How important is work experience prior to applying to RN program?

  1. I have a B.S. in Business Administration and was wondering, how important is it to have work experience prior to applying to an ABSN program?

    The reason I'm asking is that with all the pre-requisite classes that I'm taking as well as having a 2 year old son, it's very hard to find time to study, look after the baby and work.

    Also, what kinds of experience would you recommend?

    Thanks! Any info would be greatly appreciated. :wink2:
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   SummerGarden
    The need for work experience depends on the school. My school has a question of CNA or LPN license on the application although there are no official points given.

    I suspect that being a CNA or LPN gives an applicant an edge in the minds of admission officers to some degree. Especially if there are two applicants with the same qualifications and points but one has a CNA or LPN license and the other does not. I do not have either qualifications and so this would not be fair to me, but that is how life goes. I will roll the dice and take my chances that eventually my qualifications will get me into a program.

    Ask a counselor at the school offering the BSN program to see if CNA or LPN experience is factored into admissions points. If not, then work experience is probably not a big deal. By the way, don't worry about what you cannot control. If you cannot obtain a license and work, then that is your reality. Just keep pressing forward and good luck. :wink2:
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    My background was Social Work and stay-at-home mom. And I did fine. There were lots of folks in the program coming from other areas and we all graduated and most have gone to specialize - NICU, ER, CCU, OB, etc.

    The one thing I did do was wait until my youngest was in first grade though. So I would have more time to study. And I didn't work.

    Best wishes.

    steph
  5. by   Tweety
    My back ground was as a clerk-typist and a Pizza Hut worker and I did fine.

    As was stated above many schools with their wait lists are starting to get particular with pre-reqs. Back in a day there weren't any pre-reqs and people could go to nursing school strait from high school. Check with your school.
  6. by   WDWpixieRN
    I've just started my first semester and also have a prior BS in MIS. I think right now the people with some prior experience are at a bit of an advantage, but I can't imagine that will be the case as we delve deeper and deeper into the program. I don't have any previous experience (other than 3 kids (OB), and a husband who's had several different hospital stays!!).

    The time commitment was MUCH more than I personally expected and I ended up quitting my "new" job in my company after the 3rd day of school. There was no way....and my kids are all grown with my youngest in his freshman year of college. I admire those who can do this with young children!!

    Best wishes!!
  7. by   WDWpixieRN
    Also, my school strictly requires that an applicant complete the minimum prereqs, then apply, then it's first-come, first-served. We don't have the weighted application process as it sounds like so many others do!!
  8. by   scoobysnax
    Thanks for the replies.

    I was wondering how about volunteer work? Maybe just a few hours to show the admissions people that I'm really serious about this and to show that I know what I'd be getting myself in to.

    It's tough with the baby, I find the only time I can study is after he falls asleep. So I'm often up from 9pm to 3am catching up with homeowrk, etc.

    But I love the little guy, so it's all worth it. :wink2:
  9. by   Daytonite
    My work experience prior to enrolling in nursing school was 5 years as an account clerk and bookkeeper. You will probably find in an informal poll that half the nurses you talk to had no prior experience in nursing before going to nursing school. Those who enter RN school as CNAs or LPNs level out with the rest of the students at the completion of semesters one and two, respectively. So, don't sweat not having the chance to work as a patient care giver before starting nursing classes. Also, as you will learn, there is much more to being an RN than giving hands on nursing care. Hands on nursing care is only one component of the job.
  10. by   Jules A
    For my LPN program it made no difference one way or the other. They went by your gpa and admission score.
  11. by   fleur-de-lis
    I too have a bachelors in Business, and am in semester 2 of a 4 semester accelerated program. I had no health care experience. I think good grades in the pre reqs will speak volumes, but if you can find a couple of hours to volunteer, that certainly won't hurt. Some of the hospitals around here only require 3-4 hours per month to stay active as a volunteer. Check out the school(s) you are applying to and see how they make admission decisions. Or ask a current student at those schools if the current students have medical backgrounds, that might help you see how highly they value it. Good luck to you!!!!

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