Is Excelsior the right choice?;) - page 5

by shawna19 8,078 Views | 52 Comments

I am an LPN and hand been out of school got a little over a year. Wanted to work on RN while working full time ! So researched and found EXCELSIOR,seems like a perfect fit for my busy schedule. Just a lite nervous about going it... Read More


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    iPad message excuse my misspelled words
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    Can you give me any advice about this or help at all. PLEASE! I wonder how long its taken you to complete the exams and I have a million questions if you're willing to discuss it with me
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    KitkatPRN I'm trying to get some information from you. I see you took exam in Madison I'm from Chicago area. Please help me with some advice. I'm a single mother and I don't want to be on waiting list
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    As a poster who mentioned that I was the only one in my group that passed that weekend, I do want to add some additional information so that is not 100% discouraging to those considering the Excelsior route. Our group comprised of three working paramedics (myself included), and the others were LVNs. Only one person took a workshop before the CPNE... it wasn't me. However, he had nothing good to say about it. To be quite honest, I wonder if the other two paramedics spent much time with care plans or the details of the lab stations. We don't write careplans in our field (our documentation is very different) and there is the problem that since we often deal with IVs, injectable meds, and such with our occupation, we may not study the way it NEEDS to be done during the CPNE exam as thoroughly as we should. Add some nervousness and the timed aspect of the station, and that becomes a big problem.

    What I feel helped me pass: First off, I chose to take the EC Pathophysiology exam since I needed the units, and that helped A LOT with understanding the patient's condition and what would work as a nursing diagnosis. While taking the exam itself is not necessary, at least get a good handle on pathophysiology from your required nursing textbooks (Fundamentals and the Med-Surg books). Since the day I received permission to sign up for the CPNE, I visited the CPNE discussion forum on the Excelsior site several times a day to learn about careplans and CPNE tips. I submitted every practice care plan I could to the Excelsior advisors for their critique, and also submitted a few care plans to the discussion board for others' thoughts. I implemented the requirements of the lab/skill stations while I was caring for my patients on the ambulance at work (my EMS partner was very accommodating to my more time-consuming ways on our non-critical patients ). Almost every day for the last 3 months before the CPNE, I spent at least 30 minutes on a "mock patient" so I could know my critical elements inside and out. I bought the skills kit and set up my labs in the kitchen. And, I tried to think of "backup nursing diagnoses" and practice a care plan with it in case one of my CPNE patients was relatively problem-free, which helped with one of my adult patients during the actual exam.

    As a previous poster confirmed, the patients will not be textbook-perfect. But, *you* need to be. And, patients are human. Some patients will like you, and some will not. Some patients are enthusiastic about the extra care and attention they are receiving (and knowing they are helping a student nurse's education), while others require some creative interaction (my pediatric patient, for example). All this while being timed, of course.

    Back to the other students that weekend. One LVN only read the CPNE guide twice, and never set up a skills lab at her home. She never heard of the CPNE discussion board on the Excelsior site. And, the CPNE was the first time she ever laid hands on a piggyback infusion. However, I learned that this student passed the second time around; she took a workshop, set up a lab at her home, and practiced daily. Another student blew off the importance of the nursing diagnosis, not seeing the importance of it since he never saw it used in the emergency department where he worked as a tech. I don't know if he or the others attended workshops or passed on their next attempts.

    A long post... sorry about that. Just want to reassure that the CPNE is not impossible, but it's also difficult to offer a perfect exam situation beyond the skills lab due to the fact that we are dealing with live, human patients. And that imperfection can sometimes cause great students to have to retake the CPNE. It's the hardest practical exam I have ever tackled, but also gave me a hellava lot of respect for those nurses who graduated from the Excelsior program. The largest two hospitals in my area are very accepting of Excelsior graduates, and there was no problem at all finding my perfect job after I obtained my RN.
    BarbaraNM, tnmarie, and Lpn stuck like this.
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    Quote from Aliakey
    As a poster who mentioned that I was the only one in my group that passed that weekend, I do want to add some additional information so that is not 100% discouraging to those considering the Excelsior route. Our group comprised of three working paramedics (myself included), and the others were LVNs. Only one person took a workshop before the CPNE... it wasn't me. However, he had nothing good to say about it. To be quite honest, I wonder if the other two paramedics spent much time with care plans or the details of the lab stations. We don't write careplans in our field (our documentation is very different) and there is the problem that since we often deal with IVs, injectable meds, and such with our occupation, we may not study the way it NEEDS to be done during the CPNE exam as thoroughly as we should. Add some nervousness and the timed aspect of the station, and that becomes a big problem.

    What I feel helped me pass: First off, I chose to take the EC Pathophysiology exam since I needed the units, and that helped A LOT with understanding the patient's condition and what would work as a nursing diagnosis. While taking the exam itself is not necessary, at least get a good handle on pathophysiology from your required nursing textbooks (Fundamentals and the Med-Surg books). Since the day I received permission to sign up for the CPNE, I visited the CPNE discussion forum on the Excelsior site several times a day to learn about careplans and CPNE tips. I submitted every practice care plan I could to the Excelsior advisors for their critique, and also submitted a few care plans to the discussion board for others' thoughts. I implemented the requirements of the lab/skill stations while I was caring for my patients on the ambulance at work (my EMS partner was very accommodating to my more time-consuming ways on our non-critical patients ). Almost every day for the last 3 months before the CPNE, I spent at least 30 minutes on a "mock patient" so I could know my critical elements inside and out. I bought the skills kit and set up my labs in the kitchen. And, I tried to think of "backup nursing diagnoses" and practice a care plan with it in case one of my CPNE patients was relatively problem-free, which helped with one of my adult patients during the actual exam.

    As a previous poster confirmed, the patients will not be textbook-perfect. But, *you* need to be. And, patients are human. Some patients will like you, and some will not. Some patients are enthusiastic about the extra care and attention they are receiving (and knowing they are helping a student nurse's education), while others require some creative interaction (my pediatric patient, for example). All this while being timed, of course.

    Back to the other students that weekend. One LVN only read the CPNE guide twice, and never set up a skills lab at her home. She never heard of the CPNE discussion board on the Excelsior site. And, the CPNE was the first time she ever laid hands on a piggyback infusion. However, I learned that this student passed the second time around; she took a workshop, set up a lab at her home, and practiced daily. Another student blew off the importance of the nursing diagnosis, not seeing the importance of it since he never saw it used in the emergency department where he worked as a tech. I don't know if he or the others attended workshops or passed on their next attempts.

    A long post... sorry about that. Just want to reassure that the CPNE is not impossible, but it's also difficult to offer a perfect exam situation beyond the skills lab due to the fact that we are dealing with live, human patients. And that imperfection can sometimes cause great students to have to retake the CPNE. It's the hardest practical exam I have ever tackled, but also gave me a hellava lot of respect for those nurses who graduated from the Excelsior program. The largest two hospitals in my area are very accepting of Excelsior graduates, and there was no problem at all finding my perfect job after I obtained my RN.
    I can't private message you because I just joined. I'd really like to be some information from a passing student about this program. I'm graduating May with my LPN. I'd like to continue with RN immediately and excelsior looks very convenient for me and my perfect ideal way. However I do online know just with clinicals and I have to actually travel weekly hours for them clinicals. I a, not quite sure I want to do the second portion of this college of it is possible to get a job through excelsior and also possible to password a shorter time length passed of my dedication. How long did it take you with the exams?
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    Quote from KitkatPRN
    BarbaraNM: I am retaking it agian next month. I thought I was prepared but there is so much about the test is subjective. I don't know how many took workshops. I can tell you that it's the little things that failed everyone not anything major. I have never failed at anything. I had straight A's in LPN school but this test is like no other. They say they have a 64% pass rate the first time. I never imagined that I wouldn't pass the first time. Your patients will not be textbook, your careplans will be judged differently by every CE and there is definately some luck involved. Even if I had heard this from someone else before I did it, I wouldn't have believed it. Guess you just have to study your heart out, hope for some luck & realize that you have to fight for yourself & that it isn't the easy road by any means. The bad thing is that you can't transfer anything anywhere, so you are either stuck or you quit and waste a TON of $$$ ..... so I'm stuck & trying agian. Wish I had some words of wisdom but it isn't a cut a dry test in my eyes, so everyone has a different experience & yes, a lot take it agian .... and it is the worst feeling ever. Wishing you the best of luck Barbara !

    Kitkat... GOOD LUCK to you! I am so glad you're doing it again. I'll be watching for your post saying you passed!!

    I am nervous about CPNE, even though it is a long way off. In the meantime, I will concentrate on the Nursing Exams, and try to learn as much as I can about doing things 'the Excelsior way'...

    Hang in there... you've come this far... one more mountain to climb!!
    tnmarie and KitkatPRN like this.
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    Quote from Lpn stuck
    Can you give me any advice about this or help at all. PLEASE! I wonder how long its taken you to complete the exams and I have a million questions if you're willing to discuss it with me

    Start here: http://allnurses.com/excelsior-colle...ce-808335.html
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    Passed on my second try last weekend, thank god !
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    Quote from KitkatPRN
    Passed on my second try last weekend, thank god !
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!
    KitkatPRN likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from KitkatPRN
    Passed on my second try last weekend, thank god !
    Oh, AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    KitkatPRN likes this.


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