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Low GPA and older student with passion for nursing. Please help!

lbeck0614 lbeck0614 (New) New

I am a 39 year old mother to a 5 year old little boy. I have a BAS from a great school, but life happened, and I ended up getting a very low (2.0) gpa. I was the first in my family to ever go to college, and worked 3 jobs to live while in school. I was told" just give it up", " you're not good enough", and how I "would never finish", by abusive family members. I walked across that stage and took that diploma with my head held high, even with barely passing, it meant everything to me. My family left me to walk home after graduation....they LEFT ME THERE. I have ALWAYS had a passion for becoming a nurse, but gave way to the haunting voices telling me I wasn't good enough, and gave up on my dream. I was revisited by this yearning over and over throughout the years, but quieted "the noise" in my head. I will be 40 soon, and with a gpa that low, will never get into accelerated BSN programs. I get that..but please give me advice on the best path to take. I still have to retake my sciences, anatomy and physiology 1 and 2, since my sciences are too old anyway. I can pull up my gpa, and go toward an ADN, or a one year LPN?? I need advice to which path I should choose. I AM going to become a nurse, and yes, my age scares me. Please, any advice would be much appreciated.

Edited by lbeck0614

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 12 years experience.

I moved your post to the pre-nursing forum for maximum responses. 39 is not too late, and you sound determined. Best of luck to you!


Specializes in NICU. Has 5 years experience.

Before you go down that road again. Have you purged those people out of your life? That would be the first step before starting a nursing program.

Absolutely I have, and I've never felt better about myself! People like that bring you down, and I am one of the lucky ones, who despite my hardships, know exactly what I'm worth!


Has 15+ years experience.

You will have a bunch of pre-requisites to take. Rock them - Mostly A's and a couple of B's. This will mean so much more than what you got in a sociology class when you were 18. Note, that the pre-requisites are difficult, and will take considerable amount of studying and understanding to gain the grades you need. Show them you are a different student now.

I was 45 when I went back to college to start my year of completing prerequisites, my program based entry gpa only on the list of prerequisite courses they require for the program. I was a B student when I got my first degree, I completed all my prerequisites with straight A's. Age and maturity and dedication will serve you well in your goals When I had my interview I was very clear to emphasize those points and that failure was not an option at this point in my life. I don't have the luxury of time to change careers again.

One of my friends who went back to school at 45 told me she wishes she had really known/realized how many years she would have left to work! 39 is young, and with your determination and dream you can definitely make either path happen. The LPN program is faster, but not by much, and in the upstate NY area makes about $20k less a year than the ADN. I decided to go the long way and do the ADN, but I'm sure both routes have their pluses and minuses. My thought was that I would have more options with the adn, and it would be easier to keep climbing the ladder, since there are no lpn-ADN routes around me. But it all depends on where you want to get to as well! I wish you the best!

Thank you SO MUCH for all of your replies. So inspirational and helpful! Wow!! This is the best forum for much needed support. Thank God for this site!

Edited by lbeck0614

As the BSN program I am in runs through summer semester and the ADN one locally does not, I actually will finish 7 months early with the BSN than the ADN. Of course it costs more... Would love to do FNP eventually but we will see how time, family and finances allow....

Some schools only look at your Pre-Req GPA. Look around at the nursing programs near you and see what the requirements are. Enroll and start taking your sciences. Good Luck!!!

I have to take Anatomy and physio as my last prerequisite. Thank God I can opt out of the TEAS entrance exam because I have a BAS and already did all of that. To even sign up for the program, I must complete that class. Good luck to all!!


Specializes in NICU. Has 5 years experience.

Thank you SO MUCH for all of your replies. So inspirational and helpful! Wow!! This is the best forum for much needed support. Thank God for this site!

Stay active on this site. With as many members as there is on this site, there are people that have gone through similar circumstances and have already taken the path that you are starting out on.


Has 4 years experience.

I feel the same. You are not alone! I'm 45 & will be 49 when I finish RN school (I still have about 1 year of prereqs left & then 2 1/2 years of RN school) but truthfully I think it's all in our heads, you're never to old to follow your dreams & passions. I remind myself of that everytime I start feeling discouraged & "old". You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to if you want it bad enough! We can cheer each other on! Just take a deep breath & go for it! Take things one day at a time & one exam at a time & before you know it you'll be an RN! ������ Good luck!

PS Definitely try & go for BSN. Alot of hospitals are switching over to requiring new nurses to have a BSN over an ADN.

FashionablyL8, CNA

Has 15 years experience.

Hello to the other aspiring nurses- and of course, the actual nurses!

CaliStudent and Ibeck, you are an inspiration to me! You let me know that I'm not alone and quiet that little voice that says,"This is ridiculous- you're too old now, you'll never make it!" If you start to get down- check this out ☺! I'm turning 48 this month and am studying to get my HiSet ������. I was a terrible teenager, refused to go to school in 8th grade. I was even enrolled in private school, but although it was a great place for motivated students, it did not have mandatory classes. Therefore, I spent my time in the smoking room until I was old enough to drop out. Fortunately I had my 1st child when I was 24 and getting pregnant turned my life around. Baby #2 at 28- fast forward to now. Babies grown, have the luxury of only working about 20 hrs a week- it's now or never.

Obviously I'm not at the prereq stage but am watching from the sidelines (while studying lol) and hoping your journeys lead to a great nursing career!

Edited by deeCNA2013

Silver_Rik, ASN, RN

Specializes in Perioperative / OR Nurse Intern. Has 1 years experience.

I went back to school last year at 49 to get my prerequisites. I, too have a BA from 25 years ago with a GPA under 2.5 It's frustrating when some schools won't even look at you because of decades old grades; but then my very old ACT score and new grades got me an acceptance and I'm starting my ADN program this fall!

I was also accepted to an LPN program. You can get an employable credential quicker - though job options are more limited and pay is typically lower - and do an accelerated LPN-RN bridge later. It seems that LPN-RN programs will look at other things like work history and recommendations rather than just GPA / test scores.

Edited by Silver_Rik
Redundancy and grammar

Honey I am in Nursing school at 56 years old! If I can do it you can too! You young people who say you are "too old" is making me feel ancient!!

I don't feel old at all actually! I am a late bloomer for sure, and I have been through hell and back to finally be able to start a life at 39. Thank you for all tje wonderful inspirational advice everyone! Giving up is NOT in my DNA.

I am currently finishing my first semester of city college and a bit nervous when looking at my GPA and grades overall. I am not a slacker by any means, but can become discouraged easily and tend to doubt myself. I am pretty much average when it comes to my grades meaning some B's and a few C's here and there. My biggest problem is I don't test well. Testing makes me nervous to the point I cant concentrate and Jinks myself. I'm passionate about the medical field and already have done a program through the school with internship, and my current job which is at a nursing home as well. I don't want to give up on this goal of mine and need some encouragement and a few questions answered. Will nursing schools turn me down for C's? and Is there any nurses out their that had the same problem as me when they where a student?