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Associates Degree or Accelerated Nursing Program - Low GPA

Tony.A Tony.A (New) New

Hey everyone!

I've started my journey making a list of Accelerated Nursing Programs to apply to for next year.

However, my undergraduate GPA is only a 2.8. So far I have not found many schools which will accept those with low GPAs especially in the North East. I'm currently in New York.

1) I was wondering if I should apply to get my associates degree in nursing instead of applying to the accelerated nursing programs? Will I have a better chance to get into an associates program?

2) Also is the salary difference between an Associates in Nursing different from a BSN? Or From the research I've done, it looks relatively the same.

Thanks for your help in advance!

Edited by Tony.A

I did an accelerated program. I would recommend an associates degree first. two reasons. first is that I think you will come out better with skills. accelerated courses pack in your clinical rotations. second is that typically hospitals will pay for your BSN. good luck either way! nursing is a great career!

WookieeRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 3 years experience.

Regardless of Associates versus Bachelors, you are mostly likely going to need to bring up that GPA a lot more to remain competitive for acceptance. Minimum GPA =/= acceptAnce. The majority of programs say they have a minimum, but you are competing against students will GPAs much higher than that, like 3.6-4.0

Thank you for your post. I'll definitely keep that into consideration when applying to schools. Do you think work experience in a hospital would also look good when an applying?


Has 3 years experience.

Work experience in a hospital will play a small part in the decision, but more importantly your GPA, letters of recommendation, and CV will likely be the primary factors that determine your acceptance. I did an accelerated program and if you have a bachelors degree, then I would say apply to the accelerated program(s). Like someone else said, you are competing against people who likely have much higher GPA's. My program said that the minimum GPA for acceptance was a 3.2, but most of my class had much higher undergrad GPA's. The thing with the Associates programs is that there is often a long waitlist because the community colleges are far cheaper to attend than a 4 year university or an accelerated program. And the candidates for the Associates programs often have high GPA's, too. I would make an appt. to speak with the admission offices of some of the schools you are interested in and explain your situation. They will be in a position to give you a realistic idea of whether you would be considered a competitive applicant for their programs. Assuming you already have your bachelors degree, you may consider taking some related or pre-req classes as a non-matriculated student, getting A's in those classes, and then applying. It won't affect your GPA (assuming you have already earned your bachelors degree), but it sure does look good if you can demonstrate recent exemplary academics.

At least at my facility, the pay increase for a BSN over an ASN is about $0.25. Your mileage may vary depending on institution. But if you can get the BSN then do it, it will afford you more options and eventually the BSN will be required. Additionally, there are several hospitals that only hire BSN's.

Edited by SierraBravo
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