I am about to be 24 and I am thinking a lot about going back to school to be a nurse. I worked in marketing and absolutely hated it. I really want to work in a field where I can make a difference and help people.
My mom and sister are both nurses, along with all my female cousins. But they all did the traditional path to nursing, 4 year bachelors right off the bat. I would have to go back to school to do my prereqs.
I wanted to apply to an ABSN program in New York, but I heard that they are impossible to get into. I have one friend who has been trying for three years and couldn't get in, and another who had a 4.0 GPA and still couldn't get in.
Is it really that impossible and competitive? Will it be a waste of time trying for the ABSN programs? I was looking into the University of Rochester, it looked like a really great program. Anyone who went there from NYC? My mom says to just be an LPN and work my way up even if it will take longer. Any advice from those who are also applying or have been trying to apply in NYC?
Nov 9, '17
I'm a little confused. You ask about NYC, but say you want to go to Rochester. What is the actual geographic area you're considering? Are you bound to the NY area for a particular reason or have you just not considered moving?
Nov 9, '17
Hi! I dont mind moving. I meant the NY area in general
Nov 10, '17
It's definitely not impossible. I've applied for next year and had an interview at Stony Brook for their ABSN program last week. It's almost a 50% acceptance rate for those who interview, but under 10% overall. I'm applying to ABSN programs and direct entry NP programs.
So how do you make yourself competitive? Get As in your pre-reqs. Really pour your energy and free time into those classes to do well. BMCC has small class sizes and times that worked with my job - highly recommend them over the other CUNYs or spending a ton at a private college for these classes. You need great grades because they need to know you can handle taking 25 credits a semester and will ace the NCLEX on the first go.
Get related experience. I Work in health education and a lot of other people in my group were teachers, phlebotomists, etc. it doesn't have to be work experience, but try volunteering in a hospital and shadowing one of your family members or something to show them that you understand nursing and are serious about the path.
Write a good essay that explains why you want to be a nurse. This is weighted the heaviest for all programs i believe. Also get great letters of reference- mine were from a professor, an NP i shadowed, and my supervisor at work.
Overall, just get started. Nursing is a great career path that opens tons of doors professionally from hospital work, to health education, NP, researcher, and professor. If you are a hard worker and want a vibrant and interesting career dedicated to helping people, i can't think of a better path at this time.
Go at this with the tenacity of someone applying to medical school. Good luck.
Nov 10, '17
I highly recommend you to work as a nurse aid (or LPN like your mom suggested) and to see if you like nursing. Going to nursing school requires a lot of investment of both time and money. In addition, nursing is not for everyone.
Nov 10, '17
Have you looked to CT for ABSN programs? UCONN has an ABSN program, including on their Stamford campus, which should be an easy commute from NYC, reasonably priced, and well-regarded but not ridiculously difficult to get into. Fairfield University is private (more expensive), but also good and commutable from NY. The least expensive ABSN is at Southern CT State University in New Haven, which might mean a move for you for convenince, but it's not so far away that you couldn't commute.
Nov 10, '17
I don't think getting your LPN is the best bet. Those programs can be expensive (if you go private), and will probably take almost as much time as an ABSN.
If you are wondering if you'll actually like the work of being a nurse, try getting a job as a CNA/PCT. Usually the class is short, you can find work immediately, and hours are flexible. It's obviously not the same as being a nurse, but it will give you a feel for what taking care of patients is really like. I know the people who had job offers first in my cohort were the ones who already worked as CNAs through the program.
Nov 11, '17
Go for it and apply to all of the ABSN programs in NY and in surrounding areas if that's what you are truly interested in! Binghamton University in upstate NY has an accelerated 1 year program for individuals with a previous bachelors degree as well.
Nov 16, '17
It's worth it. I was in a similar position a few years ago and also hesitant because I heard how difficult it was to gain admission to nursing school in NYC. I also heard how next to impossible it was to gain admission to an ABSN program. I don't know where your friends are applying where a 4.0 and it's still not enough, year after year, but I would be skeptical of the validity of that statement.
Some programs do require hefty admission criteria (such as Stony Brook), others will only look at your pre-reqs. I had a far from stellar GPA for my 1st degree and was pretty much told I was SOL for nursing programs. On a whim, I applied to Lehman College (I actually forgot I had applied in the fall when they had sent me an acceptance letter in the spring). I decided to give it a try and apply to their nursing program and it ended up being the only nursing school to which I applied. And I was accepted to their ABSN program.
I took my pre-reqs at BMCC and finished those with a 3.93. Lehman only looked at pre-reqs and HESI scores.
So, bottom line, people do get accepted to NYC nursing programs all the time. As long as you finish your pre-reqs with a high GPA and research admission policies to each school, you very well could be accepted somewhere. I also want to add, there's a school upstate called SUNY Delhi which offers a nursing program and I don't believe it is all that hard to gain admission. It's in the middle of nowhere, clinicals are usually done at Bassett, and I think the program graduates you as an ADN so you can start working, then you finish out the requirements for a BSN. Most people end up working at Bassett after they finish their ADN, use the $8,000 sign on bonus to pay for tuition that Bassett doesn't cover, then head to other hospitals to work. I'm just mentioning it because it is a SUNY school and would be a much cheaper option than University of Rochester.
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