Help!!

  1. I am going to an open house today at a nursing school and they have a question/answer session. Now, I have some concerns about this school. They only have a 75% NCLEX pass rate. This school has been in existence since 1937 and their pass rate dropped about 2-3 years ago when they started accepting non-traditional students. Of course, at the ripe old age of 35, I am definitely a non-traditional student.

    Now my problem is I don't know what questions I should be asking when I go there. Of course, I am hoping someone can explain the pass rate. What other questions would you ask? Under normal circumstances I wouldn't be considering this school but the whole waiting list thing at my school of choice is getting to me. I more than likely won't be getting in the Spring 05 semester, so I will have to reapply for Fall 05. This school is much larger than my CC, and almost double the cost at $14K, but I will probably be able to start in January 05. I am hating my job more and more everyday and am extremely anxious to start my new career.

    Any advice would really be appreciated.

    Thanks fellow students,

    Debbie
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   allthingsbright
    I would ask why the pass rate dropped with non-traditional students, why I should attend their school over other schools in the area, their dropout rate, teacher to student ration, who they contract their clinicals with (hospitals), what their program hours are like (8-5 every day, some full days, part time options, etc), how much everything costs, what their financial aid programs involve, etc. I could go on and on! What is importatnt to you? Make a list and go from there!

    Good luck!
  4. by   alexillytom
    Quote from allthingsbright
    I would ask why the pass rate dropped with non-traditional students, why I should attend their school over other schools in the area, their dropout rate, teacher to student ration, who they contract their clinicals with (hospitals), what their program hours are like (8-5 every day, some full days, part time options, etc), how much everything costs, what their financial aid programs involve, etc. I could go on and on! What is importatnt to you? Make a list and go from there!

    Good luck!
    Thanks. I am really afraid of that pass rate. I wanted to make sure I was not so hung up on the pass rate that I forgot to inquire about some other important things.
  5. by   manna
    Good luck in making your decision. Let us know what you find out...

    You mean they didn't admit non-trad students at all before, or they just got a surge in enrollment in that area?
  6. by   alexillytom
    Quote from manna
    Good luck in making your decision. Let us know what you find out...

    You mean they didn't admit non-trad students at all before, or they just got a surge in enrollment in that area?
    Manna,

    I am not sure how it all worked. The lady who answered the phone when I initially made contact with the school didn't have any answers. I am hoping to clear it all up today. I am a non-traditional student so I have to find out why they are having a hard time teaching us. I find it hard to believe that up until 2-3 years ago they only accepted students just out of high school.

    Thanks for the well wishes and I will keep you posted.

    Debbie
  7. by   Altra
    The suggestions above are good ones - there are lots of things that go into whether or not the school is a good "fit" for you.

    I agree the low NCLEX pass rate raises a red flag, but if everything else seems kosher, there are things you can do independently to make sure you pass - various review books/courses, really reading your texts, hanging around Allnurses.com ... :chuckle (not really kidding about that last one, even though it sounds funny - the things I've learned here!)

    Let us know how it goes!
  8. by   Katnip
    Is there solid evidence that the drop in pass rate is directly related to accepting non-traditional students? My school has more non-traditional than traditional students and their pass rate increased in the years they've been doing it.

    It could be they've had budget cuts at about the same time, fewer faculty members, less than state-of-the-art-equipment, faculty not keeping with the times, etc.

    The pass rate is also very individual. You will get out of it what you put into it. HOWEVER, look very closely at their curriculum, make sure evidence based practice is taught.

    And as said above, you can make sure you do your personal best and you should have no trouble with NCLEX as long as the education is good.
  9. by   alexillytom
    Quote from cyberkat
    Is there solid evidence that the drop in pass rate is directly related to accepting non-traditional students? My school has more non-traditional than traditional students and their pass rate increased in the years they've been doing it.

    It could be they've had budget cuts at about the same time, fewer faculty members, less than state-of-the-art-equipment, faculty not keeping with the times, etc.

    The pass rate is also very individual. You will get out of it what you put into it. HOWEVER, look very closely at their curriculum, make sure evidence based practice is taught.

    And as said above, you can make sure you do your personal best and you should have no trouble with NCLEX as long as the education is good.

    Thanks very much for your response. After speaking to the students who attend the school, I feel I have a better understanding of the problems. The staff allowed us to have some alone time with some of the students. Some of the students were excelling, others were passing, and one was just struggling to maintain her minimum 77%. They all liked and respected the instructors. They believed there was a lot of support for students, who were struggling, if they were willing to take advantage of it. They all said, even the one who was struggling, but allowed us to interrupt her study time anyway, that you get out of the program what you put into it. They have a lot of clinical/lab hours and the work is intense. They also teach to the NCLEX and offer a review class at the end, which is included in the tuition, but is optional. The pass rate this year, with 45% of the graduates having taken the test, is between 79-80%. This is a diploma program, but I will be able to get an associates also because I have already taken the three additional classes that are needed.

    They review the applications of the people with the highest GPA, required course completed, and completed application package first. They then work their way down to the lowest acceptable GPA. I feel pretty confident in that regard because the other ladies at the open house openly discussed their gpa's, and unfortunately most of them were not very good. They seemed to be doing just enough in their prereqs to maintain the minimum requirement s for admission. It really seemed to shake some of them up when they discovered that their applications would be the last ones presented to the review committee. Fortunately, I have a high gpa so chances are I will be considered first or somewhere close to first.

    I know I forgot something. I typed up a really long response, then pushed the wrong button and lost it. Anyway, I am seriously considering this school.

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