Career Switch: Business to Nursing (ABSN Colorado)

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Hello,

After 12 years in the business world, I am ready for a change. Many of my good friends are nurses, and I am exploring this option. If I decide it's right for me, I am going to pull the trigger ASAP. First I have some questions, and hopefully the awesome contributors to this website can help me out.

  1. Where can I find a list of all the schools in Colorado that offer an accelerated BSN program? (Only interested in the accelerated option.)
  2. Roughly how much does this program cost?
  3. I'm learning that these programs are competitive in Colorado...

    1. I graduated from a private university in NYC in 2014 with a BA in marketing and a 3.12 GPA. Will it hurt me that my degree is in marketing? Is this GPA high enough?
    2. Since I was a marketing major, I've taken none of the pre-reqs for an ABSN. I could pay for these pre-reqs, score really well, and then still not get accepted. I would like to protect against that potential downside. Is there a way to receive conditional acceptance (assuming I score at least an X.XX GPA)?
    3. What can I do to make myself a competitive candidate?
    4. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read and answer my questions.

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.

In answer to your first two questions, the state Board of Nursing has this list and it is accessible online.

Unfortunately, prerequisite completion and GPS of said prerequisites figure heavily into admission decisions for competitive programs. (Helpful hint: All good programs are competitive.) Even if programs have conditional acceptance, it is during your LAST term of prereqs.

So slow your roll, start working on those sciences, spend some time shadowing/ volunteering so you know if this is the right move for you, and to make you a more competitive candidate.

bgxyrnf, MSN, RN

1,208 Posts

Specializes in Med-Tele; ED; ICU. Has 10 years experience.

There are no sure things.

You could also get accepted to a program and then fail to graduate.

You could graduate and fail to pass the licensing exam.

You could get your license but be unable to get a job.

I can only speak for Northern California but your GPA is nothing close to competitive for the public universities.

How to become more competitive:

+ Ace your pre-reqs

+ Become a CNA and spend some time working

+ Begin intensive language study in the foreign language of your choice, ideally one well represented in the area where you wish to study and work.

+ Look for volunteer opportunities in the low-income health clinics where your background might be of benefit, especially if you've any experience or skill in grant-writing.

This isn't likely to be a quick jump, particularly given your mediocre undergrad GPA.

For certain, consider private universities. They are very expensive but, particularly for students such as yourself, are generally the quickest way in and out. Their cost, though, comes with some risk given that jobs are far from a certain thing for new grads.

JHandshake

5 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply!

My roommate is a nurse practitioner and has offered to organize shadowing with a nurse there for me. I think that would be a great step in helping me be 100% sure this is the right move long-term.

Sounds like where I have the most opportunity is to perform really well in those pre-reqs.

Thank you!

JHandshake

5 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

Ha. Thanks for the reality check.

GPA: I scored nothing lower than an A- in all of my business classes (I was a marketing major, so those were the only classes I cared about), so if I can apply the same focus to my pre-reqs I should be in a better position once I finish those.

CNA: Great recommendation. Doing some research on this today.

Language study: Interesting. Had not considered this, but after speaking with a few of my nurse friends they all agree that this would be an extremely valuable skill. (Spanish and ASL were the overwhelming recommendations for CO.)

Volunteer work: Makes sense. My skills are all business-related, but I'm sure I can find a way to put those to work in a medical setting.

One last question about GPA. My GPA never came up when I started applying for jobs right out of college. Not once. But, business is much different than nursing. Do employers care about GPA?

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

4,083 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 8 years experience.

Schools use different criteria for selection. The emphasis is usually on entrance test score (ex. TEAS) and pre-req GPA. All have a min. first degree BS GPA requirement (usually 2.75-3.0). If you do very well on your pre-reqs and the TEAS exam, you should be good. My school didn't care about volunteering, entrance essay, or community service.

mskw

28 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

Hello,

I am also from Colorado and I just applied to the ABSN program at UCCS. I live in the Springs so it was most convenient for me, but I also found their website very welcoming. You should google their page and check it out. I studied political science in my undergrad. The ABSN program is for students that already have a bachelors, so usually that means a non-nursing degree. A business degree will absolutely not impair your ability to get invited for an interview. If anything, that is a unique background that will translate well into the healthcare field, while offering diversity and a different perspective. I just had my interview btw, and my cumulative GPA was lower than yours despite my 3.9 math, science, prereq GPA. Apparently UCCS only looks at the cumulative GPA and they put a lot of emphasis on the HESI. I score very high on the HESI so I think that's what really stood out. They also do not accept recommendation letters, or ask about experience in order to get to the interview. Therefore, don't let a program's requirements in a different state affect your decision to take the plunge. There is a school in Denver (I think MSU Denver) that looks at the last 60 credits, and they do give points for taking courses at their university. They also award a point to candidates if they are CNAs. I would start looking at the ABSN programs in Colorado and give that a shot. For me, I found UCCS to be better fit for my credentials. I will find out in 2 weeks if I made it into the program!

ABSN programs (in Colorado that I know of)

UCCS

CSU Pueblo

Regis University

UC Denver

MSU Denver

Good luck!! And congrats on considering the change. That is a hard but exciting decision. For me, it has been one of the best decisions of my life and I don't regret any of it, even if I do not get accepted (although I feel pretty confident).

JHandshake

5 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

Thanks for your thorough reply @MSKW!

I just got off the phone with MSU and they said it takes 2 years to complete the pre-reqs. I was surprised to hear this.

As someone with a poli-sci degree, I assume that, like me, you probably had not taken any of the pre-reqs in undergrad. How long did it take you to get through your pre-reqs?

mskw

28 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

Hey,

I know 2 years seems daunting, but I would say that's realistic. It took me 2.5, but I worked full-time in order to pay for it. I also took courses I didn't necessarily need like Organic Chem II and Trigonometry. I had a friend that quit his job and he cruised through the prereq's although he received a few Bs. I was set on getting As. Time passes whether you want it to or not, so 2 years from now, you might be applying to nursing school or wishing you had.

I think UC Denver had a shorter list of pre-reqs. You might want to check that one out, I do not know this for sure, but it seems more competitive to me, since it's such a big school. UCCS had a few extra pre-reqs that others did not require, like Nutrition (but at least that was an easy A). Regis had a few religious course requirements that I wasn't thrilled about.

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.
Thanks for your thorough reply @MSKW!

I just got off the phone with MSU and they said it takes 2 years to complete the pre-reqs. I was surprised to hear this.

As someone with a poli-sci degree, I assume that, like me, you probably had not taken any of the pre-reqs in undergrad. How long did it take you to get through your pre-reqs?

One thing you have to consider is that some prereqs themselves have prereqs! For example, BioChem requires Chem, A&P requires Biology 101. This is all school-specific of course, but it's another reason why it will take a while.

umbdude, MSN, APRN

1,224 Posts

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 6 years experience.

Just do really well (I mean get as close to 4.0 as possible) in the pre-reqs and standardized tests, and you should get in somewhere. My undergrad business (finance) GPA is lower than yours, but my pre-req GPA and test scores were high and that got me in.

Your background in marketing and "business skills" will not matter in nursing...at best it might be a conversation starter. Once I got into nursing school, my business GPAs meant absolutely nothing.

Good luck!

bgxyrnf, MSN, RN

1,208 Posts

Specializes in Med-Tele; ED; ICU. Has 10 years experience.
Ha. Thanks for the reality check.

GPA: I scored nothing lower than an A- in all of my business classes (I was a marketing major, so those were the only classes I cared about), so if I can apply the same focus to my pre-reqs I should be in a better position once I finish those.

CNA: Great recommendation. Doing some research on this today.

Language study: Interesting. Had not considered this, but after speaking with a few of my nurse friends they all agree that this would be an extremely valuable skill. (Spanish and ASL were the overwhelming recommendations for CO.)

Volunteer work: Makes sense. My skills are all business-related, but I'm sure I can find a way to put those to work in a medical setting.

One last question about GPA. My GPA never came up when I started applying for jobs right out of college. Not once. But, business is much different than nursing. Do employers care about GPA?

Many people put their GPA on their resume but I've never seen it mentioned on an application. The GPA is most significant in getting you into a nursing program.