Community College Selection Process-What A Joke! - page 7

I am one of those middle-aged students who just applied for the Nursing Program at my local college. I was very careful to pick a college that based their selection process on merit. However, the... Read More

  1. by   Tim1957
    Quote from lizz
    Believe me Tim, I agree with you totally. There is no question that you are totally right about this. You have every right to feel the way you do. I am on your side, but Focker has a point in one sense.

    If you're expecting nursing school to be fair, it just isn't. The unfairness is not going to stop here. You are going to see many unfair things as you go through the program. They are the gatekeepers and they can pretty much do what they want.

    Probably the most unfair thing I dealt with was the teachers testing us on material they never gave us. It drove me absolutely crazy.

    Finally, I realized that I had to quit spending time and energy complaining and trying to fight it by challenging test questions, etc., and spend more of my energy figuring out how to beat the teachers at the their own game.

    So I started to study NCLEX guides in addition to the books, lecture and everything else to try to fill in the gaps, and it helped me a lot. I also figured out that I should always get notes from the previous class since, inevitably, teachers would forget to tell us things they told other classes but, nevertheless, would show up on test questions.

    In hindsight, I realized that if I had done all of this a lot sooner, instead of worrying about how unfair it all was, I would have been much better off.

    Again, I am not dismissing your arguments or how you feel. I totally sympathize with what's happened to you here. But, sometimes it's just better to accept the unfairness of the situation, especially if you can't change it, and deal with it the best that you can.

    If I may make a suggestion here: the best thing you can do right now is start studying with the free time you have because you won't have much free time once school starts. If you can, get the syllabus for the program either from the school itself or your friend who's starting now.

    You mentioned you're having some trouble talking with your friend right now because they're starting before you are but ... if you can set aside your personal feelings ... you might realize that having a friend in the class before you can also be a tremendous advantage.

    I had a friend who started before me, and she was a lifesaver. She always told me what to expect from different teachers, how to study, what kinds of test questions to expect ... all kinds of pointers ... which helped me tremendously because she had already been through it. She also gave me notes from her classes which was enormously helpful.

    I guess what I'm saying is: try to take advantage of an otherwise bad situation. You now have an opportunity to get a head start and that can give you an enormous advantage down the line.

    :typing
    LIZZ

    Thank You, You make a lot of sense.

    Tim
  2. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from Tim1957
    I have to admit, that even though I am a man I broke down and cried.


    I believe there is room for all types of selection processes in our state. But this new model is nothing but socialism. It rewards the many but penalizes those who achieve the most and some of us pay the ultimate cost. Please be aware that the Chancellor is trying to force this program on every single community college in the state.

    I just do not know where I am going to go from here.
    Hi Tim. I didn't have the time to read the whole entire thread, but in Chicago, all the community colleges have the same idiotic lottery. It IS absurd, and even the college advisors thought so. This is why I chose a direct-entry MSN program over an ASN (or I would have gotten the ASN and then done a transfer RN-MSN program).

    It's OK to cry. But you cannot change something that is not under your control. I'm 37, and simply do not have the time or energy to bank my future on some silly lottery program over which I have absolutely NO control.

    So I just chose to apply elsewhere. I can't change all 11 city colleges.

    Good luck, whatever you decide.
  3. by   FockerInTraining
    Quote from Tim1957
    Anytime you put a honors student on equal basis with someone who has just squeaked by with a 75% in competition for a place in a nursing school, that is to someone like me a very big deal.


    Its statements like this that really irritate me. Are you going to tell people when you do get into NS that if they "squeaked" by, that they don't belong there? Do you think that perhaps they are just not very good at doing the traditional "bookwork" type of learning and might excel in a more clinical enviroment? Also do you think even if they did just squeak by that they are not going to still have to pass all there classes? I have read numerous threads on this board of people saying a variety of different reasons why they were not able to get all A's, does this not make them worthy of being a nurse because they didnt do well in math? This "superior than thou" attitude is what divides the nursing field. And you are right I am not the type of person that sugarcoats things, but thats not to say that I am not nice when the situation calls for it. I just feel that you get more accomplished when you are upfront about it rather than beat around the bush. Good luck with getting in, I really do mean that.
    Last edit by FockerInTraining on Dec 18, '06
  4. by   samaletta
    I'm sorry to hear this. I can't imagine the pain you must feel. I too have put my ALL into my nursing education, and I think if I were not be able to move on for some reason it would kill me. I've never heard of a lottery system before, but it sounds pretty crappy. You must feel absolutely helpless. Hang in there.
  5. by   Beverage
    I just started my 2nd semester ADN and IMHO the lottery system sets students up for failure. It took me 3 trys to get accepted and I have a 3.8 GPA (not that it matters with the lottery system).

    Our class started out with 75 students (4 were repeats who had failed 1st). We lost 14 students (1 repeater failed again) and now our 2nd semester class has 61 students. 1 failed the math calculation test x2. 3 dropped along the way for unknown reasons, and the rest had D's all semester and failed to earn enought points (75.5%) to progress. The program is hard and marginal students are at a disadvantage.
  6. by   nursinguy
    Quote from FockerInTraining
    Its statements like this that really irritate me. Are you going to tell people when you do get into NS that if they "squeaked" by, that they don't belong there? Do you think that perhaps they are just not very good at doing the traditional "bookwork" type of learning and might excel in a more clinical enviroment? Also do you think even if they did just squeak by that they are not going to still have to pass all there classes? I have read numerous threads on this board of people saying a variety of different reasons why they were not able to get all A's, does this not make them worthy of being a nurse because they didnt do well in math? This "superior than thou" attitude is what divides the nursing field. And you are right I am not the type of person that sugarcoats things, but thats not to say that I am not nice when the situation calls for it. I just feel that you get more accomplished when you are upfront about it rather than beat around the bush. Good luck with getting in, I really do mean that.
    So a person with a 150 IQ is equal to someone that has a IQ of 100?
  7. by   FockerInTraining
    Quote from nursinguy
    So a person with a 150 IQ is equal to someone that has a IQ of 100?
    What does IQ have to do with what I am talking about? Are only folks with a high IQ allowed in nursing? Don't really see where you're going with this one.
  8. by   Tim1957
    Quote from FockerInTraining
    What does IQ have to do with what I am talking about? Are only folks with a high IQ allowed in nursing? Don't really see where you're going with this one.

    You Know Focker,

    I have stayed away from this topic for weeks now. However because of your logic expressed in the last posting I am going to make an exception. The C average students drop like flies the first semester. Why? Because they either lack the excellent study habits needed or the intellectual capacity to overcome the rigors of the nursing program. Do you doubt
    what I am saying? If you do, maybe you should find out. And when you do, please ask more than just the one person you know who has been through the program.
  9. by   Tim1957
    this made front page local in the sunday edition of our local paper today.

    the modesto junior college nursing school students decry planned lottery

    by michelle hatfield
    bee staff writer</b>

    last updated: january 21, 2007, 10:24:40 am pst


    evergreen valley college's 90 percent passing rate on the national nursing exam wasn't good enough for richettia walker.
    instead, she came to modesto junior college.
    "i knew it had an excellent nursing program and that the pass rate is high," she said. "i thought 'the curriculum has to be good' and it actually is."
    but nursing students fear such superb programs are compromised because colleges are moving to lottery systems to determine who gets admitted.
    with more demand for classes than colleges have room for, some have started determining who gets in with a random drawing. using a lottery over a ranking system is meant to increase the diversity of nursing students, but some students feel that puts patient health at risk when top students are denied.
    officials need a way to limit the number of applicants because colleges across the state and nation do not have enough room for everyone.
    walker transferred to mjc from san jose's evergreen campus three years ago-grabbing one of 75 highly coveted spots that open up each semester.
    some california colleges are turning away 80 percent of would-be nurses. the state average is 40 percent, according to californians for patient care, a nonprofit group advocating health care reform.
    mjc denied 44 percent of qualified applicants last semester, and has 119 students on its waiting list.
    "i worked really hard and i hate to see the gimme attitude (of entitlement)," said andriana woodward, an mjc nursing graduate. "i see students now getting in who couldn't get in years ago under the ranking program. it's rewarding mediocrity. it's not rewarding the people who worked their butts off."
    woodward works in the neurocritical ward at doctors medical center.
    mjc's old system ranked students based on their college grade-pointaveragefrom prerequisite classes, english classes, and core biology classes. points would be subtracted for any biology classes that needed to be repeated.
    students need to meet a benchmark based on the equation to even qualify for the program.
    the formula includes the most effective measures in predicting completion of nursing programs, according to a 2002 study by the center for student success.
    the average grade-point average of incoming nursing students for mjc's spring semester is 3.23.
    pushing for a switch
    the california community college chancellor's office is pushing for a switch to the lottery, said bonnie costello, director of mjc's nursing program and a veteran nurse. officials at the state chancellor's office could not be reached for comment last week.
    "the lottery is nondiscriminatory once you qualify (for the program)," costello said. "some argued that some people were getting disproportionate access without the lottery."
    starting last semester, mjc uses a computer that randomly generates numbers for each student. people who have applied more than once and landed on the waiting list will have their names submitted multiple times to increase their chances, cos-tello said.
    while walker said she was fortunate to get into mjc's nursing program before the lottery system, she doesn't think it's accurate to base a person's knowledge on a letter grade.
    woodward said a combination of ranking and lottery systems makes the most sense for people who might be bad at taking tests.
    course load is rigorous
    if unqualified people get into the nursing program, the rigorous course load and internship should weed them out.
    "nurses are nurturing people, but the faculty have to be hard-edged. they can't let incompe-tency pass," costello said.
    instructors are top-notch and know how to tutor students, walker said. they also know when to hold someone back.
    but those students who drop out take away seats from more deserving students, some argue.
    "my concern is eventually they'll have to lower their standards," woodward said. "if students are not doing well in the prerequisites, they won't do well in the program."
    mjc's limited classroom and lab space restricts the number of students admitted, costello said. when the new allied health facility is eventually built with part of $326 million in measure e funding, officials hope to expand the number of seats to 100 each semester.
    enrollment also is limited to the number of spots available for students to complete their clinical internships at participating hospitals and doctors' offices, costello said.
    space limitations hamper state and college efforts to fill nursing spots-14,000 vacancies alone for registered nurses statewide.
    the empty slots translate into 35 vacancies in each california hospital, according to californians for patient care.
    schools trying to fill shortage
    mjc's nursing program is among many at colleges across the state that tries to pump out qualified nurses to fill the nursing shortage. programs also are available at california state university,stanislaus,columbia college and the university of phoenix.
    "most come in because they want to make a difference and nursing is a way to make a difference," costello said.
    meanwhile, walker continues her learn-by-doing experience. she works a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift as a nursing student at memorial medical center once a week.
    she wants to work in critical care, a speciality that keeps her busy and constantly in motion. the position also sees patients who need lots of care.
    when reflecting on why she loves nursing, walker recalled the family of a patient who thanked her for her care and bedside manner.
    "that made me feel real good, made me feel i'm in the right field," walker said. "everyday i feel like i'm there for a reason." bee staff writer michelle hatfield can be reached at 578-2339 or mhatfield@modbee.com.

    program made front page local news in the sunday edition of the modesto bee. here is the article.
    Last edit by Tim1957 on Jan 21, '07
  10. by   nursinguy
    Quote from FockerInTraining
    What does IQ have to do with what I am talking about? Are only folks with a high IQ allowed in nursing? Don't really see where you're going with this one.
    What I'm saying is some people are more qauilified than others, IQ can be one of way people can meet the qaulifications they need to get into the program. Not everyone is equal, so some deserve to get in and others excluded based on these qaulifications. A smarter person makes for a better nurse rather than a dumber one.
    Last edit by nursinguy on Jan 21, '07
  11. by   nursinguy
    Modesto also has redency preferance so people outside their district can not get into the program while they can come to Sacramento and get into ours.
  12. by   NurseCubanitaRN2b
    Quote from nursinguy
    A smarter person makes for a better nurse rather than a dumber one.
    That is sooooooooooo not true....some person might not be book smart, but they might be better at hands on....and someone might be book smart, but their hands on, they don't seem to get....My book smart is about average, I'm definately not the cream of the pot...but when it came to hands on, I'm at the top....If schools in my area used the lottery system I'd be thrilled...but I can certainly see how someone who works hard in school and gets excellent grades could be frustrated and with good reason...Just because someone isn't book smart DOES NOT MAKE THEM DUMB....
  13. by   NurseCubanitaRN2b
    ...and another thing...top students apparently drop out of nursing school for whatever reason....so just because you're a top student doesn't mean you're set up for success in nursing school.....Just because you're a not so good students when it comes to book work doesn't mean you're set up for failure in nursing school....

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