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Can I be a nurse without majoring in BSN?

Pre-Nursing   (3,057 Views 41 Comments)
by 4pplepie99 4pplepie99 (New Member) New Member Student

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Hi, I'm feeling really stressed out and scared for my future. I am currently entering my sophomore year in a 4 year university. I thought I wanted to medical school but with my low GPA I don't think that's happening. My friend is studying to become a nurse and I looked into it and I am interested. I always knew I wanted to go somewhere in the medical field but I didn't know what. I didn't do well in a class recently and I'm predicting a cumulative gpa of 2.0 for my freshman year and I'm feeling very hopeless about my future right now. The nursing major (BSN) at my university is known to be very competitive and I feel like I have no chance of getting in. Right now, my intended major is Anthropology (Medical anthropology/global health anthropology) and now I'm not sure what to do. Any advice on what I should do? Should I drop out of the university and transfer to a community college and get an AA for nursing and then go back to a university or is there another solution? Please any advice would really be helpful. I feel so lost, directionless and hopeless.

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NICU Guy has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

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36 minutes ago, 4pplepie99 said:

Should I drop out of the university and transfer to a community college and get an AA for nursing and then go back to a university or is there another solution?

ASN programs are just as competitive as BSN programs. You have two choices: repeat your pre-reqs to increase your GPA as high as possible (min. 3.0) or change to a major that is not competitive.

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

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41 minutes ago, NICU Guy said:

ASN programs are just as competitive as BSN programs. You have two choices: repeat your pre-reqs to increase your GPA as high as possible (min. 3.0) or change to a major that is not competitive.

^This 100%.  If you are determined to go with nursing you could transfer to a local community college and basically start over building up your GPA.  Every program out there  is very competitive for a reason.  Nursing curriculum isn't easy and to be successful requires excellent study habits that you build during the pre-reqs,

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9 hours ago, NICU Guy said:

ASN programs are just as competitive as BSN programs. You have two choices: repeat your pre-reqs to increase your GPA as high as possible (min. 3.0) or change to a major that is not competitive.

Could I still study to be a nurse while majoring in something other than “Nursing”? Or do I have to get into the nursing major? Should I not be majoring in medical anthropology (is that a waste of time and money? Is that an irrelevant major towards a nursing career?)

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

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10 minutes ago, 4pplepie99 said:

Could I still study to be a nurse while majoring in something other than “Nursing”? Or do I have to get into the nursing major? Should I not be majoring in medical anthropology (is that a waste of time and money? Is that an irrelevant major towards a nursing career?)

It would be a waste of time honestly... you would still have to go through the nursing program at a CC/tech school — likely with some of your prereqs satisfied..... or finish this degree and then get another BSN... which if you did a traditional BSN after this degree again waste of time, OR look into accelerated BSN programs which are UBER competitive   

You can’t sit for the licensure exam without a nursing degree... really a degree in medical anthropology won’t be a worthwhile step if you are interested in nursing 

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6 hours ago, Here.I.Stand said:

It would be a waste of time honestly... you would still have to go through the nursing program at a CC/tech school — likely with some of your prereqs satisfied..... or finish this degree and then get another BSN... which if you did a traditional BSN after this degree again waste of time, OR look into accelerated BSN programs which are UBER competitive   

You can’t sit for the licensure exam without a nursing degree... really a degree in medical anthropology won’t be a worthwhile step if you are interested in nursing 

Hmm then what should I do? Should I take the nursing prereqs at my current university and then go to a CC for an AA?

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45 minutes ago, 4pplepie99 said:

Hmm then what should I do? Should I take the nursing prereqs at my current university and then go to a CC for an AA?

An AA in what?  If you want to be a nurse, the AA must be an ASN so you can sit for the RN NCLEX, or an AAS (or equivalent) so you can sit for the NCLEX PN.  There is no getting around the fact that you have to attend nursing school in order to become a nurse.  The only other option is a diploma program, but those programs are almost nonexistent today.  And the days of a layperson being able to walk off the street to become a nurse by completing the nursing program at Excelsior College are long ago gone.  Also, you do not sound as if you are able to enter, and complete, an entry-level MSN program, again, attending, and graduating from, a nursing program.  You have to apply to, be admitted to, and graduate from, a nursing program, to become a nurse.  No matter how many times a member repeats that formula on this thread, that is the reality of it.  Good luck.

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MotoMonkey is a BSN, RN and specializes in ED.

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As others have said, in order to become a nurse you have to go through a nursing program. Whether you decide to pursue an associates in nursing or a bachelors in nursing the programs will be incredibly competitive. You will be applying against individuals with previous healthcare experience and whose GPA sits close to 4.0.

I recommend researching all the colleges and universities with nursing programs that you could potentially apply to, look into the prerequisites of the programs and try to figure out if the admissions team looks at cumulative GPA or if they only look at the GPA from your prerequisite coursework. Once you know what they are looking for in a qualified program applicant, start taking the prerequisites that are required to get into the programs you are interested in. But again, be prepared for nursing programs to be incredibly competitive, where I went to school it was very common for someone to retake a prerequisite class if they received anything less than an A. This is not to scare you or deter you from pursuing a nursing degree, but to simply prepare you for the realities of getting into nursing schools and to let you know that you will have to be vigilant about your GPA.

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

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8 hours ago, 4pplepie99 said:

Hmm then what should I do? Should I take the nursing prereqs at my current university and then go to a CC for an AA?

Research the difference in tuition and you will see that staying in the university only to transfer to a community college doesn't make a lot of sense. Look not only at the amount of debt you have now, but the amount you will have in future. Student loans are wonderful, until it come time to pay them off, especially paying for classes you took that won't count towards your goal (been there, done that, just paid the last of my "oops wrong way" classes off).

I do feel that you need to have a sit down with yourself and figure out what direction you really want to go in at this stage of your life. Ask  yourself the tough questions. Be honest. 

Are you sure nursing is what you want to go into debt for, and spent 2-3 years achieving? Say you do get into a nursing program and complete it. Do you mind working holidays, nights, weekends or are you more 9-5 M-F? Body fluids bother you? Yes, there are 9-5 jobs in nursing but to get there you need experience.

Regardless as to whether or not you can get into a program, the curriculum is challenging and you are held to maintaining a high GPA-in my program we had to maintain a running 3.0 no excuses.

Just some food for thought. 

 

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There are certainly areas of the country that are less competitive, but if you want to go to an ADN program thinking it’s going to be any easier you are mistaken.  If you are struggling with pre-reqs you need to change what you are doing if you want to have any hope of getting through a nursing program.  I’d figure that part out before you blow any more money or get further into debt.

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Just to provide a little hope, my story was a lot like yours, except I went ahead and got my non competitive non nursing bachelor's degree with my mediocre GPA. Then I flopped around for quite a few years. Discouraging and scary it was.

Finally attended a nursing program at a CC, really hunkered down, got an A in A and P, and now I am an NP.

The breakthrough came when I was willing to do whatever it took to get the grades.

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fsudmbRN has 10 years experience.

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2 hours ago, Oldmahubbard said:

Just to provide a little hope, my story was a lot like yours, except I went ahead and got my non competitive non nursing bachelor's degree with my mediocre GPA. Then I flopped around for quite a few years. Discouraging and scary it was.

Finally attended a nursing program at a CC, really hunkered down, got an A in A and P, and now I am an NP.

The breakthrough came when I was willing to do whatever it took to get the grades.

I have a very similar story! I went and got my BA in Secondary English Education. Taught awful high schools for a few years (😂). Figured out it wasnt what I wanted. Went with my horrible GPA (C's equal degree) and registered for nursing school at my local CC and took the placement test. They only accept about 50 people a semester.  I had actually studied for the placement test some and managed to do REALLY well on it. (So this made up for my crappy GPA) I got placed on the waiting list for the program and began my prereqs. I made good grades them in so they brought up my crappy GPA... which moved me up the list. I started the program a year later. (Which is/was a program that had a two year waiting list....) 

It is possible to do. But you HAVE to go to through a nursing program to be a nurse. It isnt like a lot of jobs where you dont have to have the exact bachelors.... you just a bachelors. I understand when you are asking. (Like I have a friend who is a teacher. She has her Bachelor's in anthropology... she teaches middle school English. She did this because the area we live in is in a teaching shortage and only required a Bachelors (in any area) to teach. The district/school's provide continuing education programs that would allow her to sit for her teaching certificate. Nursing isnt like that. You actually have to go to nursing school!) 

 

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