I guess it's application season since I've been getting quite a few emails from some anxious accelerated nursing school applicants lately! Firstly, thanks for all your support and for reaching out to me! :) I am really hoping that I provide some clarity and calm some nerves.
But first... a little disclaimer: Everyone's application is going to look different. Everything I am sharing with you now is unique to ME. It's so easy to compare yourself to others and to think you've got a shot, or don't have a shot based on similarities/differences you have with someone else. Some people may find solace in some of the information about my personal GPA and GRE scores which is great! I want you to NOT feel discouraged because of numbers. But at the same time, you also have other things to show for (ex. leadership, work, volunteer, etc) which you can mold into great conversations during an interview or into your personal statement.
This sounds super cheesy, but if you just follow your passion and are enthusiastic about something, it'll show through your application/interviews.
Who here is super concerned about their low GPA from undergrad? It's okay...so was I! I was a Human Biology major and Healthcare and Social Issues minor at UC San Diego and those courses KICKED MY BUTT! I had about a 3.1 cumulative GPA by the time I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree. BUT, I kind of knew going into my application process that nursing schools were definitely looking at more than GPA. Since nursing programs had their own set of pre-requisites, I aimed to do really well in all those courses. I took majority of the pre-reqs at a community college by home and did really well in those courses. I think showing you can do well in these pre-reqs which have a little more to do with the nursing curriculum means more.
In terms of GRE scores -- in MY PERSONAL opinion, I don't believe nursing schools weigh GRE scores AS heavily as say physician assistant (PA) programs. From what I've kind of read from posts on allnurses.com, if you can generally score a minimum of 50th percentile in each category, you are still in the running (pretty much where I was, and I decided not to re-take it). You can also check out the kinds of schools I applied to here to get an idea. But again, schools everywhere may be different in terms of what they consider acceptable an not.
So... anyone's nerves a little calmer???
I do want to say that you are MORE than numbers. A really good friend of mine used to remind me that all the time. And it helped. I knew I was more than that. I was and am an accumulation of my experiences, my desire to be involved in my campus and local community, my passions in health promotion and women's health., and so much more that I am still so open to discovering.
Applications in the nursing world I feel like are definitely evaluated as a whole. So if you see that you are lacking in some aspect, it's about making it up maybe in another area. The personal statement is also the perfect place to humanize yourself and make a difference in your potential acceptance!
After you are done with your coursework and you've taken your GRE, there isn't much else you can do to change those numbers. After those are done, focus on what you CAN make better before you submit the application -- personal statement, obtaining letters of recommendation, your resume, etc. I asked letters of recommendations from people who I thought would be able to speak best about my work ethic, but also my potential to be a nurse. I also worked a lot on my personal statement since I knew some schools wouldn't do interviews, so I knew I needed my voice and my personality to shine here. I had a few friends and family edit my personal statement, and then I personally made the decision to pay someone to edit my personal statement, and it definitely helped a bunch. This was a personal preference, but it was the right decision for me! I am not the BEST writer (says the girl who wanted to start a blog).
ANYWAY... that was a pretty long post, so I hope those who are currently applying and are struggling with this process find something useful here. If you feel like a post about how I asked for letters of recommendation would be helpful, leave me a comment or email me! I am always looking for advice for post topics. I actually got this idea from a recent reader!
Have a great weekend, everyone! Best of luck with everything!