Exasperated...! 5th rejection?!?

  1. Please hear me out, I really need to vent. I came hear looking for help with nursing school admissions, and now I find the situation even more hopeless than before with all your mentions of high GPAs. You're welcome to give advice, it would be very much appreciated. OK, here's my story... I just graduated from a private, top liberal arts college. Though many have not heard of it, it is very selective, with the entering classes AVERAGE SAT score set at 1302, this was not an easy school to get into. It's main competitors are schools like Harvad, Yale, Wake Forest, Duke, etc... However, it was always my dream, so I stayed, even after deciding to go into nursing (my school didn't have a nursing program). BIG MISTAKE. Yes, I only have a 2.9, but that would be a 4.0 equivalent at any other regional school. AND I got a Bachelor's degree in Biology, the hardest major there (so difficult that all the schools at the state medical university add .5 to a GPA from my school, all of them except the nursing school). Do nursing schools care that I have a STRONG background in research and medicine? TONS of volunteer experience? An internship and research thesis in nursing? Excellent references and essays? Good GRE and MAT as well as SAT and ACT scores? NOOO! I have applied, and been rejected 5 times for 5 different BSN programs. I understand that there is limited space, professors, and money, but I REALLY want to be a nurse. More than anything... But no one cares. They think my GPA is definitive of my ability to give quality patient care. I'm GOOD with people, I live to help others. They can't see that with a GPA. It seems that all they want is to have a high pass rate on the final exam, and that projection is based on statistics from GPAs (that I have yet to see). Not everyone is a good test taker. They don't care if the person who passes isn't really 100% into it. And THEN the schools I've applied to tell me to take BS classes like underwater basket weaving, ANYTHING to increase my GPA. Since when do schools prefer quantity over quality? I took challenging classes, where I learned more than I ever could from an easy class. So now I find myself at a technical school, where the 4 courses I'm in I have an average of OVER 100 in each, statistics being one of them. And the people in my classes who are completely clueless are already in a nursing program simply because they have a 4.0 from a tech school. I'm very limited in my school choices in SC. And I'm just completely livid...about everything. And before you say it, I'm not dissing an education from a technical college, I just think there should be a grading scale that takes into account the difficulty of ones' courses, as well as the grades earned, not to mention acceptances based on something more than solely GPA. Am I the only one who finds this unfair? What's in the past can't be undone. So, I don't see a way to get into nursing school. Sure, I could take more useless courses, spend tons of time and money... I could get another job in a health-related career. I could volunteer more. But what use is it if no one looks at this? What else can be done???
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   JSumich
    FINALLY I have found someone else that is in the SAME situation as me! I also graduated from a highly ranked college with a BS in Physiology. This is a very difficult program. It consists of multiple Biochemistry classes and other high level (challenging classes)! At graduation my GPA was around a 2.9 also! This is a problem because most nursing programs won't even look at you if you have below a 3.0 (very frustrating). Most admissions are based only on GPA ranking. It doesn't even matter that we have taken higher level science classes or that we many have tons of experience....it is pretty sad! Well, I know how you feel. Keep your head up and keep looking around you will eventually find a school that will accept you and when you do you will do wonderful! Just know that there are others out there in the same boat as you are! Stay motivated and follow your dream. Some day the pieces will come together! In the time being I am here to vent to!
  4. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from FurmanGirl
    Please hear me out, I really need to vent. I came hear looking for help with nursing school admissions, and now I find the situation even more hopeless than before with all your mentions of high GPAs. You're welcome to give advice, it would be very much appreciated. OK, here's my story... I just graduated from a private, top liberal arts college. Though many have not heard of it, it is very selective, with the entering classes AVERAGE SAT score set at 1302, this was not an easy school to get into. It's main competitors are schools like Harvad, Yale, Wake Forest, Duke, etc... However, it was always my dream, so I stayed, even after deciding to go into nursing (my school didn't have a nursing program). BIG MISTAKE. Yes, I only have a 2.9, but that would be a 4.0 equivalent at any other regional school. AND I got a Bachelor's degree in Biology, the hardest major there (so difficult that all the schools at the state medical university add .5 to a GPA from my school, all of them except the nursing school). Do nursing schools care that I have a STRONG background in research and medicine? TONS of volunteer experience? An internship and research thesis in nursing? Excellent references and essays? Good GRE and MAT as well as SAT and ACT scores? NOOO! I have applied, and been rejected 5 times for 5 different BSN programs. I understand that there is limited space, professors, and money, but I REALLY want to be a nurse. More than anything... But no one cares. They think my GPA is definitive of my ability to give quality patient care. I'm GOOD with people, I live to help others. They can't see that with a GPA. It seems that all they want is to have a high pass rate on the final exam, and that projection is based on statistics from GPAs (that I have yet to see). Not everyone is a good test taker. They don't care if the person who passes isn't really 100% into it. And THEN the schools I've applied to tell me to take BS classes like underwater basket weaving, ANYTHING to increase my GPA. Since when do schools prefer quantity over quality? I took challenging classes, where I learned more than I ever could from an easy class. So now I find myself at a technical school, where the 4 courses I'm in I have an average of OVER 100 in each, statistics being one of them. And the people in my classes who are completely clueless are already in a nursing program simply because they have a 4.0 from a tech school. I'm very limited in my school choices in SC. And I'm just completely livid...about everything. And before you say it, I'm not dissing an education from a technical college, I just think there should be a grading scale that takes into account the difficulty of ones' courses, as well as the grades earned, not to mention acceptances based on something more than solely GPA. Am I the only one who finds this unfair? What's in the past can't be undone. So, I don't see a way to get into nursing school. Sure, I could take more useless courses, spend tons of time and money... I could get another job in a health-related career. I could volunteer more. But what use is it if no one looks at this? What else can be done???
    I could literally feel your exasperation while reading your post. There are so many unfairs but you have to do what you have to do in order to get there. I am sure there is someone out there who can and will value your knowledge/education but maybe NOT in your area.........so if you are willing to relocate then start searching.

    If you cannot then try to take some of those courses over at the technical school thus increasing your GPA. Of course it is time and money but at least you know that you will be able to pull a high grade.

    I truly wish you the best of luck and want to encourage you NOT to give up. When you think you have reached the end of the rope, hang in there and don't give up. Yeah, easy to say right? Unfortunately, there are thousands of us in similar shoes and even if it not the exact same situation as yours we are struggling to get there as well.

    Again, exhaust every option out there.
  5. by   Catsmeow
    Gracious.

    Well, the only thing that is coming to my mind is my lil local CC down here only takes a GPA for specifically the nursing pre-reqs, they don't care what the rest of your classes look like. If you have a program similiar to this in your area, maybe you could focus only on those classes, retaking the C's via distance or night courses even, and bring up your GPA to B's and A's in those particular courses?

    For instance my CC wants 10 pre-req courses. (English 1301, Intro to Psych, Human Growth and Dev, Nutrition, a humanities elective, Chemistry (or Biology) I, A&P I/II, Microbiology, and Interpersonal Speech.) They award extra points to your admission to their nursing program if you take the courses *at their school.* (which is no hardship, it's not an expensive school or anything)

    I know that sounds like working backwards, and very frustrating, but if you're out of options and really want to apply to nursing school, that'd be my plan of attack, aim for an ADN first to get your foot in the door. Email all the programs locally that have ADN's, or research on their websites how exactly they determine admission criteria, and go from there. (I'm suggesting ADN because BSN programs are possibly going to count all your grades, or use two different GPAs, the nursing pre-reqs and the 'other' courses.)

    I understand what you're saying about the difficulty of your other school, but even adding .5 to a 2.0 in a science course isn't generally high enough for the nursing school to accept from what I understand. On a bright note, you should have absolutely no problem getting 4.0s outta every course you retake, should be a breeze for you.

    P.S. I have 60+ credits myself, also from a gorgeous private college, but I'm in a similiar situation, my old 2.0s have gotta be retaken. Woulda done myself more of a favor if I'd never gone previously and started with a clean slate...
    Last edit by Catsmeow on Oct 25, '05
  6. by   prmenrs
    I think in your shoes, I might go the Community College route, get through (w/good grades--might be helpful later), licensed, then go to an ADN-BSN program.

    Again the long way around, but if you want to get the job done.....

    Good Luck, whatever you decide.
  7. by   sydylo
    At our local community college you can request your last 15 hrs only be looked at, which is what I did due to bad grades years ago. It took one semester and a summer course to get my 15 hrs and the nursing program looked at my 4.0 grade average for these hours for admission. Don't know if any schools in your area offers this.
  8. by   MikeyJ
    Quote from FurmanGirl
    Please hear me out, I really need to vent. I came hear looking for help with nursing school admissions, and now I find the situation even more hopeless than before with all your mentions of high GPAs. You're welcome to give advice, it would be very much appreciated. OK, here's my story... I just graduated from a private, top liberal arts college. Though many have not heard of it, it is very selective, with the entering classes AVERAGE SAT score set at 1302, this was not an easy school to get into. It's main competitors are schools like Harvad, Yale, Wake Forest, Duke, etc... However, it was always my dream, so I stayed, even after deciding to go into nursing (my school didn't have a nursing program). BIG MISTAKE. Yes, I only have a 2.9, but that would be a 4.0 equivalent at any other regional school. AND I got a Bachelor's degree in Biology, the hardest major there (so difficult that all the schools at the state medical university add .5 to a GPA from my school, all of them except the nursing school). Do nursing schools care that I have a STRONG background in research and medicine? TONS of volunteer experience? An internship and research thesis in nursing? Excellent references and essays? Good GRE and MAT as well as SAT and ACT scores? NOOO! I have applied, and been rejected 5 times for 5 different BSN programs. I understand that there is limited space, professors, and money, but I REALLY want to be a nurse. More than anything... But no one cares. They think my GPA is definitive of my ability to give quality patient care. I'm GOOD with people, I live to help others. They can't see that with a GPA. It seems that all they want is to have a high pass rate on the final exam, and that projection is based on statistics from GPAs (that I have yet to see). Not everyone is a good test taker. They don't care if the person who passes isn't really 100% into it. And THEN the schools I've applied to tell me to take BS classes like underwater basket weaving, ANYTHING to increase my GPA. Since when do schools prefer quantity over quality? I took challenging classes, where I learned more than I ever could from an easy class. So now I find myself at a technical school, where the 4 courses I'm in I have an average of OVER 100 in each, statistics being one of them. And the people in my classes who are completely clueless are already in a nursing program simply because they have a 4.0 from a tech school. I'm very limited in my school choices in SC. And I'm just completely livid...about everything. And before you say it, I'm not dissing an education from a technical college, I just think there should be a grading scale that takes into account the difficulty of ones' courses, as well as the grades earned, not to mention acceptances based on something more than solely GPA. Am I the only one who finds this unfair? What's in the past can't be undone. So, I don't see a way to get into nursing school. Sure, I could take more useless courses, spend tons of time and money... I could get another job in a health-related career. I could volunteer more. But what use is it if no one looks at this? What else can be done???

    I can see where your frustration comes from, but I must agree with admission comittees. I completely disagree with looking at the institution you graduated from, because yes it may be a "top" school, but that doesn't imply how hard it was. Biology is a hard degree anywhere you go, and yes it may be harder at some places than others, but people still graduate with Bio degrees from Yale and Harvard and walk out with a 4.0 G.P.A.. No matter what school you are at, if you try hard enough, you can obtain a high G.P.A. But once again, I completely understand your frustration, but you must understand that people have busted their butt's to obtain their high G.P.A.'s to ensure they are a good applicant for nursing school. Most nursing schools won't even accept anyone with a G.P.A. under a 3.0. My school requires that you maintain a B in most of your pre-req classes and maintain a B average when in the program.
    I would recommend that you go and retake your classes @ a community college or a tech school if you want to increase your G.P.A. But I must say that A&P, Chemistry, and Bio classes are still hard at CC's and Technical Schools.
  9. by   selaz
    Are you limiting yourself only to schools in your state? Arizona state looks ONLY at certain classes when determining the GPA for admissions to the nursing school. The nursing prereq's that they look at are lower level science classes (A & P, Freshman Chemistry, Nutrition, etc, Micro Biology (200 level) -- if you calculate your GPA based on the prereq's, are your grades better? Check out ASU if you're open to other schools.
    www.asu.edu
  10. by   llg
    I ran into the same problem with graduate schools. So, while this post may sound a little harsh, I really do sympathize. I attended a prestigious undergraduate program that waged a war on grade inflation. No student in 4 years ever got an A in the classroom portion of the nursing program. Even though I was a top student, I only had B's in those classes. That school also mandated that only 50% of the students in any class could get above a C. So, the median grade for any class fell at the dividing line between a B and a C.

    So ... there I was ... former high school valedictorian, recipient of the university's highest academic scholarship ... graduating with a 3.1 GPA. That limited my choices for grad school, but I managed. I moved half way across the country and went to a school where the median grade was at the A/B cut-off and got my MSN with a 3.9 GPA ... and eventally got my PhD.

    Not every school has the same admissions procedures. Contact dozens of schools if you have to ... but if you really want to be a nurse, you may have to move to another area of the country to do it. OR ... you might have to spend some time and money taking additional courses chosen to improve your GPA. Use that BS in biology to get a decent paying job and take a few classes in the evenings or on weekends that will give you some "easy A's." That's not such a terrible option: if those classes relate to your job, your employer might even pay for them. It will add a year or two to your education... but hey, a lot of people have it a lot tougher than that.

    Whatever happens, you made the decision to stay in that other school even though it was not giving you the degree you needed to pursue the career you wanted ... and even though you were not earning a high GPA that would make you more competitive in your future applications. You made that decision and now, like it or not, you have to live with the consequences.

    You may not think the admissions criteria are fair, but having sat on both sides of the fence, I know that it is much harder than you probably think it is. (I personally would like to see more emphasis on standardized test scores and other objective measurements.) If you really are as intelligent, dilligent, and caring as you say you are ... you can succeed at meeting your goal of becoming a nurse. It will just take a little longer than it would have if you had made different choices with your first degree. Take a deep breath and take it one step at a time. Focus on the long term goal and don't let yourself get too bothered with the short term inconvenience you will have to suffer to reach it.

    Good luck,
    llg
  11. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Quote from llg
    I ran into the same problem with graduate schools. So, while this post may sound a little harsh, I really do sympathize. I attended a prestigious undergraduate program that waged a war on grade inflation. No student in 4 years ever got an A in the classroom portion of the nursing program. Even though I was a top student, I only had B's in those classes. That school also mandated that only 50% of the students in any class could get above a C. So, the median grade for any class fell at the dividing line between a B and a C.

    So ... there I was ... former high school valedictorian, recipient of the university's highest academic scholarship ... graduating with a 3.1 GPA. That limited my choices for grad school, but I managed. I moved half way across the country and went to a school where the median grade was at the A/B cut-off and got my MSN with a 3.9 GPA ... and eventally got my PhD.

    Not every school has the same admissions procedures. Contact dozens of schools if you have to ... but if you really want to be a nurse, you may have to move to another area of the country to do it. OR ... you might have to spend some time and money taking additional courses chosen to improve your GPA. Use that BS in biology to get a decent paying job and take a few classes in the evenings or on weekends that will give you some "easy A's." That's not such a terrible option: if those classes relate to your job, your employer might even pay for them. It will add a year or two to your education... but hey, a lot of people have it a lot tougher than that.

    Whatever happens, you made the decision to stay in that other school even though it was not giving you the degree you needed to pursue the career you wanted ... and even though you were not earning a high GPA that would make you more competitive in your future applications. You made that decision and now, like it or not, you have to live with the consequences.

    You may not think the admissions criteria are fair, but having sat on both sides of the fence, I know that it is much harder than you probably think it is. (I personally would like to see more emphasis on standardized test scores and other objective measurements.) If you really are as intelligent, dilligent, and caring as you say you are ... you can succeed at meeting your goal of becoming a nurse. It will just take a little longer than it would have if you had made different choices with your first degree. Take a deep breath and take it one step at a time. Focus on the long term goal and don't let yourself get too bothered with the short term inconvenience you will have to suffer to reach it.

    Good luck,
    llg
    I don't get any of this. I have a 3.1 and i got into nursing school on the first try. And as far as graduate school, I have a friend you has a 2.7 and she got into graduate school at two places. Maybe you should come to Tennessee It doesn't make any sense to get a 2.9 and then just take a bunch of easy classes; what has changed in her academic abilities? Schools should take the time to do individual evaluations instead of making GPA cutoffs IMO.
  12. by   AnnaN5
    Quote from FurmanGirl
    Please hear me out, I really need to vent. I came hear looking for help with nursing school admissions, and now I find the situation even more hopeless than before with all your mentions of high GPAs. You're welcome to give advice, it would be very much appreciated. OK, here's my story... I just graduated from a private, top liberal arts college. Though many have not heard of it, it is very selective, with the entering classes AVERAGE SAT score set at 1302, this was not an easy school to get into. It's main competitors are schools like Harvad, Yale, Wake Forest, Duke, etc... However, it was always my dream, so I stayed, even after deciding to go into nursing (my school didn't have a nursing program). BIG MISTAKE. Yes, I only have a 2.9, but that would be a 4.0 equivalent at any other regional school. AND I got a Bachelor's degree in Biology, the hardest major there (so difficult that all the schools at the state medical university add .5 to a GPA from my school, all of them except the nursing school). Do nursing schools care that I have a STRONG background in research and medicine? TONS of volunteer experience? An internship and research thesis in nursing? Excellent references and essays? Good GRE and MAT as well as SAT and ACT scores? NOOO! I have applied, and been rejected 5 times for 5 different BSN programs. I understand that there is limited space, professors, and money, but I REALLY want to be a nurse. More than anything... But no one cares. They think my GPA is definitive of my ability to give quality patient care. I'm GOOD with people, I live to help others. They can't see that with a GPA. It seems that all they want is to have a high pass rate on the final exam, and that projection is based on statistics from GPAs (that I have yet to see). Not everyone is a good test taker. They don't care if the person who passes isn't really 100% into it. And THEN the schools I've applied to tell me to take BS classes like underwater basket weaving, ANYTHING to increase my GPA. Since when do schools prefer quantity over quality? I took challenging classes, where I learned more than I ever could from an easy class. So now I find myself at a technical school, where the 4 courses I'm in I have an average of OVER 100 in each, statistics being one of them. And the people in my classes who are completely clueless are already in a nursing program simply because they have a 4.0 from a tech school. I'm very limited in my school choices in SC. And I'm just completely livid...about everything. And before you say it, I'm not dissing an education from a technical college, I just think there should be a grading scale that takes into account the difficulty of ones' courses, as well as the grades earned, not to mention acceptances based on something more than solely GPA. Am I the only one who finds this unfair? What's in the past can't be undone. So, I don't see a way to get into nursing school. Sure, I could take more useless courses, spend tons of time and money... I could get another job in a health-related career. I could volunteer more. But what use is it if no one looks at this? What else can be done???
    I wanted to tell you that I know exactly how you feel!! I have a BS in Human Biology with around a 2.6 gpa for that degree. But for all of the pre-reqs for most nursing programs like micro, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, stats, etc. I have pretty darned close to a 4.0 gpa. But since my overall gpa from my degree is so bad I can't get any accelerated BSN programs to look at me. Now I pretty much can only apply to 2 year ASN programs at community colleges that compute the gpa based on only the pre-reqs. It's frustrating that my strong performance in the sciences and in my most recent classes isn't looked at more than my crappy previous gpa. So hopefully I will get accepted into a 2 year nursing program then can enter one of the RN-MSN programs for people with a BS in something besides nursing.
  13. by   llg
    Quote from CRNASOMEDAY25
    I don't get any of this..
    In some places, the competition is so great to get into nursing school that the schools do not have the resources to look at each applicant in great detail. So, they do an intitial screening of easily measurable factors (such as GPA) and go into detail for only those who pass that initial screening. For example, they might have 75 spots to offer ... but 300 applicants. They may do an initial screening in which they take the top 150 and then look at those 150 in detail to pick the final 75.

    Another issue is objectivity. The more an admissions committee starts using subjective judgment in the process (interview performance, judging the "quality" of extra-curricula activities, etc.), the more law suits they are likely to face from the people they rejected. State schools have extra pressure to "not discriminate" against anyone and therefore have extra problems coming up with criteria that can not be argued with in court. If a state school gives any preferences (i.e. requires lower GPA) from people who do prereqs at "elite private colleges," they will probably be accused of giving a preference to rich people who can afford those schools at the expense of the middle and lower classes. So ... schools likely to be sued to try to reduce their risk by heavily emphasizing the numbers without trying to bring much subjective judgment into the decision.

    There is a lot about the system I don't like either ... but I hope this helps explain some of it to you.

    llg
  14. by   Shannon RN 2be
    I think its terriable how hard it is to get into a nursing program. All the time we hear about the nursing shortage. However, the nursing programs are admitting so few people there is no way that we can fill the shortage of nurses. I attend a local community college too. I think that you going to school at the cc is a great idea. I think that would help you so you can get into the program. I do agree it is awful you have to go through this just to get into a program. Good luck with your search. I hope you can get into a program.
    Hugs :icon_hug:
    Shannon

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