40 year old Pre student needing advice on starting from scratch!

  1. Hi. I am 40 years old and going back to school to pursue my nursing degree. I raised two daughters and feel now is the time! I have always regretted not pursing my dream at an earlier age, but here I am now!

    I really only have two college courses I took earlier, so I am really staring from scratch and I am really needing some advice.
    I am going to try to get into Moorpark College, Channel Islands, or Pierce College Nursing programs, also open to other options.

    I know Nursing School applications are on a points system so any advice on how to improve my chances BEFORE the application?
    Should I get an AA degree before applying to Nursing school? I know that helps with points. I am also going do my volunteer work too.

    Thank you so much!
  2. Visit kristieboo profile page

    About kristieboo

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 1
    from CA , US

    4 Comments

  3. by   Violet Appleseed
    Hi kristieboo! Good for you for going for your dreams! Wooo hooo! I can relate to the overwhelm that comes with going back to the classroom after an absence. I went back to school after a long break and all of the changes to the way college classes work really sent me reeling at first.

    I am a pre nursing student about to start my last pre-requisite course this summer, so I haven't gotten into school yet, but I will share my strategies for getting in anyway. Hopefully you will also hear from some other more experienced people here, and people looking to get into your specific programs.

    Going to information sessions or meeting with advisors from the schools you want to attend is essential. Often they will give out information in the meetings about how the average candidate who is accepted measures up to their admission standards. For example, a TEAS score of 75 might be their admissions requirement, but the people who get in typically have scores above 82. If you can't get this type of information directly from the school, then you might try looking through old threads on here to see if there are any for the specific programs you're looking at. Often after people are accepted to their program they will share information about how many points they had on the school's point system and what their GPA/work experience etc. is like.

    With most points systems a lot of points come from GPA, so I also consider getting the highest grades possible essential for getting in. I see a lot of classmates shooting for the minimum required grade, but then you have to make up the GPA points elsewhere on your application. If you're already taking the time and energy to go to class I think putting in the extra to get your best grade is efficient. I like using some diverse/creative study strategies to try to economize on time too. I record lectures to re-listen to while I'm driving or doing housework. I also like using Quizlet (online flashcards). It's nice because you can look up other people's flashcards and use them if you like, or make your own. I tend to make my own because I feel like I learn more from making the flashcards. There are also some really good youtube videos from nursing students and pre nursing students about how they study that I've found really helpful.

    As far as getting an AA goes, I would say that if you're inclined to do it (and can afford tuition and have time and all that), you should go for it. The extra classes can help you to be more well-rounded and practice critical thinking skills that a lot of programs emphasize (and that are really helpful along the road as a nurse since critical thinking skills are needed when you're a charge nurse).

    I hope that helps. Congrats again and good luck!
  4. by   2020RN2B
    Getting an AA before NS is not going to give you a leg up. What I would suggest is for you to look at the school's nursing pre-requisites and focus on taking those classes. Most programs require chemistry so take that (but only if it's relative to your program). Start off slow and work your way up. Good luck.
  5. by   Random girl
    Hi I'm applying to all the same schools in January. I'm finishing up at Moorpark this fall. These schools are all competitive, and having an AA gets you more point. You need to get A's in all your preq's and get above an 80 on your teas. I know people who got straight A's but didn't do well on teas and were not admitted. Pierce is a lottery, and CI is the only one that is a bachelor program. I wouldn't bother with volunteering as the points are minimal and your better off using the 200 hours studying for your teas. Ventura college requires you to have your CNA, and if you work 200 hours you get more points. Hope this helps and good luck!
  6. by   SopranoKris
    I can't speak to the admissions requirements of the schools you're looking at attending. However, I was a career changer later in life. I was 42 when I started my pre-reqs. Started nursing school at 43, graduated with my ADN at 45. Finished my BSN at 46. I'm now a critical care RN in ICU and I'll be starting a dual ACNP/FNP MSN in the Fall at age 48. You are never too old to go for your dreams I found it was much easier going back to school now that the kids are grown. No sporting events to drive the kids to, no school programs, etc.

    If it's been a while since you've been in school, take a writing course that teaches you APA format. It will be an invaluable skill if you are going on to complete your BSN, or even further with an MSN or DNP.

    As far as getting points, look at what's realistic for you to obtain in a reasonable amount of time. I had a very competitive GPA, but no recent patient care experience (had to be recent, 2 years or less). I took a phlebotomy certification course at a community college to gain hands-on patient experience. I found the skills I learned in that program to be most helpful when I became an RN. Some schools give different points based on the type of experience (CNA, phlebotomy, RT, etc.) See what will help you the most. As stated above, get top grades in your pre-reqs and score well on entrance exams (TEAS, ATI, Kaplan, etc.)

    Good luck to you

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