Is it possible to get into a nursing program with no prior experience in healthcare?

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    hi everyone i'm new to this forum, but so happy that i found it.
    so i'm doing my prereqs right now, so far gpa looks pretty good i was majoring in law in different country and had 3.1 cumulative gpa, but currently it is 3.8 at a community college that i'm taking my prereqs at, took ap 1 - B, micro - A, lifespan - A, pschycology - A, nutrition - A, and taking the rest in fall and spring. my main question is if i (hopefully) do good in HESI do i have a shot because i have no prior experience in healthcare? i'm in houston area which i think is crazy competative. never even volunteered, which i was thinking about, would that help when it comes to admissions, or is it not an important criteria since it's not really a real paid job? i have a baby so i'm staying at home right now, but trying to keep up with school. i read someone else's post that they had a 3.65 in prereqs gpa and 3.1 in their previous major gpa and DIDN'T GET IN so that scares me! if they look at OVERALL academic performance is having a 3.1 in law major worse than not having any previous education?? so if that's the case should i retake my general education classes like math, comp1&2, sociology, computer skills, arts and etc. here i.e. at an american school and not mention my previous coursework in law from another country? and last thing is it true that its easier to get in in spring than in fall?
    any feedback will be appreciated, thanks guys and good luck!
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

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    From what I understand if you have already graduated with a Bachelors retaking those gen-ed courses isn't going to have a dramatic impact by any means.

    I just spoke with the advisement for admissions at uPenn and have researched heavily the "lower-than-ideal" uGPA vs pre-reqs GPA. The result was that the further from your bachelors the better, and the less that GPA is weighted. Your pre-req GPA is critical to just about any school as it is a good indicator as to how you will perform in nursing classes. Each school is a little different. Some public universities will weigh the GPA more vs. private universities, but regardless many will consider the whole applicant. This means, volunteer experience, shadowing, work experience in health-care, and what was done in the the time from the first bachelor's to now (including academics). The colleges will stress the big "WHY" questions. Why do you want to be a nurse and why their school. Therefore, without work or volunteer experience and exposure to health care first hand, answering that question with confidence to prove you know this is the field for you may become challenging.

    I don't have the right answer for you, I think your situation is challenging as all of ours are. I can say, I am in a similar situation academically speaking. If I were you I would not retake the courses since your pre-req GPA is competitive. I would focus more on making yourself a well rounded applicant. Try to volunteer somewhere. If not in a hospital maybe a summer camp, a soup kitchen, for a foundation (may do marathons and like the American Cancer Society).

    Also remember, just because that person you didn't get in doesn't mean you won't. Essays and interviews can really make or break acceptance.

    Hope this helps!
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    I have no prior experience in healthcare and I was accepted into a nursing program that starts this fall. I'm sure all schools are different but mine did not take prior healthcare experience into consideration. I have a legal assisting degree that I had a 3.8 GPA in and all of my pre-reqs will be complete before I start the program which was their main concern. I also did fairly well on the NLN pre-entrance exam. Good luck!
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    I have no healthcare experience either and have a previous degree in accounting. I was accepted into an accelerated program for this fall that primarily looked at cumulative GPA. Unfortunately, due to a move, I had to stop my pre-reqs in spring, decline my spot and retool a bit. I am back to doing my pre-reqs and hope to apply for a program this coming fall for entry next summer or fall.

    Since I have a bit more time, I plan to volunteer at my local hospital along with my pre-reqs to have a "little" bit of related experience that I can include in my application essay.

    Good luck.
  7. 0
    Like other posters, I graduated with a non-nursing degree, worked in a non-medical field for a while, then realized I wanted to be a nurse and took the required pre-requisites. I was accepted to a program and begin in September. My lack of previous healthcare experience (all my experience has been as a patient!) didn't seem to be a barrier.

    The admissions person who interviewed me wanted to be sure that I had a reasonably accurate idea of what nursing entailed, that I had thought this through and was "going into it with my eyes open", and I am sure that healthcare experience would have helped. But it wasn't a pre-requisite.

    Before deciding to apply to nursing school, I talked with healthcare profesisonals about nursing and interviewed quite a few nurses (friends, friends of friends, and random nurses I met while taking others to healthcare appointments). That demonstration of research seemed to go over well.

    Good luck to you!
  8. 0
    I, too, have a non-nursing degree and was accepted into a nursing program that starts in September. It is possible!!!
  9. 0
    thanks guys!


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