Ontario Second Degree Frustrations

  1. I think there may be a thread on this topic on the site but I can't find it, so pardon me if this topic is duplicated.

    How many of you out there have undergraduate degrees in a non-nursing or health field and have applied to BScN (first year entry) programs in order to make a career change?

    [I should note that I'm not referring to actual second degree programs (compressed programs) but 4 year undergrad degrees where the admission requirements were the 6 high school courses including math/ bio/ chem/ english.]

    Anyways, I fall into that category- in 2006 I graduated with a BA degree and now 7 years later I've decided to make a career change into nursing.

    This year I've applied to 4 different universities, most of which are moderately competitive. I was unsure as to whether I would actually make it into any programs as I know nursing is competitive overall but I figured i would take my chances.

    Along the way, I've encountered many frustrations and roadblocks and I can't help but to wonder if second degree applicants to undergrad nursing are disadvantaged and not considered equally to students right out of high school who apply to BScN programs.

    I should elaborate on some of my frustrations and information that I've learned over the past few months. First of all, I have a contact who works in university admissions at a high profile school who has indicated to me that the government provides large amounts of funding to high school applicants. On the other hand I've learned that people who apply under the 105 class of students (2nd degree, non high school, adult applicants) are not as attractive to the universities because the government does not provide funding for these types of students. I'm not 100% sure how valid that comment is, but based on my experience thus far I can't help but to wonder.

    In addition, I"ve found that communicating with universities in general is frustrating and difficult. I find it very difficult to find out information, deadlines and just generally find a human to speak to or email. Many of the deadlines and requirements for mature/ second degree students are different than for high school students, but the problem I have is that the information is not readily available so in many cases I find that I was applying blindly.

    On a similar note I've also applied to RPN programs at 2 colleges and I've had excellent customer service and response rates from the schools. The admissions and program coordinator staff at the colleges are extremely communicative and helpful also I find that the requirements and deadlines are made very clear to students. This makes the application process that much less stresful.

    Another roadblock with the universities I've had is where one school told me that I cannot qualify for the program because I have a degree already, and they will not accept my mid term grades for my prerequisite courses. I was told that if I was a high school student currently completing my courses, that this would be acceptable and would qualify me for conditional offers potentially. So essentially if I am an adult learner currently upgrading my courses with the intention of completing my courses by June of this year, that still won't put me in the potential pool of conditional offers. That apparently isn't even an option for me.

    Another school flat out emailed me and offered me acceptance into a Masters in Public Health program and told me that my grades for nursing were not at the cut off range. While I know that nursing is competitive, I was applying with an 86% high school course average, which would be pretty acceptable for a moderate grade range school in my opinion. I feel like that would at least get me on a wait list, and not constitute as a full blown initial rejection.

    I guess I'm posting this thread because I'm wondering if anyone else has applied to 1st year entry level BScN programs as a second degree/ career change/ adult student after already completing a degree in another field? Has anyone felt like they were being weeded out or discouraged for applying? Has anyone felt discouraged or confused by the requirements and the selection process?

    Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments
  2. Visit poko profile page

    About poko

    Joined: May '11; Posts: 60; Likes: 15
    Registered Practical Nurse; from CA
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in Community


  3. by   joanna73
    I'm sorry for all of your frustrations, but I think it depends on the schools you're applying to and your individual circumstances.

    Many people I know were mature students accepted to various programs, nursing included. A few of us have prior degrees and diplomas as well, and the process was fairly straightforward then.

    But perhaps the system has changed. I graduated in 2010.
  4. by   toronto_nurse
    I have a friend who holds a Bachelor of Commerce and wanted to get into the 4 year BScN program at the Ryerson site but was told that because they were a mature student they were not given priority in comparison with high school students but was offered and accepted the program at the Centennial/Ryerson collborative site. My friend is in second year with no hard feelings anymore but the Ryerson site would have been a lot closer in terms of commuting. After reading your post I can see now why my friend was not offered the Ryerson site even with a great high school average along with being an alumni already from Ryerson.

    I hope all goes well!
  5. by   Pink Tulip
    Is there a specific reason you are avoiding the compressed programs? The whole reason they were created were for people in your situation - completed a degree and desire a career change. I can understand then why they'd prioritize high schools students for their 4-year programs. They were designed for students out of high school. Compressed 2 years were designed for those out of University. They want to get as many people from high school in because it's their first chance at a degree. I don't think it should be a deciding factor in admissions criteria, but I still understand how it could become just because of these special compressed programs that were created so that high school students wouldn't be competing with those with a degree already.