Is it worth taking MSN core classes to become a "competitive applicant"?

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    I am interested in applying to UNCG/WFBMC's Nurse Anesthesia program for next fall. They suggest taking 3 core MSN courses to make your application more competitive, however you can't take them unless you're admitted to a program through UNCG. So has anyone taken these courses already? Is there another place to take them? The Univ of Phoenix offers them at $2k/per course, which is a bit more than I wanted to spend on taking the courses. Or is it worth it to make your application more competitive. I am planning to take the GRE and get my CCRN in late spring early summer. BSN Gpa is 3.8, overall cumulative is much lower at 3.0. Thoughts?
  2. 11 Comments so far...

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    It certainly wouldn't hurt, however, keep in mind that this is a way for the school to make money; and your acceptance is not guaranteed if you take the classes. There are a few other schools that out there that "strongly encourage" candidates to take a few of their core courses to strengthen their application and I personally know several people who took the classes only to be handed a rejection letter in the end.

    I would focus more on strengthening weak spots in your particular application.

    1. If your science GPA is subpar, retake the science courses you performed poorly in. If it floats your boat, take them at the graduate level.

    2. Make sure all of your required pre-requisites are up to date prior your interview. Many schools require statistics, chemistry, and research classes to be taken within a a certain number of years (5-10).

    3. Get all of your certifications. BLS, ACLS, PALS, CCRN prior to interview. The CCRN is becoming more and more important to schools.

    4. If you get nervous easily in interview settings, make sure you practice. Take a public speaking course. The interview is the most important part. The stats and pretty numbers get you there, but the interview gets you the acceptance letter.

    Thats about all the advice I have. Good luck.
    Spoiled1 likes this.
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    It depends on the school. Some hold CCRN in higher regard than MSN classes. I would only take advanced patho if you're going to take classes though.
    fashionistaRN and Spoiled1 like this.
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    If you are planning to apply for this program I would take the courses. It not only shows that you are committed towards the program, but as the their website stated these are 3 of the core MSN for your degree. Taking these classes ahead time would lessen your overall course load, show the school that you are committed to taking classes there, and that you can do graduate level work. Some other nurse anesthesia programs may take transfer credits between 6-9 semester credit hours, but each program is highly variable.

    A word on GPA, GRE, work experience etc.: At best all the prerequisite GPAs, GRE, certifications, work experience only have approximately 25% predictive rate on how well a student will do in nurse anesthesia school. GRE, various certifications and work experience probably have the lowest, if any, of nurse anesthesia prediction rates for student nurse anesthetist students. The only reason I share that is that each school will have varying opinions on what they feel is important in their applicants. Try to cater each application to each school as much as possible.

    I just thought I would share this since student admissions is part of my Nurse Anesthesia Administration course this semester.
    Spoiled1 likes this.
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    Thanks for all of the feedback. I really want to take the courses as they will count toward my MSN (if I'm accepted), and show that I can do graduate level work. Someone mentioned taking Adv Patho, and that is not an option. The courses are Theory, Research, and Law/policy. I understand the benefit of adv patho, but if I am going to take a course, I'd rather take one that is going to count toward the degree. Anyway, my overall issue and the main reason for posting is the COST of these courses. I can't take them at the school because you have to be admitted in order to take them. I could take them at Univ of Phoenix, but they are $2k a piece!!! Maybe I could take just one???
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    If you are concerned about the cost, but want to look good to adcoms, then I would take a grad level phys or pathophys that is going to benefit you no matter where you go; esp if you are not sure if the school will accept another course. They often do not take other schools courses, unless you are a transfer, but that is rare as well.

    you can always call and ask them about accepting. Are you sure you have to be enrolled to take them at that school? That you can't take them as a non-degree seeking student? many grad schools allow you to take classes in this light.

    good luck
    Spoiled1 likes this.
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    Taking a class at the graduate level is best but the classes may be difficult to enroll in if your a non matriculating student. I took advantage of my employers tution reimbursement. I enrolled in adv. pathphys and pharm but had a very difficult enrolling in other science courses. I recently stumbled across the university of florida's graduate certificate geared towards medical students. The program offers a medial Anatomy with a 2 credit lab=5 credit total. I'm going to take it this summer to help "boost" my science GPA. They are a little pricey but worth the $$$ if CRNA is truly your dream. Certificate Medical Human Anatomy and Histology
    Spoiled1 likes this.
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    Quote from msnurse14
    Taking a class at the graduate level is best but the classes may be difficult to enroll in if your a non matriculating student. I took advantage of my employers tution reimbursement. I enrolled in adv. pathphys and pharm but had a very difficult enrolling in other science courses. I recently stumbled across the university of florida's graduate certificate geared towards medical students. The program offers a medial Anatomy with a 2 credit lab=5 credit total. I'm going to take it this summer to help "boost" my science GPA. They are a little pricey but worth the $$$ if CRNA is truly your dream. Certificate Medical Human Anatomy and Histology
    Thanks for the info! Yes, it is very difficult to enroll in grad classes if you are a non-matriculating student. I will likely have to do an online class in an out of state school. My employer does have tuition reimbursement, but it's only $1700/year. I am thinking of just taking one class and hopefully that will help me some. I will look into the humany anatomy and histology class. Thanks!
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    Quote from msnurse14
    I took advantage of my employers tution reimbursement. I enrolled in adv. pathphys and pharm but had a very difficult enrolling in other science courses....
    I really wanted to use my employer's tuition reimbursement as well, but it seems as though I have to be enrolled in a degree program. Did you find a loop hole or did your facility not have that stipulation? Thanks for the insight!
    Spoiled1 likes this.
  11. 1
    Quote from JennRN625
    I really wanted to use my employer's tuition reimbursement as well, but it seems as though I have to be enrolled in a degree program. Did you find a loop hole or did your facility not have that stipulation? Thanks for the insight!
    As long as the class enhanced my knowledge or If I could state how this class would provide clinical growth, I did not have to be enrolled in a particular program. Technically, I was a graduate student who had not declared an advanced nursing focus.
    Spoiled1 likes this.


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