Pre-Nursing and prior education HELP

  1. Hi everyone! LOVE this forum. It is fantastic!

    I am planning to start my pre-req's this spring at a local school that offers a 2-year RN program. I have a bachelor's (and Master's for that matter) in English, so I still have to take most of the science classes (A&P, Bio I, Micro, Chemstry, Nutrition). I'm not worried too much - in high school I had bio I & II, Chemistry and Physics and did pretty well, but . . .

    I have my first meeting in two weeks with the head of the Nursing deparment at the school. We're going to look at my transcripts and determine what I still need to take and how soon I could apply for the program. I really want to make a good impression because if the course schedule works out, I REALLY want to be accepted to start the actual program in the fall - or at least the first semester I am able. Any suggestions for what will help? From what to wear to what to say?

    I am making a career jump - my previous education was liberal arts and I've been working at a bank for several years - and I don't want to come off looking like a flake. There's something about my Master's that seems to put people off - I can't seem to find a job other that the one I've had at the bank and I've been looking for ages. People act like I'm overqualified (entry level positions) or underqualified (no expierience but mortgage banking) for everything and I'm scared that is going to happen here.

    After soul-searching for several years I've realized nursing has been an obvious choice for me - now that I've decided I'm ready to roll! So what's your best advice for making a good impression for a nursing program director and is my prior education going to work against me here?

    Thanks!

    Renee
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Mona Mona


    Welcome to Allnurses!

    Good for you! I am also a second career person....coming from an accounting/business background. I am taking my pre-requisites and am on my Comm. College's wait list. I hope to get in Fall 2006 or Winter 2007.

    I think we are making a good choice. Every profession has it's ups and downs....I just can't see myself at a desk for the next 30 years! :uhoh21:

    See ya around Allnurses, Renee!
  4. by   sirI
    Quote from trmccallister
    Hi everyone! LOVE this forum. It is fantastic!

    I am planning to start my pre-req's this spring at a local school that offers a 2-year RN program. I have a bachelor's (and Master's for that matter) in English, so I still have to take most of the science classes (A&P, Bio I, Micro, Chemstry, Nutrition). I'm not worried too much - in high school I had bio I & II, Chemistry and Physics and did pretty well, but . . .

    I have my first meeting in two weeks with the head of the Nursing deparment at the school. We're going to look at my transcripts and determine what I still need to take and how soon I could apply for the program. I really want to make a good impression because if the course schedule works out, I REALLY want to be accepted to start the actual program in the fall - or at least the first semester I am able. Any suggestions for what will help? From what to wear to what to say?

    I am making a career jump - my previous education was liberal arts and I've been working at a bank for several years - and I don't want to come off looking like a flake. There's something about my Master's that seems to put people off - I can't seem to find a job other that the one I've had at the bank and I've been looking for ages. People act like I'm overqualified (entry level positions) or underqualified (no expierience but mortgage banking) for everything and I'm scared that is going to happen here.

    After soul-searching for several years I've realized nursing has been an obvious choice for me - now that I've decided I'm ready to roll! So what's your best advice for making a good impression for a nursing program director and is my prior education going to work against me here?

    Thanks!

    Renee
    Hello and Welcome to Allnurses.com

    It is truly great to have you with us.

    Many individuals with the "second" degree choose to go into nursing. It is most common. I do not see that your degrees will be a hinderance. Good luck. And, enjoy the forums. This site will most definitely assist you in your nursing program.
  5. by   ICRN2008
    I am a second degree student in my first semester of clinicals. You would be surprised at how many of us there are out there My best advice for your meeting is to be completely honest with them about your background and how you arrived at this point. Make sure that your passion for and commitment to nursing come through, because you've already demonstrated that you can handle the academic work.

    Schools have varied admissions policies for nursing programs. Some have waiting lists, some are based solely on GPA, and others look at a complete admissions portfolio. Have you considered applying to an accelerated second-degree bachelor's program? In my state, the community colleges have waiting lists of two years or more. If you achieve high grades on your pre-reqs, you might be able to get into an accelerated program faster.

    Good luck!
  6. by   Daytonite
    At your interview I would definitely make sure the person you speak with understands that you have had a great desire to get into nursing, but for some reason (and I would try to come up with something plausible) you were just never able to do that. Don't bring up the issue of RN salary. They won't want to hear that anyone is going in to nursing for the money. Some schools want to actually hear, from your own lips, why you want to be a nurse, so have an answer to that ready. I have read some posts on these forums in the past where it has been said that some schools want to hear creative answers to the question of why one wants to be a nurse and not just because you want to help others. If there is some landmark event or incident in your past that you can point to and say, "that's when I started thinking that I might want to be a nurse", then I would difinitely talk about it.Like any other kind of interview be prepared to answer questions about what your strenths and weaknesses are. A nurse needs to be a good organizer and multi-tasker. She must have good powers of observation. Don't worry about manual dexterity. That comes with practicing the different nursing procedures. Many years ago prospective nursing students were asked to thread a needle for the interviewer in order to assess her manual dexterity, but I haven't heard of that being done in some time. :chuckle You might get asked what you intend to do with your Master's degree and nursing. So, if you have aspirations of getting a Master's in nursing be sure to let them know that. They may also ask you what you see yourself doing in the realm of nursing.

    Your proficiency with English is going to come in very handy because there is a lot of writing that goes on in nursing school, particularly in the BSN programs.
  7. by   Jessy_RN
    welcome to the site. enjoy your stay and best wishes to you.

    talk to an advisor and get a plan of study set up.

    find out what they are looking for? do they go by a point scale system or lottery? how many slots are there? how many applicants usually apply? and......what was the cut-off gpa of last group.

    is there a pre-entrance exam that you must take? if so, which one?

    come back with answers and some of us can give you some pointer/suggestions and most importantly courage!

    good luck to you.


    p.s. ask questions around campus as well. believe it or not they are a good part of the source of info. always double check with the advisors though.
  8. by   AllyRN82
    good luck to you! i just got into the nursing program here in dallas, tx and i didn't have to interview with anyone so i am not quite sure how that works. when i do see the head honchos, i do get a little tense and don't know what to say. what's really and truly worked best for me is just being myself. seriously, that really works the best as cheesey as it sounds.

    what kind of classes did you take for your previous degree?

    once again, welcome and i am very happy to meet you!
  9. by   trmccallister
    Thanks, everyone for the great responses! I had mostly literature, philosophy and journalism courses for my other degree. In high school I had all the big science classes, but in college I only had to take Physical Science b/c I was a humanities major. I did have general psych, but that's about it.

    I have to take the TEAS exam, which I think I will have to take this spring if I will be able to apply for fall term, or in the fall to apply for spring. Looks like they select students on a combination of points and references. It says "only offical transcripts of final grades will be used". Does that mean from high school? College? my pre-requisites? I need to find out because if it includes the pre-requisites does that mean I have to have completed the classes before I can apply? or can I be enrolled? It looks like they consider GPA down to 3.0 - maybe it depends on the group applying? My graduate GPA was 3.65, undergrad 3.23 and for High School I think it was 3.7-ish (waiting on those transcripts). But if they go off of my undergrad I may be screwed. Wonder what they'll use?

    It gets complicated!

    Renee
  10. by   Daytonite
    Official transcripts are those sent by the school you attended embossed with the official certification mark of the college. They are usually in a sealed envelope that only the college they are being sent to may open. My experience with transfer is that your GPA is calculated based on the grades you received for the classes that are being taken in transfer only. When I applied to my BSN program I had transcripts sent to them from my high school and several colleges that I wanted them using transfer credit from. You have to contact the school to clarify whether you need to have pre-requisites finished before entering the nursing program or if you can finish them while you are taking nursing classes. Most nursing programs want specific pre-reqs like anatomy and physiology, microbiology and chemistry completed before you start the nursing classes. Unless you've had them at another college, you will have to take them. The best way to get all the answers to your questions is to make an appointment with a counselor at the college you want to take your nursing program in. Take unofficial copies of your transcripts (HS and college) with you. The counselor should have a pre-printed form of the required classes you will need to fulfill the requirements for the nursing degree. They can give you a pretty good idea of the previous classes you've had that they will take in transfer and which classes you will have to take at their school. When you leave that appointment you should have a very clear idea of the exact classes you will need to be taking.
  11. by   Maisie
    My school is on the point system. A Masters degree would actually give you extra points for getting into the nursing program.
    Last edit by Maisie on Oct 25, '05 : Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  12. by   trmccallister
    I hope there's extra points for having the degree! I have my appointment a week from tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

    Another trouble I just found is that, because I have loans from before, I am not eligible to take out loans at a community college. So now I'm scrambling, trying to decide what to do. If I go to a 4-year school I can get loans, but I'd have to quit my job right away and commute 2 hours a day.

    It will work out. There's hope for scholarships!

    Renee
  13. by   studentnurse3
    Why are you not eligible to take out loans at a community college because you have loans from before?

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