High Fail Rate for new Grads on Boards - page 2

I work in East Texas and have noticed a alarming trend, our new grads are failing their state boards at a alarming rate (60 % from our local junior college). Moreover, all these new grads that were... Read More

  1. by   mattsmom81
    Interesting comments all. Whispers of which schools had the worst/ best pass rate went on when I was a student too. Guess the natural course of things will follow. Schools will be forced to look at their end eventually, and the workplace will weed out the bad apples....(although the latter seems a late and wasted course.)

    I have a tendency to look more to the schools. Some look at the calibre of student applicants today. The truth is somewhere in between, IMO, and probably involves multiple factors.

    Chas, I'm particulary interested in your ideas and solutions from a faculty perspective, could you share more of your thoughts with us?
  2. by   WashYaHands
    Andylane writes, "Does any one know how to find pass rate stats for different universities and schools?"

    I'm not sure about other states, but pass rate information for all programs in Colorado are located on the State board of nursing web site in my state. It's a PDF file and you may have to search for it. There are links to state board of nursing web sites on the bottom of the all nurses web site. Your state board of nursing web site might have this information too.

    Linda
  3. by   live4today
    A school with a failure rate of 60% needs to be evaluated by 'THTB' -- possibly closed until further evaluation proves them fit to educate students. I wonder how that schools NON- nursing students are fairing?

    As for students entering the nursing programs by the skin of their teeth, this should NOT be an acceptable practice as nursing is NO JOKE! High schools need to take a better role in preparing students for Allied Health Programs in college. Every student, regardless of whether or not they plan to go to college or not, should be mandated to have at least a Minor in the maths and sciences -- including algebra, geometry, chemistry, biology, and an allied health math course before graduation. When I went to high school, there were three avenues that decided a student's placement: (1) College Prep courses, (2) Business Education Students, and (3) General Education classes (for the non-college bound students). Students and/or their parents got to select which avenue they wanted to pursue. In the College Prep classes, those students received the proper amount of sciences and maths that prepared them to enter college as freshmen. In the Business Ed classes, business courses were the strongest emphasis, giving the student elective options to add college prep courses if they so desired -- BUT, those college prep classes were not mandatory for them to take (they now should be mandated, IMHO). In the General Ed classes, those students were usually the ones who had "No Plan" following graduation, so not much emphasis was placed on what they decided to take EXCEPT the required credits needed to graduate. Perhaps, it is past time the high schools redirect the course requirements for ALL students regardless of whether they are college bound or not. Even if a student isn't college bound as a teenager, doesn't mean that by the time they are in their mid to late twenties, they won't change their minds. So why not have those courses under their belt just in case?

    My children didn't have a choice in whether or not they were going to take college prep classes, regardless of whether or not they told their dad and me that "they had no plans to go to college, or whatever". They HAD TO take the college prep courses anyway, and I'm so glad their father and me insisted on them taking those courses because today, they are college educated kids...and not all right out of high school either.
    Last edit by live4today on Mar 20, '02
  4. by   BrandyBSN
    The 60% failure rate is really something to think about. Being a student, I have not taken the NCLEX yet, (will be doing so ASAP after graduation in May), but my school has a high pass rate, and it has been pretty consistent over the past 20 years. I have heard that the test was changed a year ago, to include more drug calculations, but students were not allowed to have calculators, so that is why the scores went down this year. I do not know if this is true, however my instructors have said that the NCLEX computer program now includes a calculator so scores are on the upswing again. Granted this is just what I have "heard", and have no first hand knowledge at all. Not sure if that is one of the reasons or not.

    BrandyBSN
  5. by   live4today
    Originally posted by BrandyBSN
    The 60% failure rate is really something to think about. Being a student, I have not taken the NCLEX yet, (will be doing so ASAP after graduation in May), but my school has a high pass rate, and it has been pretty consistent over the past 20 years. I have heard that the test was changed a year ago, to include more drug calculations, but students were not allowed to have calculators, so that is why the scores went down this year. I do not know if this is true, however my instructors have said that the NCLEX computer program now includes a calculator so scores are on the upswing again. Granted this is just what I have "heard", and have no first hand knowledge at all. Not sure if that is one of the reasons or not.

    BrandyBSN
    Hi Brandy,

    As an "oldster" in life, the use of calculators in today's schools is okay as long as they don't supercede the use of the student's ability to perform math facts in their head! This is also one of my objections to students taking state boards via computer with the use of a calculator--whether on the computer for their usage, or in using their own handheld calculators. The brain and the hand need to coordinate together far beyond the click of the mouse. Granted, calculators and computers are here to stay, but just look at what the invention of those two items has done to society's ability to THINK without them!!!

    We are much too reliable on machines, and not reliable enough on our own ability to figure out math problems in our head -- math teaches us problem solving abilities, and our children have lost that concept when they enter the numbers into a calculator, and wait for the answer to 'pop up'. Now, I see why today's nursing students are 'different' in their thinking when it comes to passing state boards and working hard as nurses without a "quick fix" to the problems they encounter in the work force today. Just because some things can be made to shorten time in getting certain things done doesn't necessarily make it BETTER to use, especially if its used in place of problem solving on paper where the brain has to work a little harder to arrive at the solution to the problem.
  6. by   BrandyBSN
    I completely agree with that Math is not one of my "strong points", but I make sure that I can do everything in my head (or atleast on my hand, paper, whatever is available) so that if I am ever calulator-less I wont be lost We couldnt use calculators on our drug dosage calc tests in school, which was stressful for me, but I really think it was best. We cant become too dependent on a machine to think for us, as the machines are not always available. I struggled through calculus (uuhhgg), and was very thankful for my calculator for that test, but drug calc is not THAT difficult, since it mostly relies on division, multiplication, addition and subtraction. Learning to do it in your head is important, you will always have your brain, but not necessarily a calculator

    BrandyBSN
  7. by   live4today
    Brandy, you sound like a very smart young woman with a good head on her shoulders! I'm sure you'll be quite an asset to the nursing community! Congrats to you on your pending graduation in May! The nursing profession is blessed to be getting such a fine person and nurse! :kisses:
  8. by   BrandyBSN
    Thank you
  9. by   CATHYW
    I think I hear the sound of the school with the 60% fail rate being stripped of their accreditation!
  10. by   traumaRUs
    I was an LPN until 1992 when I finished the LPN to ADN option. Getting into ADN program was extremely competitive. I had a 3.8 GPA and I was skipped the first time around. As an ER nurse, we are hiring a lot of new grads (there aren't a lot of options) and we are now becoming an ER with very little experience.

    I too have seen a decline in the quality of students. The LPN boards were actually much more comprehensive than the RN boards. (Personally - after several years as an LPN, I found boards somewhat concernings - they were way too easy). I am by no means a genius either.
  11. by   mattsmom81
    TraumaRUs, I found both LPN and RN boards to be fairly easy----
    RN the easier probably because (as you) I had been an LPN first. I took RN boards back in 1981. I've heard they are quite different now than they used to be; I took the old 2 day test. How bout the rest of you?

    My CCRN was the hardest test I've ever taken....boards were a piece of cake compared to that one....LOL!

    A little off topic here, but I also share Trauma's concern about the numbers of new grads being hired into critical care areas today...my manager says she has 'no other choice' but I wonder sometimes if that is just an excuse to hire a cheaper, more malleable (she hopes) nurse vs one who speaks his/her mind and bucks her a little.

    I've had experienced nurses apply to my ICU but not hired because of a minor detail in their employment history...no biggies, mind you. My manager gets a nice fat bonus when she finishes 'under' her budget by the way....LOL!
  12. by   live4today
    Mattsmom, you hit the nail on the head, I'd say. "Budget" is the word, and the name of the game. Of course they would have to find something "wrong" with a seasoned nurse. Otherwise, they'd have to hire her/him, and pay them well! :chuckle
  13. by   JWRN
    Mattsmom81-
    I to took the old paper/pencil test over 2 days, now it is computer adaptive. Meaning it chooses your next question based on how you answered the previous one. It might start you out with question of middle difficulty, you get it right, then it gives you a little harder question, you get it wrong it gives you an easier question. I do have issues with todays GN only having to get 75 questions at the minimum, and the max is 265. The paper pencil test I took was 360 questions. But the NCSBN have developed the NCLEX and it has proven validity and reliability, so I don't think they will be going back to the paper-pencil test.

    I agree the CCRN was harder than the NCLEX, then I took the CCNS test and it was just as hard or harder than the CCRN.

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High Fail Rate for new Grads on Boards