Is My Stupid Sign Crooked?

  1. My Life Story...sorry it's so long.

    This is my first message on this chat board...my first ever chat come to think of it. I am wondering if my background will even get me into nursing school. I graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1979. I started out in a basic pre-med program at the University of MD in 1972. I was in the draft for VN, but my number was too high for me to go during the US draw down there. I decided I wanted to go into geology for a future so I applied and was accepted (1974) into the Geologic Engineering program at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO. Too much engineering and not enough rocks sent me one last time up the road to Laramie, WY in 1976 to finish up. The problem soon became obvious...no more nuclear power operations meant no more surface geology and the slowdown in domestic oil and gas production meant no new jobs in the oil industry. My friends were sweeping out high school gymnasiums with their geology degrees. I wanted to earn a living, not pay tuition the rest of my life so I decided to grab any degree I could (Administration of Justice) and entered the Air Force as a 2nd Lt and went to navigator training. I retired as a Lt Col last year with over 22 years of service and 5000 flight hours. During that time I flew 220 hours of air combat and 49 combat missions. I also completed a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Science (GPA 3.96) from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University while in the military. My undergraduate GPA wasn't great...3.13, but I also had a full load of Chemistry courses (4 sem), math through calculus III, biology, genetics, blah blah blah. In other words I had plenty of the science and math background I needed for nursing school. In the last 2 years I have taken Anatomy & Phys I and II w/ labs, Life-Span Developmental Psych, Statistics, Ethics, Nutrition, and will be taking Microbiology w/ lab this fall. So far, I have received all A's in these courses.

    Sorry this is so long and boring...it may help to get an answer to my question...How in the %^&* can I get accepted into a decent nursing program? Johns Hopkins said my undergraduate GPA was a little low (I know it's one of the top schools...but what the heck, I started there). Is the 24-year old GPA going to haunt me for the rest of my life? I was accepted last year into the only program I applied to: Columbia University's Entry To Practice program, but the debt load I would've incurred was enormous. The program would've allowed me to end up as a BSN in 1 year followed up with automatic entry into an NP track.

    This year I am looking at getting into some sort of accelerated program for a BSN only. Then, after practicing for a couple of years, I want to return for an advanced practice masters degree in something like Acute Care. I would love to end up as a CRNA (so would a million other people) but that is a long way away from now. I plan to keep working probably until I'm a patient in the ICU so I don't care about being old (I will be 49 in 1 month). I want to keep busy and I want to give something back to this country that has given me so much for the last 22 years.

    Are these schools going to jerk me around about a GPA from 1979 and not look at anything I have done since then? I'm not an "in the middle career-changer". I've finished one career and want to start on another. I thought long and hard about PA school, but nursing seems more independent, challenging, oriented towards the PATIENT, and you're not tied directly to a doc for income. That, and the variety of fields to specialize in, the chance for advanced degree work, and the demand pointed me towards nursing. I don't want to have to go through 4 years of school just to get to the 2 years of nursing I need for the BSN. I am a volunteer paramedic here in Alaska (trained in between flying duties) and am ACLS and PALS qualified. The only 2 things I cannot perform under my medical director are an emergency field tracheostomy and rapid-sequence intubation with paralytics. In addition, I have been offered the chance to fly as an EMT/Paramedic on board a local air ambulance operation we have up here to access the bush villages. I am in classes right now so I haven't done that yet.

    If you aren't on supplemental O2 after reading this blather, I would appreciate any and all answers. Thanks for your reading patience!!!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   memphispanda
    Well, many places offer you the chance to "fresh start"...I can't imagine that an old GPA would be held against you everywhere. Mine certainly wasn't. They looked at what I had done recently.

    Are you looking to move to any particular area? You should have a ton of options for schools. The name of the school really isn't important when it comes to nursing. If they are accredited, you can get a job.

    You may also want to look into the entry level MSN programs. With your educational background that could be a possibility for you. Check www.allnursingschools.com and see what you can find there. They aren't a comprehensive list, but they have a lot of great information about what is out there.
  4. by   Gator,SN
    Snag,
    I didn't think your post was boring in fact, quite the opposite, I'm impressed. I thought at first that you were going to write that you wanted to be a helicopter pilot for life flight. ..(or if Johns Hopkins is your neck of the woods, STAT MedEvac or Star 1)
    I wish you the best with your future plans and I have to agree with memphispanda, not ALL schools are going to hold your ancient GPA against you. Keep looking!

    WELCOME to the board!
    Gator
  5. by   Angelica
    Snag,
    I'm afraid I have absolutely no useful advice for you. I just graduated from a community college, and they weren't too particular about my GPA. Anyway, I think your story is fascinating. I am also a retiree (22 yrs-USMC). Good luck to you!
  6. by   snag
    Thanks for the advice! And thank you for taking the time to read all that blathering on. I will look into those options. Good luck to both of you in your future!

    Snag
  7. by   snag
    Semper Fi Angelica!! Good luck to you in your next "assignments"!!

    Snag
  8. by   Just Angi
    Snag,
    No advice-- I just started the program myself for an ADN. I just wanted to say that people, such as yourself, truely impress me!
    GOOD LUCK on whatever you do!!

    WELCOME TO THE BOARD!!
    Angi
  9. by   PennyLane
    Snag--I'm sure you can find plenty of programs that would love to have you.

    For instance, my roommate was accepted to the Univ. of MD's BSN accelerated program with an undergraduate GPA of 2.89. She did get As in A&P I and II, Nutrition, and Human Growth and Dev. But not counting those prereqs her GPA was 2.89.

    I think your life experience will help you stand out from the rest of the applicants, and from what I hear they like having people come into nursing 'later' in life.
  10. by   nekhismom
    Sounds like you should be able to get in just about anywhere you want to. Not all places will be so hung up about that GPA. Seems to me like a MSN program would be right up your alley! Good luck.
  11. by   NurseDixie
    Snag,
    I agree with nekhismom, you should be able to get in just about anywhere. You have so much wonderful experience. I am a non-traditional student (age 46). I graduated from high school in 1975, got married, worked as a nursing assistant for a lot of years, got divorced, continued working as a nursing assistant and managed a small apt. building, finally got remarried, he gave me the confidence I never had and I started nursing school, I'll graduate in December.
    By the way, your story was not at all boring. Sounds like a very interesting life!
    My brother served in Viet Nam and Desert Storm. He retired after 22 yrs of service with the US Army.
    Dixie
  12. by   prmenrs
    I'm making an assumption that you're male, if not mea culpa. Point being: you are considered a minority in nursing, and I believe you could get grants and such. That would keep the "debt load" more manageable.

    I can't believe there aren't nursing schools drooling over you. I don't know what you consider 'a decent program', but try spreading your applications around some: UCSF, U of Washington, Denver, Chicago, Boston, George Washington University, UCLA.....

    Enjoy your 2nd career!
  13. by   Catma63
    First I gotta say, I am impressed beyond words after reading Snag's post....all those awesome accomplishments. Woah!

    And prmenrs.....I LOVE that picture with the teeny baby under your name! Awwwwwwwww!

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