Any VCU AMSN/ABSN Summer 2012 Hopefuls?

U.S.A. Virginia


Hi everyone, I'm new to I recently applied to VCU's accelerated MSN program. I KNOW I'M EARLY, BUT I'M VERY ANXIOUS. The deadline is nov 1st. We won't hear anything back till February. I just wanted to put something out here to see what people thought, who applied, and if they know anything about admission process. Any input and insight is welcomed. (amount of students accepted, gpa calculation, etc.)

Talk to you soon,


Specializes in APRN / Critical Care Neuro.

Hi! I don't have a whole lot of information to add accept that I am just as excited and anxious as you are. :) I have applied to the Accelerated BSN program. I hope this thread gets us some good info and good luck!

Hey y'all --- I'm currently in the ABSN program (and am semi-familiar I suppose) with the AMSN program at VCU and I was in the same position you were in last year. Any questions, feel free to ask! :D

Good luck,


Hey Guys,

I too am applying to their ABSN program and am super excited. For NoleMercy, I would love to know what you did to make yourself a strong candidate.

Also this post is a bump for mas28's questions.


Hey guys, thanks for replying kellyski, Marwa

Thanks! I'd love to be a resource for you guys, as I know how STARVED I was for information when I was applying. I commuted from Northern Virginia almost an hour and a half to my job every day in another state just to get in state tuition, because I know VCU is where I wanted to be (and I wanted in state tuition).

So feel free to ask away, and I'll keep checking back here to provide information when I can, as I know how helpful it was for me.

So what I did to make myself a strong candidate? I have NO clue. I came from a degree that wasn't even science related in my undergrad, I do have my masters in another field though which again, not science or anything remotely hardcore oriented at all.... ha. But I did spend a lot of time (approx. 3 years) prior running volunteer rescue squad so that maybe helped? I applied with a 3.6 undergrad/3.9 grad degree, and actually panicked major the day after the deadline as my GRE scores were never sent. So they got added on my application late... but I did get in. I believe I found out the 1st/2nd week of February. And there is no point in calling to check up, because they will NOT give you any new information (as I learned.... :)) The admission process is pretty straight forward, application and then notification. A lot of the people that got accepted had "science" oriented degrees --- psychology, biology, etc. but not all of us (case in point). So I would say a strong essay would be important. Prereqs all have to be done obviously, and I got a fair amount of A's/B's in my prereqs, as I was working FT as I took some of them... so I wouldn't stress if you get a B or two.

Organization: The program is quite disorganized at the start of each semester, BUT by week 2 each semester it seems to settle in a bit so it's not too bad. I remember last summer, I felt like it was completely unorganized until month one or so, but looking back it wasn't too bad. But if you ask the questions, they do get answered if that makes sense. I know that a large part of the unorganization is the fact it's a large nursing school, and accelerated students are the only ones in the summer... makes for a confusing time I'd reckon. After your first summer, you get put in with juniors and follow their coursework, but by the second summer you pull ahead of them, as you're there again in the summer and they're not.

For last year, I believe there was about 80 ABSN students and 15 AMSN students. The AMSN students take the first year and a half with the ABSN students with the exception of some of their classes are different/graduate level from ours but are the same classes (just the higher level). We have clinicals together, major classes together, etc. There are 10 guys out of the 95 of us -- and they're all great. You are outnumbered obviously, but I love our group of guys in our accelerated program, because they were the most diverse and their reasons for going into nursing were all unique, plus their backgrounds! We have a farmer, an ex-football player, a Peace Corps member, etc. Every single one of them have this great wealth of knowledge and perspective -- I find them to be way more fearless than some of the women actually.

Any other questions feel free to ask. I love this place, the hospital is GREAT for clinicals -- and I'm so glad I made this choice. I feel like I get a lot being at a Level I trauma center, while in a big city since you get a giant diversity. The faculty is very knowledgeable, and there is always a lot going on. I would definitely recommend coming to a visit day -- I did, and learned a lot about the school. They actually had current students come and talk, which was also great as I learned a lot from them as well. :)

THANK YOU NOLEMERCY!!! This information really helps. We all thank you. Your grades are excellent, I'm not sure why you were worried. I know it doesn't matter until you get the letter, but your stats are great. I on the other hand have a cum. gpa of about a 3.4. I started college 10 years ago and didn't so well my first year. I stopped got married and 2 kids and went back 7 years later and did very well. I completed my assoc's degree wiith a 3.68 and went back to my original 4 yr school and had a major gpa of 3.72. No c's my last 2 year whatsoever, but since my grades from 10 years ago still count, it brought me down to a 3.4. I'm hoping the admission committee sees that I've matured from 10 years ago and havent made a c since. I have a 4.0 science gpa. (A in micro, a&p1 and 2, development psych A, and B in statistics. (3 points from an A) So prereq's are at about a 3.8. I know getting good grades in prereqs are important but for some reason i don't get the feeling they base everything off of them like most nursing schools. Most schools calculate your gpa from your pre req's regardless of anything else, so who knows? I'm hoping they take all this into consideration. I had academic and work references. I have been in the operating room for about 8 years, so I have the healthcare background. So i had MD references as well. I hope my essay knocks their socks off as well. Anyway. Thank you so much for taking time out of you busy schedule to respond to the starved ones! It just really helps calm nerves. Please keep us posted and I will post if I get in when the time comes. I really want to go to VCU and get in this AMSN program.

I love the fact that everyone is in the same classes. That's awesome. You kinda grow and learn together. Now I won't feel so lost!! (If I get in!) haha



Wow both of you guys have awesome stats. mas28 you really have nothing to worry about. Sounds like you have everything you need to get into a top nursing school (great references by the way).

My grades are no where nearly as high as everyone else's are. I recently graduated and my undergrad GPA is a 3.2. However I also got my act together my last two years and I supposed if they were to count 60 credits, I have a 3.75. My prereqs I did pretty awesome too. Also I was totally in the same boat with Statistics LOL

Right now I'm working on getting some clinical experience and I feel stressed cause time is running out. I do have a lot of leadership and public health experience which is what my degree is in. I also have stellar recommendations so I feel good about that...

Although VCU is amazing for nursing school. Their minimum GPA is a 2.5 which made me feel alright about my GPA...but maybe that's not the case?

Ah well, here's for the best.

Thanks again NoleMercy.

Thanks Marwa T, I hope your are right!!! As for you, No worries!!!! You sound like a really good candidate. And yes if you don't have a 3.0, (which you do!) the graduate website states that they look at your last 60 credits, which I hope they do the same for me as well!!! I'm hoping and praying for all of us. There is no required medical experience for the program so don't beat yourself up/stress over that. I attended an info session and the lady stated that because we have people from all backgrounds, we don't give preference to people with health care background. Although It makes complete sense that someone with medical experience (whether working or volunteer) would be a great candidate for a nursing program. But we shall see. I'm pulling for you. Marwa T. Hopefully in a few months, we'll be posting and getting together at the student orientation. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!

Keep asking any questions you have :) I'll keep checking back to answer (hence why I looked for this thread in the first place). I don't think the GPA is the hugest of factors, because lets be real, my degree(s) from before were kind of.... easy degrees. Having medical experience will surely help in clinicals, and having the mindset to learn skills -- but are CERTAINLY not required.

I think they more look of what you can bring to the table. Which I think a lot of that comes from the essay, and your whole application package. I was worried because the only other school I got into was my last choice -- I didn't get into a lot of the schools I considered to be far less "up there" compared to VCU, because again, learning at MCV is NO JOKE and is an amazing experience. Again, from what I listed before, TONS of people all around the map. Lots of people with families, some that had sick family members that made them want to pursue nursing, some that realized what they were doing wasn't for them (me, hence why I switched, plus I run rescue and love it), etc. We are quite the diverse group!

I would recommend not waiting to February -- keep talking on here, keep up with each other, especially if you all end up in the same program. My class created a facebook group with the people on last years' thread since we all kept in touch on that thread to check on the status of everyone getting in, so we already had 20 ish people in there before the program even started. Helped to meet some familiar faces before day one, helped us bond before school even started. Now we have I think 95% of the AMS/BS class on there.

I really like having classes with the same people too.... you do get to pick different tracks, which divides the program for 2 semesters (women/peds, adults/psych) but AMSN students don't (they have to do women's first followed by adults). It allows you to really bond with quite a few family. It's funny, us accelerated students are kind of our own little (big) group even though we're mixed in with the juniors. I think part of it is because we all feel like we have tons of "life experience" compared to those in college for the first time... even though about 60% of the accelerated students graduated in the past 2 years from college.

But I would definitely, definitely recommend going to a visit day. They brought in students from last years' cohort, and getting to talk to them and drill them about everything under the sun about school work load, classes, clinicals, getting a care partner position in the hospital was invaluable. Good luck to you all! I'm sure you all will get in and do famously!

Specializes in APRN / Critical Care Neuro.

Thank you NoleMercy. I think I will definitely be odd man out as far as age. I am 38 years old and graduated with my Bachelor's in Business Management / Administration over 10 years ago with a 3.85. I have 15+ years experience in healthcare, but mostly on the business side. I have achieved pharmacy certification, medical coding / billing certification (before it was advertised on the web as a cheesy stay at home job) and certification as a medical office manager. I have worked for a hospital and small insurance hmo. I know the "business" inside and out.

When I first started going to college I was considering becoming a Pharmacist. I obtained my certification and was working in a hospital while taking some prepharmacy classes when I decided the "lick, stick and pour" in the basement wasn't for me. Life being what it was between taking care of an Uncle with Parkinson's, living with a close family friend while she passed from cancer and just needing to make ends meet...before I new it years passed by, obligations with family became more and I found myself still in healthcare, but sitting behind a dreaded desk. I wanted to go to school, but had to work full time. The programs available to do that were extremely limited....hence the settling on business degree to get $ in. Finally I have the chance to go back and become a nurse....something I have wanted to do for years given money and time. I finally have both. I graduated Summa Cum Laude while working and going to school full time...but who really cares? is a dime a dozen business degree. I have 4.0's in all my science, prepharmacy classes and so far 4.0s in all of my prerequisite classes. I am taking my A&Ps now and I will be done before next May. So far I have a 4.0 there too. When going to HS I was in the top 10% of my class, graduated a year early, nominated to the national honor society, took my first college class my junior year through the Univ. of SC, learned 4 different musical instruments and studied ballet....but who cares b/c it is my ancient history. I never took my SATs...I graduated a year early and was admitted with the local community college's entrance exam. I didn't have $ and was really ignorant about student loans / scholarships. I took my GREs earlier this year to get into VCU's program to satisfy the SAT/GRE requirement. It was hard! I haven't been to school in over 10 years. I blew the verbal away with great scores that even Princeton would have been wowed math definitely beat VCU's minimum requirement, but is a little below what I would call "competitive". I have no idea how they are going to look at me. I have 2 physician references and an academic. On the one hand I feel like this program was geared toward people like me...type A overachievers that got busy with life and don't want to start over again....but on the other hand they could just look at me like an old dog that might be hard to teach new tricks to. Bottom line is that I can "taste" this and I want it soooo bad I can't stand it. I want it too bad and because of my family situation in Richmond, I don't have the luxury of submitting applications to other schools. There is no VCU or bust. The only alternative for me is to enroll in a local community college and spend just as much time getting a ASN, which seems like a waste, but I will try it if this doesn't work b/c I want my RN that bad. February just won't get here fast enough.

There is my story.

My question is this...I do have 2 small children. If I get in they are going to full time preschool / daycare. They are currently home with me. I know the program is fast paced. I plan on dedicating 40 hours a week to classes, studying, etc. How much more time is needed do you think? I want to have an accurate idea of how much time this is going to take away from family so that we can prepare for that. My husband works for the City of Richmond and his time in is such that we can get creative with this time off as well if need be so I can do this and really put everything into it. Are there any other parents in the program?

Also, I have read some pretty scary threads about newly graduating nurses having a hard time finding jobs. How do you feel about this? I am fairly well networked b/c of my previous work and the people I already know at MCV so I am not too worried...but still.

Kelly ski, I think your an amazing candidate. I have kids also. A 2 yr old who will be 3 by the time the program starts, (if I get in) and a 5 year old. I'm 28, (29 in 2 months). We all have similar situations, that's why I think this program is designed and geared toward us. Your stats look really good and I'm sure you won't have an issue. Your gpa rocks! Plus if you ace those anatomy's you should be OK. I believe that programs like VCU look for people who bring experience, talent, and a different perspective to their programs. I don't think you will be the odd man out at all as far as age goes. Good luck, I'm pulling for all of us!!! I just can't wait to see everyone at orientation. (Fingers crossed!!)

ps. I think my back up plan will be an accelerated BSN program if I don't get in the AMSN. I just feel like if I'm going back, I'm going for the gusto. This will be it for me, hopefully. I wanna get it done and be done, so that i can spend more time with my family. Schools is rough, and I hope this is it for me.

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