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Trouble Getting Into Nursing School

I am having a little trouble getting into a nursing school and wondered if you guys could give me some advice, because i dont know what im doing wrong. I have all A's and B's in highschool and in college. I did well on the net test--I got and 83%. the colleges say thats what they're basing their decisions on. So why am I not getting in? Please help. I have taken all of the classes I can and I'm running out of options. Thanks for your time.


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15 Responses to “Trouble Getting Into Nursing School”

  1. Amanda Says:

    What area are you from?

  2. Damaris81 Says:

    Hi Ashley – what I have heard again and again is that getting into a program may not have anything to do with your grades, but rather on the availability of staff to teach. You might be a great student, but if there isn’t enough staff then the university will only accept the very best, which means no As or Bs – only all As. It is VERY tough to get into nursing programs these days because they are so popular. My advice is to be flexible in your location. If you are able, apply to a lot of different schools, even schools that would require a move. Be willing to get an LPN and then do an LPN to RN transition program later. Many LPN to RN transition programs are available online and are reimbursed by the hospital you work for. I am currently in an accelerated BSN program, and it was tough getting in, so I can commiserate. I had all As in my pre-requisites and letters of recommendation from the VP & Chief Nursing Officer of the local hospital, and I was still put on the waiting list 🙂 Keep trying, and don’t give up – becoming a nurse is worth all the trouble!

  3. Damaris81 Says:

    One more thing – If you have Bs on any of your prerequisites, re-take them and get As. My friend applied to a nursing program and her situation was similar to yours – she did well on the test, she had As & Bs, but she was told that she really needed to have all As on her prerequisites. She re-took them, got As, and is now in a program.

  4. Diane Says:

    Have you tried going to a community college nursing program for your R.N. degree and shifting over to a 4 year-program when it is completed and if that does not work……why not do the career ladder approach…….CNA – LPN – RN.

    I started out as a medical assistant (mid-70s) – went on to be a LPN and next an RN.

    Whatever you do don’t give up!

  5. NurseMandy Says:

    I was physical therapy for 2 years before switching to nursing, so basically my GPA was shot…I kept trying, got a psychology minor which boosted my GPA and with perserverence got in! I am so happy I stuck with it!! Please don’t give up!

  6. steubified Says:

    wow, i sure read this wrong. i read “getting into trouble in nursing school.” me and my dyslexic self

  7. Ashley Says:

    I read it like that too! 🙂 Good luck Ashley! The suggestion others gave were good ones!
    God bless!

  8. sjackson16 Says:

    What ever you do, don’t give up!! I waited for two years on a wait list, only to find out that they were doing away with the wait list. I was left searching for another school. Be sure to apply to many schools to better your chances of getting into a program. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. If you can, try looking into schools that look at more than just grades. Some private schools also look at certifications, volunteering time, experience, if you are currently working in a hospital… Be flexible and willing to relocate. If you are not interested in moving, just remember that it’s not forever. It’s only for while you are in school, and it’s ultimately for your future.

  9. Kate Says:

    I a nurse from the UK, working in London. Just wish to point out, that here in the UK, you do not need to have grade A’s to study nursing. Academically, nursing degree programmes require the minimum of three C’s at A’level or less. In fact its quite easy to get into nursing. The problem probably lies in the retention of student nurses, as there is quite a high drop-out rate. What most disturbs me, despite doing a 3 year degree course in adult nursing (at a prestigious university), is that there was very little pharmacology, anatomy, microbiology etc. All I remember is writing alot of essays, with very little exams. I guess nursing is whole different ball game in the USA.

  10. n00bienurse Says:

    It depends on the program you gain your nursing degree from. To become a registered nurse you can go through a diploma program, an associates program or a bachelor’s program. Once the program is completed and the corresponding degree is earned, one can then sit for the licensure exam to become and RN.

    Diploma programs were instituted at the time of a large shortage of nurses by hospitals in order to train nurses to become RN’s on the job. There are few of these programs left.

    Associate degree programs are about 2 years in length and are run through colleges or universities.

    Bachelors degree programs are generally the traditional 4 year degree program. These cover all the topics that the diploma and associates programs cover, but include courses on research and leadership. This is the only nursing degree from which one may proceded on to get a master’s degree or doctorate. There are also RN to BSN (Bachelors in Science of Nursing) programs for those who graduated from associates degree programs who would like to further their education.

    One doesn’t need straight A’s to become a nurse. But each program has its own requirements. But all must prepare the student for the NCLEX.

    This variety of degrees which all lead to the desired RN unfortunately don’t make too much difference once the RN is achieved. Patients don’t ask what type of program you graduated from. But more and more employers are looking for BSN/RN’s in order to be able to take a part in research.

  11. maria del carmen gutierrez Says:

    I looking for one program nursing diploma or associates degree and need the program for online

  12. gallatea Says:

    Lots of outdated info here:

    First off, community colleges are the most competitive to get into because everyone wants to get their RN for less than 10 grand. An RN with a ASN or a BSN gets paid just about the same.

    Your chances increase if you apply to private schools or BSN vs. ASN. All you have to do is ask the admissions dept of the school you’re interested in and they will tell you outright what the average GPA is for entrance. That will give you a good idea of your chances.

    BUT, and this is a big BUT – things change yearly. One program I know of went from 300 applicants one year, to 600, then this year 900 applicants. With that number, the GPA goes way up. So don’t believe anything you read if it’s more than a year old about a school. People are going back to school in the masses right now.

    Also realize some programs are starting to reconsider those that repeat courses for an A. Some won’t even consider you if you repeat anything. Some actually take away points. Get an A the first time if you can.

    Also please realize that an all A average means anything above a 3.6. It’s not a 4.0. But many programs do turn away even 4.0’s because all programs look at other things than GPA. Some want you to take extra courses in diversity & medical terminology, some give you comprehensive exams on a lot of diff. knowledge, some want volunteer service, some want medical experience and some want to see great essays.

    Most give extra points for previous degrees of any kind in any field as long as they are from accredited colleges or universities.

    Lastly, someone said a ASN at a comm. college is only 2 years. That’s total BS. You need to take 1-1.5 years of prerequisites before you even begin a program. And you need all of those classes done before applying or you won’t be competitive.

    Also, there are 4-8 months you wait after applying to start. So all and all, an associates for an RN can take up to 4 years.

    IMO it’s better to just go for the BSN and get it over with. You can go and do your BSN after you get the RN at the associate’s level, and there is virtually no competition to get into those programs (most colleges offer automatic entrance to a local BSN program they choose). But it’s expensive and time consuming and don’t think you’ll do it in your spare time while working full-time.

    Another thing, if you want to get into a BSN program and have an even lower GPA – and you already have a BA or BS, then go into an accelerated BSN to MSN program. They are popping up everywhere and because of the money and time needed for those, they are not popular. You only need a 3.4 or 3.5. And a pretty decent GRE score. University of Rochester, a fantastic private school in NY offers this type of program as well, and you don’t have to take the GRE. But they are super expensive so I think their applicant pool is rather low. But whatever it takes to reach your goal.

  13. tiffany Says:

    gallatea :
    Your wrong to say that there “is virtually no competition to get into those programs (most colleges offer automatic entrance to a local BSN program they choose”
    I dont think you can say that community colleges are more competitive to get into than universities; that is a hilarious statement.
    Each school is different. It all depends on the community college, university, no. of faculty and amount of students they can admit each year.
    Also, ADN and BSN may sometimes start out at about the same pay rate.(or not, it depends on where you work and if the hospital sees the value of having nurses with more education) But if you analyse your salary over the lifetime, and take into account opportunities open to you as having a college education, you earn more with a BSN .

  14. cardiacrn Says:

    I had a problem getting into nursing school also. I had taken my prereq’s beforehand and met with a counselor at a local community college. I didn’t get in and it turned out that I was given false and misleading information. I also found out that the person I was set up to talk with was not even involved with the nursing program. Apparently, you could’t make appts with nursing staff unless you were already in the program. I called the person over the program and asked to meet with him. He was very helpful and said that I had everything and should have gotten in but was given false information on deadlines and such. So I took his advice and reapplied the next year along with applying with another nearby comm. college.

    I set up an appointment with the second college and met with an instructor who WAS involved with the nursing program and she was very helpful with going over what I already had versus what I needed. I went to get my placement scores from the initial college only to be told by the non-nursing involved couselor that my scores weren’t high enough and I had failed one of the tests (which was completely untrue, last I checked a 100 was not failing). He advised me to come back and retake the test that I so called failed and I said yeah, ok.

    It turns out that I got into the second college which was well known for their nursing program. They ranked very high among the community colleges in the state and I felt better knowing that I was accepted into such a program.

    It turns out that the program was no doubt hard but it made me realize they were this way for a reason, they wanted you to succeed. I heard from friends who were attending the other school and they talked of how easy it was on tests and how they pass people who shouldn’t be passed.

    I’m glad I choose to look around at other colleges and I think it will help you out also. I have no idea what the inital college I applied at based their acceptance on because it definately wasn’t grades. The college I went to used a point system and gave you the average points it would take to get in that semester along with what points you had. I wish you luck and don’t give up because it is very rewarding.

  15. Dareen Says:

    Gallatea, I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said. That’s exactly what’s happening in nursing schools right now. It is indeed tougher to get into an associate’s nursing program in a community college than in a private school. I have friends who had tried for two or three consecutive years to apply in a community college nursing but didn’t get enough luck. This year they applied to a 4-year private school and got in. Yes, it is very easy to apply to a community college, but if you’re applying for their nursing program, not easy at all. They have over 800 applicants each year, but only around 40 students are admitted…

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