I have three friends in Florida who graduated from BCCs nursing program on the central campus last year and I've heard from them about how tough that school is. I recently asked one of them about the issues the OP raised in his/her post and was told that some of these rumors about the school are true. She said it is true that some of the clinical instructors at this college fail students for the silliest reasons and make it extremely difficult for others to pass. It is not true that they are under any federal investigation. They changed up the admissions process because they want to get rid of most of the people on the waiting list. (They claimed to have had as many as 1,700 people on their waiting list in 2004/5.)
BCC used to admit students based on a first-come-first-served basis, no entrance exam, no criminal background or drug checks. Now admission is strictly based on GPA and a points system that makes it possible to get in only if you are among the brightest and the best. Also, they have begun to strictly enforce the criminal background checking and the drug screening, and if anything at all comes up you are automatically out. If you fail more than 2 nursing courses you are automatically out. And if you cannot pass the entrance exam you will not be considered at all. I also hear that they have a mandatory math test at the begining of each clinical and you are allowed to get only one question wrong. Any more than one wrong and you have to re-take the test. If you fail the test twice you are automatically withdrawn from the clinical.
BCC's nursing program has a very strong reputation among the area hospitals for putting out top notch graduates, and it is also not true that Barry's or Kaiser's programs is better. Barry is an expensive private school that graduates many nurses, but their performance on the state boards is typically below that of the public colleges. Kaiser's nursing program is relatively new (and also very expensive) and from what I've heard they have not yet graduated anyone so they don't even have a reputation as yet.
BCC does not have overcrowded classes. All nursing programs
in Florida state colleges are mandated to accept only a very limited number of applicants each year. Because there are so many people applying for the few available spots, it is only logical that they would toughen the admission standards (which I'm told they have done considerably during the past year). Further, the program is so challenging that most people flunk out during the first two semesters anyway.
As for people selling exam papers. My friend says this is hardly likely because the instructors frequently make up thier own exams, and they do not give them to the department secretaries in advance to make copies. I've also been told that not having standard exams is a huge problem for the students because instructors can pick and choose whichever exam questions they want to from any source, and no matter how much students complain that the questions are unfair or that they test on material that was not covered in the syllabus, the dean does nothing about it. I've even heard that it is common practice now for them to reassign student seating just prior to each exam and also to give as many as 5 different exams with entirely different questions to the students in a class, so it makes no sense to even plan to cheat or buy papers because you just don't know which exam you are going to get.
What was said about gaining "C's" at BCC is true. My friend said that in many cases even traditional "A" students were happy to get a "C" just so they get to stay in the program. Sounds like a pretty rough environment to learn in if all you can get are Cs.