Need advice. Going back to get my BSN at 31!

  1. Hello everyone!

    I am new to this forum and was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on going back to school for a nursing degree 10 years after graduating from college. I live in Southern California and graduated in 2009 from the University of California, Irvine. My degree was in Criminology and honestly, my grades were not that great. I just need some advice on where I need to start to get back in to school to get my bachelors in nursing.
    I understand that I will need to most likely need to retake my prerequisite classes in science and math but I am honestly not even sure where to start. Should I go back to a four-year college or to a local community college to complete those classes and then apply for an accelerated nursing program?

    I was thinking I could go to my local community college and speak with a counselor and start that way.

    Does anyone have any other advice they can give me? I really appreciate it. Thank you.
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  2. Visit Jchin1121 profile page

    About Jchin1121

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 3
    from CA , US

    15 Comments

  3. by   OsceanSN2019
    Definitely take the prerequisites at your community college. It will be much cheaper that way unlike me who paid $11,500 for my prerequisites at my state school which I soley regret. Also, if you will be apply as a transfer student for this ABSN make sure you get a transcript evaluation first!!!! I cannot emphasize this enough as I got one before I applied to my nursing program as a transfer student and it saved me a lot of money and time. I found out the specific courses I was missing and the courses I did not neeed, and whether those credits will actually be accepted.
  4. by   Jchin1121
    Thanks so much! Can the community college assist with a transcript evaluation or will that need to be done by an ABSN school? And should I do it before I start my prereq's?

    Sorry for all the questions, I just want to make sure I don't waste any more time!
  5. by   tickytot
    Hello! I am going back to nursing school at age 55 and I haven't been in school since 1985! Definitely take the prereqs at a community college! Cheaper and probably easier than at a university. I am getting my ADN from the community college as well. It is incredibly competitive to earn a spot but I did it!! After the ADN, I will transfer to the bridge for a BSN at my local university! Good luck! you can do it as it is never too late!!
  6. by   inkabruce
    @jchin1121 hey, are you planning to stay in socal? I am in a similar situation, I was an '09 grad from U of Illinois and studied Econ with a poor GPA, about a 2.7. I moved to LA after deciding to make a career change at 27 and figured why not use it as an excuse to move. 3 and half years later and I am done with the application process.

    I completed all my prereqs at West LA so definitely 100% do this at a community college. You will just need to look into each program and what prereqs they have, and what they accept as a transfer. Generally, they all tend to accept the same courses - if it meets a UCs standards it prob meets most others, but still double check! Also, you have to check each program bc each program may have an additional course that another doesn't. For example, UC Irvine requires sociology which UCLA does not.

    Finally, you will absolutely need to start getting experience now. Apply to hospitals to start volunteering and consider becoming a CNA or EMT. If you do this now, then when you are at the stage of applying and done with your prereqs, in about a year or more, you will have a good application. At the end of the day you're in a hole as it is based on your undergrad, unless you have a 3.2 and think it's bad. if it's above 3.0, you're in a good spot.

    I only applied to programs in southern california that are relatively close to the coast (which was naive and ridiculous of me as california programs are generally more competitive), and only got accepted to Cal State San Marcos and will be accepting. It all worked out bc now I can experience life in a beach town and get to know san diego a lot more. I would say try to decide what you think you'll want to do eventually because that can impact the program you choose as some are direct NP programs. I realized I want to be an NP in cardiology and this eliminated Western and Azusa since it is greatly preferred to be an acute care NP and they focus on primary care. So be aware of that too.

    Good luck!!!!
  7. by   forevernursem
    Hi! I'm in a community college ADN nursing program right now and I love it. A few of my friends took their prerequisites at a community college, then transferred over to the university of their choice to apply for the nursing program there. If I were you, I would go and talk to a counselor at a community college and explain how you're interested in taking your prerequisites there, then transferring to an accelerated BSN nursing program at a university. They will help you look up the university requirements, and explain to you what classes you need to take, or retake. Make sure you do good in the prerequisites because nursing is very competitive and even retaking a class can count against you. Good luck!
  8. by   aniretake
    I am 38, have a college degree and currently preparing for applying for MSN-CNL program. I am retaking some of prereqs as well. Scared too. Scary to start something big and new when you are that old, scared to leave a relatively stable job... Lets support each other in our beginnings. Good luck!
  9. by   dirtyrice
    I don't know about official transcript evaluations (I'd assume you could find info on the prospective school's site) but I have just been emailing admissions for different schools I'm interested in and ask them if a certain class counts for X or Y prereq. Super easy and if you include the course listing of the class you're asking about and its description from wherever you took it they can usually just check and email you back.

    UCI gave me clearance for my cultural psych class regarding their cultural anthropology prerequisite and told me to just attach the email to my admissions packet when I turn everything in

    Hope that helps!
  10. by   Smc_17
    Hi,

    I am pretty much in the same boat as you but you have to look at the programs your interested in first and then determine your path. I would first suggest looking at the CA board of nursing website and see which schools catch your eye whether it's a bsn, absn, adn, msn or other nursing programs. I know that your 3 sciences have recency but that's not always the case. For instance, LA Community Colleges take only 1 repeat no matter how old the courses are from when you first took them. Other schools are 5 or 7 years and combine English and another course into their prerequisite gpa requirement. You should have most of your prereqs covered since you already have a BS so it shouldn't take too long to finish the rest of your requirements unless there are other factors (competitive courses, priority registration at the cc, etc.). I don't think you should worry about age, as long as it's the path you want to take then why not. I hope this helps you a bit and I do agree that you should find volunteering right away if you don't have any type of experience they are looking for in their admission requirements. Btw, if you are in the la area then look up trifecta at ELAC and you can get it done in one semester but there is dedication and time involved as it is 3 hard sciences in 1 semester, 5 weeks each.

    Good luck with everything.
  11. by   RainbowSprinkles
    Speak to prospect schools in advance about your previous degree G.p.a, if your grades aren't too hot it can be a great hinderance. ABSN programs are very competitive and when they are not they often are crazy expensive! Good luck : )
  12. by   Living2Learn
    Jchin1121,

    I was in a pretty similar situation as you. I have a BA in another field which led me to work in pharma. I started to work with health professionals and it sparked an interest in me. I volunteered at CHLA and UCLA RR and fell in love. I did my pre-reqs at a few community colleges (Glendale CC and West LA CC).

    The issue I found with SoCal is that I was pretty limited in where I could attend and receive a BSN. Most all of the state schools do not allow second baccalaureate (None of the UC's do). There are a few state schools that do (Long Beach, Northridge, Fullerton), but it's not as easy as you'd think to find a program to suit you.

    My advice to you:
    -Research the schools you want BEFORE you begin your pre-reqs. Schools have different requirements, especially for chemistry. California has a special chem that combines inorganic/orgo/biochem that's specific for health related majors, but all school systems don't take it. Find your list of schools and enroll from there. Anatomy/Physio, Microbiology, Stats are pretty standard everywhere.

    -If you're looking to stay in SoCal, take a look at the ABSN options. If you're looking at any of the state schools (Long Beach, Fullerton, Cal State LA, Northridge), They're pretty darn competitive to get into and the spots are pretty limited (due to funding,etc.) Just be prepared that it's not just an apply and get in type of thing.

    -If you choose to go ADN, look into the CC's that have the direct bridges into state BSN programs (Like Glendale CC's into CSULA)

    Good luck!
  13. by   Devon Rex
    Quote from Jchin1121

    I was thinking I could go to my local community college and speak with a counselor and start that way.
    Do exactly that. Make an appointment and bring copies of your unofficial transcripts to your school of choice (community colleges are cheaper). They will tell you exactly what you need to take or retake. Then move forward.

    Best wishes!
  14. by   JanelleGarrett
    I agree with going to community college. You can even get your ASN if you want, get a job, and then get your BSN while you are working. Although, I'm not sure if guidelines are different in California than Florida, where I am. Props on going back to nursing school... you got this :-)
    Last edit by sirI on Jul 2

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