Just knocking down pre-reqs

  1. Hi all, I'm new (obvs) to this forum and I've found all the information really really helpful. I guess I just wanted to see how not-crazy or crazy I am for attempting this.

    Background:
    I am a 32-year-old female student with 3 young children going through a divorce. I almost completed my AS 7 years ago when I was a biology student, then I got married and fell pregnant. I'll spare you the sob story with my ex but basically, he was unfaithful about a year ago, we went through some hard times and ultimately separated in April. At the time I was a home daycare provider and totally completely wiped out. Ex lost his job in May and I lost the majority of my daycare children around the same time.

    I took that as a sign and have since decided to go back to school and earn my ADN and eventually my BSN (hoping to find work with my ADN first?). I live rent-free because my parents own my house. My ex is wishy-washy on support - so I have applied and been given food-stamps and TANF. Along with loans and free daycare, I hope to make it through schooling.

    School: I have 6 prerequisites left: Anatomy, Microbiology, Physiology, Developmental Psych (seems like many programs require this), Nutrition, and Political Science.

    I am taking political science and nutrition online this semester as I try to prepare and find daycare for my children. This spring I am looking at taking Anatomy and the Psych class, Micro in summer, and Physio and the algebra class I'd like to retake for an "A" instead of a "B", in fall of 2018. My cumulative GPA is 3.0, but it seems I can't really fix that super easily (darn messing around as a young free 20 yr old!).

    What really sucks is yes, due to my position I want to get into a program ASAP, but it seems like stacking the classes I have left is just damn near impossible - especially since I want an "A" in each. Does the lineup I have look doable? Maybe you would switch Micro and Physiology? Maybe I am just crazy for thinking I can go to Nursing School at 32 with 3 kids?

    I'm in the Southern CA area going to PCC currently, if that helps at all!
    Last edit by NillaWafers on Aug 21 : Reason: Extra Info
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   NillaWafers
    I also wanted to ask if I'm correct in assuming that taking physio or anatomy during a Summer/Winter session would be a bad idea? I was guessing yes, which is why I placed microbio by itself in summer since it's my stronger subject (biology).
  4. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    I'd do algebra in the summer, along with psych and then physio and micro in the fall if you can. Micro is an incredibly fun class, and it's worth giving it the full 16 weeks, if you can.

    Good luck!
  5. by   shibaowner
    You have been through a rough period and are to be commended for planning a successful future. With regard to your prereqs, you have a decent plan. In general, take one easy class with one hard class. It is hard for strangers to advise you on classes because we don't know what you find hard or easy. I also don't know how long your summer and winter sessions are. It is possible to take a science class during these periods, but take only one class and be prepared to study like crazy. Something else to think about is that your prereqs may have prereqs so be sure to check those, too. Also, don't you need to take chemistry? I wouldn't bother taking algebra over. If you do well in the rest of your classes, your GPA will go up. If you want to take some extra classes to bring up your GPA, look at health care related subjects and also at Spanish, which is very useful in Calif.

    Financially, fill out your FAFSA. You should be eligible for financial aid and not just loans. You should consider a CNA certificate so you get patient care experience, which will give you an advantage when applying to nursing schools. It will also provide you with a way to work while going to school.

    Good luck
  6. by   NillaWafers
    Quote from shibaowner
    You have been through a rough period and are to be commended for planning a successful future. With regard to your prereqs, you have a decent plan. In general, take one easy class with one hard class. It is hard for strangers to advise you on classes because we don't know what you find hard or easy. I also don't know how long your summer and winter sessions are. It is possible to take a science class during these periods, but take only one class and be prepared to study like crazy. Something else to think about is that your prereqs may have prereqs so be sure to check those, too. Also, don't you need to take chemistry? I wouldn't bother taking algebra over. If you do well in the rest of your classes, your GPA will go up. If you want to take some extra classes to bring up your GPA, look at health care related subjects and also at Spanish, which is very useful in Calif.

    Financially, fill out your FAFSA. You should be eligible for financial aid and not just loans. You should consider a CNA certificate so you get patient care experience, which will give you an advantage when applying to nursing schools. It will also provide you with a way to work while going to school.

    Good luck
    No I don't need to take chem as I have up to mid level college chem from my prior school work. My summer/winter sessions are 6 weeks long. I hate that it will take almost a year to get done with prereqs and if I get into a school, I will have to wait almost a whole year (8-9 mo) to start. That leaves me trying to figure out how to fit these classes in a year.

    There is also Federal Loans to think about since if I take less than 6 units I don't get funding and I'm pretty much living off these loans with next to no help from ex. So I have to take 6 units a semester (ie just can't take physio by itself).
  7. by   NillaWafers
    Replying again to add some info as I just re-read your post haha! Something something 3 children running around.

    Ok I did apply for the FAFSA and have a Pell Grant and a BOG fee waiver (waives tuition for community college classes) but it's not enough to provide for my family so I applied for some Federal Loans to cover the gap. As I said before I gotta make sure I"m taking at least 6 units per major semester to keep that funding.

    I am gonna think about taking 3 more spanish classes so I can say I'm "fluent". That will help me too I think.
  8. by   araew2129
    Nutrition is a pretty easy class. I just did that one over summer and really wish I had taken something else like medical terminology (not required but I think it would be helpful) along with it because I got bored. So I think you could theoretically do more than just the 2 you have planned for this fall. If you really think you need to retake algebra (which I probably wouldn't), I would do it then.

    I'd take anatomy and physio together because while both hard, they are usually taught together (maybe someone else will have some advice about this though since they are being taught separately for you). I would do then do psych next summer and micro next fall. Actually that is already my plan! Plus studying for and taking the entrance exam (HESI for me) next fall too.

    One word of caution about things you already took like chemistry... check with the nursing program to make sure there isn't a time frame for how recently that had to be taken.

    Good luck to you! I am also going back to school with 3 kiddos at home so I know how overwhelming this all may seem. But you got this
  9. by   maggieellis
    If you're not working at the moment, two classes at a time should be no trouble--consider doing three a semester. I crammed in Bio, Micro, Psych, Stats, and A&P1 this summer--first two in person, the rest online. I've found that being older makes learning easier...
  10. by   NillaWafers
    Quote from araew2129
    Nutrition is a pretty easy class. I just did that one over summer and really wish I had taken something else like medical terminology (not required but I think it would be helpful) along with it because I got bored. So I think you could theoretically do more than just the 2 you have planned for this fall. If you really think you need to retake algebra (which I probably wouldn't), I would do it then.

    I'd take anatomy and physio together because while both hard, they are usually taught together (maybe someone else will have some advice about this though since they are being taught separately for you). I would do then do psych next summer and micro next fall. Actually that is already my plan! Plus studying for and taking the entrance exam (HESI for me) next fall too.

    One word of caution about things you already took like chemistry... check with the nursing program to make sure there isn't a time frame for how recently that had to be taken.

    Good luck to you! I am also going back to school with 3 kiddos at home so I know how overwhelming this all may seem. But you got this
    Well I cannot take Anatomy and Physio together because Anatomy is a Physio pre-req at my school. I did make sure that my chem classes are fine, they said as long as the core classes are within the last 5 years I'm good - that's with all the programs in my area.

    I would have been in a lot better shape had I been able to get Anatomy this semester but I wasn't able to cus my registration priority was terrible
  11. by   NillaWafers
    Quote from maggieellis
    If you're not working at the moment, two classes at a time should be no trouble--consider doing three a semester. I crammed in Bio, Micro, Psych, Stats, and A&P1 this summer--first two in person, the rest online. I've found that being older makes learning easier...
    Well, not working yes. But I have a 7 year old, almost 5 year old, and a 18 mo. old. So my life is kinda crazy with them - I don't wanna overtax and be overburdened with schoolwork
    Last edit by NillaWafers on Aug 22 : Reason: a word
  12. by   FutureNurseInfo
    Fall 2017 - Anatomy and Physiology
    Spring 2018 - Micro and Political Science/Lifespan/Nutrition
    Summer 2018 - Political Science/Lifespan/Nutrition and Political Science/Lifespan/Nutrition

    I think taking A and P together will benefit you since you learn the structure of the body and the way it works side by side. Besides, many schools offer a blend class like A&P. If you think you can squeeze these classes in 2 semesters so you can start nursing school next fall, go for it!
  13. by   NillaWafers
    Quote from FutureNurseInfo
    Fall 2017 - Anatomy and Physiology
    Spring 2018 - Micro and Political Science/Lifespan/Nutrition
    Summer 2018 - Political Science/Lifespan/Nutrition and Political Science/Lifespan/Nutrition

    I think taking A and P together will benefit you since you learn the structure of the body and the way it works side by side. Besides, many schools offer a blend class like A&P. If you think you can squeeze these classes in 2 semesters so you can start nursing school next fall, go for it!
    I really wish I could take A&P at the same time that would really make it easier to cram them into two semesters.

    I could take anatomy Winter and Spring try for Lifespan/Micro/Physio but as others have been saying two sciences is HARD. And I have three kids to take care of and next to no support

    I'm tempted to try but I don't want to get a bad grade in either of them and have to retake anyways. Some schools will only take a first grade now

    ETA: Even with cramming it would mean I would start Spring 2019, instead of Fall 2019. I'm not sure it's worth the risk?
  14. by   araew2129
    Go slower if you are worried about making sure you're grades are high. I was originally registered to finish so we but made the hard decision to take fewer classes at a time to give myself the best chance at an A, and more importantly really learning the material. The plan you laid it wpuld likely work well for you

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