Dillema

  1. Heya Folks,
    I'm in a dillema and could use some input, esp from the recent grads.

    I've got 2 really good ADN programs near me. I believe I have a really good chance of getting accepted to either (or both).

    If given the following - which would you pick?

    School #1
    Total Credit Hours to Completion - 43cr
    Estimated Tuition Cost to Completion - $2197
    Distance from Home - 16.1 miles, estimated 32 minutes
    Avg NCLEX Pass Rate 1996-2002 = 93.82%

    School #2
    Total Credit Hours to Completion - 40cr
    Estimated Tuition Cost to Completion - $1357
    Distance from Home - 9.9 miles, estimated 18 minutes
    Avg NCLEX Pass Rate 1996-2002 = 89.28%

    A few comments about the above. The listed credit hours to completion reflect that I already have had many of the courses and have confirmed that they transfer. The NCLEX pass rates are directly from my State Board of Nursing. The reason for the difference in cost is primarily due to districting. I'm currently working prereqs at School #2.

    My real question is this - would you fork over the extra money ($840 over the course of the program) for only a 4.54% increase in their pass rate? Both schools have equal reputation in the local medical community as far as I can discover.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   kittyw
    Have you looked into the differences in student-instructor ratios, number of clinical hours, clinical placements, etc between the two schools? Have to talked to students and graduates of either school?

    Kitty
  4. by   NurseWeasel
    Good point kittyw. All else being equal, I'd choose the cheaper school. But you might wanna wander around the two schools at lunch time and ask some questions of the current students. You might also ask the schools for "references" you can contact.... recently graduated students. Good luck to you.
  5. by   TeresaRN2b
    Hmm, I'd have to say I'd pick the second school for two make that three reasons. One it is closer to you. That thirty minute drive might wear on you after a while (especially if you don't have to drive it). Second it is cheaper. Third less classes to take. The difference in NCLEX pass rates isn't substantial enough to me to sway me either way on the school. That's just my thoughts anyhow.
  6. by   MelRN13
    I agree with Teresa, I don't think that the pass rates have that much reflection on the school, but the students themselves.
  7. by   Stargazer
    kittyw and Weasel have excellent suggestions. Pass rates don't tell the whole story. The first BSN program I attended, The Marquis de Sade School of Nursing, had the highest NCLEX pass rate in the state. And why wouldn't they, after they'd gleefully weeded out over 50% of each class by senior year?

    On paper, the school looked great. But the place was from HELL, dude. I almost had a nervous breakdown, and I ended up switching schools.

    Talk to some students, preferably from several different stages of the program. And if you can, talk to some experienced nurses in your area who've worked with the students and/or new grads. Does one group seem significantly sharper or clinically astute than the other? Do hospitals in your area prefer grads of one program over the other?
  8. by   Mkue
    I agree, pass rates shouldn't be the deciding factor, it's what you make of the program.
  9. by   New CCU RN
    Heck, if they still seem just about the same you can always go by the cuter uniforms...hehehe

    I was obviously kidding. However, a couple of things:

    1) If the programs are NLN accredited. (may be important later on if you decide to further your education)

    2) Clinical sites...opportunites at those sites, etc

    3) Curriculum

    4) When you start clinicals and number of clinical hours spent throughout program

    5) Number of students who start vs number who graduate

    Also, I definitely agree with talking to some of the students and getting their opinions on the schools...if they are happy there, etc.

    Good luck to you
  10. by   natsfanrn
    I'd go with school #2 also...Both pass rates are acceptable, and pass rates can be deceptive anyway. In a small program, all it takes are one or two who don't pass the NCLEX to put a big skew in the percentage. You also don't know the trend of the pass rate, in other words if the school may have had a lower pass rate back in '96, and has raised it to the 90s in more recent years. In any case, remember that the only pass rate you ultimately have to worry about is yours...if both schools are well regarded by the medical community and you put in the hard work, you'll do fine, no matter whether you're part of the 89% or the 94%. Good luck.
  11. by   vettech
    Originally posted by New CCU RN
    Heck, if they still seem just about the same you can always go by the cuter uniforms...hehehe

    I was obviously kidding. However, a couple of things:

    1) If the programs are NLN accredited. (may be important later on if you decide to further your education)

    2) Clinical sites...opportunites at those sites, etc

    3) Curriculum

    4) When you start clinicals and number of clinical hours spent throughout program

    5) Number of students who start vs number who graduate

    Also, I definitely agree with talking to some of the students and getting their opinions on the schools...if they are happy there, etc.

    Good luck to you
    1) Dunno

    2) Same same from what I can gather. This area (Houston) has a HUGE Medical Center (largest in N America actually) and all the ADN and BSN schools send their students there for clinicals. The only difference is the order in which I do my clinicals. For example, I'll do my Mental Health rotation 3rd Semester at #1, 5th Semester at #2.

    3) Virtually identical - #1 is lacking a specific Pharmacology course but I assume it'll be stashed in one of the other courses. #2 is lacking a dosage calc class.

    4) Start clinicals 1st semster in both. From what I gather about #2, they split the first sem so you do classwork for the first half of the semester then to clinicals the latter half.

    5) This is one I'm having a tough time finding out. The 1st school is one I only recently considered - I met their prereqs almost by accident so decided to look into it.

    Neither school seems overly forthcoming with details about the program. Both generally refer me back to their respective websites or the course catalog and leave it at that. The attitude seems to be that there are 3-4 people applying for every slot so, until I make the first cut, I'm irrelevant.

    From that persepctive alone, the more expensive school wins hands down. Neither impressed me with their attitude but...

    And as far as the uniforms thing goes, I hadda wear maroon with white shoes every day for my entire RVT program. The only option was yes/no on the lab jacket. And, of corse, we had our "Farmer Browns" - beige zip-up jumpsuit and rubber boots worn when working with equines or cattle. After that, I think I can handle ANY uniform.
  12. by   vettech
    Originally posted by kardut
    I'd go with school #2 also...Both pass rates are acceptable, and pass rates can be deceptive anyway. In a small program, all it takes are one or two who don't pass the NCLEX to put a big skew in the percentage. You also don't know the trend of the pass rate, in other words if the school may have had a lower pass rate back in '96, and has raised it to the 90s in more recent years. In any case, remember that the only pass rate you ultimately have to worry about is yours...if both schools are well regarded by the medical community and you put in the hard work, you'll do fine, no matter whether you're part of the 89% or the 94%. Good luck.
    Actually, our state Board of Nursing has a .pdf file you can download that lists the pass rates for every ADN or BSN program in Texas for the past 10 years. I did the math on the averages myself just to simplify. Both are relatively steady.
  13. by   tabbeycatt
    Originally posted by vettech

    My real question is this - would you fork over the extra money ($840 over the course of the program) for only a 4.54% increase in their pass rate? Both schools have equal reputation in the local medical community as far as I can discover.

    Have you been accepted into both schools' programs? I don't think 4.54% is a lot. Considering all the other expenses that come a long with nursing school ( uniforms, stethoscope, books, travel expense for clinicals, etc.) I would probably choose the cheaper school. Especially if you are having to pay for it yourself and not getting any financial aid. I would find out about the student to teacher ratio... I think that makes a difference. I think with school #2 being closer to home would also factor in my decision. Ya never know when something unexpected is going to come up and you could be late for class or something.

    Good luck in what you decide.
  14. by   Dr. Kate
    Life, nursing schools, and nursing jobs area lot like chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.

    How well you do is largely up to you, not the school. Some great nurses have gone through poor programs and vice versa.

    For my money go for that which will minimize your stress. Do you ever have to go from clinical back to school? If so what is the longest distance you'll be driving? In traffic?

    Take a look at the library. Do they have long accommodating hours. What nursing resources do they have? Go in and ask the reference librarian what electronic resources are available, what nurisng journals they subscribe to? How many are research journals? What are their resources in psychology adn education journals (nursing overlaps those fields a bit.) Tell the librarian why you're asking the questions (that will really impress her or him, trust me.) The one with the best library will be the school with the greatest commitment to nursing. (Library funds get cut on a regular basis and if there is a real commitment to nursing there effort will be made to maintain the quality of the nursing library.)

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