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Finding an ABSN program



I am currently in the process of choosing which ABSN programs I'd like to apply to. I have a great prerequisite and overall GPA (3.8) but I'm running into an issue.. Although I have most prereqs done already, it seems like each school throws in one or two that I don't have, like pathology or medical terminology. I'm already working on finishing A&P (while working) and I can't take every other possible prereq at the same time.. I'm wondering if there is a search tool that can help me find programs I am already qualified to apply to based on the prereqs I've taken. Does any one know if such a tool exists?

I know that the application process will be lengthy and tedious, I just didn't expect the searching process to be so labor intensive.

Any helpful hints having to do with how to conduct my search are very much appreciated. I'm so excited to become a nurse, I'm just less thrilled about the hoops I have to jump through in order to start the work it will take to become one!




Has 1 years experience.

If such tool does exists, I would think it was unreliable. The best course of action is to call the school directly and ask about its requirements, which I hope you had done so which is why you are taking the pre-reqs you are taking, right?

Whatever schools you wish to apply in your area, make sure to call each and ask for the pre-reqs. Many schools have web pages with such info so be sure to do your research. Do not go blindly and take the courses you think you need, but in fact you do not need.

I don't know if that tool exists, sorry. Make sure to check the NCLEX pass rates of any school you're considering, though! Wish I could've offered more help.

Thanks for the feedback. There are so many programs with so many small caveats to their prerequisite requirements it's just frustrating. Such is life though!

I also don't believe such a school exists. Here's what I did:

1. Google ALL state-schools that offer ABSN programs (or regular that accept 2nd degree students). State because I refuse to pay private tuition. I recommend you go this route too, because your grades are probably good enough to get accepted SOMEWHERE with state tuition.

2. Make a list in Excel of all pre reqs that are required to apply/be considered COMPETITIVE.

3. Start a plan of attack at my local state school (which I ended up getting accepted to for ABSN!) to take the pre-reqs that are common across ALL programs

4. Apply to those programs that I was eligible to apply for.

So, a few of the programs (not many though) required chemistry or some other pre req that very few of the others required. Since I wasn't able to take chemistry while working my full time job (it wasn't offered online or during a time I wasn't working, and I was keeping this from my employer), I had to take human biology. I couldn't apply to programs that required chemistry, but that's ok because that left me with 3 programs that were great options for me.

I ended up having to accept I couldn't apply to every single program, and just cast the widest net with the classes I was sure I could take. My plan B if I got rejected from all my schools was to take those additional classes and apply to ADN programs in my area or the others that I had left out before. Luckily it didn't come to that, but I wasn't about to take more classes.

You have AMAZING grades, but make sure you try applying to a few schools. Don't neglect interview skills, and I would HIGHLY recommend getting in some GOOD volunteer experience that you can speak to, unless you have healthcare experience. Volunteer work wasn't required in any of my programs, however it gave me amazing talking points, and truthfully was a big part of the reason I chose nursing. Your 3.8 is a great foot in the door, but applicant pools can be stronger some years than others. Your interview/other experience will bring you from amazing to even more amazing :)

Thank you for the feedback! I definitely plan to cast a wide net as well, knowing that these programs are so competitive.

Great advice on the volunteering piece as well, I volunteer at a children's hospital and it's given me an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of what pediatric nurses do (and of course it makes my application stronger).

Thanks for taking the time to provide your advice!

Hey Sarah,

I just started an ABSN program and I know what you mean. For this program I needed chemistry and a&p. Other ones I looked at needed things like microbiology, patho, etc. I don't know of any shortcuts to find out which program has which prerequisites besides looking individually at each school. You can probably get a list of ABSN programs and narrow it down from there. Good luck! Every school is a little different

Hi mray,

Thanks for the response, just finding the right program is feeling like a struggle right now but I'm sure it's out there. Can I ask what program you were accepted to?



Hi, just like the others said, I looked up a list of the ABSN programs in my state and surrounding states and made a spreadsheet of all the classes they needed and the classes I took. If they had obscure prereqs like pathophysiology or others that I haven't taken, I eliminated them. I was recently accepted to both an ADN and ABSN program and I am leaning towards the ABSN even though it will be a lot more expensive, but faster as well. I would also suggest to study for the TEAS test if you need to take it as it would solidify your competitiveness with your good grades in my opinion. I wish you luck.

Quota, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 2 years experience.

I guess deadlines are different in other areas but if you are looking to start in the Fall that deadline is well passed gone in my area. Seems like you do have time to take a few additional classes if you are interested in certain programs. I agree with making a list of local school and their requirements and going from there.