Many people claim that GPA does not matter at all during college and that we should focus on our growth as individuals. The cold hard truth, however, is that it does matter, at least to employers and institutions offering further studies. I do not endorse the idea of employment of grades to determine the capability of a candidate during an admission process because it is simply not fair, but GPA does influence future job prospects and restricts the options of educational programs a candidate can choose.
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Getting into Nursing School despite Bad Grades
We will be talking about Nursing Schools today, as disciplines related to scientific fields tend to have extremely competitive admissions. GPA requirements vary from institution to institution, but the minimum GPA to apply for at least a BSN (Bachelor Studies in Nursing) degree in any well-reputed Nursing School, is 3.00 out of 4.00. However there’s a loophole in every system, right? You know there is and that’s one of the reasons you are here, so without further ado, let us get started.
Requirements for Enrollment in a Nursing School
According to WHO’s (World Health Organization) data statistics from 2016-2020, Nurses make up 50% of the healthcare workforce globally. Currently, it is one of the most sought-after professions. Due to the increasing demand for professional and registered healthcare professionals over the course of the past years, the competition for acceptance into medical and nursing schools has increased. There are however still a few options left, even if your GPA does not currently match the requirements for getting enrolled in most Nursing Schools.
Options to Consider if You’ve Got a Low GPA:
Nursing Schools with Low GPA Requirement
An obvious option if you aren’t able to get an adequate GPA. You can find a suitable program for you without any difficulty with various program finders online. The only possible downside to this option is that the quality of education might be compromised.
Community college is the best option for you if you do not want to waste more time and want to get into a nursing school as soon as possible. Community colleges are cheap and are an effective way of raising your GPA or credits. Just make sure that your desired nursing program takes your prerequisite classes into consideration before applying. While Community college itself doesn’t have a significant drawback and is beneficial for your professional career, some nursing schools would not consider prerequisite classes at all while reviewing your application. Make sure that the program you are going for does.
Opt for a Waitlist Program
Waitlist Programs are the best option in case you don’t want to compromise on the quality of your education, but aren’t able to afford additional classes or prerequisite courses because of lack of time or financial stability. Waitlist programs are distinct from conventional nursing degrees because they do not require an exceptional GPA for enrollment. You are given a number and must wait for formal admission at the designated time. This option, akin to all others, does undoubtedly have downsides as well. Some things to consider while opting for waitlist programs is that you will have to wait for a long time, and if your financial situation deteriorates over the years, then you will not be able to pay the admission expenses.
Appointment with an Educational Counselor
Educational counselors can guide you better than anyone else. You will of course have to pay a small fee for their assistance. They will analyze your prospects, like finance and GPA, and help choose a suitable nursing program according to your wants and needs. Find a competitive and experienced education counselor for better guidance.
Volunteer and Gain Experience
It’s widely known that a degree is not on par with actual experience. By occasionally volunteering at a local nursing home or hospital, you can boost your chances with the large amounts of practical knowledge that you will gather.
CNA or LPN/LVN
Start with CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant), LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse), or LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) to informally start working in healthcare and to possibly get into a competitive nursing school later in case you are unable to enrol in one currently. Some facilities even offer financial assistance to informally licensed nurses so that they can continue their formal education and ascend to RN (Registered Nurse).
Private Nursing Schools without Prerequisite Courses
All that is required by Private Nursing Schools is a high school diploma and GED. Private nursing schools usually don’t have waiting lists, as GPA’s as low as 2.5 are accepted too. Private nursing schools do not require prerequisite courses, all you will have to do is pass an easy entrance exam. A notable downside of this option is that private nursing schools are expensive even though the degree given is the same as other nursing schools. The fee usually starts at $25,000, so you will probably need a federal or private student loan. One way to decrease the size of the tuition fee is to take some prerequisite courses, as they are accepted even if you got a ‘C’ in those.
List of Nursing Credentials and Degrees
CNA: (Nursing assistant training program): A program that usually takes three to eight weeks to complete and requires state-approved education to enroll into, CNA is a starting point for the careers of many nurses.
PN/LVN: (Practical Nursing Diploma): It should be noted that a PN is occasionally referred to as an LVN. To get this certification, you need to complete a Practical Nursing Diploma first. The amount of time needed to get a PN/LVN certification is 12 months. To qualify, passing an NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination) is required.
RN: (Bachelors of Science in Nursing): RN refers to a nurse who has completed conventional nursing degrees like Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. You’re required to pass the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination) before starting your professional career as a Nurse.
ARPN: A credential used to refer to nurses who have completed their degree of Master of Science in Nursing. To be able to earn this credential, the completion of a Bachelor of Science in nursing is required.
Jobs Available after Completing a Nursing Degree:
Jobs are not limited once you have completed your nursing degree. There are loads to choose from depending on your specialization. Here is a compilation of jobs that are tied to a nursing degree:
Health play specialist
Mental health nurse
Assistant Nurse Manager
Clinical Development Specialist
This is just a list of mainstream jobs. You can make use of your nursing degree in many other fields as well.
Future Prospects of a Nursing Degree:
There has never been a better time to pursue nursing, as the profession is expected to experience explosive growth in the near future. Nursing, according to Global Health Education, is set to grow by 16%. This is far higher than the national average of any other profession in the United States of America. You can safely conclude that you would not remain unemployed if you choose to study Nursing.
Statistics Related to Nursing:
Median annual wages for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners in May 2019:
Mount Carmel College of Nursing’s tuition fee:
Industry revenue of nursing care facilities in the U.S (2012-2024)
Top Nursing Programs:
Top 10 Nursing Schools
Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019
Do not give up your dream of attending a nursing school just because of a low GPA. Naturally, there will be some hurdles that will discourage you from achieving your dream, but they are temporary and will make your achievement more rewarding in the end. Any hurdles will seem insignificant after you finally achieve what you wanted, as it was you who decided that a career in nursing is worth it. Thank you for reading and best of luck!
Christina Lyon is the author of this educational blog and she is involved with student’s life and education. She has a passion for writing articles related to education including Degrees, Diplomas, exams, students’ experience, and her prime objective is to support worldwide students by answering all their FAQs through this blog.