First, the lead in....
I am having difficulty getting accepted into a nursing program. I have been applying to combined second degree BSN/MSN programs with Family Nurse Practitioner as a chosen specialty and working in Indian Health as an intended career goal. I have a couple more of these programs to apply to since application deadlines are all different. I am now also considering applying to second degree BSN programs with the intention of completing the MSN later. There is a local ADN program and a BSN bridge at the University I just graduated from; however, the ADN program is nearly impossible to get into. I have a friend that applied to the program 4 times (once a year), had a 4.0 and was working as an EMT, was wait-listed each time. She gave up and is now pursuing a different degree. I completed my BA in Sociology with a minor in Biology (human concentration) last December, so traditional BSN programs are not an option at this point. Neither school offers pre-nursing advising...it's a situation of take the pre-req's, apply, if you get in then you get advising.
Second, the potential problem...
When I met with my adviser to go over additions to my C.V. and changes in my personal/goals statement for the next round of applications, she had a thought...maybe "my story" is the problem. I spoke with my Aunt who has been a Psych RN for 25 years and she agrees that this very well could be the issue.
I had an extremely difficult childhood. I do not go into details on my apps, and I won't here either, but I will give a little bit of info. At 6 months old I was dropped off for a weekend visit at my great Aunts home, my mother came back 3 1/2 YEARS later with one hour notice to pick me up. So basically, my earliest years were as the baby in a family of 5 children, 3 older brothers and an older sister, then suddenly I was the only child in a very young military family...with parents I didn't even know. I saw the great Aunt two or three times throughout my childhood and early adulthood, I saw the "big sister" once, and never saw the "brothers" again...until the funeral of the great Aunt, when I was 27 years old.
After being taken back by my mother, a little brother arrived, we moved A LOT (military), and I never felt I fit in either where we lived or in my own family. My parents were emotionally and physically abusive...severely. I barely made it through school, and moved out as quickly as possibly after I graduated high school. I made a few attempts at taking classes at the community college, but never succeeded...either dropping with W's or just not bothering to go or drop and getting F's. As my life fell apart, I sought help initially because the Golden Gate bridge was looking like a viable option for a "direction" for my life to take, since it's a local landmark, this was a very real possibility. Fast forward to now...I was diagnosed with a dissociative disorder and severe anxiety. Both of these are now very well controlled, the dissociative disorder may even be "resolved" (as much as is possible). I graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.491, a major GPA of 3.91. I've completed all my nursing pre-req's with a 3.0 and I am repeating one class this summer (anatomy). I was a teaching assistant for physiology 3 times, and for microbiology 2 times. I have my BLS for healthcare, am enrolled in a CNA program for the fall, and am working on all the paperwork to be able to volunteer at the hospital. I am a lifetime member of two honor societies, and was president of the campus chapter of one of them for a year. I was also chosen to sit on the Disability Services for Students advisory committee for a year ( a huge honor, appointed by the University President). All of this is good...right?
So...is it true that my past psych issues are what is hurting my chances? My overcoming these challenges is a HUGE part of my life. This also is what explains my lower GPA (compared to other applicants), I will never have a 4.0 because of the earlier attempts at college. I am very frustrated...I really don't have any other "story" to tell. I worked very hard to get in the place of healing that I am at now, and I worked very hard to achieve success in school. I know I will succeed in a program, even an accelerated one. I also know that I will be a damn good nurse. Can anyone offer any suggestions?