Excelsior College-Caveat Emptor-Let The Buyer Beware!!
Excelsior College bills itself as the world's largest nursing school. It fits the definition as a nursing school only in the broadest definition. After enrolling at Excelsior you are required to take between 8-10 computerized tests which upon passing you are required to take their 3 day clinicals-and therein lies the rub.
At most colleges and universities. whether online or brick and mortar, by the time you are ready to graduate you have some idea of where you stand as a student. Poor, fair, good, excellent-a student will know where they stand on that continuum. Excelsior turns that paradigm on its head.
What Excelsior calls its 3 day clinical (actually the time spent with patients is usually 4-6 hours total) has a fantastically high failure rate. Excelsior steadfastly refuses to reveal its graduation rates as well as passing rates. Full disclosure-I have taken and judged to have failed the Excelsior clinicals 3 times. This despite graduating number one at my LPN school along with excellent clinical reviews, I also receive excellent performance reviews for my job as an LPN, and, oh yeah, maintained a 3.4 GPA on Excelsior's own tests. No matter after 3 tries you are unceremoniously "withdrawn" i,e, thrown out,
of the school. Your credits are worth nothing at other nursing schools.
The clinicals have literally hundreds of ways to find a way to fail you. From my experience and talking with other students the passing rate seems to be somewhere south of 20%. Mind you a vast majority of students besides taking and passing all the 8-10 computer tests are generally LPN's with 5-10-15-20 years of working clinical experience. The failures are seldom predicated by violating some nursing practice but from the "clinical examiners" finding something you didn't do the Excelsior way. Why do this? After failing you will immediately, before being escorted off the hospital premises,an application to retake the clinical at an additional cost of $2400.00.
If you haven't taken one of their workshops ($900.00) you will be encouraged to do so.
So, why?, it is a big money maker.
Which brings us to another bone of contention for many duped students. The College Network. The College Network is a publishing company which aggressively recruits students for Excelsior. Basically you end up paying about $5000.00 for study materials that can be purchased for new for a few hundred dollars or used for even less. Excelsior denies being any part of TCN and they aren't but the companies have a symbiotic relationship with TCN acting as a feeder system of unsuspecting students-and, yes, TCN sales reps do act as if they are part of Excelsior. Can Excelsior not know this? and more importantly why don't they issue a cease and desist order-again follow the money.
Be forewarned Excelsior religiously follows all chat and complaint boards and responds aggressively-those with complaints are generally painted as losers who didn't prepare enough or, even more cruelly "not cut out to be an RN"-remember most students are LPN's with long term clinical experience.
That said some do graduate from Excelsior and then are allowed to take the NYS RN licensing test but do the research and not just listen to the hype. Caveat Emptor.
Many, if not most jobs, have some moral ambiguity, but for the minions who work at Excelsior, who day after day shatter the egos, dreams, and pocketbooks of so many qualified nurses, well it takes a certain kind of depravity.