schools on the point system will give you extra points for having a Bachelor's degree, but I regretted having one because it limited my school options. Let me explain: Many State Schools (cheapest option) don't allow second bachelor's degrees so my only option was to go with an associates degree or go into debt for $50,000 to $100,000 to get a bachelor's degree from a private school. If your concerned about cost I would recommend NOT getting that bachelors degree so you can not only go to a State school but so you can get funding that isn't available to students who already have their degree.

    Congrats on choosing nursing!
  7. 0
    You really need to research schools in your area. Some schools care mostly about prereq gpa, others care about the whole thing, and yet others only look at the last 60-90 units of your degree. So see what's out there and where you fit best. But from here on out, you have to pretty much get straight A's in your prereqs to shine a light on your current abilities.

    And I would advise against getting a history degree at this point in the game. Getting a bachelors can limit your financial aid. If you go into an ADN program, which might be the more realistic route with your GPA, then you won't be eligible for grants and will have to take loans (most likely, and that's if your school will qualify you for them). So I wouldn't finish the history degree, if I was in that situation.

    But like I said, you have to see what the admission criteria is at the schools you hope to apply to. Look at some ADN programs too.


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