Anything less than 4.0 GPA won't qualify for nursing?


Hi there,

I'm in my fourth term of pre-requisites for Nursing at PCC. So far I'm carrying a 4.0 GPA including an A in cell biology.

I'm in A&P and I'm having to face the possibility that I may get a "B" in it, although it's not sealed in stone, but I'm finding that even with 20 hours a week studying I'm getting B's on my quizzes. I thought I was really smart but it feels like swallowing a Grey's Anatomy and regurgitating it all back out the next week on a test with no promptings to help (we have a full test each week).

The nursing advisor hinted during the orientation that even people with 4.0 GPAs are being turned away which implies to me that if you have a 3.9 or 3.8 you should just forget about even trying to apply. Since they are turning away 4.0 students then I'm guessing that most, if not all people applying for admission to the nursing program are solid 4.0-ers, which I thought I could pull but I'm freaking out at the prospect of a "B" in A&P anywhere spelling the end of the road right here and now after nearly a year of school so far.

It was my plan to apply to all the local OCNE schools. I've talked to several people that I know who are nurses (schooled outside of Oregon) and they all shrugged their shoulders and said, "Ya, I got a 4.0 in everything." Of course the schools won't talk about the specifics of what they do to land on the final decision so it keeps us a little bit in the dark (or gray), except for the application worksheet.

So what's everybody's opinion on this. Does GPA


28 Posts

Well, the thing about OCNE schools is the price is so reasonable that they get tons and tons of candidates. They get to pick the cream of the crop. This means a lot of 4.0's but that's not the whole story. There are many other factors they look at: CNA certification/working, previous college degree - associates and up -volunteering experience, language abilities, etc etc. The key is to look at the scoring guide for each school that you are applying for and get as many of those points as possible (PCC offers points just for taking a certain number of credits at their school). GPA is only a fraction of the points that get you into nursing school - granted, it's a BIG fraction but you can still earn points in other ways.

I think a lot of people think GPA GPA GPA but forget that the schools are looking for POINTS POINTS POINTS - GPA is just PART of it.

I found that all the OCNE programs had a sample of their scoring guide online.

HOWEVER - Last year I applied only to Linfield and was denied. This year I applied to PCC and MHCC and so far have been denied from PCC and have not heard from MHCC. I applied AGAIN to Linfield with a 3.51 pre-req GPA this year and got accepted. Since last year I re-took a couple classes. I also received my CNA certification but never worked as a CNA but the experience of my training made for a great essay. ESSAYS ARE KEY!!! They make a competitive edge. A well written essay tells a lot about a person and their content tell a lot about the capability of a person. I spent probably 2 months on my essays and had them edited by two different people. Of course there's the whole - what school is better, what about the expenses vs the time saved/spent in school since the schools that require essays up front are more expensive....

Don't give up hope. Instead of bemoaning your possible "B" I would start figuring out what other things I could do to make you competitive. :up: (Besides, they'll probably end up curving your B into an A - are you in A&PIII? I got a B in that too but PCC gives you discretionary points for A's in A&PI and A&P2 only, your B will only influence the pre-req GPA)


48 Posts

I'm in A&P I at this point. I have no prior college degree and have spent the last 20 years as the CEO of a software company shortly after high school. 2 years ago that came to an end and I decided I wanted to reinvent my life anyway rather than pursue continuing in the business world. I could probably get a CNA, but there is no way that I have the time to devote to working as a CNA because I am in school full time trying to knock out all my pre-reqs so that I can apply this time next year to the OCNE schools. So my only life experience is running a company. On the surface that doesn't sound like it bodes well since I have no other significant medical-related work history correct?


28 Posts

This pdf has PCC's scoring guide - it can help you make decisions on what you can do to make yourself more competitive

Again, all the OCNE programs have something similar online.

I feel you on the CNA issue - it was a frantic 3 months while I worked full time and went to training full time. Afterward, I considered a part time job as a CNA while I worked full time at my job-job but I really didn't want to have that stress. In my search for part-time work, I found many places that had temporary positions or you can get hired on as a "caregiver" which often is very very flexible timewise. One word: craigslist.

As far as your essay, there are many ways to make your experiences "medically relevant". For example, in one of my essays to Linfield, I wrote about a sanitation program I implemented at my company that deals with food.... As a CEO, you have leadership abilities and team skills. Communication and organization are key - these things are relevant in the medical field. What makes you want to be a nurse? What makes you think you will be a good nurse? These are questions reviewers are looking to answer when they look at your application....

I guess you should treat this like a job search - research the school you are applying for and tailor your resume to look good for them. Every school has a Philosophy Statement or Dean's Message or whatever - they tell you what they want in a student. Take that and run with it.


48 Posts

The one bit of relevant essay information that I have is that my company was a 3D animation studio that focused on forensic animations and many times it was medical-related. We reconstructed anatomy, microscopic information, animated injuries, etc. Perhaps that might translate well.


28 Posts

Yes, there are many ways you could make that work but you might not want to focus on the obviously medically related stuff - they like diverse students so if you focused on leadership, problem solving, organizations, etc, etc, things that you know and skills that they look for in a nurse it might be more sell-able. If you want, I can help you with your essays through email.

HOWEVER - with the OCNE schools, you need to work on points BEFORE your essay. With OHSU, Linfield, and I believe, UP, you work on essays and points at the SAME time.


10 Posts

Hey KMDGuy,

I think A&PI is the most difficult class of the pre-requisites. Mainly, because it's all new, it's accelerated, and on top of that you have the anxiety, perceived or real, of having to get an A.

We all know that once you are actually an RN it's not the grades that make you a good nurse.

You can probably still get into a nursing school with a B in A&PI. But, my advice is to get that A (because it sounds like you still can) and get rid of the doubt surrounding a B. You don't want to be looking back at that B and wondering if it's good enough for the next few terms before you apply.

Do whatever it takes, it's only 6 more weeks to the end of the term. You can do anything for 6 weeks. Consider using the tutoring center at the times when A&P instructors are there, schedule one-on-one's with your instructor, form study groups with people you know are doing well in the class, etc.

You can do it KMDGuy!

PS: If you end up with a B you can always retake the class for a higher grade. Perhaps with a better instructor :o) BTW who is your instructor?


48 Posts

Thanks Bent for the supportive words,

My instructor isn't "bad" per se in my opinion, she is Sara Lyon... she's knowledgeable and reasonable I suppose for the course. She is similar in style to my biology teacher in that the lectures consist of splashing PowerPoint slides and reading through them with minimal explanation. For both of those classes the bulk of the work was really reading the material on my own as I got very little out of the lectures and the slides go by so fast that is makes no sense in taking notes during class. Subsequently I just carefully read through the text and take my own notes as I go along and that did fine for me and still does. So I don't think the teacher is an issue, she's there mainly to tell us what pages to read but not a lot of explanation. With this class I just sort of feel like a baseball batter in a cage and the auto pitcher is hurling balls at me so fast I hardly have time to reform my stance for the next pitch.

I think the worst case is that I'll get a "B", but it will make the difference between a 4.0 and a 3.87 which ends up making a difference of many points on the application. I've never failed at much in my life and I'm one of those weirdos that equates a B with failure (I know it's crazy). Since I don't have CNA background or time to get it before the ending of fall term I'm just fearful that a B or a GPA 3.75-3.85 will be the defining line between time well spent over the last year in school or time spent that amounts to nothing.


5,345 Posts

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Trauma Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

No 4.0 needed here in Wisconsin for community college. All you need is CNA, high school chem (or community college chem), high school grad or GED, CPR and pass background check and you get in. There are no prereq classes. The down side is that there are waiting lists from one semester to 3-4 years depending on which of the 16 schools you are trying to get into.


10 Posts

PMFB-RN: We should all move to Wisconsin. Getting into the RN program at community colleges is very competitive here in Oregon.

KMDGuy: Sara Lyon doesn't have very good ratings on Rate My Professors - Find and rate your professor, campus and more - Although, there are only a few comments and one is nearly incoherent. Are you taking her for lab or lecture or both? Lab is different in that it's mostly straight memorization.

I don't think there are very many people who can walk into an A&P Lecture and be successful (A grades) in a self-taught atmosphere. I also don't think someone can be considered an instructor, if most of the time they speed read power points. You can save your $450 and do that on your own. Consider switching instructors next term (or possibly this term). Talk to Sandy Neps.

Good Luck!


408 Posts

PMFB-RN: We should all move to Wisconsin. Getting into the RN program at community colleges is very competitive here in Oregon. KMDGuy: Sara Lyon doesn't have very good ratings on Rate My Professors - Find and rate your professor, campus and more -

No kidding? People actually still look at RMP?? That's like a relic website, lol. The last time I looked was probably early last year (around March, I think)? Can't believe anyone would still bother lookin' on that website.


48 Posts

Hi Bent, I'm taking both lecture and lab from her. It's one full Saturday a week starting at 9:30 and going to 4:30 with one break. Same way I took cell biology which started at 9:00 and went straight through until 4:50. But speed reading power points in both lab and lecture is basically what it is. You can certainly ask questions which I do, but both segments basically consist of static power point presentations, then it's go study on your own so in my opinion, in this case, a "teacher" really isn't required if this is the way it goes as they are just a person reading off the slides with little to no explanation or deeper exploration.