**Please Give Me Nursing/Allied Health Career/Program Advice**

  1. Please give me any advice you think would be beneficial to augmenting my student/professional record as well as directing me towards a Nursing or a particular Allied Health field. What will make me a better candidate?


    What I’m doing now:
    Taking prerequisites (at a community college) for Nursing/Allied Health programs (e.g. Human Nutrition, A&P, Medical Terminology, Healthcare Ethics, etc.). I have been thinking about doing an accelerated BSN program, but I am not entirely sure yet. I am considering becoming a CNA next semester to get more experience around nurses to see if I really should apply to an accelerated BSN program or look at an Allied Health field (e.g. occupational therapy, PT, PA, etc.).

    Problem:
    I’m unsure what program to apply to and what programs I will be competitive for, mostly because of my GPA and experience. It seems that most programs, A-BSN or Allied Health programs, require at least a 3.0 GPA to get looked at, but overall I’m just above that (see specifics below). I’m not looking to get into the best school, just get into a school that will provide me with a good, accredited, education that will help me enter a career that I will find personally and professionally satisfying. Furthermore, in the last 2-3 years I developed an autoimmune disease so I am less comfortable with constantly working around infectious/communicable people since I take an immunosuppressant (although I am not worried about working with the infectious diseases in a laboratory setting because I have more control over being aseptic, sterile, etc.). Also, because of the autoimmune disease, I find it is now harder to work a long day (10+ hours) without needing a full day (that feels wasted) of rest to regain my energy. I also recently read a couple of research articles that listed nursing as one of the top professions where people in that career die of autoimmune diseases at a higher rate than other professions. I really like healthcare and biological sciences. The experiences I’ve had within various parts of those fields have really helped me figure out what I find fulfilling within them, leading me to Nursing or Allied Health. Now I just need to find out what Nursing or Allied Health career will fit with my background and needs. The good news is while I am in my 30s now, I can take my time getting to where I need to be because my spouse and I don’t have children to support.

    Degrees:
    University of California (Double major, a little over 10 years ago.)
    -B.S. Biology with thesis honors (Molecular/Cellular focus.)
    -B.A. Psychology with honors
    Social Service Award at Graduation

    GPAs:
    -UC Overall GPA: 3.13
    -UC Science GPA: 2.81
    -UC Non-Science GPA: 3.58
    I had a couple of major personal crises that caused me to go from As & Bs to Bs and Cs (with 1 F), which is why my science GPA took a hit. I think I would have to take 8 science classes and get 8 As to raise the Science GPA to 3.0…
    -Community College GPA: All As so far.

    Publications:
    -1 in a science journal
    -1 in a public health magazine

    Experience:
    -Chiropractic Assistant (70% patient care, 30% office work, under this chiropractor the CA duties tended to be more like assistant PT work, helping with a lot of patient active/passive therapies – this is where I learned that I really like working with patients, as well as doing patient education.)
    -Retail Management
    -Drug Rehab Behavioral/Mental Health Research Assistant
    -Microbiology Lab Research Assistant (I like lab work, but I want to know that the lab work I’m doing will be tangibly helpful to someone and I do not want to be grant dependent.)
    -College Sport Coach
    -Public Health Organization Intern
    -Teaching Assistant during undergrad (I learned I really enjoy teaching people science-related topics.)
    -In high school I did a nursing volunteer/internship (I learned I feel very comfortable in a hospital-environment.)
    Last edit by amberscareer on Oct 9 : Reason: Grammar/Spelling/Formatting
    •  
  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   shibaowner
    With an autoimmune disease, nursing may not be the best choice for you if you are uncomforable. Please talk to your healthcare provider about this before you make a decision. In nursing school, you will have to complete all clinicals, and that means being around infectious people. You may be able to protect yourself, but is this something you really want to do?

    As far as your GPA, retake the science classes you did poorly in. You really need at least a 3.0 in the nursing prereqs, which are mostly science.

    What about being a chiropractor or DO?
    There is an acute shortage of mental health professionals, and this does not require touching patients. Psychology can be a good field. The trend now is for MDs, NPs, PAs to only do prescribing. Psychologists and social workers do talk therapy.

    The CNA training is a great idea. However, this does require intimate contact with patients - bathing, toileting, etc. It is also physically hard.

    Good luck.
  4. by   amberscareer
    That is a good idea to talk to my healthcare provider about nursing school... I have considered chiropractic since I was a Chiropractic Assistant, it's just that the schooling is very expensive, but that is how I learned that I really enjoy working with patients...All my nursing prerequisites are over a 3.0, it's just my overall science GPA is less than that (which includes science classes not required by nursing school e.g. genetics, neuroscience, etc.). Thank you for the advice and feedback Shibaowner, I really appreciate it! :-)
    Last edit by amberscareer on Oct 14 : Reason: Grammar/Spelling/Formatting

close