Non-Nursing Undergrad trying to get into Nursing

  1. Hello! (This is my first post and I am excited to be here)

    I am currently a 4th year student at UC Berkeley studying Social Welfare. I will be graduating this upcoming Spring 2013. After much thought, I have decided to totally change my plans and go into nursing. My current GPA at UCB is a 3.0; I was originally an Integrative Biology major (did 2 years of the required courses) and didn't do so well (got 8 C's since starting at Cal all in math and science). I am from a low-income background and my high school didn't even offer Chemistry so I was totally not prepared and got very bad advise from Advisors. My GPA before the major change was in the low 2.0.Since changing my major (1/2 a year ago) I have been doing really well (getting A's and B+'s in all my classes). I have taken some MCB and IB courses at UCB and done really well so I know that I have the potential to do well in sciences.

    I have been looking at both ABSN and ELM programs in CA and don't really know what to choose or where to start to plan.
    Programs I am interested in:
    CSU Los Angeles
    CSU Dominguez Hills
    CSU Fresno
    CSU Fullerton
    CSU Long Beach
    SMU- Samuel Merritt Univ

    The Prereqs:
    I am interested in staying in CA as my family lives here. I made a list of all the possible programs I would like to go to and here are the pre-reqs I need:
    - Microbiology
    - Anatomy
    - Physiology
    - Life Span Psych
    - Pathopsych (Only one program requires it)
    - Chemistry (2 semesters; the chem courses I took at Cal dont cover Organic Chem and I really don't want to take OChem at Cal; I already failed Ochem once)

    I know the programs are very competitive and my GPA is really low. I am in the process of starting an EMT program at UC Berkeley. I feel that the EMT experience could help with having some experience in the medical field.

    • Is nursing even an option for me (because of my gpa)?
    • How should I plan my schedule?
      • I am required to take 13 units at UCB each semester. I am planning on going to a nearby community college to take the remaining prereqs.
      • I was planning on taking 2 prereq's (microbio and psych) next semester, one science in Spring, and then do at least 3 each semester after until I finish.
    • When should I take the GRE/TEAS?
    • Who should I get letters of Recommendation from?
      • I have strong relationships with previous SW, Soc, Chicano Studies professors.
    • Should I do the EMT program?
      • It is a 2 semester long program because of the required 13 units at UCB. It does not count for units.
    • Which program (ABSN, ELMSN, or traditional BSN) would be the best option?
    • Will my community college grades count as my overall undergrad GPA?
      • If so, this could raise my overall GPA.

    Any input would really help.

    Thank you,
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    About trace_y

    Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 1; Likes: 1


  3. by   NyLALove
    I sent you a PM..
  4. by   ravnit10
    I'm in the same boat and super confused!
  5. by   CDEWannaBe
    Call each of the programs and see where you have the best chance of being accepted. EVERY program is different so don't waste your time on things you don't need. For example, the accelerated program I've applied to (not in California) gives no preference for letters of recommendation or healthcare work experience.
  6. by   schoolforever
    I am right along with you guys. I graduate this coming spring and I am going to finish my prereqs NEXT year. I decided I wanted to do nursing the spring semester of last (my junior) year. I had my eye on an ABSN program, and was trying to take the prereqs along with my other core classes. Apparently taking physics, A&P, along with a few writing intensive classes is just too much. I ended up dropping, but have decided to stay with nursing. I'm going to finish my prereqs next year, and then start. My advice would just be to start slow. I was super excited to start the accelerated program after graduation, that I didn't realize that I should be taking my time. Life is confusing, especially after you've already spent 4 years working for something that you essentially don't care about! HAHA. Anyway, good luck, and take your time— it'll go by whether you want it to or not
  7. by   SweetCorn
    I live in Northern CA too and I gotta be honest, the competition for the slots that are available here is pretty fierce.
    There were two accelerated programs that would have been a good option for you that have been discontinued (not sure for how long) one at Sac State the other at Sonoma State. There are private options like Merritt, but it's $$ and it too can be difficult to get in. Take a look at UC Stanislaus (Stockton). Their cohort for this year has already closed, but for next year you might be able to have your pre-reqs done by the time the application opens. I believe their applicant pool is smaller than many of the other UC programs. You need all the regular pre-reqs + regular chem and O chem. You might try taking O chem at Berkeley City College??
    Las Vegas has several options too including UNLV which has 3 starts a year. Their pre-reqs are pretty straightforward aside from an online Nevada history/constitution course you have to take.

    There are many direct entry programs at Cal St. schools, like some of the ones you've mentioned but most of those are masters degrees and lead to advanced practice licenses, think Nurse Practitioner.

    You could also apply to associates programs which there are many and they are affordable. I would suggest picking about a dozen and applying to them all. You might get selected in a lottery for one of them.

    I have looked outside of CA and have found many more options. There are some schools that have very short pre-req requirements and are 12 months. Just about every other place is cheaper to live than the Bay too.
    I don't see any reason why you couldn't take a new career path. You might have more success getting started if you're willing to be flexible on where you'll go to school.
    Good luck.
  8. by   confused06
    I agree with sweet corn...apply to community colleges and junior colleges as well as universities because your more likely to get into community colleges and cheaper. That's the route I took ...I first graduated from a state university and then got into a community college for nursing.
    Plus if you do the EMT training some schools give you extra points for medical assistant, CNA, EMT/paramedic experience.

    Also look into Stanislaus state ABSN its relatively new so maybe less competive.
    take TEAS/GRE as soon as your done with most of the science are req's because it will be fresher in your mind.

    Gpa calculations depends on schools you apply...CSU count all are reqs GPA and all courses taken...but community colleges mainly look at prereqs.

    Get as many letters of recommendations as you can and stay in contact with references to you can expand network this will help you find extern/ internships and jobs that might help you in nursing school.
  9. by   claritasd
    ^^Sweetcorn, did you mean CSU Stanislaus?

    One option for prerequisites if you're having trouble finding what you need is West Hills College District (they have two schools - Coalinga and Lemoore). I'm going through them, taking classes online (I'm a Californian but abroad at the moment). So that's definitely an option if you're looking for somewhere for classes online, which makes schedule planning easier.

    For recommendations, definitely keep as many strong relationships as possible, like the previous poster said. Also, as you're doing the prerequisites, the opportunity for getting a recommendation from one of those teachers might open up as well (same with EMT training).

    And yes, a 3.0 GPA is doable. I'm not sure how post-BA classes are counted in your GPA, but either way having a solid 3.0 and then a good GPA in your prerequisites is not a death sentence for getting in.