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Why aren't I getting into my nursing program?

Posted

Has 2 years experience.

I don't understand where I'm going wrong, and the only answer I've gotten is that I did poorly on my SAT's. It's true I almost failed out of high school. But since then, I have gone to community college and now in a university with a GPA of 3.8. I completed A&P 1 and 2, microbiology, intro to Chem, college algebra, English 1 and 2, Spanish 1 and 2, psychology, sociology, biology, anthropology, intro to Christianity and art history. My grades are all A's and B's and I took on 18 credits per semester plus a part time job.

Yet I can't get into my nursing program at my university. They told me try again at the end of the academic year and they will re-evaluate me. (their nursing program starts in the spring)

I don't want to be in school for a B.S.N. for 6+ years! I could attempt to get a PA instead in less time!! What have I done wrong? I was told by the undeclared adviser that there is a shortage among nursing teachers and that my SAT scores reflect how poor I'll do on the NCLEX. But I'm a different person now than I was in high school.

What do you all think please? I am not trying to sound superior. It's just that I've worked my butt off in college for my grades and it doesn't seem to matter?

EDIT: I just also wanted to add that I am a CNA already and also am certified in PCT, EKG and phlebotomy from a vocational school and had a really good letter of recommendation from my RN instructor.. I just am so confused. And I can't make an appointment with a nursing adviser until I am accepted into the program.

Edited by direw0lf

why not retake the SATs and get a higher score.. most programs have a min SAT or ACT score and I know many people that have retaken their exams to get up the needed scores..

Best of luck.

You can also apply to other programs.

direw0lf, BSN

Has 2 years experience.

I had no idea I could retake the SAT's after high school.....never even thought of that. Not a bad idea, thanks!

direw0lf, BSN

Has 2 years experience.

This is the only university within a reasonable commute (about 45 mins to 1 hour drive). The community college in this area has an LPN program but not an RN...and the university doesn't have an LPN to RN program. But getting an LPN and moving is an option.

You sound like you have all the right tools. Your grades are great, as are your current certifications.

Figure out what they look at in order to accept students via their website. Then go to the BSN offices and ask to see an adviser, bringing along all transcripts and proof of scores. Hopefully they give you a straight answer.

Leaning on your high school SAT scores so heavily seems like a strange way to admit students, since it seems to be taking precedence over your sterling pre-req GPA. Get clarification from a nursing adviser, not an undeclared adviser.

I agree with PP ThatBigGuy...speak to the nursing coordinator or secretary in the nursing department to find out exactly what they look for in regards to admissions and acceptance. Usually admissions counselors know very little about what you really need to know, so best to speak to someone in that particular nursing department. Also, SAT's have nothing to do with the NCLEX. Two completely different tests with two completely different kinds of questions. SAT's get you into the university, then you usually have an entrance exam specifically for the nursing program (Hesi, Teas, NLN, etc). Now if you did poorly on one of those tests then I could see why you would be having trouble getting into the program. But go to the nursing department and get the info needed to know where you stand and which path you should take.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 14 years experience.

You might not be getting accepted to the nursing program of your choice because a large volume of other qualified applicants are also applying.

My former coworker's application was rejected even though she had a 4.0 grade point average, several years of LPN experience and good test scores. It was because so many other excellent candidates applied that season.

I ended up driving across state lines to attend a less-competitive nursing school. Half of my class was from out of state and commuted more than 200 miles to get to school.

direw0lf, BSN

Has 2 years experience.

Thank you...I think I gave up on the phone too easily when the nursing department secretary told me that I can't see a nursing adviser until I'm accepted into the nursing program. I should have asked more questions to her.

There is no entry exam for this nursing program. I know I've heard otherwise for most schools though.

direw0lf, BSN

Has 2 years experience.

I wondered if maybe this was why. Although I don't think it would be. But in my entry essay I wrote about how I come from an abusive childhood and why I want to be a nurse and from my experiences believe I could be more empathetic..I wondered if maybe they rejected me thinking I might not be emotionally capable of nursing. It was only a 1 page essay so I wasn't very detailed about it but I regret disclosing that.

Got the impression from how you worded your post that you might be in a good position for the next go-around. I would try it one more time before casting the net further.

I wondered if maybe this was why. Although I don't think it would be. But in my entry essay I wrote about how I come from an abusive childhood and why I want to be a nurse and from my experiences believe I could be more empathetic..I wondered if maybe they rejected me thinking I might not be emotionally capable of nursing. It was only a 1 page essay so I wasn't very detailed about it but I regret disclosing that.

I have found in general, and particularly in nursing school, that it is not wise to disclose too much about oneself unless one has led a saccharine-like life and/or one comes from the politically correct side of town. Recommend that you pull back on the essay next time.

mzrainydayz, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/ Surg/ Telemetry, Public Health.

Sorry to hear, Apply to other schools, don't put all your eggs in one basket.Also consider a new essay?

Well, in the first place, it's not "your" nursing program, it's a nursing program. One of many. It would help to expand your efforts.

Secondly, nursing programs have become breathtakingly competitive over the last couple decades or so. Everyone and his brother wants to to become an RN. There is 'way too much demand and not enough seats to accommodate everyone who wants to get in. In the last BSN program in which I taught (a state uni program, respectable but nothing special), we got five or six applications for every seat. Every year. All the program's literature said that a 2.5 GPA was the minimum to be eligible, but the reality was that no one with less than a 3.7 GPA on their prereqs and prior college work even got seriously considered -- there were just so many applicants with 4.0, 3.9, 3.8 GPAs that even all of those people didn't get accepted. You may be in that situation -- that there are just so many v. well-qualified applicants that you're simply not quite making the cut. You would be amazed at who is not getting into nursing programs these days.

If this is really, really what you want, I encourage you to look farther afield and consider relocating. There's a chance you might get into the local program next time around, but, as already noted, it's not wise to put "all your eggs in one basket." The more schools you apply to, the greater your chance of getting accepted somewhere.

You do sound like a strong candidate, and I can imagine this must be really frustrating for you. Best wishes!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 14 years experience.

But in my entry essay I wrote about how I come from an abusive childhood and why I want to be a nurse and from my experiences believe I could be more empathetic..I wondered if maybe they rejected me thinking I might not be emotionally capable of nursing.

I totally agree with the others who have mentioned that perhaps you should refrain from over-sharing in your next entry essay.

I had a difficult childhood as well: parental drug addiction, domestic violence, psychological abuse, financial problems, you name it. However, I would never share these past issues with anyone who had to decide whether or not to grant me admission into a nursing program.

Society casts negative judgments over people who over-share the negative aspects of their lives too soon. Over-sharers are sometimes unfairly regarded as broken people, 'damaged goods,' or mentally unstable.

If you have not yet established a degree of emotional intimacy with the other person, a good rule of thumb is to not share your troubled childhood history with him or her. Good luck to you!

SAT score should be irrelevant. I was always under the impression they were an indicator for your ability to handle/ succeed in college level classes. If you have a decent amount of creds under you belt I don't see why it would matter. I am in a program and have never taken the SAT. I do have a good GPA and about 70 credits

applewhitern, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 30 years experience.

My school would not accept SAT; they wanted ACT only. Your ACT score carried a lot of weight, more so than your prior GPA. They claimed this measured your ability to do well in the nursing program. I agree, re-take the SAT.

direw0lf, BSN

Has 2 years experience.

I have a surprising twist to share! (And certainly I erred - in my essay and not expanding my options - thanks for pointing these out!!) My teachers banded together and spoke up for me! I re-applied and gained acceptance into the nursing program in the same day......I am ecstatic!!! Never would I have expected that. Also, it looks like I can get a minor in biology. I'm not sure what that will do for me, but I'm 2 classes away from it. I feel like I won a lottery or something!