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Applying To Nursing School - Discouraged


Hello, Im wondering if I really should give up my dream of becoming an RN (preferably BSN). I took all the requisites except for Microbiology and have a 3.0 GPA in the prerequisites and 3.1 overall GPA. I took my classes several years ago and dealt with my mom dying young and my brother getting very ill. However I know my potential and ability. I know how well I can do.

Other than my not so perfect GPA my academic background is fine. I planned on applying to 3 schools: Edison, SCF, and FGCU. Today I met with an Academic counselor at Edison. I believe his name is Michael. He told me I should look into a different field. He said "maybe you should look into something you like rather than your passion". I feel like he was so rude and demeaning. He also told me Anyone with just a 3.0 GPA will automatically be placed in the "NO" pile at FGCU. He said he knows this because he used to work there.

I still plan on applying to SCF. But I dont know if I should look into other fields. I really wanted to work in pediatrics in a hospital (not a doctors office). If so, what other fields could I work with children in a hospital setting?


Has 3 years experience.

If your passion is nursing, then I would say keep forging ahead to achieve that goal. I have a friend who scored a 21 on the MCAT and thought that there was no way she was getting into med school. Well, she got in! Sure, she had a 3.9 GPA, but grades aren't the ONLY thing that schools take into account when granting admission. Don't get me wrong, grades are important. Your past is just that, the past. Perhaps you could meet with admissions people from the places that you want to attend and tell them your situation. Maybe they can offer advice as to how best to navigate the admission process when they know your particular situation.

I first went to a community college and spent 4 years getting a 2 year degree. :) Needless to say, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I think I changed majors at least 6 or 7 times. Then I wanted to go to one of the best state schools in NY and, despite a decent GPA, I was denied admission. So I met with the admission counselor and told him that I really wanted to attend his school, what were his suggestions for my situation. He advised me to go back to the community college and take 4 courses that he chose for me. If I got A's in all of those classes then he would reconsider me for admission. Well, I did just that. Went back and got all A's. Reapplied to the state school and was granted admission. I was still unsure about what I wanted to do, but I chose to pursue a degree in biology because I liked science and thought it would be challenging. Well it was definitely challenging and because of my lack of focus, didn't do as well as I wish I did. I ended up graduating with a measly 2.7 GPA from one of the top state schools in NY, and actually the entire country. Now, I know if I applied myself I could have done much better. But I knew that I would never get accepted into an accelerated nursing program with that kind of GPA. So I ended up going to one of the local colleges for a semester and getting a 4.0 (I really worked hard for it). That showed that I was dedicated and focused right now. Fast forward, got accepted into an accelerated nursing program, worked throughout the program, and still graduated with honors. Now I am in a Masters NP program.

So the moral of the story is don't give up just because 1 person said you can't do it. If you want it, go get it. Reminds me of the movie The Pursuit of Happiness with Will Smith. When he was down and out and sleeping in a public bathroom with his son, he told his son "You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period". :)

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

Unfortunately, a 3.0 grade point average is not that competitive when applying for admission to highly competitive nursing schools when you're competing against applicants with GPAs of 3.8 and above.

However, you do have options. Click on the link below to read about options for students with noncompetitive GPAs who wish to become nurses. Good luck with your future endeavors.


NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

First off, I am very sorry you lost your mom so young. That had to be traumatic. I have to say though, the advisor was probably giving you a realistic expectation to have a back up plan. You are not the only one in this situation and I wish you would have talked to an advisor at the time who would have probably recommended to withdraw until you could get yourself together. Nursing school is competitive and tough. Anymore, this path needs to be carefully planned out and there is not room for mistakes. I like the suggestion of going the LPN then bridging route. That may be your only path now. Unless you can figure out a backup major.

sorry to hear about your situation. I hope the counselor wasn't actually "rude and demeaning"; sometimes these folks are put in the position of telling dozens of people on a daily basis that they simply have no chance at admission. Having to do that often means getting through it as quickly as possible (so as to not waste more time) and unfortunately, it can come off as brusque. I'm sure he wasn't happy to tell you to find something you enjoy (as opposed to your passion) because, well.....he's probably more aware than you of the reality of the situation.

Suggestions you've gotten thus far are valid. If being a nurse is what you want, you might have to alter your plans and become an LPN (and not work in the hospital setting), at least to start.

Nursing is competetive, as are some specialties (including the one you hope to break into).

Good luck!

Like the others said, your advisor was giving you realistic advice. He visits with hundreds of students a month, and many, like you say they want to become nurses. He doesn't know how you feel inside or how big of an ambition you have until you are able to prove it. So don't take it too personal. My own Father told me to become a teacher, or journalist as a back up plan. I had a GPA of 2.5 at the beginning of my college education. I was 17 years old and didn't care. Now I have a 3.8 after transferring schools, because I realized that if I wanted it I had to prove I could do it to myself, and with that I got accepted. So with that being said, boost your GPA with the capability you say you have, and show yourself you can do it. If this is what you want then don't give up.

Edited by ladyk84

Wow. I cannot tell you how similar your story is to mine. And I now have my BSN & RN.

DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM. If you have a passion for nursing, and you know you can do it, then go for it. Don't let anyone tell you different. There is a reason people say nursing is a "calling." Your advisor was absolutely not giving you the best advice. This is gonna be a long post but please do read:

A little about my story so you don't feel alone: I graduated from high school in 2008. I was never a bad student; I had a decent GPA and worked hard. My only issue is that I was weak in math and science. I can write a really good six page paper in an hour, but complete a chem formula? Looks like Chinese to me. My parents had me tested over and over from a young age and all the tests said the same thing: she needs to be tutored in math and science. And I was, for almost all of my primary education. I knew since I was nine I wanted to be a nurse, I just felt in my bones. I had some experience with hospitals because my dad worked in one (but he worked in the administrative end), and every time I stepped foot in the door and watched the nurses care for people I just knew that was the job for me. When I told my parents that's what I wanted to major in in college, they both said "Are you sure? Do you know how much science that is?" I told them yes, I didn't' care I had to do it.

I ended up going to Temple University out of high school who at the time, didn't accept students directly into the nursing program. You went to the school for two years, took all your pre-reqs, then applied into the school of nursing as a sophomore. My first two years were very tough. Temple is a huge city school; my chem lectures sometimes had 500 students in them. I had to go to my professor and TA's offices all the time for extra help. Going into my sophomore year, I applied into the school of nursing after working so hard to bring my GPA up to 3.2, and I did not get in. I was devastated; I loved that school. I sat down with advisor after advisor who told me "Nursing isn't for you." "You should change your major to something else." "This isn't your strong suit and you won't be successful or get into any other programs." "I'm sorry but you won't be able to do it" etc. etc. I can't tell you how much this infuriated me; I knew I could do it. Maybe I needed to work a little harder, but as a nurse are you doing chem formulas and microbiology at the bedside? No. So I said screw them and applied to every other nursing school in my area. Guess what? I got into all of them.

I choose Neumann University because it was close to come (I could commute) and it had a very good reputation. The first time I went there was for a meeting that discussed what transferring into the nursing program meant. I met with another advisor who took a look at the courses I had taken and said, "I'm sorry, but these courses don't match ours. If you commit to going here you will have to start from ground zero." Barely any of my classes transferred because "Temple's nursing program was so different from Neumann's" (no it wasn't). I was again devastated. I honestly felt like I was going to throw up. All that hard work at Temple, and here I was having to start all over. I was scared out of my mind I wouldn't be able to do that again, to work that hard. But I bit the bullet and did it. I went through three extra years of school and finished with my BSN. I can tell you it was the absolute hardest thing I have ever done, but I would make the same choice again in a heartbeat.

While in Neumann, I too had my young sister become very ill; a massive tumor was found in her chest. It placed a lot of stress on an already stressful situation, and it was one of the worst years I had ever had, but if I had come that far, I wasn't going to give up. My sister wouldn't want me to give up.

I graduated with a 3.5 overall GPA and a job that was offered to me before I even walked. I try as hard as I can to connect with people like you who are told not to do it, that maybe they shouldn't go after their passion. But that's exactly what you should do, go after your passion. Once you get through all those science courses and your in the actual nursing courses, and your going to clinicals, you will fall even more in love. And yea it'll be really hard, but if its your passion you will be so incredibly motivated to do what it takes. You should do a job that you love. I can tell you now that fighting through all of that was the best decision I made; nothing brings me more joy than my patients. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. If YOU think you can do it, and you're ready to work the hardest you have ever worked if it means being happy, than prove all those people wrong and go for it. Best of luck to you no matter where life takes you.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again." - The curious case of Benjamin Button

So sorry to hear about the loss of your mother and I hope your brother is doing well. I know its hard to hear but the advisor might be giving solid advice but just had poor delivery. As others have recommended, you may just have to get to your goals another way such as a CNA or LPN degree and then bridge to RN and then BSN. Anything is possible with some determination! There are also private schools that accept students with lower than ideal GPAs. For example, I recently spoke with a representative at Remmington College near Orlando (they have an accelerated second degree program, which is what I am interested in) and I believe their minimum gpa requirement was 2.75 and they take into consideration family stressors or reasons for lower grades (especially in pre-reqs). Maybe look into one of the private schools (Keiser comes to mind as well). Best of luck to you!