Worried about not getting into a nursing program

  1. Hi! To cut to the chase, I am a fourth year student at a CSU and am majoring in Biology with a minor in chemistry. I am concerned that I won't get into a nursing program (absn, elmsn, adn, second bachelors...)

    I feel like my story is quite different. I actually started my bachelor's degree as a pre-nursing major. I was fresh out of high school, knew I wanted to go into healthcare, but honestly I don't know why I specifically decided to become a nurse at the time. I had bad study habits and no motivation to do well in school. Long story short, I got B's in all of my science pre-reqs (except I didn't take micro yet bc I knew I wasn't getting into the program) and mostly B's and a couple of A's in my non science pre-reqs. My pre-req GPA is probably a 3.2 without micro.

    I switched my major to biology 1.5 semesters into college. This is also the time where I started volunteering at a hospital and talking/shadowing many nurses and doctors. I finally found my passion for healthcare. I contemplated the different professions in healthcare and after shadowing different people and getting an idea of what kind of life each profession lives and what each profession does, I knew I wanted to become a nurse. I got straight A's with an exception of a B after switching my major and up to this point I was able to raise my GPA to 3.65. If I keep this up, my overall GPA should be about 3.75.

    Sorry this was was a long explanation, but I felt like it's necessary to explain why I'm so worried. It hasn't been very long since I've taken my pre-reqs so those are the grades I will have to use for my applications. I'm worried that I ruined my chances of getting into a nursing program with such a low pre-req GPA. It sucks that I didn't have my stuff together when I entered into college. I still have microbiology to take but if I did get an A it would probably only raise my pre-req GPA to 3.25-3.3. I feel like this will really hurt my chances at universities that do the point system. I would preferably like to get into an ABSN program or second bachelor's rather than an ELMSN or an ADN program. I don't want to go to ELMSN because I would like the option to go to CRNA or NP School and I read that you need a BSN to apply. Many nurses that I've talked to regret going to ADN programs and bridging to BSN and tell me that it is a waste of time. And one last small note, I would really prefer to go to a school in California but I know that my pre-req GPA will limit me.

    Any thoughts and advice would be much appreciated! Again, sorry for the very long post!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   conjer
    I hate to say it, but if your prereq GPA is 3.3 best case scenario, then I don't think you'll get into a program in California. If you look at applicant pool statistics, the people that are getting accepted to programs in California have very high GPAs.

    If you are open to going out of state, then you have more options.
  4. by   shibaowner
    Well, it might still be possible to get into nursing school. Your GPA is only one factor. However, a couple of suggestions:
    1. You can take some additional science type courses like epidemiology or immunology, nutrition, etc., to raise your GPA.
    2. Point out in your essay that your GPA has increased now and bust your butt to get an A in microbiology.
    3. If you got a B- or worse in any prereqs then you could try retaking those.
    4. Make yourself a more interesting candidate by volunteer work, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, etc.
    5. Don't rule out private colleges. They can be more flexible with admissions and often have their own scholarships. There are also a lot of loan repayment or forgiveness programs for nurses.

    Good luck.
  5. by   301589
    I would of course go to an out of state school if I had no choice, but I would love to stay in CA. I kind of already accepted that I'll be spending 12-24 months across the country. I shouldn't be complaining though. Not bad compared to 4 years of med school plus probably 4-7 years of residency out of CA on the bright side.
  6. by   301589
    Quote from shibaowner
    Well, it might still be possible to get into nursing school. Your GPA is only one factor. However, a couple of suggestions:
    1. You can take some additional science type courses like epidemiology or immunology, nutrition, etc., to raise your GPA.
    2. Point out in your essay that your GPA has increased now and bust your butt to get an A in microbiology.
    3. If you got a B- or worse in any prereqs then you could try retaking those.
    4. Make yourself a more interesting candidate by volunteer work, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, etc.
    5. Don't rule out private colleges. They can be more flexible with admissions and often have their own scholarships. There are also a lot of loan repayment or forgiveness programs for nurses.

    Good luck.
    I am a bio major, so I have so many science classes under my belt, like virology, upper division human/mammal physiology (not considered a pre req at my CSU), immunology, and more, all of which I did well in. Aced nutrition (one of the only pre-reqs at my school I got an A in).
    And yea I am definitely considering privates (as long as the tuition isn't 100,000$ a year.)
  7. by   shibaowner
    You can go to an out of state school that is still in the West. Univ of Wash has an excellent nursing school, and so does Arizona State. UNLV has a nursing school. Oregon has some great schools. Univ of Hawaii also has good schools. You can also consider Western Governors Univ. There are a lot of good nursing schools in the Western U.S.
  8. by   TheCommuterx
    You have a really good chance at CSUSM's ABSN program if you can score 90%+ on the TEAS exam.
  9. by   301589
    Quote from shibaowner
    You can go to an out of state school that is still in the West. Univ of Wash has an excellent nursing school, and so does Arizona State. UNLV has a nursing school. Oregon has some great schools. Univ of Hawaii also has good schools. You can also consider Western Governors Univ. There are a lot of good nursing schools in the Western U.S.
    What are your thoughts on going to ADN rouge then bridging to BSN? I've asked many of the nurses at my hospital who did this and they all told me not to go this route because its a waste of my time
  10. by   301589
    Quote from TheCommuterx
    You have a really good chance at CSUSM's ABSN program if you can score 90%+ on the TEAS exam.
    Very comforting to know that I have some chance of getting into a school that is nearby and possibly commute-able (it's >1hr). Just got to dominate the TEAS. Any advice on that? If I apply for the spring, I'll have a gap semester that I can use to study m.
  11. by   shibaowner
    Quote from 301589
    What are your thoughts on going to ADN rouge then bridging to BSN? I've asked many of the nurses at my hospital who did this and they all told me not to go this route because its a waste of my time
    Go straight for the BSN. It is harder to get a job with an ADN.
  12. by   futureepinurse
    Some schools may be willing to substitute, for example, general bio for molecular bio or immunology or upper division bio course(s), and they could substitute organic chemistry for basic/general chemistry. But it really depends on the school, some strictly want "intro sociology" or "intro psychology" and upper division courses aren't considered sufficient. It's best to reach out to schools you are thinking of applying to and ask about their policy. Then you could consider signing up for some upper division electives for substitution. Good luck! Also, it definitely helps if you get a high TEAS score. I think plenty of people with very high GPAs underestimate how they will perform on the TEAS by not reviewing sufficiently or taking enough practices tests. It's better to be well-prepared and self-aware, and you have control of those. You should get an idea of how much you need to study by finding practice exams online and seeing how far away you are from your desired score. Then shop around for a TEAS study manual whose format or guide best suits you or one that other people have highly recommended. I personally used the secrets book for a couple days, but I also had just finished up with AP2. I felt anatomy and physiology had the most content I had to review of any other topic in any other section. English, Math, and Reading Comp were all super basic for me. I think I could have not studied for those and focused more on science and done better than the 87% I got in that section. By everyone is different, which is why it's important to get an accurate assessment of your pre-study status.
  13. by   lifeatthebluffs
    I had the same issue as you a few years (went to UCSD, bio degree, chem & sociology minors), but GPA in the low 3's. If you can, take some classes to help boost your GPA, especially science ones. Otherwise, definitely check out CSU San Marcos. I ended up at Creighton University in Nebraska, along with a few other people from California. Pros: one year program, low cost of living. Cons: intense program, very difficult to work during, and of course the weather. Don't discount going out of state, just be realistic and acknowledge that while it might take a few years you will make it back to California if you want. Good luck!
  14. by   301589
    Quote from lifeatthebluffs
    I had the same issue as you a few years (went to UCSD, bio degree, chem & sociology minors), but GPA in the low 3's. If you can, take some classes to help boost your GPA, especially science ones. Otherwise, definitely check out CSU San Marcos. I ended up at Creighton University in Nebraska, along with a few other people from California. Pros: one year program, low cost of living. Cons: intense program, very difficult to work during, and of course the weather. Don't discount going out of state, just be realistic and acknowledge that while it might take a few years you will make it back to California if you want. Good luck!
    At this point, I'm definitely not counting out out of state schools. Of course, 1 yr programs would be best because I don't want to be away from home for too long. It's nice to know someone who was in the same situation as me made it! Congrats by the way. I also found out one of the private in SoCal take the highest grade class if I've taken two courses that could fulfill a prerequisite requirement, so this definitely helps.

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