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Very nervous about applying for nursing school due to low HS gpa

erinmc erinmc (New) New

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. The time has come where I feel as if I should expand on my career. I am currently a medical assistant working in the field now for about 3 years and as life is speeding by me, I have decided I do want to stay in medical and study to become an RN.

So my issue at hand here is the fact that for the first 18 years of my life, I stubbornly wanted to pursue a career in writing, which had me majoring in journalism by age 19 and hating journalism by 21. So I got two years into my associates in journalism when I decided I am more of a free spirited creative writer and journalism is too fact based and to the point. I did not try at ALL in science and math courses in high school. I barely passed algebra I & II and I believe I got a D in high school chemistry. I was sure I'd want to be a writer forever so I really only applied myself to all the awesome english and writing courses.

I guess I really didn't grasp the way things worked.

So I took some time off and flip flopped between possibly switching to education and nursing. I knew how hard nursing would be and I guess I didn't realize my full potential at the time. I also did not want to pop myself on a waiting list when I was so unsure. So I decided to go to trade school to be a Medical Assistant and see if I actually like working in the medical field before committing to something like becoming an nurse.

Well, lo and behold, I felt as if I had found my calling in life. I held a steady place on the Dean's List at the institute I went to and found myself absorbing the information like a sponge. I picked up clinical techniques quicker than anyone in my class and graduated with a 3.84 overall. I know it's just trade school but it showed me how interesting the field can actually be and best of all, it taught me how to actually pick up a book and study for things.

However, I'm looking into Muhlenberg and Trinitas (i live in NJ) as part time/night schooling because I must continue to work full time and get my degree at my own pace and I'm questioning if I should even apply with my terrible math/science history in high school. If they denied me, could I try and pass some college level math and science courses to show them I'm taking life seriously now? Muhlenberg is asking for references and I've got some good ones. I'm afraid they won't take my GPA in trade school very seriously but this is surely what I want to do, more than anything at this point in my life. I know that becoming a nurse will be the most rewarding thing I could do for myself and others and it's time for me to move further.

I was also considering doing an LPN tech program and then I can possibly do an LPN to RN program and I may be taken more seriously.

tl;dr- did so cruddy in high school in mostly all math/science courses, did awesome in MA trade school with 3 years experience now and pretty decent references. Do I have a shot at nursing school?

THANK YOU so much to anyone who can be honest with me or lend me any advice at all with these issues :)

Honestly, yes you can do it. I didn't graduate high school with a 4.0 or anywhere near it for that matter. I worked my behind off for a year to prove that I was "worthy'' of nursing school. I believe that your best bet at this point in time would be to call the nursing schools that you are interested in and ask if they would count your trade school GPA and credits rather than your high school GPA/courses.

Most of the time, when you have a certain amount of college credits they don't even look at high school anymore. If they do not count your trade school credits then you might try taking pre-requisites at a local community college/university and again, if you earn enough credits they might not even look at high school.

Call and talk to them and see what your options are. We all are young at one point in time and we all don't make decisions with our futures in mind but that doesn't mean it has to hold you down forever. Just make a few calls or look at their admissions page on the website and see where things guide you.

There are lots of threads on this site that you might find helpful as quite a few others have also been in this situation. Best wishes.

Cheyenne RN,BSHS

Specializes in Med Surg, ICU, Infection, Home Health, and LTC. Has 35 years experience.

I barely passed to get out of high school with a minimum grade. I hated school (still do, cannot sit still and I am a horrid test-taker) I only took one in-depth math course. The one course was beginning algebra, and flunked it. 10 years later I graduated with honors obtaining my ADN (3.6 GPA). I then passed my boards first try. (old days when you sat for two long days of testing) Two years ago I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my BSHS.

My daughter did not finish high school, got her GED, put herself through LPN school then RN school. I can say will full 100% assurance that Yes, you can do lousy in high school and still choose to turn it around with a great deal of study and hard work.

applewhitern, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 30 years experience.

My nursing school did not take high school GPA into account; they went by what you scored on the ACT. They didn't accept SAT scores, only ACT. It seems the younger students worry about their high school GPA; some of us older folks really don't even remember. In addition to the ACT scores, we took some tests and the school accepted a certain number of the highest scores. Go ahead and take a basic algebra class, they are going to care more about how well you can do now, as opposed to high school. Good luck.

Thank you very much for your reassurance! See, I guess I keep seeing that you are required to have a passing grade of C or better in bio, algebra and chemistry in high school. But I guess in terms of acceptance, they could always advise me to take those pre reqs in unison with the program as they did when I attended community college with the understanding that I may have to pass you know, Bio to get into the A&P classes and such.

See I didn't even take the ACT or the SAT! I knew I was going to community college and that I didn't have to so I only took the PSAT my junior year and probably scored terribly but I don't quite remember. I do have to take an entrance exam even before being accepted so I am hoping between my references, good records from my last stint in school. Even so, I'm more than 3 years past high school and the school I'm looking at says they don't even need those at this point. I'm assuming my entrance test score will be taken into account and hopefully, I can find a way to do really well on that. Thank you for the advice!

Good for you! That is so reassuring to hear because I really did hate school and like I said, never even considered nursing until I was around 21 or so. I'm so much more diligent and serious about things now so hopefully, that can shine through a little and they will consider me. Think I will give applying a shot and if not, I'll brush up and try again! Thank you :)