Best option with low GPA but job experience?

  1. 0
    Hello all,
    I have a BA from SUNY Stony Brook, graduating with a 2.98. I know I don't have impressive grades, but I do have great work experience along with outstanding recommendations from professors and supervisors. I've been told I interview well and have great writing skills (for the essay portion of nursing school applications). I applied to 6 different BSN programs in NY for Fall 2012 and have been rejected from all of them.

    Where would you advise someone in my position to go from here? :
    - Should I apply to January Associate programs and spend the next 2 years working on that, eventually applying to RN-to-BSN programs afterwards?
    - Should I work on getting a CNA certificate and volunteering at local hospitals in order to re-apply for next year?
    -OR-
    - Do certain schools have different standards (that you know of) where they appreciate work experience and essays over simply a high GPA?

    Any words of advice would mean the world to me at this point in my life! I am ready to start my career but it seems that the acceptance letter I am looking for is harder to attain than I could have ever imagined!

    Thank you!!!

    -Rebecca
    Queens, NY
  2. Poll: What should I do now after being rejected, while applying with a BA Degree?

    • Go for your Associates Degree!

      75.00% 3
    • Re-apply next year with Volunteer and CNA experience

      0% 0
    • Re-apply to different programs

      25.00% 1
    • Research more schools and re-apply to BSN programs

      0% 0
    4 Votes / Multiple Choice
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  5. 7 Comments so far...

  6. 0
    Quote from Augustlovex3
    Hello all,
    I have a BA from SUNY Stony Brook, graduating with a 2.98. I know I don't have impressive grades, but I do have great work experience along with outstanding recommendations from professors and supervisors. I've been told I interview well and have great writing skills (for the essay portion of nursing school applications). I applied to 6 different BSN programs in NY for Fall 2012 and have been rejected from all of them.

    Where would you advise someone in my position to go from here? :
    - Should I apply to January Associate programs and spend the next 2 years working on that, eventually applying to RN-to-BSN programs afterwards?
    - Should I work on getting a CNA certificate and volunteering at local hospitals in order to re-apply for next year?
    -OR-
    - Do certain schools have different standards (that you know of) where they appreciate work experience and essays over simply a high GPA?

    Any words of advice would mean the world to me at this point in my life! I am ready to start my career but it seems that the acceptance letter I am looking for is harder to attain than I could have ever imagined!

    Thank you!!!

    -Rebecca
    Queens, NY
    Am going to treat this like a med dose calc problem and strip out unrelated bits to get to the nitty-gritty! *LOL*

    Good interview and writing skills are removed from the equation as they aren't important to the answer. (sorry).

    Now your 2.98 GPA, that is the where your answer (and problems) lie.

    Right now most schools have upped their miminum GPA for entry to 3.0. Even before then schools with 2.5's on paper were really taking those with GPAs >3.0 and in some cases 3.5 because the applicant pool was that strong.

    If you are graduating this May/June you have two options:

    Start taking the pre-reqs missing for a "second career/degree" BSN and then apply to such program.

    Same as above but looking at ADN/AAS programs.

    Most nursing programs look at your culmative GPA for *all* undergraduate work. So that 2.98 must be brought up some how north, well north to at least 3.0 if not 3.5 to stand a chance at any nursing program at the moment.

    My standard explanation applies:

    All nursing programs have a finite number of slots for each new class. Applicants whom have met the pre-reqs with the proper mimium GPA along with any testing scores (NLN, SAT, TEAS) are grouped and ranked using criteria the program has decided. It seems many now many take a portion of one's GPA and test scores to come up with a number. Those numbers are used (normally from high to low) to fill the incoming class.

    Your other alternative is to find a program where demand for entry isn't quite so competitive (is there such a place?), that maybe will take a 2.98 or if you can get it up to 3.0 that will do as well.
  7. 0
    Rebecca,
    from my experience, nursing schools don't take anything into consideration for admission except your gpa, nln score, and criminal history. Please don't waste your time getting a CNA or volunteering; it just doesn't matter if nursing is what you want to do. You should definitely apply to as many schools as you can. CUNY's are almost guaranteed not to take you due to your low gpa. If you want to speed things up try applying to a private college. I don't know where you are located/how far you are willing to travel; but St. Vincent's on Staten Island is almost guaranteed to take you as long as you pass their entrance exam(my friend who hardly speaks any english passed). Hope this helps. GL
  8. 0
    Quote from V610
    Rebecca,
    from my experience, nursing schools don't take anything into consideration for admission except your gpa, nln score, and criminal history. Please don't waste your time getting a CNA or volunteering; it just doesn't matter if nursing is what you want to do. You should definitely apply to as many schools as you can. CUNY's are almost guaranteed not to take you due to your low gpa. If you want to speed things up try applying to a private college. I don't know where you are located/how far you are willing to travel; but St. Vincent's on Staten Island is almost guaranteed to take you as long as you pass their entrance exam(my friend who hardly speaks any english passed). Hope this helps. GL
    Saint Vinny's program on SI (and Queens for that matter) are now Saint Paul's and run by a for profit educational corporation. However will give you their admission criteria seem a bit more *generous* than other nursing schools. Several family members who live on SI and contacted Saint Paul's all said they felt there was a "hard sell" to take the entrance exam (they all passed easily) and then even harder to get them to put down a deposit/enroll.

    As for working as a CNA before or during nursing school. While it may or may not make a difference in getting into a program, certain hospitals do have an active policy of hiring new graduate nurses that have been employed in *any* position within the system/facility over others. NYP states this up front on their website.
  9. 0
    I really don't think some of the above criteria listed applies to all schools, and I'm sure they do look at everything. If they only look at GPA, there's no sense in going for interviews, writing an essay..etc. Besides I know for a fact their main priority is to see how you are as an applicant, how you sell yourself and if you are a good fit for the program. Grades aren't everything, however like others said, maybe it's best to take an additional class or two to boost it up to a 3.0 at least to be considered.
  10. 0
    Do you have your pre-reqs done yet? At BMCC it was your pre-req GPA that was most important for entrance into the program; and although the school has criteria for acceptable GPA the bar is really set by those you're competing against. I was told that for my class the competing GPA was like a 3.98 so I wouldn't assume that you'll have better luck with Associate level programs. I would take pre reqs and other science courses you'll need like patho, pharm wand try to boost up your GPA and re-apply all over. Good luck!!!
  11. 0
    Quote from demeanor89
    I really don't think some of the above criteria listed applies to all schools, and I'm sure they do look at everything. If they only look at GPA, there's no sense in going for interviews, writing an essay..etc. Besides I know for a fact their main priority is to see how you are as an applicant, how you sell yourself and if you are a good fit for the program. Grades aren't everything, however like others said, maybe it's best to take an additional class or two to boost it up to a 3.0 at least to be considered.
    Grades *may* not be everything but they out weigh any of the other factors you mentioned in the admission process. Only standardized test scores (NLN,SAT, etc...) carry equal or nearly as much weight for nursing program admissions process.

    While there are several other reasons for attending nursing school the primary focus is to educate/train a competent graduate who can pass the NCLEX hopefully on his or her first attempt. There is a decent body of evidence linking academic sucess (high GPAs) with board passing rates.

    Of course if a program just wishes to take people's money and not care if or they ever pass the boards and or what sort of nurse they are letting lose on the world, then grades may not matter that much.

    Back in 2010 the *passing* grade for NCLEX was increased, and at once there was a decrease in pass rates. Indeed if you look at the NYS website you can can see from 2009-2011 or even 2012 many programs have had a reduction is pass rates by one to several points. It therefore comes as no surprise those that run nursing programs have raised the bar not only for admission but retention as well.

    The College of SI among other ADN programs has raised the minimum GPA for entry to 3.0 (it stood at 2.5 for over twenty years), and for the first time requires a 3.0 in the sciences as well.

    As one has stated elsewhere it isn't just nursing programs that require high GPAs. Many top hospitals in NYC such as NYP *prefer* graduates with at least a 3.0 or in one case 3.5, and that trend is not going to stop anytime soon. More and more hospitals are making a battery of exams a standard part of the recruitment process as well as seeking details regarding one's academic history in nursing school.
  12. 0
    ^Well ok, but have you considered there may be reasons why someone may have a lower GPA than others? It definitely does not mean they did not work hard and just took it easy. Also I know for a fact it really depends on the quality of the school and how rigorous they are in terms of their coursework as well. A few of the schools I applied to said they try to be fair and look at the majors taken along with pre-reqs, so yea, they may be a little more lenient on someone who was biology major from a high quality school with like a 3.1 than someone who was a elementary education major 4.00 or something. Grades are important, there's no denying that and you need to have at least the minimum, otherwise it's tough luck, but it seems like you are saying that if you have a lower gpa, you are not fit for a nurse and won't pass nursing school. I'm sure it's more on how you are motivated and how hard you work at it. A physician assistant who works in the office got in with a 3.1 gpa to PA school (but he worked really hard on his essay, slammed the interview and sold himself well..etc) and he graduated and passed the PANCE like anyone else. He's been a PA for 3.5 years now and he's a great PA besides the fact he got a 3.1 in his undergrad. If you really want it, you can succeed and do it regardless of what you have and if you take it seriously too. It's never impossible.


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