Nursing Program for Low GPA

  1. 1
    Hi!

    I read the other thread about this, but I felt like I needed a bit more advice. I'm a rising senior at a good undergrad school with a terrible GPA (2.4). I hate my major (Chemistry) and I'm not doing well in my science classes. After working with a lot of nurses (I've worked at Health Services as a student aid for 3 years), I realized that I would love to pursue nursing. But I obviously don't have the academics for it. It's my senior year already, and I'm running out of options. I've worked with a lot of doctors, nurses, and PAs over the years and they all agree that I have what it takes to be in the medical profession; but the academic courses are really killing me. I'm frustrated beyond words with myself and I don't know how to turn my life around. What are the steps that I need to make to make this dream a possibility?
    Joe V likes this.
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  4. 0
    I am in the same boat as you are GPA wise. My GPA is a 2.5, which is the minimum required for an RN program where I would like to apply. I plan to take a refresher course for A&P so hopefully that will raise my GPA. I also need microbiology as well. Maybe you could apply to an LVN/LPN program, usually they require a 2.0-2.2 GPA, and get your foot in the door that way. I plan on applying to both the RN and LVN program.
  5. 0
    Is it possible to maybe retake some courses to raise your gpa. I went from a 1.93 to a 3.47 cumulative by retaking courses that I got a C or below in and worked my butt off to ace the other pre reqs. It sounds like you have a real passion for nursing as well & if you want it bad enough, you will make it happen! Good luck to you!
  6. 0
    I would only consider an LPN program as a last resource. Opportunities for LPNs are not as prevalent as they once were and the pay differences are significant (LPNs make approx. half what RNs do). If you already have a BS your pre-reqs are likely done so an RN program could be about the same length as an LPN program. Strongly consider an associate level RN program. Admissions are still tough, but sometimes based more on a first come/first served basis. For instance my ASN program admissions gave me credit for having completed a BS (without consideration to my lackluster science GPA). Many admissions committees recognize a BS in Chemistry is tough, if you're at a good school all the better. Pay is very close (if not the same) for a new RN has an BSN or a ASN. Good luck! If nursing is for you, you'll find a way! There are many paths to becoming a nurse.
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    I would look at the schools that you are hoping to apply to, a lot of ADN programs and some BSN programs will only look at your prereq grades (45 credits usually) and not your cumulative. So even if you have to retake a couple of the prereqs to get A's and B's you can raise your prereq GPA without re-doing an entire BS degree! Good luck!
  8. 0
    Quote from elle333
    Hi!

    I read the other thread about this, but I felt like I needed a bit more advice. I'm a rising senior at a good undergrad school with a terrible GPA (2.4). I hate my major (Chemistry) and I'm not doing well in my science classes. After working with a lot of nurses (I've worked at Health Services as a student aid for 3 years), I realized that I would love to pursue nursing. But I obviously don't have the academics for it. It's my senior year already, and I'm running out of options. I've worked with a lot of doctors, nurses, and PAs over the years and they all agree that I have what it takes to be in the medical profession; but the academic courses are really killing me. I'm frustrated beyond words with myself and I don't know how to turn my life around. What are the steps that I need to make to make this dream a possibility?
    I'm not sure where you're located so I'm speaking in California terms. The CC's here usually need a 2.5 GPA minimum in order to apply. That being said, since you are so close to that, taking the pre-requisite courses (assuming you do well) would allow you to apply. Have you taken Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Psychology and Speech? Unfortunately, you are only allowed to retake the sciences once so hopefully you haven't exceeded that. Many CC's in Southern Cali are based on lottery meaning if you meet the minimum requirements, you have a shot. Those that are points based focus a lot more on the pre-reqs than your overall GPA. Other factors like the fact that you already have your Bachelors also count for points.

    I was in your shoes. Also graduated from a prestigious university but with a low GPA of 2.5 (thought partying at the time was more important. I know, dumb). But I took the pre-reqs and received all A's and a B. And now I'm officially an ADN student. I still have a long way to go to become a nurse but I got over the first hurdle. If you really want it, you can do it. Focus on your goal. Study, study, study. And most of all, don't give up!!
  9. 1
    My advice is a bit unorthodox, but it's what I did: graduate! Graduate with your current GPA. Don't take any of the nursing prerequisites yet, in fact, take a lot of fluff courses if you have room to round out your current degree and raise your GPA. Then, apply back to a four year or community college, either one, but preferably a different school, and take your prerequisites. Here's my logic: once you graduate that degree is finished, and whatever you do from then out is a new beginning. If you start over somewhere else, you will have a totally separate GPA that is not tied to your current one, and it may make you a more marketable candidate. If a nursing school sees you graduated with a low GPA from the first school, but went back and now have a cumulative 3.9 (or something) GPA at the school you're taking your prerequisites at, I think you'd have a stronger chance. I had a 3.27 when I graduated with my first degree, but came back and did fantastic in my nursing prerequisites, and I got in. Most of my classmates have at least a cumulative 3.50 and if they'd been going on my previous GPA I wouldn't have made the cut, so you never know! I really believe the admissions at the school based their decisions on the GPA I'd attained since I returned and not my previous GPA.
    kalevra likes this.
  10. 3
    What makes you think that you can be successful in nursing education - or any other health science - if you have been unable to cope with these classes in the past? Nursing is a science-based profession. It is not possible to become a competent clinician without mastering the basic sciences. GPA is the most important factor for admissions because it is the best indicator of an individual's ability to cope with the hard slog of nursing education. Even with high GPA entrance requirements, it is not unusual to have 40% attrition rates.

    If you are attracted to the "idea" of helping/rescuing/saving people, there are many other routes to pursue. Perhaps counseling or psychology? There are also other health professions that have less competitive entrance requirements than nursing.
    4myBabies2, Luckyyou, and emmy27 like this.
  11. 3
    Quote from HouTx
    What makes you think that you can be successful in nursing education - or any other health science - if you have been unable to cope with these classes in the past? Nursing is a science-based profession. It is not possible to become a competent clinician without mastering the basic sciences. GPA is the most important factor for admissions because it is the best indicator of an individual's ability to cope with the hard slog of nursing education. Even with high GPA entrance requirements, it is not unusual to have 40% attrition rates.

    If you are attracted to the "idea" of helping/rescuing/saving people, there are many other routes to pursue. Perhaps counseling or psychology? There are also other health professions that have less competitive entrance requirements than nursing.
    This. It's possible to rescue your GPA and change fields to nursing after a lackluster performance in a previous area of study, and I know multiple nurses, including myself, who have done so. But in all those cases, it was a matter of being either more mature at the time they switched studies or having first pursued a field that was a poor fit for their interests (often humanities-based). Nursing training and practice, especially the prerequisites, are hard-science heavy, and if you're already struggling with those, you'll struggle in nursing school, too. You need to have a solid foundation in chemistry and biology before you start- core nursing classes will assume that you have that foundation and if you don't, you'll be swamped.

    I attended a program with a very high rate of attrition, well over 50%, and those who failed out were often really nice people who would have had great bedside manner and who were genuinely passionately interested in helping others, but they could not hack the academic content. I assume when I meet a nice nursing student that they will make a good nurse-because I assume they have a background in science as evidenced by their admission to nursing school. I would probably assume the same of a personable chemistry student, but if I found out they struggled with their science classes, maybe not so much.

    I'm not trying to be discouraging- only you know whether you're struggling in your classes due to a lack of aptitude for or interest in science or for some other temporary reason. Maybe you can turn it around and be successful at nursing studies. But I think too many people see the stereotypes of "nurses are angels" or the Johnson and Johnson nursing ads and think all you really need to be a nurse is heart. You do need heart, but you need chemistry, biology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology, too, and you can't make up for the lack of them with just more heart.
    KendallAZ, Kvedaa, and Luckyyou like this.
  12. 0
    I have a low GPA as well, like 2.8gpa overall and science is like 2.8/9 as well. It seem pretty hopeless for me in becoming a nurse. I went to CSULA to apply for their program and they ended up telling me to change my major since my grades weren't good enough. A few months later I got into a LVN program. They didn't check your GPA, they just do a variety of different test and select who would be the best to fill those spots. Top of it all, I only have to pay $2k out of my own pocket!

    If you really want to be a nurse, you'll find a way


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