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Need Advice. CRNA for me?? Low GPA

SRNA   (7,517 Views 8 Comments)
by msstepnfetch msstepnfetch (New Member) New Member

693 Visitors; 3 Posts

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Hi and thanks to all who have been through the process who can help me out. I feel as though I've reached a career plateau and am increasingly interested in becoming a CRNA. I graduated with my BSN 11 years ago and have worked in various PCUs and ICUs throughout the years and am presently employed in a S/TICU at a Level I Trauma center. I am presently studying to take my CCRN. Here's my problem: I graduated with only a 3.3. I realize it could be worse but also realize CRNA school might be out of reach with it this low. My other problem is that while I aced nursing school, most of my sciences are only a C grade. To top it off, I have a whole semester that shows nothing but W's (withdrawn). I've never failed any classes, but that particular semester I withdrew when two immediate family members were killed. I struggled in subsequent semesters coping with my own grief, a fragmented family, an abusive relationship, and a parent who was routinely hospitalized for repeated suicide attempts. To be blunt, I was a hot mess and just did the minimum to get through the program. Not trying to make excuses, that's just where I was in my life at the time.

So, on to the questions. If I was ever so lucky as to get an interview and had to explain the withdrawns, should I just sidestep the issue and generalize it as "personal problems"? I don't share my past with acqaintances or co-workers and honestly feel uncomfortable in doing so. I've only done so here because of the anonimity a message board provides. My hospital does tuition reimbursement. Should I attempt to retake some of those "C" science courses to bring the required science GPA up to a 3.0? My poor performance as a young student is such a source of shame of embarassment for me now that I am in such a better and happier place in my life. I know that I did the best I could with my circumstances at the time, but I feel like my past has come back to haunt me at a time when I want to advance and revitalize a stalled career. Thanks to any who can offer their advice or experience.

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7,865 Visitors; 401 Posts

Absolutely repeat those sciences, also check with program you are interested in about what you may have to repeat due to length of time since taking those courses. An overall GPA of 3.3 does not eliminate you but a science or prerequisite GPA of less than 3.0 will be a quick eliminator at many programs. As for the semester of Ws you will probably need to give some explanation but if it was a long time ago you probably won't need to go into detail. Best wishes:D

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693 Visitors; 3 Posts

Thanks CRNA, DNSC, I appreciate your feedback. I'm planning on repeating chem, stats, a&p, and whatever else they want to throw on my plate. Well, here goes nothing.....

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2,380 Visitors; 46 Posts

I think you should call some of the schools you're interested in and ask for advice on which classes to repeat, if any. I too had some poor grades earlier in my college career, but I was admitted to two CRNA programs none the less. Some schools are hesitant to give out advice, others are perfectly happy to do so. Go straight to the source.

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1,360 Visitors; 11 Posts

I think you do have to redo some of those science courses to be a little more competitive. I would also just explain your previous situation to the board when you interview and they ask about your grades and "W"s. They are human too and would understand your situation. The interviewers will like your 11 years of experience. Just let them know how much you want it and you would be surprised what you get in the mail. Dont be afraid to apply even though your grades are not the greatest. Its and overall outlook (GPA, GRE-make sure you have at least 1000, and interview) that will get you into school. Good luck

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3,849 Visitors; 167 Posts

Don't be so quick to repeat your science courses. Like another post suggested, talk to the school(s) you are interested in and see what they suggest. Some may tell you to retake; while others will suggest taking grad level science courses to see how you far with that. That is what was suggested to me. I have taken grad level science courses and aced them. I have not yet applied to any schools, but I am told that taking the grad level science courses and having an having a 4.0 will look very good on my app. Good luck

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2,344 Visitors; 53 Posts

Even if they don't care that you didn't do so well on your sciences, many schools do want certain courses to be within the last 5 years, so also check on that when you call the schools you are interested in. As far as the current gpa goes, I had a 3.3 and was accepted on my first try, so I'm a big fan of you going for it. You'll have to decide for yourself if you want to share your reasons for withdrawing, however as uncomfortable as it may be for you, I'd just tell them the truth cause its the best way to make them just ignore those W's- Good luck

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