ATI Appeal

  1. 0
    Hi all,
    I go to a nursing college that integrates ATI into our curriculum. My most recent class that I took was Nursing care of children- my average text exam score was an 80%, I passed my clinical with a Satisfactory, and I did excellent on all of my class assignments but what took the most difficulty was the ATI final proctored exam. Our school requires us to get a level 2 (63.3) to pass the entire class, so even if you recieved an overall A in the class you would fail if you did not pass this test. We are given 2 tries to pass the test and the first try I received a 55.5. After a week long of studying the provided ATI book (read it thoroughly twice), studying class notes, reviewing the Nurse Logic testing strategies, and going through practice tests/ focused review I received a 61.7 (1.4 or 1 question short of passing. After meeting with my course coordinator I was informed that I would not be passing the class due to the 1 question that I missed. I am currently writing an appeal letter that is to be sent to the dean of the nursing department and the dean of the school. Does anyone have any pointers for this letter? Any past experiences from the ATI testing? Any scholarly journals that can support my appeal? Also, (worst case scenario) is there any nursing colleges that would accept my current nursing credits so that I could still graduate by next year?

    I'm currently put in a difficult situation because my school only offers this class once a year, so not only will I have to wait til next year to take the class again, but I will not be allowed to take any other nursing classes at my school next year, and I will have to put off graduation for another year.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights: Student Edition newsletter.

  2. 66 Comments...

  3. 4
    i have no advice for the letter, because, well, cut-off levels are what they are. imagine that they slid the level down for you. how many more people with just a scootch fewer points than you had will then be inundating the dean with letters, all saying something pretty much like, "you let her break the rule, why not me too?" and there would be no end to it. therefore unless you have a much better excuse than what you say here, i think it's time to take your medicine, so to speak.

    so, if you can't take any more nursing courses until you pass this one, take other courses. you sound like you're probably pretty good on the academic side of things, and you write better than the average student. did you ever hanker to go to graduate school in anything? take some coursework in that, or in its prerequisites. learn a foreign language. learn about curriculum design, finance, anthropology, medieval art, anything. enrich yourself-- you might never get another chance and it will make you a better nurse anyway.
    Guinevere39, Erindel RN, Shorty11, and 1 other like this.
  4. 2
    I'm sorry you are going through this, but I don't have any advice besides to emphasize how you will study next time, what you learned from the experience and how you want to improve and then begging for another chance.

    ATI tests are used because they are standardized and reflect NCLEX type questions. The rationale from the instructors is that if you cannot successfully pass the ATI in this course then it's unlikely you would pass that section on the NCLEX. It's a valid point. If you did not master the material and cannot pass the exam with the minimum requirement then you should retake the course to get a better understanding of the material. Is it a retake of the exact same exam? If so, I can see why they would not want you to retake it again. At that point, it's more about you remembering the answers to individual questions than it is about you actually knowing the material well enough to pass.

    There is no "one question exemption" on the NCLEX. If you are one question below passing, then you fail. If you are one question below passing in one section of the NCLEX then you fail. No appeals, no exemptions. You repay the fee and retake the test. It may be beneficial for you in the long run to retake the course and use the year to study the rest of your nursing material. It would be too bad for you to be allowed to take the ATI again but end up failing the NCLEX because you don't have the mastery.

    In regard to transferring your credits- it's unlikely. Specific nursing courses and clinicals do not usually transfer between schools because each curriculum is different. Most require that you take the majority (about your last 60) of nursing credits at the school. So if you transfer you won't be able to graduate for another two years at least.
    Shorty11 and sailornurse like this.
  5. 1
    Also, most programs have waiting lists, so even if you transferred, you'd have to wait to get into another program.

    Unfortunately, in every class there's always at least one person who "would have passed the class" if they'd gotten just one more question right on the final exam. The cut-off is what it is. And it sucks for everyone who doesn't make it on their first try.
    Shorty11 likes this.
  6. 0
    if you don't mind me asking...are you in college of staten island, program of nursing ADN? because I am in this school and from what I learned. we too use ATI and given a proctor exit exam at the very end of the semester. and many ppl end up failing out by not doing well on that!!

    honestly, I share your pain to the owner of the post!

    I am still in my very first semester, and I have already been repeating this class.
    Ocassionally, our professor would ask us to do ATI assignments for homework or to be counted as the reflection points toward final grade, if we pass we get 2 points toward semester's final grade, if not, well...a lot of us usually fail by 1 or 2 points exactly. So far, our porgram passing score is a 75 which is C+. My question is, if you are at a different school, it seems to me then they are using ATI to cut off students purposely even though we worked hard the whole semester! if that's been true, I really think you need to appeal, not for the sake of getting it to pass, but just advocate for all of us who are in the same shoe as you. I am feeling very sorry for what happend to you! When I failed the first class first time, I thought they wouldn't take me back, but they did. however, I was a good student, I do well in clinicals and studied very hard. if they are judging my opportunity of passing of fail just on that ATI exit exam, I too think it's miserably unfair! let me know if we are in the same school and maybe I can do something for you too.
    Last edit by Mentalageis16 on Mar 31, '12
  7. 2
    Quote from Mentalageis16
    if they are judging my opportunity of passing of fail just on that ATI exit exam, I too think it's miserably unfair!
    Having a nursing program accredited by the state BON means that they are required to have a certain percentage of their graduates pass the NCLEX on the first try. If their pass rate is too low, they can lose their accreditation.

    If you can't pass the ATI, your chances of passing the NCLEX are low, so it's within the school's best interest to not pass students who can't pass the ATI. You may do great on your classwork and you may be great in clinicals, but if you can't pass the NCLEX, you can't become a nurse. Period. The school's not being unfair -- they're being realistic, and they're protecting their program so that future students have a chance to become a nurse.

    If the ATI is your only problem, I recommend that you buy a gazillion NCLEX-prep books and take courses from the various companies that offer NCLEX reviews so you can learn how to do better on that type of testing.
    Erindel RN and Shorty11 like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from brillohead
    buy a gazillion NCLEX-prep books and take courses from the various companies that offer NCLEX reviews so you can learn how to do better on that type of testing.
    Thank you for explaining my misunderstanding of ATI! appreciate it, and the advice above is good too!

    I wish my professors told this to us ahead of time just like you did...well, i guess that's why a realy scholar is always figure things out themselves like you do! thanks again for correcting me!
  9. 2
    Our school is actually leaving ATI due to inconsistencies with current evidence based practice. From what my teachers said, ATI is about five years behind on current practice standards which is why our program has decided to switch to Evolve next fall. It is kinda of fortunate for my school's students because we take the HESI exit anyway. We also only award points for ATI depending on your level.

    Personally, if it means anything, I'm not particularly fond of ATI. I think the questions' rationales are too simplistic. I don't like how a test score as low as 63% can be a national average worth a level 2 making remediation often quite useless since you need to review over 40% of the material you didn't get right on top of your class studies. Finally, the site is not user friendly and I have found they do maintenance at inconvenient times.

    Regardless, your class policy is what it is. You can try the appeal but my school has told us that our handbook and passing requirements are basically like our first nursing contract and we must treat it as such and be familiar with all aspects.
    prettymica and iloveyouuux3 like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from arte_suave
    Our school is actually leaving ATI due to inconsistencies with current evidence based practice. From what my teachers said, ATI is about five years behind on current practice standards which is why our program has decided to switch to Evolve next fall.

    Regardless, your class policy is what it is. You can try the appeal but my school has told us that our handbook and passing requirements are basically like our first nursing contract and we must treat it as such and be familiar with all aspects.
    hi arte,

    you said ATI contents are 5 years behind in EBP consistency, I just want to know how accurate that information is, are you pretty sure about that? because since our school is using ATI still and we have evolve at the same time (start this semester), our professors maybe thinking about switching to another online testing program. We are used PrepU on THE POINT, and also we are using evolve for med surg 2 stuffs. If there's a strong evidence of ATI been outdated, I would like to speak to my professor about that. Not that it's going to make any change for me but maybe they will consider changing after this semester. I still need to be in the nursing program for about 1+ year, so my action may help with that exit exam.

    thanks for mentioning this.
  11. 1
    Well, I have no actual proof like a website to send you to just merely anecdotal information that came from my teachers and the experience we had in our program.

    For example, I just finished a OB/Peds rotation where I did a home test and one of the questions asked how to clean the newborn's cord. Current standard recommendations for cord care on a newborn is to use sterile water with a neutral pH cleanser but on the ATI test the correct answer was using alcohol which is an older recommended method.

    That was just an example of some of the questions that have created some conflict in our program because then students complained when they were penalized on similar questions during our exams whose correct answers followed current practice standards and not what ATI prescribed.

    So after many team meetings, my nursing program's faculty decided they would prefer to go a testing program that stayed more up-to-date and that was reason we were given for switching.
    Nein33 likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top