Low GPA, Non-nursing undergraduate student looking to get into school

  1. I'm a third-year undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in a life science with an overall 2.8 gpa with about a 2.6-2.7 science GPA. I still have some time to pull it up but I don't think it's ever going to be that high I struggled with taking too many hard classes at once and 2 years of depression but I've been feeling better and trying to put my life (and schooling) back on track.

    I've been looking into volunteering and clinical internships. I've been working in healthcare type jobs every summer since my sophmore year in high school (e.g. chiropractic office, optometry, lab technician, etc.). I did really well on my SATs so I expect to do well on the GREs as long as I put some studying in.

    I would love to get into a direct entry masters of nursing program. I'm aware that this is probably not possible with my current GPA and would also consider going to a accelerated BSN program but, again, worried I won't get in. I was thinking of taking a year off to finish up some pre-reqs that weren't covered by my major- like microbio- and maybe interning abroad to improve my language skills for a few months. I'd say I'm comfortable conversation in German (which probably isn't that helpful in CA, where I'd like to stay, but I guess better than nothing, right ? )

    Please help me! I'd love any advice about nursing school, what I should be doing now, or any tips! Do I have a chance to get in anywhere? I'm totally lost right now. Thanks so much!
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    About kiwi415

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 1

    34 Comments

  3. by   KL2010
    I came across your post and am hoping that within the two months of your post you have found some answers.

    Firstly, nursing is a very competitive school to get into. Sounds like you will test great. Mostly schools require an extrance exam such as NLN or TEAs, some NET. Although you score high, you will need to get very good grade in the pre-req's and they take some time. If nursing is what you want you will find a way to get there. There are numerous programs in California and the us. Unlike Hawaii where there are 2 and a 3 private expensive school. Having more choices in programs makes it better for you.

    To do an accelerated 18 month program you may want to get that GPA up. The schools need to know that the nurses will be able to pass the NCLEX to recieve licensing in the end. GPA and exam scores are the ways that they access this. Once you get even an lpn/lvn you can climb the academic ladder online to other degrees.

    Good luck. Do your research you will find that nursing students are rather serious and hardworkin. Not the doctor dropouts people used to think.
  4. by   Bicster
    Quote from KL2010
    Do your research you will find that nursing students are rather serious and hardworkin. Not the doctor dropouts people used to think.
    I wish we had some "doctor dropouts" in my program, I often wonder how some of these people got in.
  5. by   KL2010
    Bicster-

    Where is your program located ? I am in Honolulu where, its competitive. NLN scores need to be starting in the 130's and GPA is 3.8 or higher. I couldn't do that when my children were younger, I had a 3.0 and was very discouraged because I felt like I could never get in. Now I am back in school again with A's. I will be taking pharmacology and micro during summer and guess what, no matter what I have to get A's or I won't get into the program. My 133 on NLN is low even though I am in 93% for ALL. I am trying to just keep bettering myself.

    My concern is that there are people in our program whom score really well and have perfect grades but really do not have the passion for nursing. They sometimes take up the slots because they heard that nursing pays well.

    Best of luck to you.
  6. by   Bicster
    Memphis, TN. Its just as competitive, just the quality of the applicant pool is low.
  7. by   happyinillinois
    Give yourself some credit! You are a UCLA, student, a great university! Take the preq's you need, and get A's in them. This should boost your overall g.p.a.. Now, start evaluating all the nursing programs in the area where you want live. Some schools will only go off preq's that are needed for the nursing program, other take into account every class ever taken. Some schools admit off interviews, essays and test scores. You have many options!
  8. by   starmickey03
    I know your in Cali but there is a school in Oklahoma that accepts EVERYONE as long as they meet the requirements. Its called Oklahoma City University (http://www.okcu.edu). They have some type of agreement with the government to decrease the nursing shortage. They have BSN, ABSN, MSN, and doctoral programs. They only turn people away for the doctoral programs. Of course its pricier than community colleges but if youre really discouraged then you should give it a try. I looked at their ABSN program and its around $43,000. Im in the same boat youre in. I have a 3.37 and thats not good enough to get me into any schools in MI, so Ive been applying to schools in Ohio and Indiana instead. If I dont get accepted into any of those programs then Oklahoma will be my LAST resort. But when you want something bad enough you have to do whatever it takes to get it. If I do have to end up going there the only thing I wouldnt like is the lack of diversity I hear the state has especially since Im black and in MI we have people of all the colors of the rainbow here
  9. by   80sami
    Quote from kiwi415
    I'm a third-year undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in a life science with an overall 2.8 gpa with about a 2.6-2.7 science GPA. I still have some time to pull it up but I don't think it's ever going to be that high I struggled with taking too many hard classes at once and 2 years of depression but I've been feeling better and trying to put my life (and schooling) back on track.

    I've been looking into volunteering and clinical internships. I've been working in healthcare type jobs every summer since my sophmore year in high school (e.g. chiropractic office, optometry, lab technician, etc.). I did really well on my SATs so I expect to do well on the GREs as long as I put some studying in.

    I would love to get into a direct entry masters of nursing program. I'm aware that this is probably not possible with my current GPA and would also consider going to a accelerated BSN program but, again, worried I won't get in. I was thinking of taking a year off to finish up some pre-reqs that weren't covered by my major- like microbio- and maybe interning abroad to improve my language skills for a few months. I'd say I'm comfortable conversation in German (which probably isn't that helpful in CA, where I'd like to stay, but I guess better than nothing, right ? )

    Please help me! I'd love any advice about nursing school, what I should be doing now, or any tips! Do I have a chance to get in anywhere? I'm totally lost right now. Thanks so much!
    Kiwi415-
    I saw your post today. Are you still looking at nursing schools? I graduated from UCLA a while ago with about the same GPA. I will be honest with you that going into a entry level masters program with our GPA is almost impossible. I have been told by most schools that they do not take any graduating GPA lower than 3.0. You may be able to get into an accelerated BSN program but you need all As in your prereqs. I have all As in my classes after graduation but even with that it seems close to impossible.
    You may want to look into getting your RN then going to an RN to MSN program. If your RN GPA is high, then they are more likely to take that into account instead of looking just at your UCLA GPA.

    I wish you the best of luck. If I have any luck, I will pass along the names of schools. Unfortunately, having a degree from UCLA does not help at all! I thought schools would take into account the difficulty but that is not the case.
    I have been trying to get into a nursing program for 2 years now. So work hard and good luck!
  10. by   kenpochic
    Maybe look into an ADN program sometimes they just look at specific prereqs to determine your gpa.
  11. by   Phi-in-OH
    hey i dont know if you are still reading this but i got into nursing school!!!
    i was trying out of high school to go for my bachelors in nursing but in florida my gpa for pre reqs was too low. so i learned about second degree programs and applying out of state. i got my 1st bachelors in florida (criminology was interesting and i want to do forensic nursing, it also really boosted my gpa) then i applied to colleges outside of my state and got in on my first try. i really think these out of state places like to claim that they attractive people from other states so that seemed to out weigh my bad pre req gpa.
  12. by   iPink
    The OP's post is from March 2009. Not sure if he/she is still on here. It's been over a year now and current posters don't know their current situation.
  13. by   TLeech
    Phi-in-OH
    Congrats on getting in
    Do you mind sharing what your gpa was? I'm beginning my pre-reqs, and I currently have a 3.11 gpa, I'm hoping to bring it up, but even if I get straight "A" it's only going to come up to about 3.36. I got some "C"s back in 1998 and my guidance counselor has advised against retaking those, because they're not applicable to the nursing program (Spanish/History courses) I hopefully that the schools I apply to will take into account that those were a long time ago and not science classes, but it's always stressful not knowing.

    Which school did you decide to go?
  14. by   Schweet
    Regarding your GPA. My friends always says, "B's = degrees" which is especially true once you get into nursing school. Ask the nursing departments for a paper that shows how they determine who gets in their nursing program. Some nursing programs still go off a waiting list and pick randomly from it. Good luck to you!

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