Thinking about Grad School...???

  1. I'm a 46 year old BSN that graduated in 1988. Been a nurse all my life. Suddenly, I have this desire to get my NP. I never thought I wanted to go back to school, but now I do. I want to get this done before I'm 50. I have looked into schools and really think I can do this. I have to take a statistics course before I apply (to the school of my choice) and also I need to take the MAT or the GRE.. I've looked at test practice questions and I'm nervous. Which test would you take if you had a choice? Does anyone have much experience with these tests? I just have not buckled down and done actual school work for many years and I'm a bit nervous and afraid that my brain is too mushy now, and maybe I can't do school work. I guess it's just jitters. I really want to do this, and so now I'm telling myself "You CAN do this!!" over and over. I hope it sinks in soon. Any thoughts, or help about the MAT/GRE thing would really be appreciated!
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    About AMN74

    Joined: Feb '12; Posts: 124; Likes: 210
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 26 year(s) of experience


  3. by   SHGR
    It is indeed difficult to get back into the swing of school when you have been out for awhile. Since I just finished a year of grad school at 38 years old, having been out of school since the mid-90's, I feel like I had a rude awakening and more pre-prep would have helped. What would I have done differently??

    1. Read. Read a lot. Then read more! Read good writing- well-written material, research journals, things you have to contemplate hard to understand; note the structure of the writing, the paragraphs. Look at the current research that is out there in your particular interest...then look at the references, and see where those lead you.

    2. Practice writing. I did not do this. I should have worked on organizing my thoughts, getting things structured, communicating complicated ideas in writing. I thought that because my spelling and grammar is better than average, that the writing would just flow. HA!!!!! Practice. Get some books, like "They say, I say" or another guide to college-level writing, and really work through them.

    3. When you take that stats course, which will most likely be at a CC, take advantage of the services offered to students. Library, librarian, writing center. GO.

    4. The GRE wasn't too difficult. I had to brush up on the math concepts- I found some free study guides online. It's been awhile since I had even thought about sine, cosine, tangent, angles, wow. And there are plenty of vocabulary guides available. Get a good SAT/ACT/GRE vocab book and work through it. The essay part killed me (see above) so practice writing!!! The official GRE web site has some decent test prep info on it to help you focus your studying and you can get an official study book for around $20, totally worth it.

    5. Good luck!!!!
  4. by   Annaiya
    I took the GRE, I got a study book and worked through it. Just make sure you brush up on your math and that you understand the types of comprehension questions they ask. It really isn't too bad.

    Having to take the stats class first is probably a very good thing. It will help ease you back into the grind of school. You might want to consider taking just one course your first semester of NP school too, again just to ease yourself into it. Do not take patho your first semester. I found it to be by far the hardest class. It's good to have it before Pharm, but maybe start out with one of the theory classes. Once you get back into the routine of things, you'll be fine. I found it a lot easier to study as an adult than I did back in college. Plus it's great to learn more about a profession that you've been a part of for so long. And you definitely won't be the only person who's been out working for years. A lot of the FNP students at my school were like that. Good luck!
  5. by   NerdyNikki

    I think its wonderful that you are going back. Just as someone has stated, writing at graduate level can be challenging, so definitely invest in a writing book and APA book ( Majority of your papers and classes will require the book). Introducing yourself back into class setting by taking statistic is wonderful : ) I would take the GRE as well. A lot of graduate schools I had look into, really pay attention to the writing section ( usually require a 4.0 or higher). To help with this, I would encourage you to obtain the Princeton review book. I thought they broke each section down appropriately for you to understand ( Trust me, I really need it too!!! LOL!!!). Good luck to you, I know you will do wonderful. Dont forget to tell yourself as well ; )