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Low GPA & Second Degree BSN?


Hello everyone,

I earned a Bio degree with a low gpa of 2.6 :imbar, about 10 yrs ago (took too many difficult courses at once, 22 credit semester course load yadda yadda)....Anyway, I'd like to apply to a Second Degree BSN program preferably in NYC. Is there anyone out there that has had any luck getting into a Second Degree BSN program in NYC or elsewhere, with my same predicament?

I'm currently completing my pre req requirements.

Any info on your personal experiences would really help.

Thanks :specs:


Specializes in ICU, ER, EP,. Has 17 years experience.

Ouch, honestly nursing programs are very competitive. When I started my nursing program back in 1995 I had been a high school drop out. After a year of pre-reqs. and keeping a 4.0 I got into the nursing program.

So with a low GPA going in you may have to show that you're able to keep competitive grades, but the admissions advisor will be the best source of admission standards for actual program entry. Good luck.

I am in a similar situation...I have a GPA thats also a 2.67 and its been tough getting into programs all over the states. I have found a few schools that are not so stricted about GPAs. I am looking to go to the carribean to do my ASN, come back to the states, take the NCLEX, get my RN, work and also study for my BSN. Check out University of Oklahoma...there requirement is a 2.5. I also live in NJ but willing to go anyhwere in the country or the carribean to get my nursing degree...let me know if you have any other questions.

Hey Purdue725,

Thanks for the info! I too have been looking into the Caribbean as another option. I did well with my 1st half of my pre reqs so I'm feeling confident that I will get into a program. I find that private schools are less strict with gpa requirements as opposed to the public/city universities. But thank you for weighing in :)


Specializes in Quality Improvement, Informatics. Has 1 years experience.

Many of the programs around Kansas City require the science courses to be no older than 5 or 7 years... so you might want to find out if the sciences would count.

Since you graduated about 10 years ago you may have to retake everything anyway...so in a sense its kinda like a fresh start.

Actually not all schools require that the pre-reqs must not be older than 5-7 years. I know NYU has a requirement that the classes must not be older than 10 years and the schools in Carribean are a bit flexible..also check out schools in other states. If you can take care of the finances, then I say best to try schools in the carribean. hope this helps..


Specializes in ED. Has 10 years experience.

I didn't have a stellar GPA myself. I didn't have a science degree so I had to take anatomy and phys, a micro biology class for nursing students - Infection and Immunity. My point is that you may be able to raise that GPA by taking a few of your prereqs. My program only counted the science prereqs for admission so you may be ok at some schools. If you have to go back and retake a general biology class to raise your GPA that might not be so bad if you can swing it.

good luck!



Specializes in ED. Has 10 years experience.

oh, I meant to add that my first round in school was about 15+ years ago. My GPA did follow me but I was able to raise it enough to be guaranteed a spot in the program. If your biology degree is 10 years old, it might not hurt to take a refresher in chemistry or micro (if that is required that is) before you take A&P anyway.


Things will vary from school to school. It might be tough to do so for the competive programs where there are a hundreds of applicants. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there are now 230 ABSN or second degree BSN programs in the country (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/IDS/pdf/BSNNCG.pdf) . Some of the smaller, private programs receive fewer applications. They still provide very good learning experiences.

You cannot change your old GPA. However, you can have "more recent data points" that could be viewed as a better indication of you as a potential nursing student. One of these is to get As in all of the prerequisite classes. Even take a class or two in the field that is not required (take microbiology, nutrition, or biomedical ethics even if it may not be required).

Some good work experience (or personal experiences) in healthcare can also enhance your application. I have seen admissions committees look very favorably on those with lower GPAs but good work experience as any of the following: trained/certified as EMTs or paramedics, those who have been long-term (at least a year) volunteer with a free clinic, former Peace Corps volunteers, former military medics, health educators, as well as people who have been primary care givers for ill family members. That type of extended hands-on experience in health care is invaluable.