Feb 12, 2020
2
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello,
I will be graduating this semester with my B.S. in Neuroscience. I’m trying to figure out what route I want to take and I’m stuck/would appreciate any advice.

I am deciding between doing a 12 month accelerated nursing program for non-BSN holders or trying to apply for a PA program. I have all of my prereqs for both done but I have better grades in my prereqs for nursing than PA.
I know I could definitely succeed in PA school but I am worried about my grades from undergrad because my first two years I played a sport. My overall GPA is 3.2 and my major GPA which factors in all of my prereqs was only a 3.1.
Bio 101 & 102 - B- in both
Gen Chem- C
Orgo I & II - B- in both
Biochem - B
Microbio - A+
A&P 1 and 2 — A+
2 English courses -A+
Endocrinology, Cell Biology - B/B+
2 Psych courses - A+ in both
Stats - B

I would definitely retake Gen chem but which of my other classes should I retake if any? I think this is the only thing that could hurt my chances of getting in.

also, the nursing program is almost the same price as some PA schools but I would only get a Bachelors and not a Masters degree which is why I am stuck between the two. If I go to PA school, I won’t necessarily need to further my degree but I definitely would want to after getting my RN. Trying to figure out what will save me the most money in the long run but will still be practical.
Any advice will help!!!
 
Last edited:
Jan 1, 2020
36
15
Have you looked at direct entry msn
Programs at schools with established NP programs? They could potentially check off some of the NP theory and fluff courses so that you’d be closer to NP if that’s the route you want.
 
Feb 12, 2020
2
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Have you looked at direct entry msn
Programs at schools with established NP programs? They could potentially check off some of the NP theory and fluff courses so that you’d be closer to NP if that’s the route you want.
I have a friend who just got into a direct entry MSN program that is three years and she has to get her RN first then work for a year. My thought process for that was to get my RN work and then possibly find a hospital that would pay for some of my tuition for NP school down the road. But will I REALLY want to go back to school then?? I’ve also heard that employers aren’t that fond of hiring NPs directly out of a program like that either so I’m not sure
 
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Jan 1, 2020
36
15
I have a friend who just got into a direct entry MSN program that is three years and she has to get her RN first then work for a year. My thought process for that was to get my RN work and then possibly find a hospital that would pay for some of my tuition for NP school down the road. But will I REALLY want to go back to school then?? I’ve also heard that employers aren’t that fond of hiring NPs directly out of a program like that either so I’m not sure
Only you know you. Remember you’ll be working as a RN while you’re in NP school most likely. If you get a hard hitting ICU RN job you’ll be surprised how far you’ll go in a few years. If you pick a challenging RN role it will pay you back in the long run. Only you know what’s right for you when it comes to going back to school or not.
 

pamac

10+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2010
1,426
438
Status
Other Health Professions Student
I have a friend who just got into a direct entry MSN program that is three years and she has to get her RN first then work for a year. My thought process for that was to get my RN work and then possibly find a hospital that would pay for some of my tuition for NP school down the road. But will I REALLY want to go back to school then?? I’ve also heard that employers aren’t that fond of hiring NPs directly out of a program like that either so I’m not sure
Its hard to find an employer that is excited to help pay for NP school, or even help pay off your debt. Not saying they aren’t out there, but I wouldn’t rely on that possibility. Same goes for loan repayment schemes. The NHSC reimbursement scholarship is what a lot of people hope to land, but the fine print can be killer.

As far as going back to school goes.... a lot of the incentive to go back and further your education comes from not wanting to continue to toil as an RN when you could be making more money and garnering more professional respect. There was a point in my career when I had a rough day at work as an RN, and I realized I was going to come back in 12 hours to take care of the same patients that gave me fits for the last 12 hours. Being an RN can be cool, but it also can frankly be awful. An exit plan helps morale considerably.
 
Feb 14, 2020
2
1
Speaking as a somewhat recent grad that is familiar with the admission process -

While most PA schools tend to have a listed entry GPA cutoff of 3.0-3.2, the averages tend to be much higher overall. 3.6+ in cumulative GPA, science GPA, and prerequisite GPA are typically the norm, and more than likely will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. As you stated, you will need to retake the full gen chem with lab series, as well as organic chem series. If you take into account summer classes, and the fact that you have already completed these classes once, you could realistically complete these classes in as little as 1-3 semesters.

However, even if you choose to do that, it will barely move the needle on your GPA since you already have a complete science degree. You will simply be proving to the adcoms that you are able to master the material. What you need to do is diversify your application and convince the adcoms that you are an applicant that can otherwise synthesize medical information quickly and ultimately pass the PANCE. What does you current healthcare experience look like? What certifications do you have? How about those all important LORs?

If you have no medical experience I would enroll in an EMT-B and/or CNA class immediately and begin looking for an ED tech job, or something that will allow you to gain more medical experience and help obtain LORs - preferably in the inpatient setting where you will run into lots of clinical professionals working with ill individuals. Becoming a medical scribe may also be helpful (and fast), but I would also get a certification to get hands-on with patients sooner rather than later. Completing a post-bach program is always an option to help improve that GPA, but you will need to do some serious soul-searching. These programs tend to be expensive, time-consuming, and are not a guarantee. Also, keep in mind the roles of RNs and PAs are very different. I think getting into a clinical setting and exploring these differences would very helpful to you.
 
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