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Post-bacc, DIY or uh-oh?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by BSN2014, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. BSN2014

    BSN2014 A nurse or something.

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    I am a RN, worked as a medical-surgical staff nurse last year and am currently looking for a part-time or PRN position in public health, community health, or an MD's office with regular hours, so that I can devote most of my time to pre-requisite courses and MCAT preparation.

    I graduated in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a local state university. My cumulative GPA was 3.4 - I am unsure of my science GPA, but I do know it was above 3.0. I have taken courses in chemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy & physiology I & II, microbiology & pathophysiology. I finished those courses around 3 years ago, prior to entering the BSN program.

    Prior to taking pre-requisites for nursing school, I acquired an associates degree at a local CC. I graduated from that program with a 3.6 GPA. I have to admit, I attended a two-year degree program to try to make up for the fact that I dropped out of high school when I was 16. At the time, I was dealing with a death in the family as well as a severe physical illness. I had basically run out of coping mechanisms. I have since become MUCH better at dealing with stress, but I can't help shaking the thought that an error made as a teenager might keep me from pursuing my dream of being a doctor. How bad does my dropping out of high school when I was 16 look on a med school application?

    My other question is whether or not a post-bacc program would be appropriate for me, or if I would be better off taking my pre-requisites at a local state or private school? Although I'm sure that my science GPA was above 3.0, I know that by the time I apply to medical school, they will probably be at least 5 years old and therefore should probably be retaken. I also know that my GPA needs to come up. I am 24 years old, soon to be 25, single, no kids, with no financial obligations other than loans from my undergraduate education (around $32,000). I would have a relocate for a post-bacc program and possibly incur more debt than I would if I took classes near by. (I am prepared to take out loans for medical school, but I just don't want to hit my max federal loan limit before I ever get there.) There's also no guarantee that I could work as an RN if I chose a post-bacc program in another state. The local university that I'm leaning towards would be a local private liberal arts university, first-tier for the region, consistently ranks & fully accredited. The school is about 15 minutes from my house and close to where I'm planning to get a job.

    [Edit] I should also mention that when I refer to "medical school" throughout this post, I'm referring to MD programs.

    Any and all advice would be great. Honesty is appreciated.
     
    #1 BSN2014, Aug 4, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
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  3. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
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    Dropping out of high school only matters if you highlight it as part of your story for wanting to be a physician. Basically you should decide how well you can write & talk about it.

    Make sure to take the premed variants of the basic sciences. The nursing variants may not cover the material you need for the MCAT. Note that the MCAT has sociology and humanities on it now, not just science & verbal.

    You don't have to buy a premium prereqs program. But with a lower GPA, don't take the risk of doing more community college work.

    Look for a job on campus. That usually gets you a tuition break and/or registration priority. Look at things like research coordination as well as nursing.

    Best of luck to you.
     
    BSN2014 likes this.
  4. BSN2014

    BSN2014 A nurse or something.

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    In your opinion, would there be any benefit to discussing it on med school applications? I am a first generation college graduate, from a low-income family, and not the first person in my family to drop out of high school. I do feel that I've overcome quite a lot to get to this point, and that it is a pretty integral part of my story.

    This is good to know. I contacted the private top-tier school and they were unwilling to work with me regarding financial aid, even though I'm planning to enter as degree-seeking student (but not finish). There is, however, a good liberal arts university (state school) 20 minutes from my home, and they are willing to treat post bacc second degree students the same as a first-degree freshman. I would qualify for financial aid, premed advising, premed student organizations, and so on. They also have a larger variety of science courses and programs, and seem to place a much bigger emphasis on research than the smaller private school.

    Which leads me to another question: is there any benefit to getting a second degree? Is there a possibility that med school admissions might not look favorably at me (since there is a hx of dropping out, even though it was a long time ago) for "stopping" the bachelor's degree after all of the prerequisites are obtained? I know that may seem like a dumb question, but I just want to make sure I don't hurt my chances in the process.

    Thank you for your help!
     

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