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Do I even have a chance? Pls be honest

Hi everyone,

So pretty much, I want to apply to some programs this fall that start next spring/fall.

However, I have a very turbulent academic history kind of, so I wanted to share that with everyone and get your honest opinions on my chances of getting accepted to a program.

I know many programs have different requirements, etc, so all I will say is that it is for a few different accelerated 2nd degree programs around the Philadelphia area.

My first two years of college were very solid, almost straight A's, with seven A-'s one B+ and one B- thrown in there. My junior year fall semester, I got 3 A's, 1 A-, 1 B, and 2 B-'s.

Spring semester junior year is where things started to go wrong. I suddenly became very depressed and had to withdraw from all but one of my classes, for which I earned a B.

That summer, I did my internship and got a B.

That next year (senior year), I was extremely depressed the whole year, and when all was said and done, ended up having to retroactively withdraw from the entire year. So, a whole year of "W's"

That summer, got an A- in another class, and withdrew from another.

That fall, got 2 A's, an A-, and a D (in physics...b/c I basically failed my final, b/c I was starting to feel depressed again).

That Spring, had to retroactively withdraw again from Spring semester due to depression.

That summer, got 2 A's, an A-, and a B-. I also took 2 classes online at a community college so I could graduate and got a B (US history) and a C (English)... (was still feeling a little depressed and didn't do all my coursework as well as I could have for those 2..was just feeling a little bogged down and just wanted to finally graduate. I had also withdrawn from the English course I was enrolled in at my main college in order to take to the one online, b/c I didn't like the professor in the one at my main university....so...another W.

After graduating, I worked for about 2 years, before deciding to try for nursing school.

I was enrolled in 2 online classes (sociology and healthcare ethics). Unfortunately, my brother passed away during that semester, and so I had to withdraw from the healthcare ethics course, but did manage to finish sociology and got an A.

The next semester, I retook healthcare ethics and got an A.

I then had a period where I decided nursing wasn't for me and thought I was going to go for Computer Science.

Basically, I took 2 classes (JavaScript and Web Design) and HATED it, and THOUGHT I had withdrawn from the courses, but had NOT actually done so. So I ended up getting two "FS's", which basically means you failed/stopped doing work halfway through the course.

Next, this past spring, I realized nursing truly is what I WANT/HAVE to do.

So I took A&P 1 the first summer session and got an A.

I had actually already taken 1 & 2 in my early college years and gotten A's, but they were too old...have to be within the last 5 years.

Currently taking A&P 2 this second summer session and am confident I will receive an A, easily.

I also took Medical Terminology online this summer to help out my transcript and only got a B, b/c I accidentally fell asleep the night an assignment was due before submitting it, even though it was already done. I woke up at 4am and submitted it right away, but the prof was EXTREMELY strict with his no late work policy. Annoyed b/c I ONLY took it for the easy A and ended up getting a B...

I'm also going to be taking Microbiology this fall and am confident I will receive an A there as well.

So, basically, I have a TON of W's on my transcript, but will have A's in A&P 1&2, A in Micro, a B in Chem (only need Chem 1, not 2, for the program I am applying to), A or C in English (depending on which one they use), A- in Developmental Psych, A- in Stat, and B- in Nutrition.

Overall UG GPA is 3.52.

I mean I feel like I have definitely shown improvement, but then I randomly have these hiccups throughout....I just don't feel very confident...

Looking for honest feedback, even if it is harsh, etc. Thanks to anyone who has actually read this far.

- Anonymous

Edited by sirI

I was accepted into my program (BSN), and I will start the end of this month. I think you have a pretty good shot. The way my school works, is that you just have to meet all the prereqs and then they take everyone who completes those requirements. I know not all schools are that way, so I would just research your area. But my grades were way worse than yours, and I had a couple W's, and I got in easily. The programs near where I live mainly look at overall GPA, GPA in required prereqs, and HESI A2 scores. Your GPA is solid, so I would just go for it. Good luck :)

I wouldn't worry. What you experienced is so common, the Germans named an entire literary movement after it, Strum and Drang, meaning "storm and stress." In common use today it means a time of emotional turmoil.

Sturm Und Drang | Definition of Sturm und Drang by Merriam-Webster

Sounds like you're beyond all that now and should have easy coasting until perhaps many years from now when you hit the next common bump in the road, a mid-life crisis. I missed the first but did have the second.

If this bouncing around comes up in an interview, call it what it is and tell them that you're beyond all that and eager to learn what they offer.

Since you say you are a member, you know how the drill goes. How would we know whether you will get into a nursing program? There are too many variables, including ones we don't know (ease of getting into the program, number of students that will apply, etc.).

I do hope that you are getting treatment for your depression. I'm sorry for the loss of your brother.

Know that life happens while you are in school, including bad things that can affect grades and performance. Everyone has challenges at some point (maybe not in school) but it's how you handle those challenges that ultimately counts.

Good luck to you!

I'm sorry life has not been easy for you, as well as coping with your depression and lost of your brother.

I say that a 3.52 is good enough to get into a nursing program but as far as those hiccups go you need to find a lenient, less competitive nursing program where they would look only at your pre-reqs, GPA, and admission exam.

It also wont hurt you to apply as many nursing programs as you can to increase your chances. Even if that chance includes an LPN program. You might even have to look out of state, but all-in-all it will be worth it.

BeachsideRN, ASN

Specializes in NICU.

Depends on the program. Some will not allow withdrawals of failures.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

A 3.5 GPA would get you accepted into a nursing program in the area where I live, but Philly's nursing programs may be more competitive.

If you have not done so already, my advice is to seek professional help for your recurrent depressive episodes. If you are accepted into a nursing program, my fear is that the stress of nursing school may cause you to cook under pressure.

Good luck to you!

Une Infirmiere, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU.

Depends on the program. Some will not allow withdrawals of failures.

It depends on the program you apply to but also on YOU...I know life can bring you down sometimes but you need not to give up. No can do anything about the past but can learn from it and change yourself for a better future.

Now, how bad do you want this?

In your case I would consider retaking classes, ADN programs, moving out of state...any tiny chance basically...

I wish you best of luck!

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

It depends on the program. Nursing school is extremely competitive. They are not going to want to necessarily chance someone who constantly withdraws. It also depends on the requirements of the program and how they look at things. Is it a traditional BSN or ABSN you are looking at? Is your depression completely under control? The reason I ask is that you are right now taking one class at a time and getting As in those but if you get yourself into an ABSN program, you are going to be looking around 20 credits a semester. If your depression is not under control that is going to be a lot to take on at once. A traditional BSN program is still going to be full time, probably around 12 or 13 credit hours, you just need to make sure you can handle it. It is a lot of work. Not necessarily difficult, just a whole lot and time consuming.

I suggest you make sure you have everything under control before applying to programs. Then try more than one class and see how that goes. Hopefully all goes well for you and you get in, but it may be difficult.

I'm not doing an accelerated program, just a second degree program for my BSN. They have my transcripts and I have two medical withdrawals on my transcript, and was accepted to the university without a problem. No one even asked about them. Ultimately they only transferred one class, which was an upper level psych as my previous degree is psychology and religious studies. So, it would seem that as long as you have decent grades in the classes you are looking to transfer you should be good...

Donna Maheady

Specializes in Pediatrics, developmental disabilities.

As many have said...it all depends. Do your homework....network with other students. Consider different programs.

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma.

A 3.5 GPA would get you accepted into a nursing program in the area where I live, but Philly's nursing programs may be more competitive.

If you have not done so already, my advice is to seek professional help for your recurrent depressive episodes. If you are accepted into a nursing program, my fear is that the stress of nursing school may cause you to cook under pressure.

Good luck to you!


There are several programs that look at the pre-reqs and entrance exams only...the best thing for you to do is cast you bet wide-and look into traditional BSN programs as well.

Best wishes.

I'm in the Philadelphia area, and the people in my classes gunning for BSN programs normally have a higher GPA and no withdrawals or failures. This area is rough when it comes to nursing schools. I'm not saying you will not get in... Your GPA is probably average for the area... Your withdrawals and failures may make you ineligible as a candidate here. The schools have so many applicants.

Also, you don't have to do anything. You want to do nursing, and that's cool. You don't have to do it.

I wish you luck.

I think the overarching concern is for your mental health. You make no mention of ongoing, serious treatment for this. Perhaps you're getting it and didn't mention it for some reason, but you very clearly describe how your mental health has sabotaged your academic progress not just once but often. While the ADA does cover mental health, there are also provisions in it for bona fide job requirements, and relatively stable mental health would seem to be necessary for both nursing students and practicing nurses.

Leaving aside for for the moment how stressful nursing school is, I think it would be really foolish to seek admission to any course of study without effective coping strategies solidly in place beforehand. Otherwise it is quite reasonable to assume that you will have the same experience. Whether you think it's fair or not, a nursing program will likely not be so forgiving of serial crash-and-burn, and that's if they decide to risk using a place in a class for someone with your academic history.

You deserve to get help to get you on a more even keel. It occurs to me that a lot of folks don't know or appreciate the derivation of that metaphor, so indulge me: A sailing vessel will tend to slip sideways in any wind that is not a direct tailwind, that is, not perfect for making a straight, fast run. The keel is the shaped part of the bottom of the boat that helps resist its tendency to slip sideways in crosswinds, i.e., when conditions are not perfect. An uneven keel makes the vessel harder to steer on a true path. So, when I say you deserve a more even keel, it's because I think you need to have everything you need to work smoothly in more than just perfect conditions-- to have a set of coping mechanisms to allow you to progress despite challenges.

Please give this some serious thought. If getting in better shape takes you time, it will be time well-spent and pay dividends you cannot foresee but will be very evident in retrospect.

Good luck, and let us know how you do.


Specializes in ICU, Telemetry, Cardiac/Renal, Ortho,FNP.

Well, there's nothing wrong with that g.p.a. so I don't see why you're worrying unless you have to just apply to local programs only. In that case I'd say take either LPN/LVN or RN school. Whichever takes you b/c if it's LP/LV-N then you can find a program later and bridge over while getting some work experience. If it's RN (associates level) then you still are an RN and still can bridge over at a lot of schools. So apply to everything you can and just take the door that opens. I wouldn't be picky b/c nobody cares what RN program you went to, they only care if you are an RN and do you have experience. As far as the "bad" grades and "w's" go they don't look that bad to me. I've got FAR MORE academic hiccups than you and I'm sitting here in ICU typing this post (slow day). Just apply and go for it and be determined to finish what you start, not "what are my chances?". There is ALWAYS a way.

windsurfer8, BSN

Specializes in Psych/Military Nursing.

Apply. Maybe you get in and maybe you do not. If you do not apply I am 100% sure you will not get in.


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