Please give me any advice you think would be beneficial to augmenting my student/professional record as well as directing me towards a PA program or a particular Allied Health field. What will make me a better candidate?
What I’m doing now:
Taking prerequisites (at a community college) for PA/Nursing/Allied Health programs (e.g. Human Nutrition, A&P, Medical Terminology, Healthcare Ethics, etc.). I have been thinking about doing an accelerated BSN program, but I am not entirely sure yet. I am considering becoming a CNA next semester to get more experience around nurses to see if I really should apply to an accelerated BSN program or at least get experience for a PA/Allied Health program instead (e.g. occupational therapy, etc.).
I’m unsure what program to apply to and what programs I will be competitive for, mostly because of my GPA and experience. It seems that most programs, A-BSN or Allied Health programs, require at least a 3.0 GPA to get looked at, but overall I’m just above that (see specifics below). I’m not looking to get into the best school, just get into a school that will provide me with a good, accredited, education that will help me enter a career that I will find personally and professionally satisfying. Furthermore, in the last couple of years I developed an autoimmune disease so I am less comfortable with constantly working around infectious/communicable people since I take an immunosuppressant (although I am not worried about working with the infectious diseases in a laboratory setting because I have more control over being aseptic, sterile, etc.). Also, because of the autoimmune disease, I find it is now harder to work a long day (10+ hours) without needing a full day (that feels wasted) of rest to regain my energy. I also recently read a couple of research articles that listed nursing as one of the top professions where people in that career die of autoimmune diseases at a higher rate than other professions. I really like healthcare and biological sciences. The experiences I’ve had within various parts of those fields have really helped me figure out what I find fulfilling within them, leading me to PA/Nursing/Allied Health. Now I just need to find what particular PA/Nursing/Allied Health career will fit with my background and needs. The good news is while I am in my 30s now, I can take my time getting to where I need to be because my spouse and I don’t have children to support.
University of California (Double major, a little over 10 years ago.)
-B.S. Biology with thesis honors (Molecular/Cellular focus.)
-B.A. Psychology with honors
Social Service Award at Graduation
-UC Overall GPA: 3.13
-UC Science GPA: 2.81
-UC Non-Science GPA: 3.58
I had a couple of major personal crises that caused me to go from As & Bs to Bs and Cs (with 1 F), which is why my science GPA took a hit. I think I would have to take 8 science classes and get 8 As to raise the Science GPA to 3.0…
-Community College GPA: All As so far.
-1 in a science journal
-1 in a public health magazine
-Chiropractic Assistant (70% patient care, 30% office work, under this chiropractor the CA duties tended to be more like assistant PT work, helping with a lot of patient active/passive therapies – this is where I learned that I really like working with patients, as well as doing patient education.)
-Drug Rehab Behavioral/Mental Health Research Assistant
-Microbiology Lab Research Assistant (I like lab work, but I want to know that the lab work I’m doing will be tangibly helpful to someone and I do not want to be grant dependent.)
-College Sport Coach
-Public Health Organization Intern
-Teaching Assistant during undergrad (I learned I really enjoy teaching people science-related topics.)
-In high school I did a nursing volunteer/internship (I learned I feel very comfortable in a hospital-environment.)