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Question about increasing chances of admission into an FNP program?

NP Students   (659 Views 9 Comments)
by nurse528 nurse528 (New) New

302 Profile Views; 9 Posts

Hi,

 

I apologize in advance if this is not the right section to post this question.

 

To start, I went directly from high school into a BSN program at the #1 undergraduate nursing program in the state I live in. 

I didn't do particularly well in the first two years of nursing school, and spent a lot of time just enjoying college. I ended up graduating in 2017 with a 3.08 GPA but with a slight upward trend once I started becoming more serious about school.

I was super lucky and landed a position in a nurse residency program in the #1 at the time (now #2) ranked hospital in the state and worked 1.5 years in telemetry before transferring to a smaller magnet hospital in the area to get critical care experience in CCU and CTICU. I was lucky enough that the hospital cross trains for both.

I want to attend a "brick and mortar" FNP program in the state I live in. My goal would definitely be to attend my alma mater, which only has DNPs, but I know my chances are impossible at the moment because the DNP at my alma mater requires a minimum 3.2 GPA at the time of application.

 

Does anyone know if I get an MSN in Nursing Informatics first at an online school and excel, if I would be able to increase my chances of acceptance into an FNP program at my alma mater, and if the 3.2 undergraduate minimum GPA requirement would be potentially overlooked?

I am specifically looking at WGU or Walden.

Also I don't mean to offend anyone who holds an MSN in nursing informatics. I am genuinely interested in the field and am hoping a degree in informatics would also open other potential career pathways if I end up deciding NP is not the career path for me.

 

Thank you all in advance, and I apologize for the long post!

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1,032 Posts; 10,906 Profile Views

Could you not either retake some of the courses in which you earned lower marks or take some additional undergraduate courses to raise you gpa?

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TiffyRN has 26 years experience as a ADN, BSN, PhD and specializes in NICU.

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I'm personally not a huge fan of Walden. WGU has a great reputation though they famously only grade pass/fail that is usually counted as a 3.0 for graduate admissions. If your GPA is already borderline, this may not be a good move. I believe you can go to many all or mostly online MSN-Informatics programs which are from not-for-profit or State universities. They would save you some money compared to private, for-profits, and allow you to raise your GPA to where you can get into the DNP program you want. 

Also, I looked at your original post and it says your DNP program requires 3.2 GPA in undergrad. Are MSN-Informatics courses going to count toward your undergrad GPA? Worth finding out before you dive into a graduate program. 

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SopranoKris is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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Your alma mater should have admission requirements for students who already have a graduate (MSN) degree. That will show you what you need to earn if you go the Informatics route. I'm a student at University of South Alabama and there are different admissions requirements based on if you have a BSN or MSN. If you have a non-NP MSN, then you'll have to go the MSN-to-DNP with new certification route to get the NP. However, you won't have to re-take all the core courses (e.g. EBP/Research, Informatics, Healthcare Policy, Leadership, etc.). The emphasis for admission is on your MSN GPA, not your BSN GPA if you go that route. Plus, they have you enter all your transcripts in Nursing CAS and they look at your GPA by year (fresh, soph, etc.), by category (science, nursing, math, etc.) and they trend if your GPA went up or down as you went through your program (both BSN & MSN). More consideration is given to high grades at the post-graduate level than undergraduate, so it would work in your favor to do well in an MSN program. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, TiffyRN said:

I'm personally not a huge fan of Walden. WGU has a great reputation though they famously only grade pass/fail that is usually counted as a 3.0 for graduate admissions. If your GPA is already borderline, this may not be a good move. I believe you can go to many all or mostly online MSN-Informatics programs which are from not-for-profit or State universities. They would save you some money compared to private, for-profits, and allow you to raise your GPA to where you can get into the DNP program you want. 

Also, I looked at your original post and it says your DNP program requires 3.2 GPA in undergrad. Are MSN-Informatics courses going to count toward your undergrad GPA? Worth finding out before you dive into a graduate program. 

Thank you Tiffy for responding!

I am trying to find out currently from Admissions from my alma mater what they mean by 3.2 GPA. For now, the Admissions page offers a post-MSN certification for FNP if that is the route I choose to take first.

Here is what the actual page says:

- Bachelor’s degree in nursing and advanced practice degree (MSN or DNP) from nationally accredited programs

- GPA of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale

- Successful completion of an undergraduate descriptive/inferential statistics course and physical assessment course.

- Completed online application including personal statement, resume, and proof of RN licensure

- Official transcript of all prior college work

- Two scholarly papers in which you’re the main author, like a published article, book chapter, or paper completed for school

- Two letters of reference from graduate-prepared nurses or faculty

I'm having trouble figuring out if the GPA 3.2 specification is for the undergrad nursing degree, or for the advanced practice degree, or both. I'm waiting to hear back from my previous advisor, who is trying to find out who to ask regarding this.

But if 3.2 is what they need for the advanced practice degree, I believe WGU wouldn't be the best place to go for an online MSN in Informatics? 😞

 

2 hours ago, SopranoKris said:

Your alma mater should have admission requirements for students who already have a graduate (MSN) degree. That will show you what you need to earn if you go the Informatics route. I'm a student at University of South Alabama and there are different admissions requirements based on if you have a BSN or MSN. If you have a non-NP MSN, then you'll have to go the MSN-to-DNP with new certification route to get the NP. However, you won't have to re-take all the core courses (e.g. EBP/Research, Informatics, Healthcare Policy, Leadership, etc.). The emphasis for admission is on your MSN GPA, not your BSN GPA if you go that route. Plus, they have you enter all your transcripts in Nursing CAS and they look at your GPA by year (fresh, soph, etc.), by category (science, nursing, math, etc.) and they trend if your GPA went up or down as you went through your program (both BSN & MSN). More consideration is given to high grades at the post-graduate level than undergraduate, so it would work in your favor to do well in an MSN program. 

  

  

Soprano,

Good luck to you on your MSN!

Thank you for your response. I am definitely leaning toward getting my MSN in informatics, especially since you believe it could help me increase my chances for the FNP program.

It definitely sounds like WGU isn't the way to go since they only give graduates a 3.0 GPA, which does not even meet the minimum 3.2 GPA to apply to my alma mater. I'm trying to find affordable programs to go to, but maybe I should look elsewhere other than Walden or WGU? Walden, I know, has a certain reputation here, which I'm scared could also hurt my chances in the long run!

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meanmaryjean has 40 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

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You should look at many FNP programs as well. I'm a little troubled by your apparent fixation on the 'ranking' of schools and hospitals. You know those are meaningless and usually purchased, right? 

 

Look around for a program that will meet your needs, produces quality, employable grads and you can afford. That is ALL that matters. 

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14 hours ago, meanmaryjean said:

You should look at many FNP programs as well. I'm a little troubled by your apparent fixation on the 'ranking' of schools and hospitals. You know those are meaningless and usually purchased, right? 

  

Look around for a program that will meet your needs, produces quality, employable grads and you can afford. That is ALL that matters. 

Sorry if I come across as being fixated on ranking. My biggest goal is looking for quality programs with accreditation like you say, and of course affordability in terms of tuition. It just so happened my alma mater has accreditation and quality, and I was very happy and proud of the education I received there. It is a public state school which also provides affordability. In no means am I affixed with "ranking" per se, but it is a decent overall way of determining a program's quality if you're doing research on a variety of programs. It just so happens that a lot of the NPs I work with graduated from my alma mater, which leads me to believe that the program I am looking at does produce quality.

I am choosing to stay local and in-state because that is the only state I have my license in. The state I live in only does licensure by endorsement, and is not a compact state. Attending an FNP program in another state that requires me to have that specific state's licensure usually means more fees/costs for me. Hopefully you understand where I'm coming from! But I am currently looking at 5 other programs in the state I live in.

Again, I seem a bit "focused" because I really liked my alma mater and would love to attend for graduate school. I also chose my alma mater for my undergrad when I was applying in high school because I did look at "ranking," NCLEX pass rate, and best overall reputation of graduates within the state's hospitals. Reputation of the program does matter in the state/area I work at. All the nurse practitioners I work with or who work with other practices graduated from the local programs I am specifically looking at. Thank you for your response!

Edited by nurse528

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On 9/23/2019 at 9:27 AM, 203bravo said:

Could you not either retake some of the courses in which you earned lower marks or take some additional undergraduate courses to raise you gpa?

I started researching more about that, and that does seem like a good place to start rather than diving into an MSN program!

Thank you for your suggestion! I'm looking at a local school with affordable tuition to do non-matriculation status for 2-3 of the undergraduate classes I had lower grades in. C+ was passing in my program, but I think I would benefit to retake the classes I had C+'s in and study hard for A's.

I'm also trying to see if maybe I can take 1-2 graduate level nursing classes (I saw patho and health assessment) after the retake classes to show other programs my interest in attending graduate school.

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SopranoKris is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

3,057 Posts; 32,662 Profile Views

On 9/25/2019 at 11:02 PM, nurse528 said:

Attending an FNP program in another state that requires me to have that specific state's licensure usually means more fees/costs for me. 

That is not true. I attend University of South Alabama, but I live in MI. I do not pay out-of-state tuition (they have a set rate for nursing grad school), nor do I need to have licensure in AL. I do all of my clinicals in my home state. You would only need licensure in another state if you did your clinicals in that state.

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