My academic journey so far has been that I got a general Associate of Science degree (School 1) and then transferred to a 4-year university to get a BS in Biology (School 2). While working on my BS in Biology I did a lot of research in Ecology and got really interested in environmental work. I started looking for jobs, but almost all the biology-related jobs were looking for candidates with an engineering degree, not a biology degree. I was about to get married right after graduating, and there was a university offering a degree in environmental engineering not far from where my husband works, so I decided to go there for a second degree in environmental engineering (School 3).
Well, 1 year later and things haven't worked out too well. I regret coming to school 3 - it hasn't been a good fit or a good program for me. While I did very well at Schools 1 & 2 earning mostly A's with a few B's, I have gotten mostly C's, one D, and one F at School 3. At School 1, I took all of my general eds and some extra science and math (chemistry and calculus, mostly). At school 2, I took almost all biology classes with an organic chemistry and algebra-based physics class thrown in. At school 3, it has been engineering classes, calculus based physics, and advanced mathematics. I was also struggling with some other issues (eating disorder, self harm, depression, family issues)at school 3 , but that is a whole another story!
I've decided to do what I should have done after graduating from School 1 - pursue nursing. I have always been interested and wanted to apply from the start, but at the time I wasn't listening to what 'I' wanted to do and I was listening to pressure from the outside - it was largely an attempt to make my father proud of me).
I have a lot of bills and need to work while in school, so I've decided to return to School 1 (a junior college) to finish a few pre-reqs and apply for the ADN program next year. After completion of the RN program, I would like to enter an RN-MSN program as it has always been my dream to teach college courses.
I am confident I can get very good grades again because I will be back in the field of Biology and Health/Medical Sciences that I love and did well in before. But, I am worried about getting into the programs I need to because of my grades from School 3.
Considering the RN program and the RN to MSN program:
* Would the schools know if I didn't submit my transcripts from School 3 (I didn't graduate with a degree)?
* If you think I should submit said transcripts from School 3, what do you think they will say? How do I explain this to them? Would 2 good transcripts and one really bad one prevent me from getting into the RN and RN-MSN programs?
* Do they calculate GPA based on every single course you've taken?
* Any recommendations???
Although I am disappointing in how long it took me to get here, I know that this is the right choice. I am finally listening to my heart and doing what I want to do, not what someone else wants me to do. Now, it is just a matter of how do I prove I have what it takes to be a great nurse and get accepted into school.
All comments are greatly appreciated! This means so much to me and I am so stressed out!
Mar 29, '13
There are two issues with your first question. Your integrity and whether you would get caught. (I do understand the difference between thinking about doing something and actually do it - thinking about it isn't a loss of integrity.)
You may not be into the nursing (or nursing school) world far enough to know that the transcript from every school is more than an expectation. You will be asked to sign a statement that very blatently spells out EVERY school. It is a pretty formal thing so that it is obvious fraud if you conveniently forget a school.
The odds of gettiing caught before you graduate vary, in your case - probably not. However, that is today. I think it is pretty obvious that the days of electronic records and some sort of FASFA-like central-clearing-house thing are coming very soon. It may not bite you, but I'd give it pretty good odds that it will. If not for the program you are looking at, then for an advanced degrees you consider later and possibly for employers. I think it will take the form of an educational background check much like the current criminal background checks. I think it will really matter for both schools and employeers because of how important integrity is in nursing.
Even if you don't think you want that now - you very likely may later, especially as the various trends toward more education intensify.
They actually do understand things like you described. They know life happens - both in the personal ways and in the bad-fit-choice-of-major ways. It will still probably keep you out of some schools, simply because of how competitive the programs are.
Your academic history will not keep you out of all RN or RN-MSN programs. Many look at prereq gpa only (at least once you meet a minimum overall gpa) and your calc ect grades won't factor in.
Spend a lot of time sifting reading the criteria of nursing schools. You may have to move to get close to school where the criteria fit you - either in how they look at gpa or what they factor in enough other things as well. Like tests scores of various kinds, or interviews or recommendation letters, or experience. I don't know if you would have to move, I get the impression that this kind of thing varies a lot by region of the country but I don't know how true it is.
It may take you somewhat longer to find the right school and/or to get these other things lined up but I think there are ways to keep your integrity and be a nurse.
Mar 29, '13
My first school didn't use a clearing house however my other 2 did.
Mar 29, '13
I'm concerned for you because you write, "I was also struggling with some other issues (eating disorder, self harm, depression, family issues)at school 3 , but that is a whole another story!" If you are not well (mentally, physically,emotionally), then you have no business trying to take care of others as a nurse. I hope these things have resolved for you, but if not, the stress of nursing school will compound these problems.
I would also recommend being honest about your transcripts. You mention wanting to be an educator one day...what would you think of a student who tried to mislead you about his/her academic history? Besides, the risk of them finding out & getting kicked out is not worth it.
On a different note, I, too, had a rough start to my nursing career. I "wasted" 4 years getting a BA in Anthropology & Sociology. My GPA was respectable (3.3), but not fantastic. Almost immediately after graduation, I decided to pursue nursing. I took the long route and became an LPN first. I worked part-time as an LPN on CCU while I completed my ADN. I then worked as an ADN - RN on CICU while getting my BSN. I never took a break in school!!! I'm now a military RN and have just been accepted to a MSN - FNP program. Things have a way of working themselves out...especially if you're motivated! Good luck to you!
Mar 29, '13
If you used financial aid for all of any of those schools, you MUST turn in those transcripts. If you don't, you may face consequences.
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