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2nd Degree Nursing Student Help/Advice!

by BSNhopeful20 BSNhopeful20 (New) New

Hi Everyone!

I am new to this community and I decided to start my journey to become a nurse. I already have a bachelor's degree in another field, my goal is to finish all my prerequisites at my local community college and apply to ADN and BSN programs that accept applications from 2nd degree students. I am also considering ABSN programs and possibly ELMSN programs. I am in California – so I know that I need to be near perfect to be a competitive applicant!

I will soon be choosing my classes for the Spring Semester. I need to take all the Sciences (Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology) and a few other non-science prerequisites that I have not met with my previous coursework (Sociology, Life Span Psychology, Nutrition). I met with a Counselor today and I was advised to take 1 science course per semester.

I came into this thinking I could take all the prerequisites in 1 year spread over Spring, Summer, and Fall. (Chemistry this upcoming Spring, Anatomy in the Summer, and Physiology and Microbiology this upcoming fall). The counselor DID NOT recommend Anatomy in the summer. Now I am having 2nd thoughts, and I am considering spreading out my coursework over 4 semesters (Spring, Summer, Fall and the following Spring, and even the following Fall if needed!).

I am uneasy about this because I know it will delay my applications to Nursing programs that only accept applications for Fall Semesters or those that want all prerequisites completed at a certain time. I also feel that I am getting older and I want to get this all as quickly and efficiently as possible! But then the other part of me is thinking it would be better to spread it out, focus on getting high grades, performing well on the TEAS, and obtaining health care related volunteer work or employment. Also, some programs admit in the Spring, so I have options there. It's possible I may have underestimated how demanding the courses are!

I am sharing my situation and would like to hear from others, if they are in similar predicament as myself. Please share advice and thoughts. Should I spread out my Science prerequisites? Hope to hear from you soon, thanks for reading!

It's hard to give you specific advice, as every students study habits are different, as is the course work. Why did your advisor suggest you not take Anatomy in he summer? Is it because of a bad professor, or is it just because science classes in the summer are more condensed? I did condensed A&P and Micro all together one summer to prepare for Fall admissions and did just fine, bUT I was blessed with great teachers and night shift work which gave me time to study. I definitely understand you wanting to forage ahead, did your professor give you concrete reasons for avoiding summer classes?

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Based on my work with students, A&P is normally the most challenging pre-requisite course... followed closely by Chemistry & Statistics. A&P will entail absorbing a very large amount of information. Taking this course in a compressed summer term will make it even more difficult, so that's probably why you were advised not to attempt this.

I understand how frustrating it must be for you at this point. You're dealing with two competing goals.. balancing Efficiency (shortest amount of time) and Excellence (GPA). By focusing too much on one, you may sacrifice the other. We certainly can't make decisions for you, but I would point out that GPA problems would have much a much more significant impact on your goal.

emmjayy, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, CCRN. Has 3 years experience.

See if the schools you're looking at will accept credits from an online provider. Online courses are much cheaper and (in my experience) easier and quicker to get through. Also, if financial aid is an issue for you, be careful not to take so many courses that you can't maintain a full-time status once you begin your nursing program.

I took Anatomy in the summer and managed to eek out an "A" but it was rough, and I witnessed alot of other students go thru the whole thing only to come out with C's or worse. As others have pointed out, Anatomy is metric crap ton of information (rote memorization) in a very short period of time.

I think it all depends on how you learn and what you know of your capabilities and commitments. Have you had any prior coursework in chem or bio? If so, you may feel more comfortable taking a summer course in one of those subjects and taking a normal Anatomy course.

JCD2712, BSN, RN

Has 2 years experience.

I was in a similar situation. I have a Bachelor's Degree already, and once I made the decision to become a nurse, I was rarin' to go! I wanted to do everything fast-fast and get to nursing school already! But that's obviously impossible :) Anyway, here's what I did and my thoughts (all classes taken a local community colleges):

Fall 2015: working full time, took Nutrition and Developmental/Lifespan Psychology. Both online, both straight As.

Spring 2016: working full time, took Introduction to Psychology online and A&P I in the classroom. Both straight As (lots of studying for A&P...sometimes at work!)

Fall 2016: quit my job, took Statistics, General Chemistry, A&P II, and Microbiology. Difficult, but doable. Straight As in Stats and Chem; A- in Micro, B in A&P II.

My thoughts:

Online classes fit nicely into a busy person's schedule, and they seem to be easier. Lots of busy work -- discussion board postings, responding to assigned readings, papers, etc -- but the tests are open book. They do require effort, but I found it easy to achieve As.

A&P I was hard, but not impossible. I loved my professor, and I think my class schedule (Friday nights, Saturday mornings) helped me a lot. I probably studied 2-3 hours most nights of the week, but I love sitting at a coffeeshop learning biology, so I actually didn't mind that much.

Microbiology is really interesting, in my opinion. It's also not as challenging as I thought. I'm hoping to bring my A- up to a full fledged A with the final next week. Find a good professor.

A&P II is hard. I dislike my prof but the material is much more detailed than A&P I. The class average is 71%, and I'm at 85%.

My suggestions:

If you're serious about achieving high grades, you can probably do it. I recommend isolating A&P II and taking no other classes with it, but taking a Psych class or Nutrition with A&P I would be fine. Wait until after you do A&P I before taking Microbiology. In fact, Micro will probably be easier if you take A&P II first, and taking Chemistry before those would make more sense. My order is all messed up, but oh well! I'm starting nursing school in May :)

Sorry for the long post. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions. Good luck!