Get Into Nursing School With a Lower GPA

Your dream of becoming a nurse isn’t over if you have less than a 3.0 GPA. If you are prepared to relocate or change the modality of your desired nursing program, this career can still be in the cards for you.

Smiling nurse talking with a woman outside

Over the past several years, nursing schools across the country have turned away thousands of qualified applicants due to a lack of openings. Competition at some schools has gotten so fierce that even students with a perfect 4.0 GPA risk rejection. So where does that leave you if you’re trying to get into nursing school with a lower GPA?

Cast a Wider Net

While you may have your heart set on attending a prestigious nursing school, there’s a good chance hundreds of other students do too. Thereby, your chances of getting into nursing school with a lower GPA are higher at a lesser-known institution. And given the nursing shortage, health care employers tend to care more about your level of nursing preparedness, which includes RN licensure, and less about where you went to school.

Make a Move

If the nursing schools in your area have long waitlists, your chances of getting into a program with a lower GPA are pretty much slim to none. So, if you really want to become a nurse, you might consider relocating for nursing school, especially if you live on the West Coast where your chances of being wait-listed are much higher than on the East Coast. However, that’s not to say you need to move across the country to attend nursing school. There are accelerated nursing programs in Oregon, Nevada, Utah and Texas without waitlists.

Consider Online Learning

Given that most nursing schools are short on faculty, those that offer online-based program options tend to have higher enrollment capacities. Hybrid accelerated nursing programs serve as great examples. Because students in these programs complete their core curriculum online, schools can increase their teaching bandwidth.

woman using laptop while sitting outside

Factor in Prerequisites

Students applying to an accelerated nursing program must successfully complete a series of prerequisite courses before starting nursing school. While these requirements vary by program, some schools let you factor these prerequisites into your cumulative GPA, which can help if your GPA is just below the program requirement. For example, let’s say your GPA is just below a school’s 3.0 requirement; you could raise your GPA by doing well in the prerequisites, making you eligible for the program.

Go Beyond GPA

While most nursing schools set their minimum GPA requirements at 3.0, there are accelerated nursing programs out there that accept students with 2.7 and 2.8 GPAs. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you’d receive a lesser nursing education with these programs. It just means that these schools take a more holistic approach to the admissions process. You just need to make sure that whatever nursing school you apply to is accredited at both the university and program level.

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