Nursing School Admission requirements are they fair? - page 3

I used to be an LPN, I have been working on my prerequisites for a year now... As we all know the competition to enter a program is ridiculous. Most school uses the GPA as their primary filter in... Read More

  1. by   PACNWNURSING
    Nursing is so much more then academics... Because of the people component of nursing. If your going to be a Nurse Researcher or lets say Nurse anesthetist, I can see more of a reason to have a high science academic GPA... Or looking to get your graduate degree... But for a community college ADN program? On average 50% who start nursing programs do not finish, of those, 90% in the class had GPA of 3.5 or greater. I would say there is more to this than just academics. Nursing and medicine is art form as well as a science. The bottom line is how many people are taking out their humnanties and microbiology notes to study for the NCLEX?
  2. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Quote from kathygalt
    As a nursing student entering school in Jan 07, and as an educator who teaches anatomy and physiology to pre-nursing students, I have very mixed feelings. I see these pre-nursing students re-taking A & P 2,3,even 4 times to get an A to make themselves competitive for application.

    At my school you are only allowed to repeat pre-requs once...
  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from PACNWNURSING
    Nursing is so much more then academics... Because of the people component of nursing. If your going to be a Nurse Researcher or lets say Nurse anesthetist, I can see more of a reason to have a high science academic GPA... Or looking to get your graduate degree... But for a community college ADN program? On average 50% who start nursing programs do not finish, of those, 90% in the class had GPA of 3.5 or greater. I would say there is more to this than just academics. Nursing and medicine is art form as well as a science. The bottom line is how many people are taking out their humnanties and microbiology notes to study for the NCLEX?
    While it is true that nursing is both an art AND a science, we have focused on the art for far too long. It is time that the science of nursing gets its play.

    There are many ways to evaluate the 'art' of nursing. Indeed, many instructors feel that it is their 'duty' to wash out students 'not nursing material'. In addition, that 'art' is much more likely to be 'built in' than an aptitude for science. 'Caring' is an endemic human quality and those that pursue nursing likely already hold the foundations of the 'art' of nursing to build upon.

    The science of nursing is another thing altogether. It doesn't matter how well your 'caring nature' is if you don't have the science aptitude for nursing. If we continue to place 'art' above 'science', we continue to emphasize our vocational nature above our professional nature.

    GPAs by themselves might not be a foolproof method, but it is a far better method than depending upon some lottery or other method that plays to evaluating the 'art' of nursing over the 'science'.

    I'm not opposed to emphasizing the 'art' of nursing. Just not at the expense of the 'science' of nursing. We've done that already, for far too long.

    I'm no angel. That doesn't mean that I'm not a great nurse. Nor, should it. On the other hand, in addition to a nursing degree, I have a bach in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. I might not be an angel, but I have a proven aptitude for the science I use daily at the bedside.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Dec 7, '06
  4. by   PACNWNURSING
    I worked 8 years as an LPN, Over 3 years in a trauma center. I do not remember having to recall an algebraic equation, or the life cycle of bacteria in order for me and the other nurses do their jobs or perform them well... The truth of the matter is, most of nursing is a vocation/skill learned from a nursing textbook or on the job. Nurses do not need a Bachelors in Science in order to do their jobs. What you are speaking of is the perception of nursing. Yes I agree, perception of nursing needs to change, and until people don't automatically equate nurses with bedpans or bed baths we will never move forward. GPA helpful yes, but in my opinion too much emphasis is placed on GPA.... There is no easy solution to this problem...
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from PACNWNURSING
    I worked 8 years as an LPN, Over 3 years in a trauma center. I do not remember having to recall an algebraic equation, or the life cycle of bacteria in order for me and the other nurses do their jobs or perform them well... The truth of the matter is, most of nursing is a vocation/skill learned from a nursing textbook or on the job. Nurses do not need a Bachelors in Science in order to do their jobs. What you are speaking of is the perception of nursing. Yes I agree, perception of nursing needs to change, and until people don't automatically equate nurses with bedpans or bed baths we will never move forward. GPA helpful yes, but in my opinion too much emphasis is placed on GPA.... There is no easy solution to this problem...
    I disagree that 'most' of nursing is comprised of 'vocational' skills. A signficant amount, to be sure.

    'Most' of my job comprises of being a critical thinking expert that continually compares the status of my patient from one point in time to the next and evaluates both what the differences are and what the necessary course of action should be to either foster or correct those differences, calling to bear my allied health peers, such as a doctor, when necessary to bring about the changes to improve the status of my patient.

    I tell new nurses that I precept that a good chunk of nursing is like the old sunday morning cartoons with the 2 pictures side by side where you have to figure out what is different in the pictures. THAT is what I do, and that is why I get paid. (I recently found out that there is actually a term for this: it's called 'lighthousing'.)

    To be sure, I can clean poop with the best of them. And while I DO consider that an essential component of my job, it's not why, or at least, not primarily why I'm at the bedside. Others CAN be paid to do that. But, they can't be paid to be the critical thinking expert that commands my salary UNLESS they understand the SCIENCE of human physiology and compensatory mechanisms and the SCIENCE of what tools we have at our disposal to positively interact to improve such things.

    Don't make this a BSN/ADN debate. I didn't say that you had to have a bach degree to be a good bedside 'scientist'; I said you had to have a good foundation IN science. ADN programs teach that as well.

    My point was an emphasis on who were are recruiting and that science is and should be the queen of nursing. I might not remember formulas off the top of my head either, but, I know when to look up the deoxyhemoglobin dissociation curve (or indeed, how to interpret that ABG in the first place) or how to calculate an SVR if I have to. I know how a balloon pump works, not just how to operate it, and I know how most of the drugs I give work and not only what to expect from their actions, but when to intervene and how if those actions don't produce the desired results. That's science. More important, it's what I do, on a daily basis.

    While it might be true that I learned many of these skills on the job, it is also true that understanding and applying these skills absolutely demands an aptitude for the science we use on the job, every single day. It does not serve the interests of nursing, either globally or at each individual bedside, to pishaw the science of our profession.

    This is not aimed at you individually, but I do much mislike the characterization of what I do as primarily vocational in nature. My skills are much more than that, and worth much more than that.

    We should foster the Science ability and aptitude in our newest protegees. In fact, those are the skills and aptitudes we SHOULD be looking for above all others. 'Caring' is an endemic human quality. Science is not.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Dec 8, '06
  6. by   PeachyERNurse
    It's totally unfair for schools to use GPA as the sole criteria for nursing school admissions. I started college right after high school and completely screwed up my grades due to the fact that I just wasn't ready for college. Years later, after I got my head screwed on straight, I decided I wanted to be a nurse. I took the pre-reqs, got all As and Bs (pre-req GPA of 3.6), but because My OVERALL GPA wasn't "high" enough, I couldn't get in anywhere. I finally decided to just get a degree in anything (I got a BA in Sociology) and I applied to an Accelerated BSN degree program and I got in on my first try. For those of you having trouble getting in to the traditional program due to "low" GPA (at my school the minimum to get in is an overall 3.8), try doing what I did. Get a degree in something else, then apply to an accelerated program. Everyone have a happy holiday!:icon_wink:
  7. by   mauxtav8r
    Futurenurse's situation was so similar to mine, only I managed to eek out a degree when I was young, only to realize years later how truly awful my gpa was. After a 4.0 in all pre-reqs and retaking one class from way back when, I made it to a 3.000. I was told flatly "your application is not competitive" but I turned it in anyway. I firmly believe that my "modern day" grades got me in. Our school says admissions are on the basis of gpa only, but if that were true I'd be substitute teaching right now.

    I believe a combination approach is needed in admissions, but the academics are tough in nursing. Most of the students we have lost so far just didn't have it from the first day. They re-took pre-req's, not just to move that B to an A, these were Fs to Cs. Overall GPA still looked good, but maybe a different major would have been a better choice.
  8. by   PACNWNURSING
    Ok I know I am going to hurt some egos, but here goes. Ok lets end this, the only reason we have GPA requirements set so high, is because we have too little nursing programs and too many students therefore there has to be some sort of criteria, not because the nursing programs require it..Which nursing instructor would say a 3.0 candidate is less capable then a 4.0 candidate not one.... Again we are talking about obtaining nursing license by taking the NCLEX. The purpose of nursing school is just to provide a foundation in order for us to have enough knowledge to pass the exam. We obtain most of our practical knowledge on the job and through CEU's or obtaining accredations... You do not need a 3.8 gpa or above to pass the NCLEX... I can get a 2.5 gpa nursing student to pass the NCLEX if they are wiling to study hard enough... If the ANA requires pre-med students to be nurses, so be it. Until that time, we have Community Colleges pumping out nurses as fast as they can....
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I don't think that gpas should be the sole or main criteria for admission. Obviously, you lose many qualified candidates that way and many that can more then compensate in other areas.

    I also think that, if you DO use GPAs for your main criteria, that there should be some standard to discriminate between the grades received in the distant past and those actually being considered for placement.

    I also agree that you shouldn't be able to keep retaking a class until you ace it in order to improve your gpa. I have heard of some places that average the grades you get by taking the same class over and over. That's fair.

    I'm all for using preadmit test, interviews, whatever to improve the diversity of a perspective class beyond the mere density of gpas.

    However it is done, I'm NOT for a lottery system or any other means that remove the relative competition for those spots. The only way that better salaries can equal better nurses is if those salaries attract better candidates, AND those candidates actually make it into our programs over and above lessor qualified candidates. We SHOULD be looking for those better candidates. Whatever measure we come up with to do so, it should be competition based.

    GPAs might not be the end all be all of a good determination process. I'll agree with that. But, they shouldn't be discounted, either.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  10. by   SuesquatchRN
    I think grades count for a lot. And should.
  11. by   mauxtav8r
    One aspect of this discussion that has not yet come up is . . .

    What about the seemingly bright student who apparently cannot think critically? This is your basic 3.5 or better student who memorizes well but cannot handle "nclex" type questions.

    This simultaneous prioritization and assessment of all wild factors is more than some linear thinkers can take.
  12. by   smk1
    Quote from PACNWNURSING
    Nursing is so much more then academics... Because of the people component of nursing. If your going to be a Nurse Researcher or lets say Nurse anesthetist, I can see more of a reason to have a high science academic GPA... Or looking to get your graduate degree... But for a community college ADN program? On average 50% who start nursing programs do not finish, of those, 90% in the class had GPA of 3.5 or greater. I would say there is more to this than just academics. Nursing and medicine is art form as well as a science. The bottom line is how many people are taking out their humnanties and microbiology notes to study for the NCLEX?
    You definitely do need people skills. However after a study over the course of some years here at my school, they found that those who had higher science prereq grades did better in the nursing program than those with lower grades. This is why GPA and a weighted science GPA are the main points awarded at our program. (Used to be the only points until last year when they started awarding a few points for getting your CNA done). No system is ever going to be completely fair, but now that I am a student, I have to say that I use my A&P and micro foundation every day. Maybe other programs are different, but it is my classes general consensus that it was a good thing we did well in A&P, because we would be lost now if we hadn't.
  13. by   smk1
    Quote from PACNWNURSING
    Ok I know I am going to hurt some egos, but here goes. Ok lets end this, the only reason we have GPA requirements set so high, is because we have too little nursing programs and too many students therefore there has to be some sort of criteria, not because the nursing programs require it..Which nursing instructor would say a 3.0 candidate is less capable then a 4.0 candidate not one.... Again we are talking about obtaining nursing license by taking the NCLEX. The purpose of nursing school is just to provide a foundation in order for us to have enough knowledge to pass the exam. We obtain most of our practical knowledge on the job and through CEU's or obtaining accredations... You do not need a 3.8 gpa or above to pass the NCLEX... I can get a 2.5 gpa nursing student to pass the NCLEX if they are wiling to study hard enough... If the ANA requires pre-med students to be nurses, so be it. Until that time, we have Community Colleges pumping out nurses as fast as they can....
    So if we need to end this discussion, here are the cold hard facts. Nursing schools for the most part select based upon the principle of supply and demand. As the supply goes down or in this case stays the same, but the demand sky rockets, the schools will have the luxury of picking the best and the brightest (according to their own criteria) as their students. If you have 40 seats in your program and 500 people vying for those seats. You start to find ways to determine who to select. Grades have always been a good indicator of student success, willingness to learn, dedication and understanding of the material. Is it perfect? No, but nothing is. Grades figure highly into the choosing of medical students, dental students, and law students. Why should nursing be any different? Now I can agree with having a few other indicators in for the selection of students, but I think grades should far and away be the determining factor. They are far less subjective than interviews and essays etc...

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