4.0 GPA ...Great memorizing abilities.Yes...Good thinking/reasoning skills maybe not! - page 4

I've notice alot of posts regarding NS drop outs! Whats going on? Can it be that the instructors aren't competent enough? Is it that many students have other responsiblities besides NS( families,... Read More

  1. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I am not sure so many programs interview candidates, even BSN ones. I have not heard of too many that do. That was why I suggested this be done---as well as taking a look at what volunteer/community service activities a given candidate has participated in. The whole person should be considered when selecting people to enter the nursing career field.

    I do know entry requirements for most programs, whether they be BSN, ADN or diploma, are getting tougher due to fewer and fewer slots being available. But I think too many are just relying on increased GPA requirements, and to me, this really is not the best criterion on which to judge. We all know book-smart people who would make terrible nurses.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 22, '06
  2. by   kenny b
    [quote=Tweety]Good post. I was leaning this way because when I read the original post I was thinking "aren't admissions standards already pretty high?", but I'm a bit out of the loop having gone to a "first come first in" school years ago, but even that has changed and they've become competetive. [quote]

    Would you believe that the community college I'm going to attend uses a "first come first in" method for admission? Curiouser and curiouser...

    Rgds,
    Kenny B.
  3. by   kenny b
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I think standards CAN be raised, but this needs to be done fairly and consistently across the board. And I believe the standards can be raised WITHOUT making a 4.0 GPA a pre-requisite for entry .....

    Truly, those of us who are nurses all know people who are excellent nursing candidates or nurses, but not necessarily were/are straight-A students.

    Personally, I think it would be helpful to interview candidates and get a feel for them before acceptance. Time-consuming? Perhaps, but how much time is consumed right now, weeding out people who should never have been accepted in the first place? I mean, I was not an instructor, but I could see clearly in the first week, who should and should not probably become a nurse.

    Also, how about looking hard at the whole person? Possibly considering those who have taken the time to perform community service and/or volunteered in some capacity? Or were involved in their high school in community-service-oriented activities? Or perhaps we could require character references, similar to those needed for job application processes? Those who do well in these areas are the types likely to make EXCELLENT nurses, IMO.

    There, I have come up with a couple of ways to raise standards that do not include simply raising the GPA requirement (which just does nothing to ensure a person has what it takes to be a good nurse).

    No one wants to see fewer people become nurses; we just want to see higher-caliber people joining our ranks. It would appear there is no shortage of people trying to get into nursing school-----so why not look HARD at those who are, in some other way than just book smarts?

    JMO anyhow.
    Good points all. So what would you say to a different kind of test? If you truly can tell who's who within the first week, how about some kind of practical trial-by-fire for a couple of weeks? There's nothing like a good reality check to educate the instructors and students about the score. I mean, there are lots of ways to test people, but they all, (even volunteerism evaluation) have the potential to weed out good candidates. If everyone were required to volunteer in similar settings for a couple of weeks before starting a program, I think many of those who would fail might drop before they take those valuable seats. In the mean time you get their volunteer services. I envision it as a sort of nursing boot camp in which new material is presented at a realistic intensity while volunteer hours are required.

    Anyway, just a thought.

    Regards,
    Kenny B.
  4. by   Crocuta
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I am not sure so many programs interview candidates, even BSN ones. I have not heard of too many that do. That was why I suggested this be done---as well as taking a look at what volunteer/community service activities a given candidate has participated in. The whole person should be considered when selecting people to enter the nursing career field.

    I do know entry requirements for most programs, whether they be BSN, ADN or diploma, are getting tougher due to fewer and fewer slots being available. But I think too many are just relying on increased GPA requirements, and to me, this really is not the best criterion on which to judge. We all know book-smart people who would make terrible nurses.
    There were a couple people in my nursing class that were absolute wizards with the book smarts. You could ask them any question that might be on an upcoming test and they could rattle off the answer. One had the people skills of a rock, and the other terrified patients every time she walked in the room. While both were incredibly smart, I didn't think either had the personality to cut it in nursing (the first passed NCLEX, the other didn't.)

    The idea of interviewing candidates really appeals to me. Both times I have applied for a nursing position, I had to go through one of those 45 minute psychological interview processes. In both cases, the three member panel included both clinical and non-clinical interviewers. The process looks at how well and how quickly you respond, how well you address the question at hand, how you present yourself, and each interviewer gives you a score. While nerve racking, I think they are a good method for quickly judging ability to think critically and function under pressure. Those panels don't just need to include nursing instructors, nor should they. Any college staff member can be trained in the interview method and that diversity could be an asset.

    Grades have to be a part of any selection process. Nursing isn't just about caring. It's a heck of a lot of memorization and book smarts. Selection processes will need to move beyond that and get more creative to identify students who are more likely to be sucessful in nursing.
  5. by   Kelly_the_Great
    Quote from RNsoon!
    Who said Instructor competence had or should have an effect on Admission standards?? I SAID, perhaps one of the reasons students drop out/fail might be due to their Instructor's incompetence.Read Carfully .
    Uhh, you did?

    The thread in which I responded to this, asking what does instructor competence have to do with admission standards, was originally entitled Should Nursing schools increase their admission standards?.

    And your opening statement stated:

    Quote from RNsoon!
    I've notice alot of posts regarding NS drop outs! Whats going on? Can it be that the instructors aren't competent enough? Is it that many students have other responsiblities besides NS( families, jobs, etc).I wonder if this also happens in MEd school!!
    So...that's why I asked for clarification.

    There's a distinction that needs to be made here, which Tweety eluded to earlier...there's a difference between "recruitment" (which would fall under admission standards/requirements) and "retention" (which would R/T drop out rates, etc.).

    I'm not at all trying to be flippant, I just really think the distinction is an important one, especially since, as your screen name implies, you will actually be entering the working field of nursing soon. You'll need to understand this concept when, during your job search, you encounter healthcare facilities that offer huge sign-on bonuses (recruitment) yet have a high turnover rate (retention).

    To address recruitment as it applies to nursing school, I can't agree with SmilingBluEyes more, they need to be interviewing these folks! Sometimes you can tell these students aren't appropriate candidates within a very short period of time. In addition, the emerging nurses will be involved in the interview process once they begin their job searches anyhow, so what better opportunity to develop their skills than with entrance to school?

    Now, to focus upon retention in nursing programs, through the lens of "an A student is not necessarily an A nurse in practice (and I couldn't agree more)," why don't they give actual letter grades vs. P/F for clinical performance? That's where you could really separate the wheat from the chaff!

    JMO...
  6. by   ICRN2008
    I think that GPA has some bearing on a student's ability to do well in nursing school, because there is a tremendous amount of information to learn. That being said, I think that more nursing programs should conduct interviews before they admit students. A few of my classmates have great difficulties talking to patients, and I do not know if this is a problem that the instructors should have to address at this point...

    I have been told that as the admission standards have gone up for my program, the NCLEX pass rate has gone up. I can also attest to the fact that my accelerated program only lost two students, and they dropped down to the traditional program for personal reasons. On the other hand, the direct-entry master's program has lost at least three people (out of seventeen). The admission standards for that program were MUCH lower. Is this a coincidence? Probably not.

    Pharmacy programs conduct in-depth interviews of prospective students before admitting them. So do physician assistant programs and medical schools. While these are all graduate programs, I do think that there is some merit in looking at the WHOLE candidate and not focusing on a few indicators that may or may not predict a student's success in a particular program. Letters of recommendation would be a good start in my opinion.
  7. by   nurse_clown
    Quote from rnsoon!
    i've notice alot of posts regarding ns drop outs! whats going on? can it be that the instructors aren't competent enough? is it that many students have other responsiblities besides ns( families, jobs, etc).i wonder if this also happens in med school!!


    once again guys, i did not say admission standards are or should be affected by instructor incomptence.what sense would that make.i said, some students may drop out of ns maybe because of their instructor's lack of knowledge/skill.again, this doesn't always happen, but there are schools who cannot afford the best instructors.thanks.



    how many of today's nurses were straight a students? not that many i can imagine.i have known people who got into ns with a 2.7-3.0 gpa and there are great nurses! lol being a straight a student is not a indication of becoming a a competent nurse in the future nor does a 2.7 gpa .am i right or am i right?lol.how about lower the standards to what they were for those lucky nurses out there and higher more competent instructors? i think thats the only solution to our shortage and the depression among those who really want to be a nurse but just arent "a" students but do have great resoning abilities.
    [font="comic sans ms"][color="dimgray"]i definately wasn't a straight "a" student. but that doesn't mean i wasn't interested. when i was in nursing school, i wasn't very serious about it. i was dealing with the death of my uncle and a suicide of my classmate. of course anyone would provide an excuse for whatever happened. but, at the time, i just wasn't interested enough in school. i was very preoccupied with "death". however, i was serious enough to finish school and move on to some pretty good jobs in oncology/palliative care and long term care.

    when ever i cross paths with nursing students or potential nursing students, i'm very persistant in encouraging them to finish. nursing school is hard. which is why i'm not very interested in continuing my studies. people are "gifted" in different ways. i'd never make a good e.r. or icu nurse. i don't think fast enough. but, i'm very good at the jobs i do. i also have the added challenge of dealing with a.d.d. and dyslexia. so, paper work, isn't my forte but i recognize it has to be done. if there's a nursing student, who's discouraged, i would strongly encourage them to work hard and get the job done. finish school. i know it's hard and confusing sometimes. i've been there. nurses have often been refered to as "angels" and, i believe that to be true. someone has to maintain order and dignity when someone isn't their best. nursing involves a lot of trust. and people who enter nursing imply that they are very "trustworthy" people.

    in my long term care job, we have a resident who's a retired nurse. on her wall is the florence nightengale pledge. i often go to it and read it. it's a good reminder of why i'm a nurse and why i do the job i do.
  8. by   Kelly_the_Great
    Quote from BSNDec06
    ...I do think that there is some merit in looking at the WHOLE candidate and not focusing on a few indicators that may or may not predict a student's success in a particular program.
    Yes, with "holism" being the hallmark of nursing and its point of distinction from other profressions, why do we not apply this principle to ourselves?
  9. by   BSNtobe2009
    I also think that colleges are notorious for not holding their teaching staff accountable. I think the tenure system needs to be done away with altogether.

    I have had more than one professor that had ridiculous "policies" such as if you coughed in class, you had to leave; you were not allowed to bring your textbook to class; another you were not allowed to ask questions during lecture, you had to schedule a different appointment; another gave tests every single day, but refused to go over the material, so if the book didn't explain it well enough, you failed the test.

    These weren't with one professor, these are all different ones. I call this incompetence and so-called professors that have these nutty "policies" shouldn't be in the teaching profession.
  10. by   santhony44
    I had an interview for graduate school.

    I agree that they are important- I think you can get a better idea in person than just on paper.

    I've known of schools which did not do interviews for admission. Oddly enough, they did not hire employees without an in-person interview! I guess they were afraid that if they saw someone face to face and that person didn't get admitted, the prospective student would say that it was because they were old/young, male/female, black/white/brown/purple or whatever.
  11. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from kadokin
    I did NOT know that entities looking for employees could access said potetial employees' student transcripts. For whatever reason, I just assumed that was either illegal or unethical. ?????????? My son is in his first year @ a prestigious engineering program and some of his more experienced peers are warning him that GPA is destiny when it comes to the hiring process. Seriously, your potential employer can ask for your transcripts?? Who knew??
    Yes, some employers do ask for evidence of GPA when GPA matters in the hiring process. Very few companies do this anymore, but IBM, I can assure you, is one of them.

    I have a cousing that is over recruiting at a Nuclear power plant..her job is to find these whiz kids and hire them for job descriptions that are difficult to pronounce. Part of what she asks for, is college transcripts for evidence of GPA. Their training program is just to expensive to waste it on a 2.1 student.
  12. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I am not sure so many programs interview candidates, even BSN ones. I have not heard of too many that do. That was why I suggested this be done---as well as taking a look at what volunteer/community service activities a given candidate has participated in. The whole person should be considered when selecting people to enter the nursing career field.

    I do know entry requirements for most programs, whether they be BSN, ADN or diploma, are getting tougher due to fewer and fewer slots being available. But I think too many are just relying on increased GPA requirements, and to me, this really is not the best criterion on which to judge. We all know book-smart people who would make terrible nurses.
    I totally agree with you. One of the nursing programs that I am applying to will not use your college GPA only unless you have a minimum of 30 hours completed. This is because their only pre-req is Chemistry and they had too many high-school students graduating from high school with a 2.2, taking only Chemistry, getting a 4.0, and then using that as their "college" GPA. That happened for years until they changed their policy.
  13. by   Plagueis
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I am not sure so many programs interview candidates, even BSN ones. I have not heard of too many that do. That was why I suggested this be done---as well as taking a look at what volunteer/community service activities a given candidate has participated in. The whole person should be considered when selecting people to enter the nursing career field.

    I do know entry requirements for most programs, whether they be BSN, ADN or diploma, are getting tougher due to fewer and fewer slots being available. But I think too many are just relying on increased GPA requirements, and to me, this really is not the best criterion on which to judge. We all know book-smart people who would make terrible nurses.
    The LPN program near here does require an interview as part of the admissions requirement, and it does require two letters of recommendation. However, the RN programs near here are still based on GPA and test scores (the highest ones get in) as the deciding factor in whether someone will be accepted into the program. There is no interview, nor are any personal references required. Many law and medical schools require these "extras" for admission, so I find it interesting that some nursing schools don't.

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