BIOLOGY/BIOCHEM DEGREE TO NP

Students NP Students

Updated:   Published

Hi All, 

I know this question may seem far fetched, but I thought id ask on here instead of being thrown around all over with nursing schools that cant offer me much insight.

I live in Atlanta, Ga. Growing up I always knew I wanted to be in healthcare , but didn't know exactly what. I got into GA tech out of high school and majored in biology ( mainly because I wasn't educated on other paths), so I just picked my highest subject from h.s which was biology. I kind of wanted to be a doctor, but then decided I didn't want to deal with touching people I wanted to be in  lab.

Fast forward one year, my time at tech came to an end and I had to deal with alot of family stuff . My brother was diagnosed with a condition, and my parents financial responsibilities went to him and I had to not only be there for my FAMILY but provide for myself. I ended up switching to a local school closer to my home and switched my major from chem E to biochem to bio back to biochem ( YEA I KNOW don't ASK)

Anyways, after having  a *** college career - withdrawing several times from various classes because of the stress, I ended up with a 2.5 GPA. I still was able to take the higher level micro, anatomy/physio/ chem1 and chem 2 so I have the pre-reqs. but not a great GPA. 

I needed ip not even pursuing anything science until the pandemic, but was left feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled in lab work and need something more stimulating. which is why I want to become a nurse... BUT

I do not have  a BSN , and was told that because I already have a non nursing bachelors NP would be better for me. 

How do I go from a bachelors to NP? and with my low GPA is this even possible? will they look at my grades can I rectify it?

I do not plan on practicing as an NP right away as I know you need some experience as an RN first. but it would just be a better route to get the RN 

Any help is appreciated 

P.S - I also do not plan on staying in GA - I plan on moving to Texas

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

2 Articles; 1,698 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatric and Mental Health NP (PMHNP).

Take heart.  Yes, you can still be an RN and then an NP.

1.  A not-so-great GPA is not the end of the world.  You can fix that.  More on that below.

2.  Pick 3 or 4 nursing schools you would like to attend.  Go to their websites and list the prereqs they require.  Do this for 3 or 4 schools and you will then have all the prereqs you will need to get into nursing school.

3.  Take the prereqs and really work on getting straight As, if possible, or as close to it as you can, on the prereqs.  You can do this at a community college.  Many universities also have "Extension" programs where you can take classes, as well.  Some nursing schools also have online prereqs.  

4.  If you got a C or lower in an undergrad class, you can retake it.  If you do so, and get a better grade, only the better grade will be counted in your GPA.

5.  Now, assuming you do the above, you will now have a decent GPA.  The most important part of that GPA are your prereq classes - the nursing schools are most interested in that.

6.  In your nursing school admissions essay, you can address your initial poor GPA and indicate that your most recent classes are the best reflection of your current academic abilities.

7.  Get some work and/or volunteer experience in healthcare.  You can become certified as a CNA (Certified Nursing Asssistant) or "Tech" at a community college.  Work as a CNAfor a little while.  Or Medical Assistant would be good, too.  Any healthcare-related volunteering will also help your admissions chances.

8.  Apply to nursing school.  Since you already  have a bachelor's degree, apply for Accelerated BSN (ABSN) or MSN programs for people who already have a bachelor's degree in another field.  Once you graduate, take the NCLEX and get your RN license.

9.  You can work as an RN for awhile or not.  If you want to become an NP in primary care, you don't need to work as an RN before apply to NP school.  If you want to be an NP in a hospital, then you will need to work as an RN for a couple of years before applying for an acute care NP Program.

I suggest you also reach out to some nursing schools.  Many have online video information sessions that you can sit in on.

Best wishes.

chemist11

10 Posts

Specializes in biochem.

Hello thank you for your reply..

1. I would like to add, because of my circumstances, I graduated undergrad a bit later (which I don't dwell, on , its life..) however, that pushed back alot of things in life (dating, getting married, GETTING  A JOB, saving, pandemic..etc , having kids), and now im 32 and trying to figure if I can still become an NP (for the sake of getting an RN). I do not want to be in school till im 35.. that will just cause more stress 

 

2.  When you say "pre-reqs " ,...do you mean chem1, chem2, micro, anatomy and physiology? because like I said, I took all those in undergrad.. 

and from what I have been told some nursing schools carry an expiration date on those classes?  I refuse to take them over again, I just don't have the time for it, and it would just elongate the process even more..

3. Can I use my work experience as a medical technologist as my "healthcare" experience? 

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

2 Articles; 1,698 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatric and Mental Health NP (PMHNP).

I started nursing school at age 53.

I told you what to do and you just throw up objections or refuse to follow good advice.  Given your statements, you can't become an RN or an NP.  Given your attitude, you should not become either.

Best wishes.

JBMmom, MSN, NP

4 Articles; 2,537 Posts

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC.

I'm a little confused by your statement that the NP would be a better route to get your RN. You can't go that in that order, you do know that, correct? If I were you I would look into a community college program for your RN degree. It's true that many places wouldn't grant you a BSN with a non-nursing bachelor's but that doesn't mean you skip right to NP. My other concern with your question is that you make it sounds as though this all needs to be done within three years, and that doesn't seem possible. 

The pre-requisites in math and science will expire for many programs. If your basic chem and math are more than five years old you may have to retake them. And in this current nursing environment, admission to programs is competitive, so a GPA of 2.5 may hamper your admission chances. Can you retake some classes to raise your GPA? Especially if there's a community college near you where you could retake some classes and work with the nursing admissions people to map out a plan. 

Good luck

chemist11

10 Posts

Specializes in biochem.

@JBMmom

Starting 2025, they are requiring all NPs go the DNP route . The MSN or direct entry will not exist . A DNP will take 4 years (like Med school it's a PHD program)

also , when you apply for financial aid they  only cover the first bachelors (and Masters- so the MSN ) not the second bachelors (BSN) . That's actoss the board for the entire nation 

it's almost as if I'm going backwards - and this is not coming from me I was told this by an nursing school advisor on the phone. Why would I get my BSN when I'm eligible for NP .. (also pay..) 

Specializes in School Nursing.
chemist11 said:

@JBMmom

Starting 2025, they are requiring all NPs go the DNP route . The MSN or direct entry will not exist . A DNP will take 4 years (like Med school it's a PHD program)

 

They've been saying that for years. 

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

2 Articles; 1,698 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatric and Mental Health NP (PMHNP).
chemist11 said:

it's almost as if I'm going backwards - and this is not coming from me I was told this by an nursing school advisor on the phone. Why would I get my BSN when I'm eligible for NP .. (also pay..) 

You are right.  You should not do this.  I strongly advise you to consider other careers.

Specializes in School Nursing.
FullGlass said:

You are right.  You should not do this.  I strongly advise you to consider other careers.

LOL- I agree with this. It doesn't help that the student doesn't understand that one must be an RN BEFORE becoming a NP. 

Specializes in School Nursing.
chemist11 said:

Hello thank you for your reply..

1. I would like to add, because of my circumstances, I graduated undergrad a bit later (which I don't dwell, on , its life..) however, that pushed back alot of things in life (dating, getting married, GETTING  A JOB, saving, pandemic..etc , having kids), and now im 32 and trying to figure if I can still become an NP (for the sake of getting an RN). I do not want to be in school till im 35.. that will just cause more stress 

 

2.  When you say "pre-reqs " ,...do you mean chem1, chem2, micro, anatomy and physiology? because like I said, I took all those in undergrad.. 

and from what I have been told some nursing schools carry an expiration date on those classes?  I refuse to take them over again, I just don't have the time for it, and it would just elongate the process even more..

3. Can I use my work experience as a medical technologist as my "healthcare" experience? 

Yes, the science pre-reqs usually expire after 5 years, if you're under five years, you could apply for an accelerated BSN or direct entry MSN. Both will get your foot in the door for RN, which is NEEDED before you can even be considered for a NP. 

No, you can not use your experience in healthcare to skip the RN process. 

You may qualify to some PA programs. 

Specializes in Medsurg.
FullGlass said:

Take heart.  Yes, you can still be an RN and then an NP.

1.  A not-so-great GPA is not the end of the world.  You can fix that.  More on that below.

2.  Pick 3 or 4 nursing schools you would like to attend.  Go to their websites and list the prereqs they require.  Do this for 3 or 4 schools and you will then have all the prereqs you will need to get into nursing school.

3.  Take the prereqs and really work on getting straight As, if possible, or as close to it as you can, on the prereqs.  You can do this at a community college.  Many universities also have "Extension" programs where you can take classes, as well.  Some nursing schools also have online prereqs.  

4.  If you got a C or lower in an undergrad class, you can retake it.  If you do so, and get a better grade, only the better grade will be counted in your GPA.

5.  Now, assuming you do the above, you will now have a decent GPA.  The most important part of that GPA are your prereq classes - the nursing schools are most interested in that.

6.  In your nursing school admissions essay, you can address your initial poor GPA and indicate that your most recent classes are the best reflection of your current academic abilities.

7.  Get some work and/or volunteer experience in healthcare.  You can become certified as a CNA (Certified Nursing Asssistant) or "Tech" at a community college.  Work as a CNAfor a little while.  Or Medical Assistant would be good, too.  Any healthcare-related volunteering will also help your admissions chances.

8.  Apply to nursing school.  Since you already  have a bachelor's degree, apply for Accelerated BSN (ABSN) or MSN programs for people who already have a bachelor's degree in another field.  Once you graduate, take the NCLEX and get your RN license.

9.  You can work as an RN for awhile or not.  If you want to become an NP in primary care, you don't need to work as an RN before apply to NP schoapplyingIf you want to be an NP in a hospital, then you will need to work as an RN for a couple of years before applying for an acute care NP Program.

I suggest you also reach out to some nursing schools.  Many have online video information sessions that you can sit in on.

Best wishes.

Great advice

Specializes in Critical Care.
lifelearningrn said:

Yes, the science pre-reqs usually expire after 5 years, if you're under five years, you could apply for an accelerated BSN or direct entry MSN. Both will get your foot in the door for RN, which is NEEDED before you can even be considered for a NP. 

No, you can not use your experience in healthcare to skip the RN process. 

You may qualify to some PA programs. 

I don't think the OP could qualify for PA school as it is more competitive than NP as there are less of them out there and her low GPA would probably preclude her, but otherwise I agree with everything else.

I also would suggest the OP consider other careers like Ultrasound tech, there are community college programs for this and it is a high paying job, as well or better than an RN.  Also probably quicker than RN and NP school and I think probably less stressful as you take care of one patient at a time.  Just something to consider. 

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