I'm lost and confused and unsure of what I should do :(

  1. 0
    Hi everyone!

    So I am a college graduate who just got a bachelor's degree in Biology. I am highly interested in going into nursing and hope to be a nurse practitioner someday. I really want to go to a school in California since I live here. However, my cumulative GPA is not that great... it's a 2.8. My last 60 units GPA is merely a 3.19. I blame myself for my lack of motivation to do well in school but I have been working hard recently to get back on track with my leftover nursing prereqs. I am really determined to get into nursing school and I do not want to revert back to my old habits of being lazy.

    Since I already have my bachelor's degree, I have been looking into accelerated MSN and BSN programs for quite awhile now. However, I feel that the ELMSN programs would be a long shot for me because of how horrible my stats are right now as I know many other competitive applicants have much higher GPAs and test scores to show. Should I still try to apply though? I'm hoping to apply now for next yearís fall term.

    As for the accelerated BSN programs, I may have a better chance but looking at the stats of admitted students, Iím still not up to par. Iíve already applied to CSU San Marcosís ABSN program and the advisor told me I should just increase my TEAS exam score to get a higher chance of acceptance. But Iím not sure if I should just pray that CSU San Marcos will accept me and leave out all other options for the ELMSN programs.

    I was also wondering if it was possible for me to just get a BSN through the traditional route? Since I already have most if not all the nursing prerequisites done for the nursing major, maybe I can finish the program in 2 years?
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  3. 10 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I hear accelerated BSN programs are very tough...

    I just took the traditional route to increase my chances of getting good grades and have some time to relax as well.
  5. 0
    I'm in Cali too. You can look up the average stats for admitted students for most programs online. Each CSU has different requirements, you may find one whose criteria you meet. For example, CSUS only looks at grades in Prenursing courses, while CSU stanislaus looks at overall gpa. To the contrary, Samuel merrit, a private school near me looks at last 60 credits. Some schools also have supplemental criteria, such as work experience, foreign language proficiency, etc.

    HTH!
  6. 0
    I'm thinking that if you cannot get in to an accelerated nursing bachelors program, you should consider getting into a traditional program. Yes, that would take 2 years, rather than one, but he would also be in nursing school rather than still attempting to apply. I also have a bachelors degree, I am in an Associates degree program, and if I want to go to the RN – BSN program, I can. After I'm done. In my case, since I have a bachelors degree already, I would have to take only the program coursework to get a BSN, or I could take the coursework necessary to qualify me for MSN program and skip the bachelors altogether. The 3rd possible plan would be for me to apply to the MSN program after taking the class work I need to qualify for it, and while waiting for approval or the program to start, take the other 2 courses for the BSN, then I would have the BSN, get certified as a PHN, and go into the MSN program with that, even though I was accepted into the program without the BSN.

    Look at all of your options. That includes even the traditional ADN programs and BSN programs. The only downside of doing ADN program is that financial aid will be limited because you already have an advanced degree, and you would be going for a degree that is not so advanced as the bachelors you already have. I bumped up against that problem myself.

    Good luck to you, I hope you find a program to get into that you enjoy!
  7. 0
    peanutbutter,

    I wanted to share my two cents with you because we come from similar backgrounds. I too have a degree in Biology with a "low" GPA.

    First, as you know, a biology degree is a quite rigorous and challenging degree to get, and you should be proud of that 3.1. It means something very different than a 3.9 in some other undergraduate fields...

    Second, if you want to become a nurse practitioner, I would not recommend going the ADN or BSN route. Go straight to an ELMSN. You have a scientific background (with what I am assuming are strong critical thinking/analytical skills), so it is my belief that you are ready for an accelerated graduate program. Thus, no need to get a 2nd bachelors degree, or for that matter, an associates degree.

    There are many ELMSN programs that train you for NP licensure, but most are not in California. So if your open to going out of state for a bit, apply to some private schools. They are more likely to overlook a lower GPA. That is what I am in the process of doing. If you can't meet the deadlines for this app cycle, work on getting some unique professional experiences that will set you apart from the rest of the applicants.

    Good luck fellow biologist!
  8. 0
    If you decide to go with the more traditional route -- make certain that you will graduate within the time span you are wanting. I transferred to a university as a junior, and was supposed to be done in two years. Guess who didn't get that in writing? The same person who is stuck for an extra year in school...healthcare politics start in school, not once you graduate.

    That said, it *may* be cheaper to do the traditional route. If cost isn't a huge factor, and you have the time and energy to put into it, try for the accelerated. Our school has the accelerated group getting classes done in 5 weeks where the traditional gets the entire semester. It's a crazy schedule, but if you can manage your time right...I say go for that! Good luck.
  9. 0
    Never say never! I was in the exact same position as you almost exactly a year ago, and now I'm almost finished with my first semester of a 12 month second degree BSN. I'm in Texas, so I'm not sure what the competition is like in California, but getting into nursing school here feels a little bit like winning the lottery. I had about a 3.3 GPA (first degree was a BA in History) and I spent countless nights freaking out that I wasn't going to get in anywhere. I was pretty intimidated by the second degree programs, but truth be told, they're actually a little more reasonable (and less competitive) for someone in our situation then a regular BSN or even an ADN program. The program is definitely challenging, but I feel like it fits me so much better than a two year program would have. Please don't give up on your goal and make sure you explore all your options and go for the one that is right for you.
  10. 1
    I have never heard of an ELMSN that trained for NP licensure. I'm pretty sure most states have a minimum of at least two years as a practicing RN before even being eligible to sit the boards, much less get into an NP program. An MSN is not the same as a APN certification. I was wary of ELMSN programs when I looked into which route I wanted to pursue, not because they aren't legitimate, but because the job prospects afterwards are rather dismal. It seems counter-intuitive, but few places want to higher a ELMSN grad for clinical work because they would have to pay them more even though they really have no experience. If you want to go straight into management it might be good, but you need clinical experience if you ever want to be an NP. Just my two cents.
    HouTx likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from cass1320
    I have never heard of an ELMSN that trained for NP licensure. I'm pretty sure most states have a minimum of at least two years as a practicing RN before even being eligible to sit the boards, much less get into an NP program. An MSN is not the same as a APN certification. I was wary of ELMSN programs when I looked into which route I wanted to pursue, not because they aren't legitimate, but because the job prospects afterwards are rather dismal. It seems counter-intuitive, but few places want to higher a ELMSN grad for clinical work because they would have to pay them more even though they really have no experience. If you want to go straight into management it might be good, but you need clinical experience if you ever want to be an NP. Just my two cents.
    I've known people to find jobs as ELMSNs but they make the exact same money for the exact same entry-level bedside jobs. Never seemed like a wise monetary investment to me considering you aren't ever actually guaranteed to take on a upper level position. I think I'd stick with basic RN and then let them pay for my higher Ed if they want to promote me.

    I have heard of direct entry NP programs. You become licensed as an RN along the way and work while you're doing your grad level portion. Not a bad deal if you for sure want to be an NP, but I wouldn't want to lock myself into APNIng and choosing a specialty without a good dose of experience. But that's just me
  12. 0
    Please go to the APN forum and check out the pre-nurse practitioner discussions. You will read posts from people who have actually graduated from ELMSN (also called pre-specialty programs) who are working as NPs immediately after graduating.

    These schools who offer pre-specialty programs for non-nurses are accredited and prepare you to sit for NP certification in CA: http://www.rn.ca.gov/pdfs/applicants/np-app.pdf

    Also, job hunt as if you are a NP in your area to try to get an idea of how much experience is needed to land a position. Many out-patient physicians love to have a new grad they can train and mold, especially since NP work uses different skill sets than bedside nursing.


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