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For financial reasons, I was unable to continue working on my bachelor's degree. I would like to get into nursing school, but my grades were poor. What would you do?

Wednesday February 13, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I am 24 years old and had started working on my bachelor’s degree in biology. For financial reasons, I was unable to continue. For the past couple of years, I have been working for less money than I need just to stay afloat. I lost my job and have been looking for work. I want to go back to school, but my grades were poor, so my GPA is not good enough to get into nursing school. What would you do?

Can't Get Into Nursing School

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Can't Get Into Nursing School,

Nursing programs are very competitive. If I were determined to get into an RN program but wasn't able to do so, this is the route I would take — I would try to get into an LPN/LVN school first. Once I got that credential or license, I would seek employment in a nursing home or anywhere I could find a position. Then I would try to enroll in an ‘LPN- to-RN’ BSN program or an accelerated BSN program.

In the meantime, I would look for employment as a nurse’s aide, patient care technician, emergency department technician or something similar. The money and benefits are not bad and you'd be learning so much in preparation for your future career. This type of work also can help facilitate your acceptance into nursing programs.

Read the article “Master the scholarship game” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Scholarship-Game). Where there is a will, there always is a way. Persistence and determination will win.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.