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What ABSN/ELMSN programs in the US accept low GPA with good related work experience?

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by msnikkidoo msnikkidoo (New) New

Hello everyone!

I'm a newbie to this forum, but I've read up on a few thread topics in the past on this site.

Just a little about myself - I graduated in 2010 with my B.S. in Molecular Cell Biology (originally pre-med), but unfortunately screwed up and my GPA is super low. To be frank, it was around 2.5 when I graduated. I took Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Public Speech, Interpersonal Communications, and Nutrition post-college (since I didn't need them for my degree). I also retook General Chemistry and Human Development post-college to help my GPA. Currently, it's around 2.8-3.0 I think after averaging everything out.

I worked at Genentech in 2011 as a co-op intern and then decided to get my CNA license as well as my acute care certification in 2012. I worked at Stanford Healthcare as a CNA in the ER from 2012-2014 and then was promoted to an ER Tech and still currently working here. I have many nurses and doctors who are more than willing to help me out with writing letters of recommendations as well.

I tried applying for the ELMSN programs in 2013, but did not get accepted into any - but I only applied to 5 schools to be fair, and most of them were top schools. I am planning to reapply this coming Fall, but am planning to apply to both the ABSN and ELMSN programs and see which ones I get into.

Getting to my point, I need advice on what I should do before I apply. Also, if you guys have any schools you would recommend me looking into that's not all GPA-based when it comes to first rounds of applications.

Sorry for the essay here, but I do highly appreciate the feedback. Thank you!

windsurfer8, BSN

Specializes in Psych/Military Nursing. Has 14 years experience.

You say it is "around 2.5" Well what does that mean? What is it exactly. When you have a crappy GPA and you are applying you need to OWN IT and then drive on. The Univ. I was associated with would not accept anyone with a GPA less than 3.2 on their first bachelors for the ABSN. I know the Univ. of Wyoming has a minimum OF 2.5 on your first to apply. You may want to contact schools you want to attend and see if they will allow you to apply even if you don't meet the minimum. Be honest with them because if you say 2.5 and it is actually 2.2,,,NOT GOOD.

If you are going into the medical world you really need to get your averages well into the 3.0s and up. Not this "around" stuff.

I think you're going to have a hard time finding a school that will consider a GPA that low. Good work experience is nice, but graduate academic programs in nursing are going to be understandably concerned with applicants' previous academic performance. These programs are swamped with applicants, many of whom have very high GPAs from their previous degrees; the schools don't have to take time to consider people with low GPAs, they are too busy trying to figure out how to choose among all the 4.0s and 3.8s who are applying.

There's nothing in your post about when or how you became interested in nursing. Was it by any chance related to your realizing you had no chance of getting into a decent med school?

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Accelerated program admission criteria is very high. It's not arbitrary... it's established based upon an analysis of the characteristics of successful graduates of the program. These are very intense programs that are only suitable for students with a fairly high level of academic horsepower. Cumulative GPA is the best indicator of that capability. So, it's very unlikely that any amount of compelling personal biography is going to convince anyone to lower the bar. Unless, of course, your admission would cinch a multi-million dollar endowment or something :sneaky: And BTW, you may want to carefully investigate the market for entry-level MSNs... they aren't getting jobs in my part of the country.

Thank you for your insight. I understand that these programs are academically intense - I just feel completely hopeless with the low GPA being the main reason holding me back from these programs. I am also considering doing a post-bacc nursing program too.

Also, if you don't mind me asking, what part of the country are you from and what's your opinion about the ELMSN programs in terms of why they're not getting jobs?

As I told the user below, I completely understand that these programs are academically intense, hence why I made this post originally so I could receive some good advice to get me going in the right direction.

And before you start assuming, no, I did not change career paths because of the realization of not getting into a decent med school. I changed because my personality and passion better fits the nursing field of medicine. Ultimately, I want to work in public health to be able to provide more resources to low-income communities - and my inspiration for this is my current job, working in an ER.

Have you looked into ADN programs? If you're already looking into pre nursing programs and then absn, might as well do ADN cause it'll be the same amount of time overall. Plus, it'll save you a lot of money.

where I am from, some virginia's community colleges are fairly easy to get into (No prereq's). Admission is solely based on the teas. Above 60% national percentile is competitive. And the community college I will be attending in August is ACEN accredited.

There's an agreement with a major state university to get your bsn while concurrently enrolled in your ADN if you have a previous bachelors. Adn and bsn in 2 years. There's also guaranteed admissions to the George Washington's ADN to MSN program if you get a 3.0 or above.

Edited by NEradtech
Add info

Here's the thing: when it comes to GPA for admission to an educational program, no one cares how hard your major was.

If the minimum requirement is 3.0, they throw out your application if you don't meet that requirement. However, you can call and ask, because maybe some will give a little wiggle room, but I'd guess not a lot if they did.

You can take additional classes to try to raise your GPA, but going from a 2.5 to 3.0 is a ton on classes at this point (after a 120 or so credits with a 2.5 average, you are looking at 60 credits or so of straights A's to get yourself to a 3.0).

I had the same issue when I made the switch to nursing. I started taking any class I could find at the community college that was online to raise my GPA. THEN, I did the math to figure out how long that would take me. In fact, it would take me about the same number of credits as an ADN.

So, I applied for and got in to the ADN program. I'm now one semester from graduating.

I'll be done with my nursing degree by the end of this year. I will have paid less than $10,000 total. I was able to work full time through the whole program. And, I have a 4.0 (since going back to school and overall, just over 3.0), so grad school will be an option if I decide to go that way.

Will this route take longer? Absolutely. . But it definitely was the right decision for me.

Good luck!

I think you should leave the accelerated programs alone and focus on a more traditional nursing school. The programs you are seeking are designated for people who have the academic capacity to complete those programs. Your academic history shows that you will not be able to handle an accelerated program. At this point you can't afford to picky and your best bet is to apply to an adn program. Please note that adn programs can be pretty competitive as well.

Edited by johsonmichelle

FolksBtrippin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

My friend got into Thomas Jefferson's ABSN with a 2.8, her last 60 credits were higher GPA. She did not get into Drexel. The schools around me will consider you if your last 60 credits are a 3.0 or better.

Calculate your GPA of your last 60 credits. If it's better than a 3.0, apply to those programs that use this policy.

If not, figure out how many credits of A you need to get it up to where it needs to be and then retake some classes you did poorly in, or take some new classes to boost your GPA.

I think you are a good candidate. You have good experience. You picked a hard road the first time. I think you got this.