How Competitive is Northern Virginia Comm College?

  1. I want to become an RN. I have done all the pre-reqs at Northern Virginia Community College. And I have taken the TEAS but need to redo the math section. I heard that the program is hard to get into and my GPA is only a 2.75 so that makes me nervous. Obviously the person with the 4.0 GPA will be chosen ahead of me. So I was thinking about applying to the LPN program at NOVA and then once becoming an LPN going back to school for the RN. That way I would have my foot in the door. Any advice from people who have gone to NOVA? How hard the program is to be accepted into or if they would recommend me trying for the LPN as well instead of just waiting? Any advice is appreciated because I am so overwhelmed. Thank you
  2. Visit koblyn12 profile page

    About koblyn12

    Joined: Mar '11; Posts: 4


  3. by   excitedtobehere
    Hey there!

    I've taken all my prerequisites at NVCC and am applying for the traditional nursing track that starts this fall. When I spoke with an academic advisor, they told me the nursing program is VERY competitive, and that they select their students based on the following:

    1) Are you a local resident (i.e. pay taxes) in one of the areas where there is a campus? I was told you could have a PhD and a 4.17 GPA and a number of bachelor degrees under your belt, but if live out of state (or out of the country) you will not have priority over a VA resident with a 3.5 GPA and none of the above.

    2) They say you must have at least a cumulative 2.5 GPA, but the reality is that almost everyone has a 3.5 or above because of how many applicants they have. The advisor I spoke with said that the applicant pool varies with each semester, so it could be slightly higher or lower than 3.5 depending on how many applicants they have. Unfortunately, when the economy sucks, a lot of people tend to go back to school to make themselves more competitive for the jobs that ARE there...

    3) How did you score on the TEAS? Each section must be passed with a 78%. Obviously, the higher your score, the more competitive you are.

    4) Do you have any other degrees? If you have a BS or AS from another institution, that makes you more competitive.

    5) How did you do in all the Prerequisites? The higher your grades, the better you look.

    Anyway, I thought I would share EXACTLY what they are looking at so you know what to focus on. If I were you, I would definitely apply, because you never know how many applicants there will be at a given time. If you don't make it in or get placed on a waitlist, I would use this time to take corequisites to the nursing program and bring up your GPA. This will set you up for success once you get accepted because you won't have such a heavy courseload. If you didn't do well in one of the prerequisites, you may want to retake it, as they are looking at those grades in particular.

    My advice is, focus on the things you CAN change, not the things you can't. You can take the TEAS a total of 3 times, so you can always get a study guide and try to raise your score there, too.

    Good luck to you! And I hope this information is somewhat helpful!
    Last edit by excitedtobehere on Apr 1, '11
  4. by   koblyn12
    Thank you for your response. I do live in VA and my grades for all of my pre-reqs are good but I think I have decided to become an LPN for now and then eventually switch over and go to the RN program...that way I can at least get my foot in the door with the nursing.

    I am friends with a few nurses and they were saying if I just become an LPN and THEN try for the RN that the actual schooling for the RN will come a lot easier because then I will have the medical experience. They were telling me if you get a job at a hospital as an LPN that most of the time the hospital will pay for your schooling to become an RN. I think I just have a better chance of getting into an LPN program so that is what I am going to try for...but I still want to eventually become an RN.

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
  5. by   Pixie.RN
    koblyn12, the only downside to your plan is that as far as I know, the hospitals in Northern VA aren't really hiring LPNs. If you have your heart set on working in a hospital, you might find yourself in a bit of an employment crunch. This might be something you'd like to investigate further. Good luck.
  6. by   koblyn12
    Hi LunahRN

    I have heard that about hospitals not hiring LPN's and it does worry me. It's just the predicament I'm in is I don't think I'm going to be accepted into the RN program right now. I hear about people being rejected with 3.5 GPA's. Currently I work as a waitress and I'm TRYING to get my foot in the medical world. I was thinking if I went to school for LPN it would raise my GPA and even if I got a job working in a DR office for a few years I would get experience and probably do better in RN school when I did get accepted.

    Do you think any of this is accurate? haha Just let me know if you think it will be a waste because I truly value anyone in the fields opinion. I know I may not get a job in a hospital as an LPN but do you think working as an LPN in a Drs office or nursing home would make RN school easier on me when I do get accepted into the program? I feel like being an LPN might also make me more competitive to actually BE accepted into the RN program but if you don't think so let me know.

    Thanks so much!
  7. by   Pixie.RN
    I really have no idea what the climate for hiring LPNs will be when you're done or where you might find work; I just know that I don't see a lot of LPNs in hospitals. You're right -- with your GPA, it's not likely you'd get accepted into an RN program, unfortunately. I know someone who has a BA degree, her pre-reqs done, a higher GPA, and passed the TEAS, and she still didn't get into NOVA. It is so competitive right now, almost as competitive as the new grad job market. It's rough.
  8. by   koblyn12
    Thanks for responding. Who knows...I might not even get in the LPN program but I think that is what I'm going to go for at this point.
  9. by   Nurses-Rule1987
    just wanted to add that NVCC has a great nursing program. I graduated from there in 2009, got my BSN from GMU after that. Great instructors, great people. Made me love nursing even more..
  10. by   excitedtobehere
    Good to hear! I am SO excited to start! I'm taking the TEAS in 2 days and then I'm ready to submit my checklist! Yay! I've heard such good things from people. One of my family members (an RN) is involved in training new hires at her hospital, and they are very impressed with the nurses that come out of NVCC. It sounds like they are really setting their students up for success! I'm planning to get my BSN from VCU once I graduate from NVCC. They have this amazing program almost entirely online, and you meet in person once a month on a Friday evening or Saturday, so you can work full time while you attend. You can finish in 18 months!
  11. by   Nurses-Rule1987
    Great!. I wish you the best!
    I also did my BSN program online and it was really good. I finished mine in three semesters. I learned so much in the nursing program at NVCC. The lectures and clinicals were great. Just know that by becoming a nurse, you will change the lives of many. It is such a priceless career full of rewards and opportunities. Take every challenge as an opportunity of growth and advacement. The career of nursing has no limits. It is a priviledge to be a part of this profession.
  12. by   excitedtobehere
    I'm so thrilled to finally talk to someone with something POSITIVE to say about nursing! I know a lot of people come to this site to vent, but it really is unsettling to read all this rants about how much people hate nursing. Thanks for making me feel better about my choice! Good luck to you in the future!
  13. by   PrincessGooseyBear
    I applied for the traditional nursing program that started in 2010 and was not accepted. I had a 2.9 GPA and was in the 80s-90s for all of my TEAS sections. I also live in Fairfax County. Since then I have retaken some courses that I had not done well in and brought my GPA up to a 3.79. I am hoping to be a lot more competitive this time around.
  14. by   summer03
    I have seen where they hire a lot of LPNs for home health care and there are a growing number of opportunities in home health care. Admission to NVCC Traditional Nursing is very competive, pretty much along the lines expectedtobehere said. I got in Fall 2010 with a 3.8, for example. It also is a lot of work once you are in the program and I graduated in Spring 2012 with a 3.4. I currently work at INOVA Fair Oaks as an RN1 and am making almost $70K/year because I get a differential for being on the night and weekend shift, which was the only placement available to me as an ADN. The hospitals seem to give prefence to BSNs, but demand has been sufficient for more people in my class to still have been hired by hospitals than for any other type of job. NOVA nurses seem to have very good reputations with hospitals and it was not much work for me to get a job in one. When you factor in benefits, hospitals are paying nurses twice what home health care pays.
    Last edit by summer03 on Feb 5, '13 : Reason: typo