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I am planning to pick top schools (Duke, Weil, UC Davis, USC ... ). I also plan to apply to local schools in my area, which is in Florida (UF, Nova, Keiser). But I am not sure if I should consider this because of my spotty academic record (low gpa from 1st bachelors, withdrawing form a nursing school with good standing, and failing out of an ASN program). Is there any way to show adcom from these schools that I can be an equally competitive candidate than those with not so spotty academic records? I am planning to take between 3 to 4 years to build up a strong application.

 

To address a spotty record I have been doing the following:

 

After nursing I will:

  • Start GRE early to get a near perfect score (this is possible. I have seen students with scores below 292 raised it to 336. Apparently this is possible with committment and dedication more than 3 months.)
  • I will be preparing for PANCE early through CME, and baord exam questions
  • Participate in CE's and CME's to become more aware of how to procedures, diagnostics, are done
  • I will be reviewing ways to do patient interview, and patient intake

After my first bachelors I plan to:

  • Work with a private tutor to learn better study skills
  • Get a second bachelors in the sciences, which also fulfull preprequisites for PA school
  • There has been an upward trend in grades since nursing school.

To gain better clinical experience I am

  • Searching for a paid work as a PCT
  • Right now I am working as a resident assistant, and planning to volunteer in a hospital.

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Sounds like a great plan. You want to make your application stand out in other ways that would offset your GPA. An uptrending GPA, certifications, good paid experience, and an exceptional essay might do the trick.

 

I might consider taking the GRE a little bit later in the game so you can not only benefit from the education you have received, but also to avoid having the score "expire" for the schools that have a time limit. IIRC, the time limit at UF is 5 years.

 

I wish you all the best! 

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