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Question about applying to Accelerated BS/MSN programs

Pre-Nursing   (7,870 Views 13 Comments)
by Dubcee Dubcee (New Member) New Member

606 Visitors; 3 Posts

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I graduated from UCLA almost 3 years ago with a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience. I did really well my last years at UCLA and my upper division courses but didn't do so great the first few years. I was dealing with depression. I am now a Research Associate at Johnson and Johnson (the pharmaceutical entity of JNJ companies, and I'm doing very well there), but have decided to apply to accelerated Nurse Practitioner programs, particularly Columbia, Penn, and Yale. With all that said, my undergraduate GPA falls below a 3.0 but I have passed my prerequisite courses with a B or higher, and I took Anatomy, Physiology and Microbiolgy after college at junior colleges and received A+ in all those classes. I did really well on my GREs (1450), and have a very impressive resume with lots of employment and extracurricular activities both during and after college. Do you think I still have a chance getting into these programs? I am really scared that my GPA will prevent me from getting in anywhere. I've seen so many programs that require a 3.0 GPA just to apply. Please help? I will not start applying until summer 2011 for entry in summer 2012. Also i'm reading that in 2015 new nurse practitioners will need a DNP? How will that affect me? Am I coming in early enough so that I won't need a DNP to be a nurse practitioner? Well first I have to get in...soo scared!

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noahsmama specializes in pediatrics, public health.

11,593 Visitors; 827 Posts

I know that for the University of CA at San Francisco entry-level MSN program, the 3.0 GPA requirement is an absolute cut-off, i.e. they won't even look at your application if you fall below that. Don't know about the schools you're considering -- you would have to contact each of their admissions offices and ask.

Good luck!

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14,582 Visitors; 1,061 Posts

I would talk with the programs that you are interested in.

My sense is that you have work experience,etc to offer a program.

Since your GRE scores are very good, and with your work history,

you are an excellent candidate.

Not all schools go by GPA alone....

Best wishes and give us an update! Hope you find a good program

match for you soon...

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1,704 Visitors; 41 Posts

Hmmm.. you say you're afraid your GPA won't get you in *anywhere* but it seems to me like you have your eye on Ivy League schools only. You may not get into one of those three schools. I'd apply at other schools for their BSN/MSN...

Take this for what it's worth, it's almost impossible to get a job as a nurse these days. Your plan sounds like it's going to cost you upwards of 60K, what happens if you don't get a job as an NP right away?

Good luck

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606 Visitors; 3 Posts

well i've definitely looked at many schools to apply to and plan on applying to many schools given my situation, however columbia and penn are my top choices because they offer the neonatal nurse practioner specialty without prior rn experience and without specifically stating anywhere on their websites that a 3.0 gpa is required to apply to their program. some programs also offer the bs/msn option but the training is not specifically on being a nurse practitioner, more so as a clinical nurse leader (i.e rush university). i will contact them and contact other schools that also offer the nnp specialty about my situation. i prefer the accelerated program because i'm not getting any younger and would really like to start a career and family.

as for the cost, i am so blessed that my parents are willing to pay for a big portion of my school (almost all of it) and columbia stated on their website that they give scholarships to 99% of their entering class up to $20k.

i know it's hard to find a job as a nurse these days, but i'm not so much in it for the money. i'll pretty much take a job anywhere.

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mariahas4kids has 3 years experience and specializes in hospice, corrections.

3,269 Visitors; 86 Posts

I am confused, are you currently a nurse? Most nurse practitioner programs require at least 2 years experiance as an RN before accepting you into their program. Have you considered PA school?

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606 Visitors; 3 Posts

I am not currently a nurse, and yes most schools need that as a requirement, but that's what makes schools like Penn, Columbia, Yale and UCSF special is that they have accelarated programs for people who have bachelor's degree in a non nursing major and want to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. The programs last about 3 years depending on what you want to specialize in and some award both the BSN and MSN. The first year is the BSN portion and the last 2 years is clinical experience.

I considered PA school but I have heard that there really isn't much room for growth.

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1,174 Visitors; 4 Posts

Hello!! I love the fact that your wanting to do the accelerated program!! Have you taken a look at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennesse? I do know that it is not the neonatel degree that you are looking for but from what I've heard from other students it's pretty easy to get into especially with your GRE score!!

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favthing has 5 years experience and specializes in Subacute-Rehab, Med-Surg.

4,435 Visitors; 85 Posts

You said that the PA profession doesn't offer a lot of upward mobility. The NP profession is pretty much the same. In health care, especially these days, experience tends to lead to opportunity and respect rather than where one went to school. Especially in nursing, you'll need to gain the respect of nurses who have vast knowledge due to both education and experience, and you've got to EARN respect on the floor. It's actually a pretty rough profession. I can't imagine not having experience as a nurse, and walking into a first job as a NP trying to give orders, etc. I am aware of the growing number of schools with dual BSN/NP accelerated programs, and it'll be interesting to see how it all unfolds in practice.

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2,255 Visitors; 76 Posts

In my experience private universities such as Yale, Hopkins, or Vandy tend to look at applicants much more holistically - taking into consideration factors such as work, socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, first-generation college students, and life experiences. Public universities place a much higher value on statistics (GPA, GRE, yrs of medical experience).

Also, I would include a separate, concise letter explaining why your GPA was below the cut-off, what has changed since then, and what demonstrates your ability to succeed in a rigorous program. While you don't want to make excuses, an honest analysis of your past is better than silently hoping they overlook it.

Also, you probably would have a better shot at a non-accelerated program. For example, Hopkins has a 16month accelerated program or a 21-month regular program. Because of the intensity of the accelerated program, they seem to be more willing to overlook blemishes in applicants to the 21-month program.

While my GPA was solid, my undergrad had some definite blemishes. I applied to two publics and three privates (Yale, Hopkins, & Vanderbilt). I was rejected by both public (one ranked in the 40s) and accepted by all three privates (two of which are top-ten programs).

Good luck!

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224 Visitors; 2 Posts

Dont go to Yale School of Nursing. GO TO A MEPN program that offers a second BSN. Yale is just pushing people who also went to private undergrads thru. The program is costly and you will be doing the same job every other nurse practioner does. YALE HAS BEEN APPROVED and Accredited for a second BSN degree just like Columbia and U Penn. The difference is Columbia and UPenn give the degrees they have been approved to give to the students when they complete the course work. Yale holds the BSN they r approved/accredited to give and they give a "certificate". To hold onto the students for 2 more years ans sometimes they try and get more time from the student. Over 70 percent of every entering class at Yale School of nursing hails from a private undergrad Institution. The other 30 percent r not spoiled rich young women and hail from public undergrad institutions. They usually leave because they realize how pathetic the student body is and how unrealistic the program is. That small percent who came from Public Univer winds up disgusted in top tier law schools. The rest wind up in debt for 100k and a job in a Dr Office w husbands who divorce them 15 years down the line becsuse they r living in antiquated times in their heads. CHEERS:)!

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224 Visitors; 2 Posts

Girl when I went to Yale School of Nursing there were only 7 people in the whole entering class that had gone to public undergrad institutions. That handful was brilliant. One had graduated from a New York City Public University undergraduate in 2 years. 4 out of the 7 from public University had graduated from UCLA. Basically they were very spoiled minus the small crew from the public Universities.

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