I tested and passed my first time around in Lubbock last September. The examiners and Clinical Associate were all very fair and very supportive, and there was plenty of patient variety at the Covenant Womens and Childrens Hospital for testing. As you can infer from the name, you will have a pediatric patient (no adult substitutes); the hospital itself is very well maintained and updated. The skills lab is held in a different building a few blocks away that is associated with the Covenant medical system, and there was plenty of room to perform skills on Friday. Supplies are fresh... I heard some accounts suggesting that there were crunchy/crispy/crackly supplies (waaaaay over-expired) at a different CPNE testing site in the south. Not the case in Lubbock at all.
The patients are not textbook perfect
, but I personally believe part of your nursing exam should test your ability to handle little weirdnesses that can pop up, as long as they are fair and within the scope of the CPNE. All my patients fit within those constraints; some better than others I have to admit, lol! But again, you do have CAs and CEs that want
to see you succeed, so I can honestly say they did everything they could within their power to make the exam very fair.
However, they will not make the exam easier for you. You HAVE to know what you are doing, be flexible if something does not go quite as planned, KNOW how to build your nursing diagnoses and care plans, and most importantly, manage your time effectively. When I practiced on my dummy patient "Fred" at home, there was no time allotted for walking to the med room, preparing medications, assisting with ambulating a patient who had a mindset of beating her hallway distance record now
(never later in the afternoon, lol!), and so on. Your patients are human, and you must know your stuff. I was the only one who passed in my group that weekend; all of us were first-time testers. Not bragging here, but just emphasizing the difficulty in the exam itself when working with live human patients that you do not personally select.
Getting back to Lubbock... there's several nice hotels/motels within walking distance to the hospital and skills lab facility, and at least one does shuttle with a van for their guests (the one recommended by Excelsior in their acceptance letter to the Lubbock site). The weather is always changing, but usually dry and windy this time of year. Be sure to pack a coat/jacket. We had snow last week that followed with 80 degree temps and wind the next day.
I live near Lubbock; please drop me a PM if you want any further information as long as the questions don't violate Excelsior's policies.