What is the CPNE like

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    I have health safety to redo and then I can do the FCCA. Thank god, I've been doing this for 3 years , and it wasn't easy. Anyways I was wondering what was instore front me. What is the CPNE like. And how long does it take.
    Last edit by Pixie.RN on Feb 12, '13 : Reason: TOS
  2. 19 Comments so far...

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    FCCA, the Focused Clinical Competency Assessment, is basically a 2 part written(computer) evaluation of your clinical assessment skills with patients and a multidisciplinary setting. It is now done entirely on the computer, and per Excelsior academic honesty policy is discouraged to be discussed in any detail on allnurses. I took the first round last year and it is a bit ambiguous and difficult, but doable. The CPNE, which for me is on undetermined hiatus, is the clinical practical exam of both PCS check offs, lab check offs, and from what I hear is a complete monster.
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    RTsoonRN, thanks for keeping your answer about the FCCA within the website TOS and our numerous requests to not discuss the FCCA. Appreciate it!!

    Just a general reminder for everyone: discussing the FCCA violates EC's academic honesty policy, especially if you're current taking the FCCA or have taken it already. Violations like that can get you dismissed from the school (and you can bet EC faculty read the posts here). Allnurses policy is here: http://allnurses.com/excelsior-colle...on-714112.html. I have done a wee bit of editing above.

    pinkessence, congratulations on making it this far! When you ask what the CPNE is like, does that mean you know nothing about it? This is definitely not something to be in the dark about when you enroll at EC ... it's kind of like an unpleasant surprise if you've waited until now to look into it! Let me know what kind of details you're looking for, but in the meantime, EC has a page about the CPNE that you should read, if you haven't already: Exam Details for CPNE - excelsior.edu
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    the cpne is doable as long as you give yourself plenty of time to study and do what is expected of you. it's all in the study guide. don't give up you can do it
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    The CPNE is your clinicals. It begins Friday evening with your lab stations- there are 4 stations. Saturday and Sunday are hands on care and anything and everything is fair game. If you fail any of your lab stations- you can retest Saturday after your PCS, but if you fail any labs Saturday- you are done- and I have personally seen someone fail a repeat lab and has been in the nursing field for 20+ years. The weekend is very stressful but it is passable. The key is to be prepared and knowing your critical elements inside and out, backwards and forwards and every other which way. When you are CPNE eligible I suggest taking a workshop- I went to Sheri Taylor's in ATL and she is amazing- I also did her online workshop and I passed my 1st time in December in Albany, no repeats. You have to keep your nerves in check, be confident but not cocky and have the mindset that you will pass. Good luck.
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    I just just JUST passed my CPNE (yesterday)! It was my SECOND go at it, and the entire process is horribly grueling. Now that I look back, I would say that going the Excelsior route is logistically better than the traditional LPN-RN route, but not ANY easier nor less expensive. From providing your paperwork to the $2400 fee (plus travel, expenses, time off work etc), to the 500 page "Study Guide", to actually preparing for the clinicals, it is an unparalleled experience. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger so yeah, that! All that matters at the end is that I AM A GRN! So get ready and JUST DO IT!
    tnmarie and Pixie.RN like this.
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    @ BerryHappy Congrats! I'm taking it for the second time in April. I doubt I will repeat it again if I don't pass this time. Did you do anything differently the second time around? I am curious for comments on your first time vs. your second time as well. Did you return to the same testing site? Congrats again!
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    Hi tnmarie! Maybe we can start a CPNE DOUBLED thread?!! Yes, I too failed my first time, it was in October. I now know how horribly unprepared I was. I only got through my second PCS, and failed it on my nurse's notes. The others I failed on my care plans. This time, I took EC Documentation class and sent two care plans every day to Sherri Taylor for grading. I did all the Message Center PCS's, Phone PCS's, practice scenario PCS's, AND I utilized all my faculty phone calls every week. So yes, I did A LOT different! I did go back to my same site (Atlanta, Grady Hospital) which actually helped my nerves quite a bit. I would say I had my nerves under much better control this time BUT I did fail one of my lab stations which freaked me out because even though I passed my two PCS's on Saturday, I still could have been sent home if I had failed my re-take lab. Luckily, the other students helped to drill into my head the correct IM needle sizes, so I sailed through the re-take. The ends of course justify the means, but doggone this has been an EXPENSIVE experience! I live in Florida so between my testing fee, travel, expenses, PTO, etc, I have spent over $7000 on this darn clinical!!! Anyway, nursing is my passion so I am sure it will pay me back!

    Good luck to you too. Where are you testing, when in April, and why did you fail your first time?
    tnmarie likes this.
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    @ BerryHappy Thanks for your response. I took my CPNE in Utica in February. My boyfriend and I drove from Tennessee to New York and we had a wreck the day before I took the test. I felt well prepared and we were already an hour outside of Utica when we were rear-ended, so I went on and took the test. I didn't pass. Unfortunately I could not get a retest date in Utica so I will be taking it the second time around in Albany on April 19th. I will be flying in, the hotel is literally attached to the hospital, and the hotel offers a shuttle so I will be doing NO driving.

    I frankly was not sure how to approach it the second time around. I felt very well prepared the first time: I took Sheri Taylor's online workshop and submitted care plans to her weekly, set up a sim lab in my living room and practiced with my mom as the CE, did all of the PCSs from the school and submitted them, did grid drills, read the study guide cover to cover five times and much more to prepare. I studied for over 3 months for several hours a day. I started a thread here asking for advice for how to approach it the second time, but I had already done all of those recommendations the first time around.

    I only failed one lab the first time around (wound) but then I failed both PCSs on Saturday and they were both counted as adult, so it was bye-bye birdie. PCS 1 I failed for listening to lung sounds through a thin sports bra and PCS 2 I failed because I thought the pt said she had a pain scale of 1 but she said 4.

    I decided to take an Ec hiatus for the rest of February (not much choice since I had to drive to NY AGAIN to pick up the BFs car). I just started studying again in March. The school will not let me submit additional PCSs so I paid to take the care plan workshop through Ec this time around to get some "supervised" reviewing in. I'm doing grid drills and practicing labs a couple of times a week while finishing my Math and studying for the NCLEX. I'm hoping I can find the motivation to read the study guide one more time before I return, but since I studied so hard the first time around, it is hard to motivate myself to do so. Your post definitely helps though!

    I know what you mean about the money. I will have spent over $10,000 on just taking the CPNE. Like you, I try to see it as an investment. Pass or fail this time, I am a better nurse for taking the Ec program.

    BTW, I'm kind of partial to "The Second Timer's Club" myself XD. Picking myself up after failing the CPNE the first time was one of the hardest things I've ever done so I'm certainly not ashamed of this membership.

    To everyone: I do not recommend driving. I know flying is a pain, but driving is worse. It is much less safe, not to mention that it is very hard to drive home while bawling your eyes out if you fail. Thank goodness my BF was there to take up the slack!
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    I failed the CPNE twice. I am not going back. The nursing exams are the easiest things in the world. The CPNE is do-able, but the examiners are full of it. They are not objective, everyone does their assessment of performance differently, and that is why the program has little credibility in the professional nursing world. Bad experience for me and a waste of my valuable time and money.
    Just my 2 cents.


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