Best way to become a nurse if I already have my Bachelor's?

  1. I recently graduated from UCLA with a 2.5 overall GPA(I know, bad) in History. I was just wondering what my options were to becoming a nurse. Do all of the accelerated BSN programs have the prerequisite science courses? I am really kind of lost. Should I enroll in community college first and then consider applying to accelerated BSN programs? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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    Joined: Nov '13; Posts: 1


  3. by   maddiem
    All nursing schools have science prerequisites. Generally they include: Anatomy & Physiology I and II, Microbiology, and Chemistry. And most nursing schools require that you take General Psychology, Sociology, and Statistics (or some form of higher level college math). Since you already have your bachelors degree, you will want to look for accelerated bachelors degree in nursing programs. These programs are typically designed for people who already have a bachelors degree in something else. I would definitely recommend taking your prerequisite classes at a community college. Its sooo much cheaper. Since your have a GPA that is more on the low end from your previous degree, you will need to do really well in your prerequisite classes and bring it up. Depending on the program, some only look at your prerequisite GPA and others look at your cumulative. A competitive GPA for a nursing school application is somewhere around a 3.50. Also, keep in mind that you will also need to take a entrance exam as part of the application process. This will measure what you learned in your prerequisite classes and gauge how well you will do in nursing school. Do some research and find out what programs are in your area and go and meet with advisors. Good luck!
  4. by   HammockBound
    The school Im applying for does not allow you to apply if your GPA is below 3.0 from you previous Bachelors. You cant raise your previous GPA.

    Now you can try and get A's in all your new prereq. and apply for a traditional BSN or RN program if the ones by you have that minimum GPA requirement. You can get your RN from a Community College in 2 years or go through a 4 year BSN program in less time but not an accelerated path. It would still only be about 2 years either way. You just need more pre req. classes to go after a BSN like nutrition, human growth...(all depends on the school you apply for) That might make the BSN a longer route. BUT some of your previous classes count towards that BSN so it isnt the full 4 years.

    For me...I can go to community college here and it will be 2 years.
    I can go to an accelerated BSN program for 15 months (min. gpa from previous bachelors)
    I can do a BSN program for 2 years

    I took all my prereq. over the past year and was able to fit them all in.

    You should research any of these 3 paths with the schools nearby.
  5. by   Pink Magnolia
    I am in an accelerated BSN nursing program (15 months) and it was the best option for already having a B.S. in another field. Yes, all nursing programs have prerequisite courses for science and math. My school required stats, psychology (lifespan), A&P I & II, and microbiology. I think it would be a great idea to take prereqs at a community college as you search and apply for nursing programs.
  6. by   TC3200
    Some of those accelerated RN programs have additional requirements, beyond the typical ones mentioned. Pitt's program, if I recall, also required 3cr abnormal psychology and a specific pharmacology course that was only offered undergrad by Pitt itself.

    Actually, for people who are not already well-versed in pregnancy, mother/baby, labor/delivery, and haven't had prior exposure to nursing, say worked as a nurse aide, I think the accelerated programs might be far too overwhelming. The ones that are only 16-18 months have you covering med-surge and mother-baby stuff at the same time, in the same semester. I'm female, but was never interested in children or motherhood. I went to a diploma RN hospital school and it was 24 months but the workload for it was staggering and kept me consistently buried and running on no sleep and hating life. They ran "integrated curriculum," which meant you just had to take whatever the school threw at you. I am very bright, and I worked very hard. But in the end, I left in disgust at the timewasting activities and the grinding workload and how much harder I had to work at it than the mothers and homemakers did, just because I have a sci and tech background and NO healthcare of motherhood. I imagine a man might be up against that same obstacle.

    What I learned is that nursing courses are easily 3x more gruntwork than any other college work I ever did, including engineering. And nursing is not really science; it's far closer to motherhood. The physicians get the science. Nurses get patient care. It's not the same thing.
  7. by   RHill9919
    Well, you are going to have to take those prereqs regardless. How long will that take you, a year, 2 years? You could just forget the ABSN and apply to a traditional 4 year program. That sounds like a lot of time spent in school, but you're already going to have to put in the time for the prereqs. Now if you can knock your prereqs out in online, 8 week classes, it might not take you as long, entirely depends on what you want to do. have to keep in mind of your 2.5 GPA. Most schools require at least a 3.0 for ABSN (most not all). Even if you do take your prereqs, you're still going to have that undergrad 2.5.
  8. by   Irish_Mist
    Not every ABSN requires a high overall GPA. The schools I looked into, as far as GPA is concerned, care only about your prerequisite GPA. Meaning, so long as you have a good GPA for your prerequisites, you have a shot. One advisor I spoke to told me that while the application as a whole is considered, they really do not care about previous bachelors degree GPA. Look into some nursing schools and see what their requirements are. Do not be discouraged.
  9. by   windsurfer8
    I did an ABSN in 2005. My previous GPA was 3.3. When I was looking at ABSN programs the absolute lowest GPA I saw any school accept was 2.8. I am not saying there are not schools with lower minimums, but I looked at a lot of schools and that was the lowest I saw. So first off you need to look at what ABSN programs will accept a 2.5.
  10. by   ShelbyaStar
    I also have a BS, in animal science. I looked into accelerated programs but most needed prereqs and weren't accepting soon, and there weren't any accelerated programs near me (Oshkosh doesn't have prereqs, but strongly prefers high grades and CNA experience, plus it's expensive).

    I thought about doing an associate's and then BSN, but I've been out of school for a while and didn't want my old classes to "expire". Plus they also weren't accepting anytime soon and that would not have saved me much time.

    So I went straight for the traditional bachelor's. Many of my credits carried over so I am not having to worry about writing, speech, statistics, etc that I took in the past. I will be stuck here for four years but at least it's a lighter load.
  11. by   Sunni9090
    I think there is some confusion about overall GPA. Schools will consider your overall GPA, not just the GPA you acquired for current BA. They will take the overall grades you received from whatever schools you attended and calculate the scores into your overall GPA. So, if you score well in your prerequisite classes it will benefit your GPA.

    also, definitely consider taking these at a community college.