I'm in a similar boat--my 1st degree is journalism and I'm starting a traditional BSN program in a few weeks. I also had NO science background or clinical experience. I applied to an ABSN program and was put on the waitlist, and then I applied to a traditional program and got accepted, so I'm going for it!
How long (on average) does it take to complete the prerequisites?
It probably depends on what else you have going on in your life. If you don't do anything but take classes, you could probably get them done in a couple semesters. I worked full time (40+ hours a week) at a job at a magazine while taking prereqs part time, through a combination of online and evening classes. It took me 15 months to complete them. I'm actually still taking my last one before nursing classes start on the 24th.
Coming from a background with No science, do any of you find that you need prerequisites before you take your nursing prerequisites?? I didn't. My degree required me to take general biology (lecture and lab), and I took college-level algebra during high school for college credit. Those were the only two PRE pre-reqs that were required for anything.
Are you able to apply for nursing schools WHILE you are still taking the prereq's/before you even complete the prereqs? Generally, yes. I applied to two programs while I was still taking them. I believe this is fairly common. What they'll do is by the time they make their decision, you'll have most of them done, and then they'll accept you on a conditional basis with a required grade for the ones you're still taking.
Do Nursing schools look at your prereq GPA or OVERALL GPA? I'm pretty sure the ones I applied to looked at both. It depends on the program--it's easy to just email an advisor at the school and ask.
Does anyone know if Hunter Nursing school looks favorably/accepts more easily Hunter College Alumus? Not familiar with this program, sorry. As far as programs favoring alumni into their programs, it's probably not one of the top criteria for admittance. It certainly can't hurt, but in the end, they will accept the students with the best grades/most potential (based on essays, interviews) to succeed in the nursing program.
Any thoughts, opinions, feedback, & advice would be greatly appreciated!
Go for it and good luck! I am sometimes pretty scared at what I'm doing, going from journalism to nursing, but so far I'm loving it and I finally feel like I've found the right career path for me. It's a lot of work to just make it into a nursing program, but I think as long as you're enjoying the coursework even in the pre-reqs, you'll do fine. I would also recommend volunteering at a hospital--I volunteered in an ER a few times and that was certainly an eye-opening experience. I also shadowed a nurse in an ICU, and I've read countless books, articles, and posts on this website to help me get a true sense of the profession and the education required.