Nursing School Admission requirements are they fair?

  1. I used to be an LPN, I have been working on my prerequisites for a year now... As we all know the competition to enter a program is ridiculous. Most school uses the GPA as their primary filter in order to be selected. Is this a fair practice for potential students who have less then a 3.5 gpa to be excluded automatically... Does having a 4.0 equate to automatically being a successful nursing student or future licensed nurse?
    My gpa 3.8, because I know want some of you will be thinking
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  2. 41 Comments

  3. by   RNinJune2007
    I think it is fair. I worked very hard to maintain my pre-req 4.0, and I took ALL of my pre-reqs when I was 16/17.

    It is based on competition, and schools usually do a point system combining not JUST GPA but other factors. I know my school uses the point system to find those that are least likely to fail. Is it foolproof? No. But, the point is, they have a method.

    They have a clear-cut way to assist people who don't get in (i.e. you lost points for your C in A&P1, etc, so retake and raise the grade, and reapply),
    and can rationalize to those who don't get in the reasons of their rejection.

    Nursing school is NOT easy. I had straight A's (EASILY, no studying at all) before for all of my pre-reqs, but I study a lot for nursing school and have gotten all C's (although, our C's are 80-86%) except this semester, a B.

    So, to sum it all up, I believe it is fair. Nursing schools can only do so much to ensure your success, and choosing top students is part of the process.
  4. by   mommy2g1b
    The school I am doing my pre-reqs in (and hopefully eventually their nursing program) uses a point system instead. You get so many points for your GPA, so many for having your CNA or LPN, so many for certain classes you have taken, etc. Personally, I do not think that a 4.0 student means that they will be a great nurse. There are probably a lot of potential nurses out there that would make great RNs that have lower than a 3.5GPA.
  5. by   PACNWNURSING
    That is what I meant most schools who use points systems have GPA's as the most critical component for obtaining the points needed in order to get into a program. I would agree with you mommy. Lets be real, most of the information we need in order to pass the boards and become successful nurses will come from the actual nursing courses and of course our people skills. I have feeling if no prerequisites were required, most people would still be able to pass most ADN nursing programs.
  6. by   PurrRN
    I guess my question to you is what do YOU think is fair? In a situation where a whole lot of schools have 40-50 seats but 200, 300 or 400 applications, what are schools supposed to do to make the process fair?.

    Do I think that a person with a lower than 4.0 school record wouldn't make an excellent nurse? Absolutely not....was I scared to make less than an A....absolutely, because I knew how competitive the process was.

    Did I make all A's? Nope. I'm I in a nursing program now? Yep. But it did take 2 years to get accepted.

    I'd like to hear what your solution would be to make the process fair and why you don't think grades should be included in the competitive process.
  7. by   BeccaznRN
    I believe using mostly GPA to consider students for nursing school is completely fair. That doesn't mean that only the brightest students will make good nurses, but one of the best ways a school can tell how the student will perform in nursing school is by looking at that GPA. Think about it.....would you be willing to risk a spot in a nursing program for a student that has a 2.5 GPA or a 3.5 GPA, especially when spots are so precious these days? Schools want students that can do the work, take it seriously, and make it through to take and pass the NCLEX. A student's past academic record will speak volumes about his/her potential success in a nursing program. I know there are always exceptions to this, but with so much competition for spots in nursing programs, schools have to generalize. Unfortunate? Yes. Fair? You bet.
  8. by   PACNWNURSING
    To make it more fair, I suggest.

    1. Do not allow anyone to apply without having completed all the prerequisites, this will lower the over all number of applications being submitted.

    2. Have people fill out a more extensive application, that will reveal more about the person then just their GPA average. Work history, life experiences, etc. or attach a CV of your work history and life experiences.

    3. Face to face interviews. If people can take years to prepare themselves for entry into a program, the least they can do is spend 15 minutes with a person.

    I realize the gpa is needed, but it should not be the main criteria for choice.
    My eventual goal is become a Nursing instructior, this is why I am quite passionate about this issue.
  9. by   BSNtobe2009
    I have never thought a straight GPA for admissions was fair, because with the graduation rate, even 4.0's are flunking out.

    I'l admit, I'm a little biased b/c second degree students in many ways are at a disadvantage, because if you can have a 4.0 in sciences, a 3.0 overall...but you have over 140+ of credits and competing against others that just has 12 hours, but their 4.0 is calculated in.

    I think someone who has taken fully loaded semesters of coursework can demonstrate the ability to multi-task and prioritize, since nursing programs are all loaded semesters. That's just me.

    The reason alot of schools have went to a point system for admission, and many, many more are doing away with the interview process, is a point system doesn't know if you are black or white, male or female, single or married, children or no children.

    In a competitive program, they are just trying not to get a complaint filed against them for discrimination.

    I just don't think the GPA ALONE is necessarily the best predictor...you have to look at many other factors for the whole student.
  10. by   smk1
    Listen folks, the fair is in Salem. (for all those in the PacNW they'll get the joke lol). There is no way to be completely fair in this process. Some schools have a far more rigorous science program and it is harder to get an A, yet the students that got an "easy A" at the school down the street will get the same credit for that "A" as those at the "harder" school. There are just too many variables to ever make it fair. Do what you can and have as many backup plans as you can.
  11. by   PACNWNURSING
    You are so right, BSNtobe, I know someone who has a bs degree in molecular biology, yet he still had to take quite a few additional college credit classes in order to meet the requirements and had to retake a couple of courses just to increase his grades. After all that he still was not accepted because he did not have his CNA certificate, which is a whole different issue for another time..
  12. by   MB37
    They have to use some kind of criteria. Would you complain about GPA requirements for med school? It might be nice if some schools looked at more than JUST GPA, but then again they may have 900 applicants for 40 slots. Some schools do use a lottery, but that would make me crazy. I have a 3.8+ including all my previous degree credits, and I would have to hurt somebody if I was passed over for someone who barely met the minimums. It doesn't mean that I know that I would be a better nurse, but I do know that I worked very hard for my GPA and plan on keeping the same study habits and work ethic in nursing school. Every university program does this to some extent, whether it's SAT/ACT/GRE scores, high school GPA or class rank, or undergrad GPA for nursing school. Is it ideal? Maybe not, but it's certainly fair. Every school publicizes their requirements, and they're usually pretty clear about what you can do to improve your chances of getting in.
  13. by   GratefulHeart
    To my way of thinking GPA indicators are very fair. Nursing programs as compared to other programs in colleges and universities are exceptionally expensive to operate. Because of the greater degree of financial investment involved, there has to be some way for overseers of these programs to predict whether or not an individual has what it takes to successfully complete the program. A high GPA is one measure that demonstrates an individual has already demonstrated they have the necessary intelligence, work ethic and sense of priorities to academically succeed.

    Maybe where you live most of the nursing programs are primarily GPA-based, but where I live most are lottery-based (with only a B average required in the science prerequisites).

    I am personally gratified that most of our programs here do not involve an interview, because I think that leaves too much room for subjectivity and personal (as well as ethnic and cultural) preferences on the part of the interviewer(s). Getting into nursing school should not be a popularity contest.
  14. by   MBARNBSN
    I think GPA used heavily in admissions is a good thing. Admissions officers are not looking for who will make the better nurse before you enter his/her program. They are looking at who may make a good Student Nurse. Once we are in the program, they are looking at who will pass Boards to make the program look good and keep accreditation.

    It is ALL about the program and nothing more. It is idealistic and not realistic to think it is about more. We will not learn enough about nursing to prove ourselves to be good nurses in nursing school. It is not humanly possible to gain 20 years of work experience in 4 semesters. :uhoh21:

    The only standards I do not think is fair are standards that use lottery systems. That is based upon luck rather then work effort and that is outrageous to me. I think it is a cowardly way to choose students.

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