Advice for Biology Graduate

  1. Hi,
    I graduated in 2011 with a BS in Biology, Minor Chemistry. I am thinking about applying to nursing programs in the near future. I have a cumulative 2.6 GPA and ~3.0 prereq GPA (not too good). Since I already have a large amount of student loans from the past, I am thinking about going the ADN route since it is less expensive and also because I am afraid that my GPA is too low to get into a BSN program at this time. My overall goal is to to become a NP.

    I am currently employed as a chemical laboratory analyst and I can easily clear 80k/year with this job, but I have no interest in doing this much longer. I feel like I have already wasted 6 years doing something I hate, I want to do something I am passionate about and that actually makes a difference.

    Is nursing school a good idea? Does anyone have any advice for me?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    I wouldn't count on ADN programs to necessarily be easier to get into. The program here is very competitive.

    Do you need to take any prerequisites? Are there any classes you can take to raise your GPA?
  4. by   kayendel89
    All of the prerequisites for the ADN program were included in the curriculum for my degree. The GPA they look for at my local CC is the prereq gpa.

    Copied from website:

    MATH 101/110 College Algebra
    ENGL 101 English Composition I
    BIOL 230 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
    PSYC 201 Introduction to Psychology
    Art or Humanities Elective from “Approved General Education Courses” published in the college catalog

    In addition, to be eligible for entry into the Nursing program, students must:

    Have a cumulative GPA of 2.80 or higher in the 16 credit hours of prerequisite courses above.
    Achieve a score of 75 or better on each section of the nursing admission exam, with a composite score of 75 or higher.
  5. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    2.8 is the minimum, which is usually much lower than the applicant average (the school I hope to get into has a 2.5 minimum, but the average is 3.6). I'm not trying to discourage you, just prepare you.

    Do they use a points system, or is it all TEAS and GPA?
  6. by   kayendel89
    I believe it is a points system.
  7. by   Raven1994
    I have very similar goals to yours! I just finished my undergraduate degree in health sciences and will graduate in June. I will be applying to a BSN program at the end of the year (there are no ADN programs in the country I live in - Canada -). I ultimately plan to become an NP, as well, and will apply for a masters after working as a nurse for a couple years

    Your GPA is a bit low, but you can always take extra courses to increase it! Is nursing a good idea? I think it is. Just because you have a BSN, doesn't mean you HAVE to act as a clinical RN. You are doing research right now? You will still have that option after you get your BSN if you choose to go back to that. You can be in case management, do nursing research, be a clinic coordinator, etc. There are many options for you! If you want to become an NP, most masters programs require a good GPA in your BSN. So I would suggest looking at your study habits and how you can improve to ensure a good GPA in nursing school
  8. by   BKLYNFRANKIE
    Have you considered a PA program? I earned a master's degree before pursing nursing. I would have probably gone a different route had I known better. Right now, you're looking at 6 years minimum. Then you have to consider the changing requirements for NPs to have doctorate degrees. Yes, a PA has to always work under the direction of a MD but so what? Unless you're wanting to open your own practice as an NP, then the work conditions are the same between a PA and NP. PAs truly have no interest in competing with MDs for positioning. With your background, you can complete a PA program in 2 years and be done with it.

    What state do you live in because you're talking a serious pay cut just to be an over worked, injury prone nurse. Definitely look into a PA (physician assistant) program. They have the same responsibilities as an NP. You should be able to shadow one just to get an idea of the work. ADDITIONALLY, you probably already have the pre-reqs for a PA program.
    Last edit by BKLYNFRANKIE on May 9
  9. by   Raven1994
    Quote from BKLYNFRANKIE
    Have you considered a PA program? I earned a master's degree before pursing nursing. I would have probably gone a different route had I known better. Right now, you're looking at 6 years minimum. Then you have to consider the changing requirements for NPs to have doctorate degrees. Yes, a PA has to always work under the direction of a MD but so what? Unless you're wanting to open your own practice as an NP, then the work conditions are the same between a PA and NP. PAs truly have no interest in competing with MDs for positioning. With your background, you can complete a PA program in 2 years and be done with it.

    What state do you live in because you're talking a serious pay cut just to be an over worked, injury prone nurse. Definitely look into a PA (physician assistant) program. They have the same responsibilities as an NP. You should be able to shadow one just to get an idea of the work. ADDITIONALLY, you probably already have the pre-reqs for a PA program.
    The only issue with a PA program is that you have less room for advancement. In the nursing field, there are many further degrees that you can pursue (Masters to become an NP and a doctorate in order to become a PI in research). There are also many many areas that you can specialize in by pursuing additional certificates and shorter programs. You can also become a nurse anesthesist by pursuing a certificate after your masters and earn upwards of 200k a year. Although I have also considered PA, it just seems like nursing is a much wider field to pursue with many more opportunities.
  10. by   imtoonice
    It depends on your state but in California, some community colleges are still doing lottery as long as you meet their minimum qualifications which you do. Those are your best bets. I would understand if you had a low cumulative and a 4.0 prereq GPA but low grades in both areas then your chances of nursing school is slim to none. I knew an acquaintance who was a manager at a large biotech company for 5+ years. She ended up leaving a well paying career, switched over to nursing and make just as much money as she did as a manager in the biotech company.
  11. by   kayendel89
    Yes, I have considered a PA program. I have all the prereqs except for 2 classes. But my low GPA is the problem.

    I am in Louisiana.
  12. by   Roasted.Peanuts
    If you truly want to pursue nursing, you might need to retake some classes including your science prereqs if they are not As or Bs minimum. If you have some savings from your current job and can support yourself while taking prereqs, it can work. My cumulative gpa was okay, but my science gpa was a 4.0, which allowed me to be accepted to a few programs in CA.
  13. by   kayendel89
    That's what it looks like I will have to do. Thank you so much for the help!
  14. by   mmc51264
    I have a BS i Biology and I went the ADN route, worked a year and then did my BSN online. Much cheaper that way. I had a 3.34 GPA but the BS will help you get into an ADN program. You should have all your pre-reqs and you have shown that you can complete a program. I got in the first time I tried to get into the local ADN program

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Advice for Biology Graduate