Help on getting into nursing school

  1. Hello. I need some advice from people who have gone through similar hardships as I am currently facing.
    I currently have a B.S. in developmental biology and graduated with a 2.35. Yes I know that's embarrassingly and shockingly low. It is that low because my first 1 1/2 years I was not focused in school and basically lost sight of myself and my goals. Ever since my sophomore year I have been raising my GPA little by little. I chose biology because I honestly love it and find it interesting. I believe my GPA is a testament to my overall work ethic but not a testament to the intelligence I have or am capable of having. Unfortunately the damage is done. I figured out I wanted to become a nurse my sophomore year of college and couldn't transfer to another university with a BSN program due to my low GPA. So I stayed where I was and I am glad I learned all that I did because I enjoyed the information I learned in my last few years.

    So now I'm in a situation where I am trying to do anything to get into an accelerated BSN program and I am so anxious about it every day. My goal is to become a nurse and then a nurse practitioner. So I am currently taking gap year and working as a medical scribe which is really awesome in teaching me medicine for the NP goal. I know the doctor I work for will give me a great recommendation letter.

    I am thinking I should take classes to become a Medical Assistant or Certified Nursing Assistant and work as one of those for a while to make me look better. I am not sure which one nursing schools would prefer to see?

    I know it's going to be hard to get to my goal but I truly believe in myself and my determination to not mess up as I have done in the past. I am willing to do almost anything to get my goal. I don't doubt my intelligence or ability to learn and work hard. I hope you all will see that I am more than those mistakes I made.

    My concerns or questions are if anyone else has been a similar situation? And if so, how did you surpass these obstacles? (Since most accelerated nursing schools need at least a 3.0 to be eligible) Do you have any recommendations on helping nursing schools look past my low GPA? If it helps: I live in southern CA.

    I currently do not have about 5 classes I need to apply for nursing school, so I plan on taking these at a community college and acing these classes. I know I will. I cannot settle for anything less than an A-.

    Any tips on moving forward would be helpful. Thanks for reading this long post!
  2. Visit priscue09 profile page

    About priscue09

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 5; Likes: 2

    17 Comments

  3. by   mmc51264
    Go get your ADN. Then once you are an RN, you can do an online RN-BSN. I got mine at community college, which is inexpensive and then when I got a job, the hosp had tuition assistance to help with BSN so in the long run, I got my RN faster and the BSN cheaper that if I had done an ABSN (I have Bio degree)
  4. by   priscue09
    Oh that's interesting on how it's cheaper. But maybe I wouldn't be so lucky with tuition assistance as you had. So you just went the path of getting your ADN and then BSN? So your biology degree did not help you in any way at all?
  5. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from priscue09
    Hello. I need some advice from people who have gone through similar hardships as I am currently facing.
    I currently have a B.S. in developmental biology and graduated with a 2.35. Yes I know that's embarrassingly and shockingly low. It is that low because my first 1 1/2 years I was not focused in school and basically lost sight of myself and my goals. Ever since my sophomore year I have been raising my GPA little by little. I chose biology because I honestly love it and find it interesting. I believe my GPA is a testament to my overall work ethic but not a testament to the intelligence I have or am capable of having. Unfortunately the damage is done. I figured out I wanted to become a nurse my sophomore year of college and couldn't transfer to another university with a BSN program due to my low GPA. So I stayed where I was and I am glad I learned all that I did because I enjoyed the information I learned in my last few years.

    So now I'm in a situation where I am trying to do anything to get into an accelerated BSN program and I am so anxious about it every day. My goal is to become a nurse and then a nurse practitioner. So I am currently taking gap year and working as a medical scribe which is really awesome in teaching me medicine for the NP goal. I know the doctor I work for will give me a great recommendation letter.

    I am thinking I should take classes to become a Medical Assistant or Certified Nursing Assistant and work as one of those for a while to make me look better. I am not sure which one nursing schools would prefer to see?

    I know it's going to be hard to get to my goal but I truly believe in myself and my determination to not mess up as I have done in the past. I am willing to do almost anything to get my goal. I don't doubt my intelligence or ability to learn and work hard. I hope you all will see that I am more than those mistakes I made.

    My concerns or questions are if anyone else has been a similar situation? And if so, how did you surpass these obstacles? (Since most accelerated nursing schools need at least a 3.0 to be eligible) Do you have any recommendations on helping nursing schools look past my low GPA? If it helps: I live in southern CA.

    I currently do not have about 5 classes I need to apply for nursing school, so I plan on taking these at a community college and acing these classes. I know I will. I cannot settle for anything less than an A-.

    Any tips on moving forward would be helpful. Thanks for reading this long post!
    You will need to check with specific schools and see (or inquire) what you might be able to do to improve your chances. They're all different in what they look for, but you're right about the GPA being a likely problem. Beyond that, I'd advise that you not waste time with "medical assistant" training if your ultimate goal is to be a nurse. It's an unrelated path.
  6. by   Quota
    From what I've read on this forum SoCal schools are all highly competitive so your local options may be very limited with your GPA. In general all aBSN programs are very competitive to get into and GPA will matter a lot. It will depend on the program how heavy GPA is weighted and if they care mostly about your pre-req GPA or overall GPA. I'm pretty sure the program I'm in weighed pre-req GPA higher than overall GPA. They also look at the overall applicant not just your scores. High scores on an entrance exam may help as well.

    Going to a community college for an AND could be a good option but I know my local CC program is just as or even more competitive than the BSN programs. You need to see what the requirements and admission metrics are in your area and possibly consider relocation for nursing school.
  7. by   SamC1988
    If your GPA for the biology degree was low, I'm not sure how beneficial it would be in a competitive program. Would you consider "starting over" at a community college? It's not the degree itself that matters, but the grades on your transcript.
  8. by   DowntheRiver
    With that low of a GPA, I'd honestly start with LPN. Start working as a LPN and then do a LPN to RN program. Continue working and getting experience, and then do a RN to BSN program or RN to MSN program. I am certain that the experience you will attain during this process will be invaluable to you as a future NP.

    If being a NP is truly your ultimate goal you probably will have to change up your game plan in order to attain that goal. Use your critical thinking skills. If possible, you may need to move. I live in Florida and there are plenty of LPN programs still accepting students and the cost of living is much cheaper than SoCal.
  9. by   xxstarrynitesxx
    To help raise your GPA, consider post-bacc.

    I would recommend going to the ADN route as well. There are programs that will give you extra points for having a degree and being a CNA (some require you to work a certain number of hours). I know of at least one school in particular that will do this. This is one of the more competitive programs, but your GPA from your sciences will be the bulk of your points and in addition to taking the entrance exam.

    Do not let yourself be discouraged, but be prepared to work your hardest for each grade. Best wishes.
  10. by   DowntheRiver
    Quote from xxstarrynitesxx
    To help raise your GPA, consider post-bacc.
    I believe the program with post bacc is that the OP will have already taken the majority of these courses. Most places will average the grade of these two courses, so even if OP makes As in every single course that GPA probably won't be enough.
  11. by   Daddie O
    In California nursing schools are all impacted and very competitive. I agree with the poster that recommended LVN to RN to BSN route. It's longer and more expensive, but really your only option. You may have to go the private school route.
  12. by   xxstarrynitesxx
    Quote from DowntheRiver
    I believe the program with post bacc is that the OP will have already taken the majority of these courses. Most places will average the grade of these two courses, so even if OP makes As in every single course that GPA probably won't be enough.
    Agreed. I know a few people who have done this for medical school as science majors and it helped them raise their GPA enough to get it. It will not be drastic, but it may help to make some difference. I personally tried to put more emphasis on the second option a wee bit more haha.

    I happen to know of at least one CC in SoCal where the OP can start off getting her ADN rather than going the LPN route or trying to get into ABSN with a lower GPA.
    Last edit by xxstarrynitesxx on May 23
  13. by   babychickens
    xxstarrynitesxx has given the best advice thus far. Baby chickens may or may not be from SoCal and may or may not have gone through a similar experience The next best advice, as previously mentioned, is to learn ALL the requirements of EVERY school you're interested in, begin to compare them, and then start with the most universal. For example, anatomy. That way, each step you are limiting your options the least. Ya' dig? Keep checking in with those school (in person, if possible) and just keep going. Once you are accepted, you will be amazed at the number of people in your cohort who have a story similar to yours. Good luck! Stop beating yourself up and flip the script. You have gained life experience from this. Btw...don't do LVN first. Nope. Also, why the gap year? Just get busy with your five classes. Then get your CNA on the weekends or something.
  14. by   Daddie O
    I live in California, and just graduated from a BSN program. Nursing schools in CA will not accept a student with a D in anatomy. Only ADN programs at community colleges or private BSN schools will accept students with a 3.0 GPA. In any case you must retake anatomy. Then either hope you get selected via a lottery system to an ADN program at a JC, or pay the big bucks for a private school. LVN to RN to BSN is likely the best route.

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