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School Entry Requirements Vs. Desperate Need

I am not sure if this topic has ever been addressed, although I am sure it has. I am a recent college grad and I am now interested pursing a nursing career- which means more schooling. Researching this field, I found it is well-known that finding a job is definitely not a problem due to the strong NEED of nurses. I have even read articles in magazines that discuss why students are NOT entering the nursing field. Seems strange to me...Secure career-always have a job, great pay, very rewarding, makes a difference, great benefits. Talking to nursing schools and reading on this forum I learn that acceptance into a Nursing program requires at least a 3.5+ GPA, some even expect a 4.0 to even be considered. My question is WHY? A profession that is in dire need of people, but at the same time people cannot enter the field due to the struggle to even make it in a program. Obviously its not that people dont want to go into nursing, its that they don't have the 4.0 to get in nursing school! Any ideas where the problem lies? How can it be solved? Just curious what everones' opinion is on the matter.

My school is a certificate program and I am currently taking pre reqs.My school requires a 2.5gpa. But many schools base entrance on your NET test scores.

Good luck

Fun2, BSN, RN

Specializes in Operating Room.

It's not so much the lack of interest, it's the lack of educators.

Most Masters degreed RN's do not want to take a major cut in pay to teach nursing. If instructors were offered more money, more people would do it.

When you obtain a Masters, you can teach or become a Nurse Practitioner. NP's make considerably more money, from what I understand.

As far as GPA's, there are many that are wait-listed and do not go by GPA. There are 2.5 GPA's going ahead of 4.0 students with waiting lists. It all depends on where you are on the list.

If you have a Bachelor's degree already, you could look at programs just for that purpose. Good luck.

Different schools have different admission standards, and many do not require a 3.5 - 4.0 GPA (of course, the better your GPA, the better your chances!). However, most all nursing programs are v. competitive, and there are many reasons why.

For example, the number of "slots" in a nursing program must be approved by the state Board of Nursing, and is based on the number of qualified faculty and the clinical sites for students available to the school, among other considerations. So, even when there is a serious nursing shortage, the existing nursing schools can't just decide to suddenly start admitting double the number of students they used to ... Also, nursing has a responsibility to the public to maintain high standards of competence and professionalism -- would you want to have your life, or the life of a loved one, depend on someone who got into nursing because it was so easy to get into?

Nursing is a very difficult and demanding occupation after you get through school -- it is certainly not for everyone, and we would not be doing either the public or nursing school applicants a service by admitting students who were not likely to be able to succeed as competent nurses. I am one of those who feels that there is nothing to be gained by watering down the standards for getting into nursing school.

Fun2care- Thanks for your fast reply...I think the lack of faculty has alot to do with it as well. That makes alot of sense. Most people who go into nursing want to work in the field rather than teach. Maybe the universities should offer a better compensation and bonuses for such teachers...but then they would need the money for that....oh wait those EXTRA students...yeah I think that would cover the costs...:rolleyes:

Most of the schools around where I am do not have waiting lists. I guess I am stuck having to retake half of my classes so I can make an "A" in each one. :o Those programs that are 2nd Bachelors/accelerated I think are even more limited. ABout 25-30 students...just a guess though

elkpark- I wasnt trying to say that we should "water down" the nursing school requirements. So obviously you think have strict requirements to enter a program determines that the person ability to be a "competent" nurse...So a student with a 4.0 GPA will make a better nurse than a student with a 3.8??? Isnt it the person that makes the profession? But by what your saying its the requirements...

Fun2, BSN, RN

Specializes in Operating Room.

Maybe the universities should offer a better compensation and bonuses for such teachers...but then they would need the money for that....oh wait those EXTRA students...yeah I think that would cover the costs...:rolleyes:

:chuckle Well, you'd think extra students would help pay for extra instructors. Actually, thinking about it, if an ADN program totals $8000 adding 10 more students would total enough for 1 more instructor at current poor wages. Nothing would be going to the school, or the CEO's pockets. :rotfl:

As for the BSN for those that already have a bachelor's degree, it wouldn't be any different than trying to get into any other program. If you can afford it, or find funds, you might as well try. :)

I've retaken a 3 classes, and will retake a 4th next month (Algebra). I had B's in 3 of the 4, and a C in the other. They were old grades, the Algebra from 2001, and the other three from 1991/1992.

However, since starting back in November 2004, I have made A's in all of my classes (including the ones I retook). :)

Sometimes, that's just what you have to do. :(

Look at the bright side, if all goes as planned, I will apply for Fall '06 with a perfect 4.0 on all required non-nursing courses, and from what I've heard about nursing school, I'll probably need those A's as grade boosters! :rolleyes:

When 78-82 is a C, 83-89 is a B and many 4.0 students have a dip in their grades, I'm glad I took those over, and made A's in all the other classes since then. Like I said, it will help tremendously to keep my GPA higher.

(It's like my signature says, "If what you're working for really matters, you'll give it all you've got.") :rolleyes:

(I didn't read over this, so I hope it's not total rambling.) :imbar

:chuckle Well, you'd think extra students would help pay for extra instructors. Actually, thinking about it, if an ADN program totals $8000 adding 10 more students would total enough for 1 more instructor at current poor wages. Nothing would be going to the school, or the CEO's pockets. :rotfl:

As for the BSN for those that already have a bachelor's degree, it wouldn't be any different than trying to get into any other program. If you can afford it, or find funds, you might as well try. :)

I've retaken a 3 classes, and will retake a 4th next month (Algebra). I had B's in 3 of the 4, and a C in the other. They were old grades, the Algebra from 2001, and the other three from 1991/1992.

However, since starting back in November 2004, I have made A's in all of my classes (including the ones I retook). :)

Sometimes, that's just what you have to do. :(

Look at the bright side, if all goes as planned, I will apply for Fall '06 with a perfect 4.0 on all required non-nursing courses, and from what I've heard about nursing school, I'll probably need those A's as grade boosters! :rolleyes:

When 78-82 is a C, 83-89 is a B and many 4.0 students have a dip in their grades, I'm glad I took those over, and made A's in all the other classes since then. Like I said, it will help tremendously to keep my GPA higher.

(It's like my signature says, "If what you're working for really matters, you'll give it all you've got.") :rolleyes:

(I didn't read over this, so I hope it's not total rambling.) :imbar

You would think that the poor students who have to repeat those hard classes several times ( and you know with my A&P professor it's plenty, and there are more terrible one's at our school!!!!) would pay for more teachers:uhoh21:

Lisa CCU RN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Cardiac, ICU.

Is it at all rediculous for me to think that maybe all nursing instructors DO NOT have to have master degree's in nursing? Why can't a math teacher teach dosage calculations, a chemistry professor pharmacology, and the skills lab teachers don't have to have master's do they? All the other classes are just theory right? Only a few of the professors would have to absolutely have a lot of experience in nursing; the clinical professors for example. I'm not in nursing school yet but, it looks like maybe they could delegate some of the tasks to people who are not necessarily nurses. Am I completely off base for thinking this?

Fun2, BSN, RN

Specializes in Operating Room.

No, you're correct, they probably could. I probably wouldn't mind being taught dosage calculations from a non-nurse, but I'd prefer someone who has "been there, done that", someone that can understand the struggle of nursing school. :)

I hope someone comes and corrects me on this, but I think there are masters and bsn's that can teach. Each degree has a certain thing they can do. (BSN's can teach lab?????) I'm not sure, but I know I've read about it somewhere.

Is it at all rediculous for me to think that maybe all nursing instructors DO NOT have to have master degree's in nursing? Why can't a math teacher teach dosage calculations, a chemistry professor pharmacology, and the skills lab teachers don't have to have master's do they? All the other classes are just theory right? Only a few of the professors would have to absolutely have a lot of experience in nursing; the clinical professors for example. I'm not in nursing school yet but, it looks like maybe they could delegate some of the tasks to people who are not necessarily nurses. Am I completely off base for thinking this?

Lisa CCU RN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Cardiac, ICU.

As a matter of fact, my dosage calculations professor was not a nurse, he was just a math teacher. He got the point across---do these drug calculations and learn these formulas and conversions. He did a good job and almost everyday we heard "I'm not a medical professional, but..."

elkpark- I wasnt trying to say that we should "water down" the nursing school requirements. So obviously you think have strict requirements to enter a program determines that the person ability to be a "competent" nurse...So a student with a 4.0 GPA will make a better nurse than a student with a 3.8??? Isnt it the person that makes the profession? But by what your saying its the requirements...

When I talked about "students who were not likely to be able to succeed as competent nurses," I was not referring specifically to GPA (I did start out by commenting that many schools don't require a very high GPA for acceptance) -- I was talking about a broader, more comprehensive assessment. Each school has worked hard to develop its own set of admission criteria that reflects what the faculty and administrators involved feel will best predict whether or not applicants are likely to be able to succeed academically and professionally in nursing -- previous academic performance is typically one of those criteria, but certainly not the only one, or even the most important one.

I have been nursing faculty and have been involved in making decisions about accepting students. You have X number of slots to fill in the program each year, and have a responsibility to the public and the nursing profession to select the best candidates, most likely to go on to be successful RNs, from the sizable pool of hopeful applicants -- it's not a job that anyone takes lightly, or that the applicants themselves would want done in a casual and cavalier manner. That's all I was trying to say.

It's not easy being a nurse, so what sense would it make for it to be easy (easier) to get into school to become a nurse??

gauge14iv

Has 23 years experience. Specializes in ICU, ER, HH, NICU, now FNP.

We had two Pharm D's who taught my grad level Pharm course for the NP students and they are AWESOME!

However - Im sure they dont come cheap either...

I plan to teach at LEAST one (maybe 2) undergrad clinical sections per year when I am done with school in addition to working a regular job. The biggest need is for clinical instructors at this point since in Texas the BNE says only 10 students are allowed to be assigned to one clinical instructor. I figure if there were more people who were willing to maybe teach part time, that might help matters, but then the schools still have to come up with more money to PAY more instructors. There are lots of states - including Texas - who are looking at building up nursing faculty and even building new campuses at some of the state U's to accomodate more students - I think this is a good thing.

You know - lower pay in academia is not specific to nursing, it's common to nearly all fields - but when you look at the disparity in the pay in nursing between academics and community - the gap is wider in nursing - making non-academic employment MUCH more attractive to nurses.

RosesrReder, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

True, many schools don't require a 3.5 or above to apply. But, we all know the secret and are struggling to stay way above the minimum requirement, which means anyway you look at it.............it is almost a must to have a good GPA along with all the other requirements.

My school has always required a 2.5 or above. No one with anything less than a 3.2 has ever made it into the nursing program.

"It's not easy being a nurse, so what sense would it make for it to be easy (easier) to get into school to become a nurse??"

Once again I didnt say it should be "easier" to get into a program. I just do not think that the GPA should play such a strong factor. What about life experience? Volunteering? Work history? In my area that is how most of the programs rate their applicants, using GPA.

Plus, like Future RN Jess says, it is not the School's GPA "requirement" that is the problem. Its the fact that there are so many applicants that you have to have 3.2 or better GPA it be competitive enough to get in.

Also I didnt bring this topic up only to discuss the pains of not getting into a nursing program. I was a little dumbfounded by the fact that "people must not be interested in nursing b/c there are so many jobs out there." Which is obviously NOT true. So why waste the money doing surveys about why people are not going into nursing and why don't we focus on a more objective solution to all the others who are "waiting" to get in???

RosesrReder, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

Truly, the current situation stinks. My heart aches, when I see ppl here posting that they have a 4.0 and still got placed on a waiting list because it so happened that everyone who got accepted were 4.0's and the spill over (not to mention the 3.9's and below) got placed in a waiting list.

I am not paying more than triple the amount it would cost me at a community college because I want to. It was a necessity. I did not want to deal with years of a waiting list so I did the next best thing. Go private and take out loans.

What I am getting to is that nope people shouldn't have to resort to things like these.

Anyhow, best wishes to all of us. We will make it sooner or later. Meanwhile, we can only hope and pray that something (whatever it takes) is done to remedy the situation and ease the process.

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