What is more important?

  1. Which is more important? A school's NCLEX pass rate or the schools retention rate?

    I am applying at the two BSN programs here and I noticed that the school with the the lower NCLEX pass rate (83.5%) but a higher retention rate (only 5 student out of the 120 dropped out), whereas the school with the higher NCLEX pass rate (91%) had a much lower retention rate (14 out of 80 dropped out of the program).

    Which program would you choose with that info?

    Marilyn
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   txspadequeenRN
    This makes a world of sense to me ... If it is a tough program only the strong get through and the NCLEX pass rate is higher but lower retention rate because it is so tough. No question about it go for the high NCLEX pass rate . Just my opinion.....



    Quote from marilynmom
    Which is more important? A school's NCLEX pass rate or the schools retention rate?

    I am applying at the two BSN programs here and I noticed that the school with the the lower NCLEX pass rate (83.5%) but a higher retention rate (only 5 student out of the 120 dropped out), whereas the school with the higher NCLEX pass rate (91%) had a much lower retention rate (14 out of 80 dropped out of the program).

    Which program would you choose with that info?

    Marilyn
  4. by   Question
    Quote from marilynmom
    Which is more important? A school's NCLEX pass rate or the schools retention rate?

    I am applying at the two BSN programs here and I noticed that the school with the the lower NCLEX pass rate (83.5%) but a higher retention rate (only 5 student out of the 120 dropped out), whereas the school with the higher NCLEX pass rate (91%) had a much lower retention rate (14 out of 80 dropped out of the program).

    Which program would you choose with that info?

    Marilyn
    Are they both nationally accredited? I would definitely check that out to help make your decision. I would also compare the cost of tuition and living expenses between the two. The retention rate could also be due to how well they like the instructors and not necessarily the toughness of the program. I just wanted to give you some things to consider.
  5. by   llg
    It depends on which culture you prefer. If you are the kind of person who will thrive in the "tougher" environment with the higher pass rate, then that might be the best for you.

    However, if that type of environment will stress you out too much, you might be better off with the other program. The more nurturing environment might make it easier for you to learn and help you be successful. You can probably compensate for the lower NCLEX pass rate by making sure that you are very well prepared for the exam (taking assessment tests along the way, taking a review/preparation course, etc.).

    It's like asking which is better -- a big university or a small college. Different people do better in different environments. The numbers you gave us, by themselves, only give us a hint as to the nature of the schools -- and tell us nothing about you and your needs.

    Also ... who are the people who fail the NCLEX at the school with the lower pass rate? Were they borderline students? Did they come from a certain segment of the student population (that doesn't apply to you)?

    Also ... run those numbers. School #1 enrolls 120 students and graduates 115 of them. 83.5% pass. That means that 96 students out of the original 120 passed ----- which is 80% of the original total group enrolled.

    School #2 enrolled 80 students and graduated 66 of them. 91% pass. That means that 60 students out of the original 80 passed -- which is 75% of the original group enrolled.

    Thus ... the 1st school, with the pass rate that appears lower, actually has a higher percentage of its entry class pass the exam on the first try. This case illustrates that you have to be careful about using such statistics. They can be more complicated than first appears.

    Finally -- and I think this is most important -- which school "feels" right for you. If one feels like a better fit culturally, then that is the school you should choose.

    Good luck with whatever you choose,
    llg
  6. by   marilynmom
    Wow, thanks! You helped put certain things into perspective for me and see things in a different way. I *know* which school is a better fit for me (one school has hardly anyone over the age of 23 and the other school is more diverse...and I am almost 32, it's important for me to have the support of others my age and with my life experiences).

    Anways, thanks so much for those reponses...very well thought out.
  7. by   TweetiePieRN
    I would say NCLEX pass rate is more important. The whole point of nursing school (aside from learning to become a nurse) is to prepare you to take the NCLEX thus be able to get your RN!! GOOD LUCK!:wink2:
  8. by   Thunderwolf
    llg, you are truly a gem.

    I don't know if anyone has told you that lately on the board.
    But, I needed to.
    Thanks for your post that laid it all out.
    Excellent feedback...since the topic was understanding the numbers and what it all really meant.
  9. by   GrnHonu99
    Quote from marilynmom
    Which is more important? A school's NCLEX pass rate or the schools retention rate?

    I am applying at the two BSN programs here and I noticed that the school with the the lower NCLEX pass rate (83.5%) but a higher retention rate (only 5 student out of the 120 dropped out), whereas the school with the higher NCLEX pass rate (91%) had a much lower retention rate (14 out of 80 dropped out of the program).

    Which program would you choose with that info?

    Marilyn
    I didn't even look at any of those stats when I picked my program. I went an interviewed with the director, talked to other students and felt it out for myself...NCLEX pass rates depend on so many things, not just the "strength" of the program. Even if my program were weak (thank goodness its not) I could still do enough outside teaching to pass the NCLEX..I mean with all the books and materials available. Im not worried about passing the NCLEX, im sure i'll be fine, i was more worried about teaching styles of the instructors, how the classes were structured, how supportive the staff was, how clinical was run, etc. I feel the same about retention rates, there are so many reasons people may drop from the program...weve lost 4, 2 decided right away they didnt want to be in the program and one decided to finish his BSN instead of the MN and another had family issues...so none of them dropped really bc of the program....

    Id say go and shadow a student for a day or two, sit in on some classes..dont be afraid to ask questions..then maybe look at retention and NCLEX pass rates Good luck to yoU!

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