advice please...

  1. I originally posted this in the Illinois forum but haven't heard from anyone.

    Okay, I am in a predicament. I'm hoping some of you can help. I have all my gen eds/pre-reqs done for a BSN program here in Illinois. I had been dealing with one local university in particular. However, when I took the entrance test I did not score high enough in one particular area. I have a 4.0 GPA in all my science classes, and a 3.8 in general studies --math, pysch, soc, English, etc.

    I have also worked in healthcare for over 15 years as a CNA/MA. But, because I did not score high enough by 1 percentage point, the school has denied me. I'm feeling utterly hopeless. I've managed such a high GPA while going to school full-time, working part-time, and having 4 kids. Does this not matter? I guess not. Both letters of recomendation from my school and my work does not seem to matter to this facility. I thought the entrance test was supposed to determine "success" in the program. I think I have been quite successful in my studies. Does this seem unfair? I have also been successful at work for a local hospital where I have received employee of the month.

    It hurts to be beat out by a 19-year-old who has no work experience, a lower GPA, but did better on the test. I was told only one girl was accepted by this facility. A group of us test participants exchanged info before the test to further discuss schools and such. Well, I know who passed.

    Why would a school deny someone with obvious work experience and a proven academic record? Can some one point me in any direction right now? I'm feeling pretty down by all this. I was mad, now I'm sad and feeling very rejected.

    If anyone knows of a school who will look at more than just a test score but the overall individual --that would be great! I'm looking in the 'burbs of Chicago. I'd travel downtown, "if I had to" but I live out west.

    Thanks much,
    Paula
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Jules A
    Hi Paula,
    What a bummer! What area did you not score well in? I would start by brushing up on that as well as test taking skills if you think that would help.

    Sadly many schools do rely heavily on standardized tests, my opinion is that they want people they feel will pass the boards 1st time and keep their percentages up. There were several students in my class that I thought would make excellent nurses, they had great experience and common sense but didn't test well and they didn't graduate.

    I'd check out all the schools in your area including CCs. Best to you, Jules
  4. by   Jolie
    Is there an appeal process? Has the selection committee met to choose the next class of students to be admitted? If not, you could ask permission to petition the committee and present your case.

    I applied to NIU a number of years ago, and found out after the application deadline that my previous university had not sent my transcripts. I received a letter from NIU's selection committee expressing regret that I would not be considered for fall admission due to this deficiency (that was out of my control. I had a receipt dated several months prior proving that I had requested and paid for the transcripts well in advance, but my previous school dropped the ball.) I spoke to someone in the Nursing Department who told me that the committee had not met yet, and if I could get my paperwork in place by the next day, perhaps I would be considered. So, I borrowed a car, drove to my old school, picked up transcripts, and hand delivered them to the Nursing Department. I was admitted.

    I understand your frustration, and agree that someone with your background is probably more likely to succeed in school than someone with lower pre-req grades and no practical experience. Perhaps if you could present a well-written appeal you could change some minds. No complaining about unfairness, just focus on the strengths and qualities that will contribute to your success.

    If you don't have any luck, then brush up and re-apply next year.

    Best to you!
  5. by   MB37
    Definitely look at other schools in your area and see if you still have time to apply for this year. Go to the Illinois board of nursing website and they should list all programs with current and pending accreditation as well as NCLEX pass rates. If you have missed application deadlines to start this year, purchase a NET (or whatever exam it was) test prep book or see if a class is offered. Practice especially hard in the area you didn't pass. Check the prereqs for other schools in your area, and see if you are missing any classes for their programs. If so, register for those while you kill a semester and reapply to more than one school next time. Try not to get too discouraged - it feels awful to miss by one point, but you have a heckuva lot less work to do for next time than someone who missed by 35 or needs several semesters to bring up a poor GPA. It's too bad that so many schools don't look at the whole person, but they have SO many applicants that I think a lot of it is just a time saver for them. The school I applied to looks only at cumulative GPA. They put you in a stack and take the top 24. That's it. You would get in here with a 3.8 (very probably), but it's in FL. Good luck finding a program! You can do it!
  6. by   GottaGetIn
    No advice here.....but wanted to say sorry! I agree that the admissions process should look at ALL areas. I think grades over ANYTHING represent the success of a student. Entrance exams are only a piece of the puzzle.

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