Advice on getting into nursing school!

  1. Hi All! I will be returning to my home state of NC to TRY and attending nursing school. I currently live in CA and it's way to expensive to go to school here so I will be moving back to the Charlotte area. However, I am perpetually worried that I don't stand a chance of ever getting accepted to a school. I graduated from ECU in 2006 with a BA in Communication and my GPA was less than stellar. It was ruined due to struggling through four required levels of foreign language and also due to several hardships that occurred in three years (death of parent, death of friend, two broken bones at different times). All in all I ended up with a GPA of 2.28. I decided I wanted to go into the medical field and nursing around my junior year of college so I had no time to switch majors or tracks at ECU. I am totally committed to becoming a nurse and glad that I have found my calling. I just have no idea if it will ever happen for me!

    My plan is to move back to NC this fall take a CNA course and work as a CNA while I take science prereqs to try and bring my GPA up. I barely had any science in my undergrad since it wasn't required. I just feel like it is going to take forever to bring my GPA up. I am hoping that I can do very well in my science prereqs and that the schools might look more at those since they are the most relevant and current. My undergrad GPA doesn't even begin to show my academic ability and desire to be a nurse. I know I'm not even close to being competitive with other applicants.

    The schools I am interested in are Mercy, Cabarrus college of health sciences and carolinas college of health sciences. I will be taking prereqs at CPCC. I have been really drawn to the private programs due to the small class size and no waiting list.

    Any advice? I welcome any tales,opinions, or experiences you may have.

    I know there is always a way but it's hard to see the light when there is a big giant rock called an undergrad GPA blocking it!
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    About kellmoiselle

    Joined: May '08; Posts: 37; Likes: 10
    from US


  3. by   momathoner09
    wow- it was funny to read your post b/c you sound like me a few years ago (4 to be exact). I too graduated from ECU (go Pirates!!) and spent a little bit too much time partying and less time studying (which dosen't sound like your case but was mine). It took me 2 years of taking pre-reqs before I got into Mercy. I actually moved from greenville to raleigh to work for awhile and took classes at Wake Tech and applied everywhere in and around NC (Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro,Winston Salem)- you name it.
    It is a really complicated process and you would think with a degree that you would at least have a leg to stand on but that isn't really the case. In fact- I found that bad grades (like Cs even) hindered my getting in even worse than if I had never taken them!!! What I had to do(you might not want to hear this) is retake a lot of the classes. It was really frustrating. Especially b/c different schools had different class that they required but I took whatever I could get my hands on at the community college. The point is- I did it and you can too!! I graduated from Mercy in May and even took my NCLEX today. So have hope that there is light at the end of this seemingly long tunnel. Please feel free to ask me any more specific questions you may have about Mercy or the process.
  4. by   kellmoiselle
    Thank you so much for your response. It's good to know that I'm not alone. First off...Congrats on your graduation from Mercy! That is awesome!

    Mercy is my first choice. I really like the set up of the diplomas school and Watts School of nursing isn't going to happen for me. Did you apply multiple times to Mercy or did you wait until you had gotten your GPA up? The problem is that I think it is going to take forever to get my GPA from ECU up (ECU is not the easiest place to be successful, I did my fair share of partying and now I'm really regretting it). I was hoping to take several science prereqs and find a school that will focus more on those.

    What do you think Mercy looked at most when you were applying?
    Where you accepted anywhere else?

    I know what you mean about all of the schools requiring different things. It's driving me nuts! I just want to fullfill my dream already.

    I wish more schools did interviews because I interview very well and feel that I could really make my passion for nusring and drive known.

    You do sound a lot like me! I moved to Raleigh after leaving Greenville and worked for an architectual firm for a year and then moved to San Diego after i met my fiance. He had taken a job out here before we met and I'd always wanted to live out west. We'll it's less than a year and I'm already hoping to move back this fall. It's too expensive for me to go to school here due to the living expenses and all of the community colleges have a wait list. I'm looking to Charlotte since it is the best option for a transfer for him and more school options for me.

    Did you work as a CNA? I plan to do that as soon as I return so that I can start getting some healthcare experience. I've already lost my residency (nevermind that I lived there for 24 years) in NC and will have to pay out of state so I'm not sure when I will start taking classes at the community college there.

    Sorry for so many questions and long posts! I hope we can stay in contact!
  5. by   momathoner09
    Thank you! I am happy to help.

    Did you apply multiple times to Mercy or did you wait until you had gotten your GPA up?

    I can't remember exactly b/c I applied to sooo many schools. I know that Mercy had me as an alternate when I first applied for spring and then I didn't even reapply but got a letter a few months later that I had been accepted for summer! So I think they keep your application on file for a full year but I am not 100% sure about that. I also know that they really take into consideration 2nd degree students regardless of GPA b/c we still received our degree darnit ☺

    What do you think Mercy looked at most when you were applying? Were you accepted anywhere else?

    I also got into CPCC which is the community college in Charlotte. I think Mercy looked at my grades but also I had to submit an essay and job experience. I put everything in my application I could find- reference letters, resume, you name it. I figured the worst that could happen is that they throw it out and at best they would see how interested I was. Because many schools don't do interviews, I would really try to convey your passion for nursing through your essay if they have one. Mercy is one of the few schools that does look at job experience.

    Did you work as a CNA?
    I got my CNA license b/c it was a requirement for some schools (although last I checked Mercy did NOT require it). It certainly cannot hurt and it gives you a good idea about what nursing will be like as far as direct patient care.
  6. by   kellmoiselle
    That is great that Mercy looks at the applicant as a whole. What kinda of courses did you take at Wake tech? I was planning on focusing on Bio, anatomy, sociolgy, psych (even though I had that at ECU).

    I sometimes wish that I could start over completely and avoid telling anyone about my undergrad! As you said though, it is still a degree and we shoud be commended for that.
  7. by   momathoner09
    At Wake Tech I took...

    A & P part 1 and 2
    (that I was really mad about b/c i actually got a 'b' in that course at ecu and even had to learn on a real cadever!!! but the course didnt transfer to nursing b/c they wanted a two part anatomy)

    Psyc and Soci online (which I highly recommend b/c those courses are really easy to complete online)
  8. by   charlottegirl
    Hi there! I just want to encourage you to look into the prenursing program at Carolinas College of Health Sciences. This is the school affiliated with CMC Hospital....they have a program that offers guaranteed admission to the nursing school if you complete certain prereq's at the school and average a (I think) 3.25 GPA. If I am not mistaken they take the A and P I and II and Microbiology and a few other classes that must be completed there at the College and if you are successful in these classes you have a guaranteed spot in the nursing program. REALLY cool, I thought. You can look them up online at

    I just was accepted there to begin NS in January and I have a full schedule of prereq's I have to retake in the fall (I have a BS in biology but it's 10 years old and some of the science classes expire after 5 years). You would have to be registered as an NA once NS starts. I took the NA class there and it was excellent.

    Another reason I'm so stoked about this school is that they have a program where they will pay 80% of your tuition in nursing school in exchange for a contract to work for CMC after graduation. So resident or nonresident it's really affordable.

    Again, I don't want to speak for the school so please be sure to look at the website and call the school.....they are really helpful.

    Good luck to you!!

  9. by   Lovee_T
    Im studying to take the admission test at Watts. I have no degree's but Im hoping to get in. You said Watts wasn't going to happen for you, I was wondering why? I dont know much about Watts other then what Ive learned online. I haven't been in school forever, Im 34, married with two young boys and have the chance to go to school full time (Thank the Lord) and looking to get in as soon as I can. I took a few classes in Columbus, Ohio before moving here but Im thinking from reading this I shouldn't mention that, lol. Where is CMC and Mercy located? I recently moved to Morrisville. Im really having to study hard for this admissin test, geeeez Ive been out of school a long time. Any advice on any of the suff Ive mentioned?
  10. by   kellmoiselle
    • Well I tested at Watts, I flew from CA in June and then tested the next morning so I wasn't in the best state of mind and I didn't do well. I wasn't able to come back and retest in the four month period. I am moving back to NC in October (Raleigh area) and the date I would have to test by would be the 12th and I won't make it. I feel if I could reteste I would have done fine. My advice on that test is go as fast as you can. Personally I think it's kinda ridiculous and it seems like they would want to give you more time to see your true academic ability. If I had a watch I would have started filling crap in and guessed in the last 2 minutes. I only got through half the questions but I got 83% of what I did answer right, therefore if I had gotten through more questions I would have done pretty well. Right now I going to have to look at the community colleges in the Raleigh area and start my prereqs. I will be doing a CNA course in November and I hope to get a job at a hospital to start getting some health care experience. Mercy and CCHS are in Charlotte. I originally wanted to move there for the schools but my fiance wasn't able to get a transfer to Charlotte. I'm totally frustrated since I want this so bad. It is going to take time. I'm learning to be patient quickly. Good luck to you!
  11. by   redshott
    congrats on graduating from mercy! i've been dealing with the admissions people there b/c my GPA isn't great from my college years 10yrs ago...i did get into rad tech school this fall but turned it down to try to get into nursing school and the admissions person at mercy told me i should have taken that opportunity while i had the chance. they recently added 2 new things for admissions - a TEAS test and if you apply for spring you have to have microbiology.

    i'm actually going to try applying at watts after i talk to someone there first.

    kell- i so know how you feel! best of luck to you!
  12. by   rrexi426
    does anyone know if it would help if you have an associates degree in liberal arts getting into a school's nursing program??
  13. by   Malefocker

    i am not sure if you have moved yet. but if i were you i would put my name on the wait list at the city college. whether that be in ny or in san diego, or both. the reason being gpa doesn't matter at the city college as long as you have your pre-reqs done. microbiology, human anatomy, and human physiology. you get in. even if this takes 2 years that may be an easier road than stressing about getting your gpa up. you don't have to ever go but don't burn any bridges. if you do take this route. you want to do well in at the city college. after doing the program at city college you will be eligible to study and take the nclex and become an rn. then later you can apply for your bsn if that is ultimate goal because they will only look at your nursing gpa. it may not be the exact route you want to go. but it may be a better route than retaking all of those classes. i was reading one of the threads on your post. and one of the guys said you were exactly where he was 4 years ago and he went through a lot to raise his grades and is graduating from mercy. well guess what if you put your name on a waiting list for 2 years and then went to nursing school at the city college (gauranteed acceptance). in 4 years you would be a nurse! and wouldn't have had to go through all the hassles! i hope this helps. goodluck.
  14. by   Aneroo
    I wanted to let you know ECU has the second degree program. It's the BSN program for people who have a bachelor's degree in another field. One of my orientees did this program.

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