Disheartened---can I be admitted to NP with lackluster GPA?

  1. I have been an RN for almost 18 years, actively working for 7+ of those years. I received my BSN in my 20's from a large university. I re-entered active practice after a refresher course and returned to work. My problem is this: my less than responsible/mature self did not take my education seriously for my undergraduate studies (until finally entered the nursing program) which has left me with a 2.97 GPA. Oh, how I wish I had applied myself a tiny bit earlier! I am heartbroken to see that most online NP programs require a 3.0 to even be considered. I have only seen a few that would consider strong GRE scores in lieu of GPA, but not many. Is anyone familiar with programs that would understand this scenario if I could provide ample evidence of my ability to succeed and assure them that I am highly motivated to work hard? I fear that I might sacrifice adequate training/education in finding a program that is not as selective. (And I sincerely do not wish to offend anyone that is in a program with less stringent admission criteria. I would love to hear about your experience). I appreciate any insight or feedback from my fellow nurses. Thank you!!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    I'm sure there are pre-requisites for a NP program, and since your original degree was so long ago, some of those classes may have to be repeated. Repeat the classes, get stellar grades and perhaps that might be enough to make you look good enough for entry into the NP program of your choice.
  4. by   not.done.yet
    You could also get an MSN in another subject, do stellar in it and thus make yourself an attractive candidate for a postgraduate certificate, which would generally be about an additional year to complete.
  5. by   FullGlass
    Don't despair! Many of us did dumb things when we were young. Call a couple of schools you are interested in and talk to an admissions officer. Look at both public and private (nonprofit) schools, as private schools can be more flexible. Ask them if you can take some classes to increase your GPA. If so, then work your butt off to get As. Your work experience and recommendations are also important factors, so highlight that in your essay/interview, and make sure you have a great resume. Choose your references carefully and don't be afraid to coach them a bit on what to write! Please don't settle for a for-profit school. Those are not well-respected, usually won't find you preceptors, and will cost you a lot more money than even an expensive private school like Hopkins. Good luck.
  6. by   MEINstudent
    I went through the same thing. But any classes you take (like prerequisites for the NP program) are factored into your total GPA. You are so close, taking just one class might do it. You could take a class that you would need for the NP program, that would transfer in, and that should raise your GPA to 3.0. I would call an admissions person at the college you select to inquire.
  7. by   LadysSolo
    I had a relatively low GPA in my undergrad studies, I had a BS in biology and a Diploma in nursing. I had exceptionally high GRE scores, and applied to one NP program, I was over 20 years out from my BS, and they were going to make me repeat almost my whole BS program. So I applied to the university where I got my BS. They asked me about the discrepancy, and I was honest - I was working full time and going to college full time, and so my freshman and sophomore years I was on the Dean's list, my junior year B's and C's were good, and my senior year C's and D's were just fine - I was tired and just wanted to graduate. I was admitted probationally, and graduated from my NP program with a 3.8 GPA in the NP program, still on probation. It CAN be done! (The University of Akron was where they took a chance on me.)
  8. by   mj_nurse99
    Thank you for your comments, I sincerely appreciate your insight and encouragement. I was feeling so discouraged, but after reading your comments I realized what I needed most was a bit of positivity. After doing some more research and speaking with admissions counselors, I have found some viable options. (and was thrilled to discover that a few classes I took through a Comm College boosted GPA to 3.0! Yay!)

    If I might bend your ear once more, does anyone have thoughts on how important the NP program reputation/brand recognition is in regards to employment prospects? I am looking at two private non-profit online programs, and two mid-sized (one public, one private) universities with larger recognition. Tuition is similar among all, and course formats are the same. The two private programs have a simple admission process, whereas the other two require more items & a recent statistics class pre-admission. Obviously the up-front admission "hassle" is well worth it if it means I am more employable, but if it doesn't ultimately matter then I would be inclined to go the simpler route. I cold-called a nurse recruiter to pick her brain but she hesitated to make any generalizations because so many variables are considered (experience, research, etc.). when considering applicants.
    TIA for your thoughts. I am truly grateful.
  9. by   LadysSolo
    Quote from mj_nurse99

    If I might bend your ear once more, does anyone have thoughts on how important the NP program reputation/brand recognition is in regards to employment prospects? I am looking at two private non-profit online programs, and two mid-sized (one public, one private) universities with larger recognition. Tuition is similar among all, and course formats are the same. The two private programs have a simple admission process, whereas the other two require more items & a recent statistics class pre-admission. Obviously the up-front admission "hassle" is well worth it if it means I am more employable, but if it doesn't ultimately matter then I would be inclined to go the simpler route. I cold-called a nurse recruiter to pick her brain but she hesitated to make any generalizations because so many variables are considered (experience, research, etc.). when considering applicants.
    TIA for your thoughts. I am truly grateful.
    In the area where I live they just look at whether or not you are certified (passed NP boards,) I can't speak to other areas of the country. Also, if you are an experienced RN with stable work history, that also enters into it. If as an RN you have "job-hopped" a lot, I think that would be seen as a negative. When you are a new NP, you may be technically qualified (as you are as a new RN,) but you still need some experience on your own without a preceptor to lean when you are making decisions (it will take a couple of months to make you feel comfortable that you really know what you are doing.)
  10. by   mj_nurse99
    Thank you, I appreciate your input LadysSolo. I have significant solid experience in acute/critical care, but I'm attempting to find more primary care experience currently. I would imagine that there will be a learning curve and a comfort level that comes with time & experience. A bit nerve-wracking but also exciting!

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