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Need help..chances/improving GPA

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Hello everyone, after lots of self analysis and online research I'm coming to the conclusion that PA is the perfect career for me. I graduated from college this Spring with a Bachelors of Science in Biology. My overall GPA was 3.42 and my science around 3.2. I have lots of experience in leadership, volunteering, research and have a pretty good resume. I'm lacking all the patient contact hours, unfortunately. Right now I'm trying to secure a job being a research & grants coordinator at my university's free clinic that is associated with the medical school. I need a job and it seems like an amazing opportunity. I'm willing to dedicate the next 2 years getting my hours and improving my GPA while I work. I'm not in a rush and I really think I'll enjoy this job. 

My question- can I take community college courses to improve my GPA? I don't have a cent to my name currently and can't afford classes at my university. I later plan to get my CNA certification and see how I can balance that and the job I'm trying to get now. For the PA program at my university, they count research coordinators as 1/2 credit for patient contact hours. Not sure what that means exactly. 

How bad is my GPA for PA school? I'm in Florida and would not be happy moving to another state so the goal is to get into a school here. Thank you, any advise is appreciated!

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The narrower you focus your school search the harder it will be to get in. Not to crush your dreams but there's something like a 5% acceptance rate and the odds of admission significantly decrease the fewer schools you apply to. Just saying that if you really want to get in, expanding beyond just FL schools might give you a better shot! You have a decent GPA. While the job you are looking at might count for 1/2 credit hours wise at your Uni, I would caution using this as a main way to get HCE hours. I can promise you that this job would not be considered healthcare experience at most pa schools. 

My advice would be to take the GRE, find a job that actually lets you accrue HCE (like the CNA you mentioned or EMT) and shadow PAs to make sure you know what you're getting into. Best of luck! 

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Being a CNA is going to weigh far, far more heavily in the eyes of an admissions committee than research & grants coordinator. They want that direct patient contact experience. If you don't have the patient contact experience, you're at a massive disadvantage. Even things like scribing won't be considered as PCE by most schools. You could be the R&G coordinator for an Ivy League school, but if you don't have the PCE it's all for not.

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