i will be attending:
linfield-good samaritan school of nursing in portland oregon
accelerated bachelor of science in nursing
my prerequisite gpa is:
my thoughts on prerequisite courses:
my prerequisite course work began in fall of 2006, as evening classes after my full time job. here is the sequence in which i completed them:
fa'06: a&p 1
wi'07: a&p 2, developmental psyche
sp'07: a&p 3
fa'07: algebra iii (replaced a c in integral calculus)
wi'08: anthropology & sociology
all other prerequisite courses were taken care of with my previous bachelors.
i worked full time at a desk job, so evening classes fit best into my schedule. as a married father of two, family time is important to me. most of my studies were completed after everyone went to bed - plus it was a bit quieter.
if there is any course you want to hit a's on it is a&p. when you start have that mind set that you must earn an a in these classes. as you can tell form the application process, it is heavily weighted. with my schedule, a&p as my only class was ideal. i really had to work hard to keep my a in winter term. make friends with your a&p professor. really. they are there to help and really want you to get the stuff. if you feel comfortable around them, it will be easier to ask questions and ask for clarification on topics. i recommend kop at clackamas
, as well as espino. if you are a glutton for punishment and have the time, kop teaches the accelerated a&p series over the summer. that's all there courses in 12 weeks or something crazy like that.
after anatomy & physiology, the other courses were fairly easy. more like busy work and reading. don't let up on your studies though it is important to keep focused and keep your gpa up.
i believe that a high gpa really is key into getting into oregon schools. i didn't want any c's in my prerequisite grades. i only had 2 b's (which actually kind of made me mad that i slacked on those classes.) in my opinion, you should retake anything with a c or lower. a great gpa will help get you over that initial hurdle for an interview in the ocne programs.
most applicants have such high gpa's, i feel that oregon schools are getting top quality candidates into their programs. i hear of other parts of the country where someone got in with a 2.6 gpa, and it make me wonder how that program compares to oregon schools.
i applied to:
2007 ohsu: rejected - essay needed improvement, all prerequisites not complete
2007 clackamas: rejected - not enough points for an interview, all prerequisites not complete (gpa: 3.82)
2008 ohsu: wait listed - but removed my name from the wait list
2008 mt. hood: declined my interview
2008 clackamas: invitation to attend
2008 linfield-good sam: invitation to attend
my thoughts on the application process:
there is a minimum amount of course work that must be complete before you can apply to ocne schools. if you earn a lot of extra points from clinical experience or other discretionary points, applying with this minimum complete may be competitive enough to get to the first hurdle. for all others who are not cnas, etc. i strongly believe you should have 90% of your prerequisite course work complete before you apply. i had zero clinical experience, so my application relied heavily on my gpa. looking back, my expectations of getting in when i first applied were unrealistic. this past year really made me more competitive and more experienced.
i kept all of my applications in an expandable folder. i printed each application at least twice. one for practice and highlight, and the other to actually submit. in that folder each school had it's own section and i kept all correspondence from the various schools together. i made note of each deadline and then placed them in my calendar so i would get reminders for the upcoming due dates. i made a check list for each task i needed to complete for each application. for example: write check, request transcript, and so forth.
if any of the schools you are interested in still have their applications posted online, download them and start reviewing what you need to complete. they applications change very little year after year - you will still need to download the new application for next year.
if you have to write an essay, begin early, have several people read and critique it, and revise as necessary. it is not something you want to try and write the week before the application is due. perhaps work on it for a week or so then let it sit for a while. sometimes it is good to look at a project with fresh eyes. if you write an essay for one school chances are you can use most of it for another school with some modifications. most essays are a chance to tell them about yourself and why you want to become a nurse - basic stuff. don't let the word "basic" mislead you. your essay should be engaging, clear and well written.
the interview is the chance for the school to evaluate how you think on your feet - more accurately in the hot seat. the questions are a taste of how to think critically. a group interview is an interesting format in that you have a chance to speak first and the chance to improve on someone's response. like any other job interview you should be as professional as possible. the other guy and i wore a suit and tie, the women in our interview wore dress attire as well. we all kind of matched actually - it was funny.
i sat in the far left seat which put me to the right of the interviewers, this also happened to place me in the pole position. i really didn't mind that at all. if you are first to speak, you can establish a lead position. speak confidently and clearly. if you get tripped up, pause a second and then continue. i took a sheet of paper and my pen in. i noted the interviewers names and the names of the other applicants - and took notes. when it is your turn to respond after someone, do not say "i agree with what they said..." since i had everyone's name down, i was able to say "jane and john made very valid points..." i would then expand on that and add my own ideas. sit up straight and lean forward slightly, this makes you more engaging. make eye contact with your interviewers and when you refer to the others being interviewed. staring at the ground or desk when you talk to someone in this setting is a big faux pas - it will make you look unsure of yourself. you are nervous as hell, but don't forget to smile! since i was at the end, i was the first one up at the end of the interview. i was able to go the interviewers, shake hands and thank them by name (since i made a note) for their time and the opportunity to interview. the final tip for an interview? be confident
, there's a reason they want to talk to you in person - show them why you would be a great nursing student.
if you have a high gpa and still don't get in, you may need to look at adding a cna to your arsenal. if i did not get in this year, that was my next course of action. and for portland applicants, apply to as many schools as possible. it gives you a better chance at getting accepted.
words of encouragement to future applicants:
when i first started this career change it seemed like an endless task. but here i am now, about to start school in two weeks! so keep at it, nursing school will come sooner than you think! your family and friends are there for support... (it can be something as small as an old friend telling you that you would make a great nurse.) you'll need them again once you are in nursing school. and finally, good luck, study hard, and help each other out whenever you can!