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- by Nolander Nov 16, '12Okay, first a little backstory: I am currently in my second semester of my local community college's ADN program. My community college is one of two nursing programs in my local area, the other one being a BSN program through an extension of a university's nursing school in my state. I chose the ADN program because of a number of reasons: cost, I would be done quicker, I would be set to begin my online rn-bsn classes right after I graduate, the program is well established and respected in my area etc. I felt like I made the right decision to attend my ADN program, but now I am beginning to think differently, which has lead me to make this thread.
I was a 4.0 student, dean's list, scholarships, you name it. Everyone who is in my program now is a star student as our program is very competitive to get into. However, ever since I began this program my grades have done nothing but drop substantially. Everyone in my class, including me, is struggling to even pass our classes. C's are the standard in my program, only TWO people managed to complete our first semester with a B, everyone else obtained a C, some barely making the grade to continue. Our program started with 30 people, we now have 8 and are barely halfway through. All of our classes are also 6+ credit hours (first semester was 9 credit hours for one class), so the grades we get highly affect our GPA. Our program is extremely disorganized and very strict. Those in the 3rd and 4th semesters say the same story, nothing changes. I've heard about 10 people are currently failing 3rd semester and may have to repeat. You may think, as I was thinking, that the difficulty of my program must mean high NCLEX pass rates, well, I looked on the board of nursing records and saw that my program had only an 86% pass rate last year. I completely understand nursing school is supposed to be challenging, time consuming, and difficult all around, but I can't help but think my school is taking it to far at the cost of its students. The BSN program in my area is a totally different story, I've talked to many people in there program recently. They have nothing but good to say from there program. Apparently, there 4th semester class has lost three (3) people, the ENTIRE program. I was told by more than a few people, that getting A' and B's in there program is commonplace, and rarely does anyone struggle to "just pass". Here's the kicker, they also had a 100% NCLEX pass rate last year. Hearing this, and knowing first hand how my own program is, I fee like I have made a wrong decision by choosing to go to my program and am now seriously contemplating dropping my program despite being nearly half way through, to apply for the BSN program and hope to see improvement in my grades and education.
I hope you all acknowledge that in no way am I complaining. I work my tail off, as does everyone else in my program. I am not bashing program either, I am simply concerned, as I know education and especially grades are important. I'd love to hear what input you all have about my situation.
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- Nov 16, '12 by rubatoI have to agree with you. It sounds like you may have made the wrong decision. Can you afford the BSN program? Do you think you can reconcile the year you have wasted? It would be a hard choice for me to make, but I'd hate to waste 2 years instead of 1. I'm in a CC program, but it's nothing like what you describe. I am struggling enough having a positive, supportive school. I can't even imagine what I would do in a program like yours. In the end, you need to do your research and figure out what's going to be best for you. I hope everything works out.
- Nov 16, '12 by snapshotWow, you are right about our situations...if it weren't for a few details being different, I would think that we are in the same program! Disorganization and strict adherence to policies for their own sake are the two main themes throughout the classes. I've lost a lot of classmates, too, and former 4.0 students are just happy to be advancing to the next class. It's frustrating and sad. I made the same choice as you to start with an ADN program over the nearby BSN program, and am deeply regretting it. We do clinicals on the same floors as the students from the university, and they say that they are not dealing with anything like what we are.
I always tell my classmates that I should have seen it coming from the start: we had a program orientation a few weeks before our first semester, and letters were sent out saying when and where it was and that it was mandatory. I showed up early, but more than 15 minutes after the start time, there were dozens of us waiting and no one had showed up. Lo and behold, they had given us the wrong meeting room. Even so, when we walked over to the correct one, the instructors blamed US FOR BEING LATE!
I'm a little further along than you, so I can't really say if you should stop now. I don't have any advice, other than I believe that you are working hard, and just know that you're not alone!
- Nov 16, '12 by NolanderThanks for the comments. Why are some programs like this and how do they continue to operate? And yes, that is my main concern: do I want to delay myself two years? If I was to continue in my current program and pass all my classes on time I would graduate in december 2013. However, if I dropped now to pursue the BSN program, I wouldnt BEGIN until until december 2013. Decisions, decisions, haha.
- Nov 16, '12 by snapshotYeah, that's tough, because obviously you wanted to get licensed sooner rather than later since you chose the ADN program. I guess you have to weigh what's more important - your GPA after you're done, or how soon you can be a nurse. If my grades had suffered as much as yours seem to have (I've squeaked out As or A-s so far), I probably would have left because I want to go on to graduate school also and need my application to be competitive. However, there are lots of bachelor's programs and that level is not quite as competitive, so if you don't plan to go beyond a BSN, it might not matter as much.
As far as the NCLEX...if you're as hard of a worker as it seems, I have complete faith that you can get some review books and pass it even if you stick with your current program. I don't know if your program makes you eligible for LPN boards, but I took mine after working on my own and passed easily. I know the RN boards will be a lot harder, but I still think it can be done.
Also, I don't know how these programs continue to operate, but they shouldn't be able to. I bet it probably has a lot to do with this exact problem, though - they get so many students because we don't know how bad things are until it's too late!
- Nov 17, '12 by NolanderQuote from snapshotThat's the thing, I absolutely do want to go beyond a BSN, whether it be NP, PA, CNS, CRNA etc.However, there are lots of bachelor's programs and that level is not quite as competitive, so if you don't plan to go beyond a BSN, it might not matter as much.
- Nov 17, '12 by rubatoQuote from NolanderNow, you see, that changes things. How competitive will you look with Cs? I'm only going for my BSN because I'm old and only have so much time. But, I know that MSN programs and doctorate programs can be REALLY picky.That's the thing, I absolutely do want to go beyond a BSN, whether it be NP, PA, CNS, CRNA etc.
- Nov 17, '12 by NolanderQuote from rubatoand I don't get that. How can we work equally as hard as the other program, yet they come out with A's and B's, and we are just happy to pass. Do graduate committees not care how "difficult/strict" your program is? How can someone who gets A's were A's are not ultra difficult to get be a better candidate than someone who attends a program where A's are unheard of by its students. I've spoken to many people in my own program in the semester behind and semesters ahead of me, all of them say the same exact story - C = RN. I have heard of ONE (1) instance of someone getting an A in one class, and it's probably because she was retaking that class again because she failed it the first time.Now, you see, that changes things. How competitive will you look with Cs? I'm only going for my BSN because I'm old and only have so much time. But, I know that MSN programs and doctorate programs can be REALLY picky.
- Nov 17, '12 by catheringOmg! I am starting ADN program in January and your post got me nervous thinking I may have made the wrong choice by doing ADN vs BSN. May I ask what school you're in? I am going to be attending ADN school in Southern California. Thanks and good luck!
- Nov 17, '12 by rubatoQuote from NolanderI wish they did, but I doubt it. Yes, it's completely unfair. I just hope you can all figure something out, because it sucks.and I don't get that. How can we work equally as hard as the other program, yet they come out with A's and B's, and we are just happy to pass. Do graduate committees not care how "difficult/strict" your program is? How can someone who gets A's were A's are not ultra difficult to get be a better candidate than someone who attends a program where A's are unheard of by its students. I've spoken to many people in my own program in the semester behind and semesters ahead of me, all of them say the same exact story - C = RN. I have heard of ONE (1) instance of someone getting an A in one class, and it's probably because she was retaking that class again because she failed it the first time.