Predictor test for NCLEX; need advise

  1. I posted this in the Student Nurses section also but I would like to get any feedback that I can so I am going to post this here also. I am a Nursing Student in Milwaukee, WI and am supposed to graduate in May. This is an email that a fellow student sent to our class, the governor, the senator, and all local news channels. If anyone out there has any suggestions on what we can do, please reply and let me know.


    To Whom It May Concern,

    I am currently attending the Registered Nursing program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. As we approach the end of the semester, I should be preparing for graduation and a celebration. Unfortunately, the majority of students are preparing to attend an additional semester due to stipulations MATC has added to the program.
    It is common knowledge that MATC has always been known for their nursing program. The percentage of students passing the NCLEX Exam has been high. Approximately two years ago, the State required the technical schools to include new curriculum into the program. Since this new curriculum was added, MATC's percentages have lowered.
    Now instead of fixing the problems within the program they are holding the students responsible. They are giving a predictor test in which students must pass with a score of 900 or will be unable to graduate. The students will have three attempts to pass the test. Only two of the attempts will be given before graduation, therefore if the first two attempts are unsuccessful, the student will be unable to participate in graduation. They have also attached the test to one of the classes, making it worth twenty-five points. If the "predictor test" is not passed, the class is not passed even if the student would otherwise have an A in that class. It is also required for the student to pay for each additional test needed.
    The "predictor test" is called the Hesi Test. A score of 800 is a 77% which is considered passing for all other courses, and by the Hesi itself. A score of 900 is an 86%.
    Hesi states that an individual who scores 70% should be able to pass the NCLEX boards. The Hesi test is very difficult and the requirement of 900 is not right. It should be 800.The results from the first attempt at this test were; 70% failed and 30% passed. Also, the students were divided into two groups, one group being allowed to take the test a week later than the other. MATC did not provide any resources for this exam. They also gave no prior warning of its existence. This is something they added and informed the students of only eight weeks in advance. It was never addressed in the beginning of the program, which if it had been may have influenced which school the student would have chosen. Students already enrolled in the program should have been grandfathered from these requirements. We have contacted all other local colleges and found that MATC is the only college to use this predictor test as a graduation requirement.
    All of these expectations were given to my graduating class due to the NCLEX results of the class before me. They have all come about due to the new curriculum required by State. MATC is unable to organize the program with this new curriculum and in return are "passing the buck" onto the students. This causes a financial burden to all students; in relation to the expectation of graduation and new employment status, as well as, the additional cost needed to repeat the test and possibly another semester. Some of the students have investigated the legalities of this situation and did find an article that matched. Two students at a different college were also required to pass a "predictor exam" to graduate; they failed and were denied graduation. They sought legal aid and were able to win the case, because state did not approve.
    Our class has tried to go to the appropriate authorities within the school to try and make changes. A petition was signed by 97% of the students. The student body also had a meeting with the Dean and Associate Dean that unfortunately resulted with no changes. The faculty does see the problems involved with these stipulations; however refuse to make any changes for this semester. They are going to make changes for the upcoming semester though. I find that to be discriminating against my class. This is not right.
    I am writing to you for I feel my class has exhausted all other possibilities to make changes. I hope it is possible for you to investigate this situation and lend a helping hand to the "hopefully" future nurses. Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   moongirl
    If it is policy that you have to pass the HESI to graduate, no amount of political involvement will help you. It is a requirement at my college as well. There is another thread a poster started about "filing suit" against his college for this same thing, reading other's posts, I think you will now find that it is common practice across the nation.

    You are expected to pass the NCLEX to get your license. It is a test that is very, very similar to the HESI.. if you cant pass the HESI what makes you think you will ace the NCLEX?

    What I suggest you do? Follow the rules the school sets for you in order to graduate. Quit wasting your time whining about it and start studying for the HESI, or repeat your last semester at a college that does not require a passing HESI score.
  4. by   tericson
    First I am not whining. Secondly I understand that we need to pass the NCLEX to get our license. I think the HESI is a great predictor test for preparing for the NCLEX exam. I am sure most RN's out there took some kind of review course to prepare themselves for the NCLEX. I am also quite sure that most did not take a NCLEX review course during their last semester. The reason I am asking advise is because this is a new requirement that we found out about at the beginning of the semester. This was not a requirement last semester nor will it be one for the upcoming semester so if I offended you with my "whining" I apologize. Thanks for your support.
  5. by   TazziRN
    I actually agree with you. I do not feel that changes in requirements should be allowed to be forced on last semester students. However, since it sounds like a nation-wide thing, not sure what you could do about it.

    And you're right, students from my day took review courses in the month before the NCLEX. Not feasible now, since the exam is offered so frequently compared to the twice a year from my day.
  6. by   moongirl
    If you knew about it at the beginning of the semester, you have had time to prepare. Fair? maybe not. But if it was given to you, in writing at the beginning of the semester, there really isnt anything you can do about it, even if it has never been a requirement before.

    We are offered no month long review courses.Our last month(now) consists of a 10-12 page issues paper, two 50 question tests, 120 hours of precepting AND the HESI ...which has to be passed with a 900 to graduate

    Furthermore, a score of 900 isnt asking too much . A acceptable level is 850, but HESI states that 900 is recommended in order to ensure passing the NCLEX.

    You can fight it, but like I said, I suggest you take the time and energy put into trying to fight it and study, especially since you have gone to the Dean and they wont change anything.
  7. by   TazziRN
    Month-long review course? Where does it say that?
  8. by   moongirl
    Quote from TazziRN
    Month-long review course? Where does it say that?
    you stated that when you were a student, you took a month review...
    did you do this as part of your cirriculum, or after you had graduated??
  9. by   brissie
    We had to pass HESI with an 850 in order to graduate. The school paid for the first test and then if a student needed to take it again they had to pay for it themselves. Students were allowed to take it as many times as they needed in order to get over 850. Personally I thought that NCLEX was a heck of a lot easier than HESI. However I agree with you that your school seems to be a little disorganized. They have to pass a certain amount of students in order to retain their accreditation so they will do what they think fit in order to keep their pass rates high, sometimes unfair I guess but get used to it if you want to work in the healthcare setting in the United States.
  10. by   TazziRN
    Quote from moongirl
    you stated that when you were a student, you took a month review...
    did you do this as part of your cirriculum, or after you had graduated??

    No, that's not what I said. I said that many of us took a review course in the month before the exam. They were week-long courses offered in different places, so the review team traveled.

    After I graduated, it was optional.
  11. by   moongirl
    Quote from TazziRN
    No, that's not what I said. I said that many of us took a review course in the month before the exam. They were week-long courses offered in different places, so the review team traveled.

    After I graduated, it was optional.
    oh, gotcha. I thought, wow, they offered them a review while they were in school??
  12. by   TazziRN
    The course was strongly recommended, not the review of the material so much as the test-taking techniques. I graduated June 4th, took the review in late June, and took the NCLEX on July 12th. I think the HESI is a good idea, but I don't agree with it being sprung on last semester students like that. My opinion (for what it's worth) is that if it was expected of this semester's grads, it should have been announced at the start of last semester or even the end of last year.
  13. by   clee1
    Unfortunately, this type of costly "requirement" is not new and it seems to be spreading.

    My NS enjoyed/enjoys a very high 1st attempt NCLEX pass rate; still, they want PERFECT 1st attempt scores. In my last quarter, near the very end, the program director stated that "all state-required paperwork will be held here until completion of the mandatory NCLEX review sessions, held early next quarter".

    As a 4.0 GPA (eventually class Valedictorian) student, this further, previously unannounced (time consuming) requirement rankled me (putting it very mildly). I had alot riding on my getting to work as soon as humanly possible, and didn't need anymore last-minute delays from an already horribly disorganized school.

    Armed with the course catalog, the name of a prominent local attorney ready to file suit on my behalf, and letters written to state officials and all local area news media outlets, I marched into the Dean's office. Stating that I was prepared to sue (there was no mention in the catalog about additional requirements), and alert state officials, and drag the schools name through the media, was enough to convince the Dean not to trifle with my paperwork.

    As I had already completed the required clinical hours, and the final was just a few days away, the Dean completed my state paperwork immediately, in my presence, and the same was mailed the day I passed the final. Four days later, I graduated as Valedictorian (the school gave me an "award" that covered the cost of the NCLEX and state licensure).

    Exactly 28 days after my final exam, I was licensed and working as a nurse, and I didn't attend their bullsqueeze "review" either. If you need a review, the school didn't do their job in the first place.

    Stick to your guns; the educational establishment needs to learn just how far they can push people around.
  14. by   TazziRN
    Quote from clee1
    If you need a review, the school didn't do their job in the first place.

    Stick to your guns; the educational establishment needs to learn just how far they can push people around.
    I agree that schools can bully people but I wholly disagree with your "if you need a review" statement. The NCLEX is stressful enough that many people are scared to death going into it, I know I was, and I was a first-time passer. People like me needed the extra assurance that we had done everything we could to be fully prepared......if I didn't take the review course and had failed, I would have been kicking myself. If I had failed it anyway, I would have known it was me and not the fact that I hadn't taken advantage of every resource available to me.

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