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My pre-nursing experience

Pre-Nursing   (2,924 Views 15 Comments)
by marinelayer marinelayer (Member) Member

999 Profile Views; 19 Posts

I thought that I might share some of my own personal experiences with the pre-nursing process in hopes that it might inform and/or encourage others who have many of the same concerns that I did.

Firstly, I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree which hardly prepared me for a career spent in the sciences, and secondly, I was in my thirties and worried about being an older student. I had spent the majority of my adult life working as a carpenter and felt comfortable in that position. The idea of re-inventing my life was invigorating, but given my circumstances it seemed near impossible.

I spent a solid year really considering my reasons for wanting to be a nurse, and enrolled in a biology class as a litmus test for myself. After having such a positive experience in biology, and really craving a new challenge, I jumped in with both feet.

It took me 3 1/2 years of community college work in order to finish all of my pre-requisites, and in that time I managed to gain patient care experience by working as a caregiver, interning at a hospital, and becoming a licensed EMT. Balancing school with full-time work was excruciating, as was making $15/hr less than when I was in construction. Being in my thirties, making so little money, and having the constant stress of making grades took a huge toll on my confidence. Because a 3.75 GPA isn't considered competitive at the many Universities where I live, I decided to make a list of colleges that look at more than just grades and entrance exams. I found that everyone I talked with at these institutions were helpful and kind.

Here is my list in no particular order:

New York University

University of Pennsylvania

University of Washington

University of Colorado Denver

UMASS Amherst

Johns Hopkins

University of New England

Duke

After nearly five years of unbelievably hard work, I start my accelerated BSN program in May.

Things I have learned: it doesn't matter how old you are, it doesn't matter if you were someone else in another life, it doesn't matter if it feels impossible because its not. Work hard, be patient, encourage yourself, and find a way to get patient care experience. Oh, and get to know your professors, they are your strongest advocates.

Hope this helps.

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165 Posts; 5,401 Profile Views

Thank you for your post! I, too am hoping to start my accelerated BSN program in May. I find out in March if I made the "cut". Many times I have doubted this course in my life, but I find that if I take it one day at a time it doesn't seem so big.

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53 Posts; 1,247 Profile Views

congrats! Very inspiring. so where are you starting your program at?

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19 Posts; 999 Profile Views

I applied to two of the schools on my list, NYU and Johns Hopkins. I was accepted to both and chose Hopkins.

Best of luck dsb_fam.

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43 Posts; 1,461 Profile Views

Thanks for your words! I am a bit worried about the application process. I haven't applied yet but my science pre reqs are all strong with a C+ in stats... ugh! Here's to hoping that schools don't consider stats a huge deciding factor.

However, I also do not have health care experience but I volunteered a lot living abroad. I hope my volunteer and leadership experience help prove that I want to devote myself to disaster relief and/or travel medicine.

I am thinking so far of applying to Regis University, UC Denver and Samuel Merritt in San Francisco. Does anyone know of schools that don't have a 3.8/3.9 cut-off? I would like to apply to accelerated programs on the West Coast hoping that clinicals will lead to solid employment.

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thelittledoe specializes in Surgical.

125 Posts; 4,085 Profile Views

Thank you so much! You are incredible! I was worried about having a part time (one day a week) job during an ABSN and not having enough cash to finance this. After reading your post, I feel anything is possible. You are a miracle and an inspiration!

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166 Posts; 3,939 Profile Views

Congrats to you!!! You are an inspiration as the previous poster has said!!! I wish you all the best!& wow, at the schools you were considering, a 3.75 isn't competitive??? I have a 3.4. Now I am scared.

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19 Posts; 999 Profile Views

I worried extensively about my GPA as I was preparing for nursing school, but also recognized that a GPA is a somewhat limited assessment of a persons strengths. Many of the schools that I contacted chose their students based on only two factors: transcripts and entrance exams. This is especially true here in California where budget cuts don't allow for the kind of personal approach to choosing students as one would hope for. It takes more time, and ultimately more people power to read personal statements, resumes, letter's of recommendation, and in some cases interviews. It's far more cost-effective to look at a simple number. Sad. So I decided to find the programs that valued my individuality. These schools however tend to be private and more expensive.

My advice is to find schools that look to build a diverse student base. Highlight your strengths and weaknesses and go from there. GPA is one tool to better understand an applicant, but it says very little about you as a person.

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53 Posts; 1,247 Profile Views

John Hopkins is an amazing school, you are indeed blessed to be accepted there. best of luck! make us proud

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19 Posts; 999 Profile Views

Thank you so much for the kind words. And best of luck to you!

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6 Posts; 479 Profile Views

I have to tell you...your story gives me hope. I also have applied to both of these programs, NYU & Hopkins (as well as Pace). Sometimes feeling discouraged by everyone giving the impression that it is nearly impossible to be accepted into these schools (or nearly impossible to afford them).

I'm considering applying to another school as a safety but honestly, feel pretty strongly about the ones I've applied to already. I haven't seen any that have really knocked my socks off like these.

I am in my mid 30s, want a second career in nursing but have worked as clinician (in another discipline) for several years now. The thought of racking up more student loans is a little intimidating. However, I feel that nursing will allow me to grow professionally & personally.

Thanks for sharing your story! You give the rest of us reason to hope...

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19 Posts; 999 Profile Views

Thanks golightly8, and I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

I too have struggled with the issues of education costs, but at the end of the day I believe strongly in my decisions and don't mind paying the price. The cost of my degree may require me to rent a cheaper apartment, buy a smaller house, or drive an older car, but that's o.k. by me.

And as you said in your post, you're trying to grow professionally and personally. There is no way to quantify those pursuits.

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