Need help with admissions to RPN course (Ontario)!

  1. Hi everyone.
    I'll try to keep the details as brief as I can. I graduated high school in Ontario in 1995 (I'm 35 now), but my grade 12 marks weren't particularly high (in the 60% range- sheer lack of interest, at the time!).
    I recently completed the course work to get a Ward Clerk certificate (97% avg), and then felt like I wanted to do more, and started to look into nursing. Because I have two young sons, I applied to the RPN program which is two years rather than 4 for the RN program. I also applied to the Pre-Health program. I'd rather not mention which college, unless it's necessary. Perhaps it won't matter.
    I knew I would need to upgrade my high school marks in math, English, chemistry, and biology, but had no idea how to do this as an adult who already has a diploma. I dug through the college website and tried to find my answers. Then I came across the ACE Distance programs in the CE catalogue, which seemed ideal for my purposes. They were described in the catalogue as being acceptable for admissions to college-level programs. I enrolled in Communications, Core Math, Chemistry, and Biology.
    I completed the four courses, earning 94% in math and English, and 97% and 98% in chem and bio, respectively. I had been in touch with the admissions advisor for the nursing programs, asking questions about how to submit my marks, and what the deadlines were, and so forth. My problem has been that when I ask her 4 questions, I might get answers to 2 of them. Then I have to try contacting her again. I have called her at least twice, without having my calls returned.
    I found out from a colleague of hers, who I managed to get hold of once I figured out that the advisor was on vacation, and she tells me that the ACE Distance courses are usually not recommended as prerequisites for Health Sciences programs! The admissions advisor never mentioned this to me, although I told her I was taking them in one of my emails. Then, once I had re-sent an email she hadn't replied to after 5 business days, she finally says that the Core Math program is not accepted as a pre-req because it isn't a grade 12-level course. File that under 'Information I Could Have Used 6 Months Ago'! I specifically asked her what I should do to get my grade 12 math upgraded, and she didn't reply.
    I'm in a bind now. I'm a bit ticked that I keep having to repeat myself, because now I feel like I'm hassling her. I realize that she is very busy, and probably has a great deal to do during admissions times. I hate to feel like I'm nagging. But everyone directs my questions to this same person over and over, and I really don't want to be the person whose name she remembers because I hassled her constantly!
    I feel like I'm re-inventing the wheel, here. I can't be the only person in this situation, and I don't know why I'm finding it so difficult to get the answers I need! I've pretty much written off my application for January 2012 at this stage. She didn't receive all of my marks by July 30, which was the cut-off for mid-term grades, so I doubt I'll get equal consideration. I also wrote the HOAE in July, and got a 93.2%.

    Does anyone have any advice for me? I'm so frustrated now. I think I could do very well in the nursing field, and I just want to get my ducks in a row so I can get started.
    Thanks so much for reading.
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    About starfish33

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 61; Likes: 7
    Registered Practical Nurse; from CA
    Specialty: Surgical


  3. by   loriangel14
    You may need to try and make an appointment to talk to someone in person so you can find out how to satisfy their requirements.I had to write a test for English and math and I took Grade 12 bio and chem through the college I went to.
  4. by   SM1031
    Have you considered ILC? It's Independent Learning Center (corespondence). My highschool marks were not the greastest either (I'm 27 and kicking myself in the butt now!) and so in order to get into a Pre Health program, I took English (highschool mark was 58%....quite the disgrace, I know, but I thought as a teenager that I was above school ) and as well I had to take math since I was the last year for OAC and did not have to take math past grade 10. Which I took FULL advantage of. So that is my reasoning to kicking myself in the butt now. Sorry for blabbing!! So I completed the math and English (both grade 12 college levels) in 5 months, knowing I had lots of time, so I start my Pre Health program in less then 2 weeks! You could complete and get your math credit in a month if you commit to it so maybe January could still be possible. If not, I understand September 2012 is a way's away, but when you really want something, you will wait. I knew I wanted to take Pre Health last summer but knew I needed my tuition and pay off a couple CC's before going back F/T and I am so happy I waited that year.

    Good luck with whatever path you choose!
  5. by   ontnursec
    I recently took pre-health to gain entry to BScN. My class had a few people trying to get into RPN, and they succeeded. I believe it is the generally accepted way to upgrade, as I have no grade 12 highschool credits once so ever. I know its a year, but if it gets you in, why not? I also have two boys (15 months and 5 years old) and I know its tough, but go for your dreams. As SM1031 mentioned above, ILC could be a good option for you, I've also done courses with them. If you could only have a helpful admissions advisor to speak with!
  6. by   starfish33
    @caitking- how did you get into Pre-Health without any grade 12 marks, out of curiosity? Did you apply as a mature student? I applied to Pre-Health too, but I don't have the mature student option because I already have a high school diploma.
    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone- I checked out ILC, but I'm a little worried about doing correspondence again, because the admissions people seem to prefer in-class delivery for 'hands-on' programs like health sciences. But I get the impression that other people have successfully used ILC courses for their applications, so maybe it's worth a shot. It's definitely more manageable for me with my young family to consider!
  7. by   loriangel14
    I had no high school diploma. I rested for the English and math and took the bio and chem through my college.
  8. by   ontnursec
    Yes I got in with mature student status. There were many people in my class in the same boat, some that were just upgrading their marks from highschool. The requirement for me was that I complete a grade 12 english and math course, which I did through the ILC.
  9. by   SM1031
    Same here (to get into prehealth). ILC was pretty much my only and best option. I was doing some academic upgrading at my college, but that would only gain entry for PN and that is not my goal so that's why I am taking Pre Health and sacrificing the year and tuition. Caitking - are you starting your first year in BScN this sept? How did you for Pre health? Any advice? :-D

  10. by   starfish33
    Very interesting to read how each person's experience of gaining entry to school is different, and yet there are many similarities as well.
    I hope I can at least get entry into Pre Health. I wonder how it would affect my path if I went that route- I think I might be tempted to apply to the BScN program if I was qualified. Maybe that year of Pre Health would give me a better idea of how I would handle the workload? It's hard to imagine 5 years of full-time school right now! At least that year would give me some options and some extra time to decide.
    I think I will look into ILC in the meantime- maybe I can crank out that math grade while it's still fresh in my mind. I might even be able to use it for my current application... hard to say, with the challenges I've had with admissions. If not- well, it can't hurt!
  11. by   natone123
    how do you find pre-health