Students who don't belong, being pulled through LPN program (long rant) - page 3

Just thought I'd vent a little about this. I always thought that nursing school was going to be a real "trial by fire". It was such a hassle to get in, between all the paperwork and testing, and the... Read More

  1. by   Murse901
    Well, at least I know that I'm not alone here.

    I have decided not to bring anything up to anyone other than my peers on this forum, but I appreciate knowing that I'm not just being facetious. I'm glad that some people can filter out my ranting and "judgment" and see that there is a serious problem with the program that I'm attending.

    As IMBC mentioned, there is an expected level of competence upon being admitted to a nursing program. Nursing is a field that not only requires compassion, but also a strong math and science background. I expect my fellow nursing students to be able to comprehend 5th grade math without tutoring.

    But, I do tend to expect too much from people.
  2. by   jaxmom63
    Hey Don, you would love our school. I just started the ADN program after graduating from the PN in May. I think our Director is ex-military. Everyone gets a chance to prove themselves, and if you need a little tutoring, it is available. But we had a "crunch time". You had to be ready to tell what the drugs were, what to watch for, and if you weren't ready, you got dropped to part time. We have to have an 80 to pass and no rounding up. If you didn't keep an 80 in all the part time classes, you got dropped. We started with 45 students, graduated 32 and had 95% pass rate on NCLEX. If you miss more than 2 clinicals, you failed. If you miss more than two hours in any class, you lost points on your final grade. If you had to make up more than one test, you could only score a 90. Toughest thing I have ever done. And that was the easy part. In the ADN program, we are responsible for approximately 60% of each exam on our own. Lecture only covers 40% of the material. We only have 4 exams in our Metabolic-Endocrine class this semester. If you have a bad test, you may not be able to bring the grade back up in time to pass. A friend of mine works in the nursing office and told me that they really do try to make it difficult in order to weed out the people who may not pass the NCLEX. If they have higher than a 95% pass rate, they get more federal funding or something like that. It really is a hard program to get in to, and hard to complete, but they put out very competent nurses. But the one thing that we do, we help each other. If someone gets a really good grade in a particular subject, they will give the rest of us pointers on how to make a better study guide for that instructor. There have been several times this year when I felt burnt out enough to drop to part time, but I have made some life long friends in this program and they really help me hang in there. I think you will find by the end of the semester, that the frustration you experience will make you stronger in the long run. Hang in there.
  3. by   Teddybear12
    My school also uses the Net Exam. But only one difference they told us to bring a caculator. So how many could pass without a caculator? You know when it comes to testing in school your not going to be able to use your caculator.
  4. by   CarVsTree
    Don,

    How do you know they didn't really pass the math quiz? Are you saying that they were passed even though they didn't get the 100%. You have nothing to report because you have no proof that they did anything wrong.

    I suggest you focus on yourself. And if someone needs to write out math rather than do it in their head (no matter how simple), that's fine by me as long as they get it right. You are not in charge, so focus on yourself and not everyone else. You will have a tough time in nursing if you feel the need to worry about what everyone else is doing.
  5. by   momof3heathens
    Well, I'm sure glad my school doesn't meet some people's criteria or I would never get in.....
    We have to meet a 2.7 GPA overall, with a 3.0 in the core prereqs. Once you are in the last semester of those, we are placed in line for admission according to application date. I switched schools because of the criteria at this school. The one I was at had a formula for admission that changed every year, and many of the changes were not grandfathered.
    The program I will be entering is designed for those who are going into nursing later in life and as a second career. ALmost all of us have jobs, families and very little time to study. It is still very easy to tell who is serious about nursing and who is not. The fact that some people are struggling with math (often after 10 - 20 years of no school) is irrelevant. They still have to pass the Dosage Calculations class. Which in, by the way we get in big trouble for doing calculations in our heads. We must work them out the long way on every page of homework and every single problem on every single test, as well as in class. We do not get credit for the problem otherwise. This helps people who think they can do it in their head (I am one of those) to learn the proper way to do the calculation. Our prof insists that we do it the right way all of the time, so when we do get the more complicated calculations, we have the method burned into our brains....

    We do have some profs that are easier than others. We still have to know the material to pass the class, whether they review with us to help, or not. Several people have already changed their minds about the nursing program after advising for the spring semester, when they found out just how much time/study it would involve. THe people who don't want it won';t last one way or the other.
    BTW, in spite of what some may see as our "easy" entrance requirements, we have a 99% NCLEX pass rate. So, the professors that help the students who are struggling must be doing something right....
  6. by   Keepstanding
    Calm down Don !
    Do you really think the instructors would just pass some students along if they did not feel they were "getting it" ? I can see them placing themselves in that position. I went to school with people who were straight A students, but had no comon sense, not a drop of compassion or caring. Yes book knowledge is of utmost importance, but so are the other qualities I mentioned.
    Maybe you need a little break...rest...relax. Life will go a lot easier if you concern yourself with you and your needs, and not focus on the rest of the class. Just my opinion. Blessings to you
  7. by   mschelee
    We have 5 tries at the exam before we're out of the program. How many people passed the exam on the first try? 100%! The same people who couldn't figure out that 0.01 times 10 is 0.1 were able to pass a med math exam with 100% on their first try? Give me a break!

    5 tries at the med calculation exam? Our school only allows 2 tries and your out. it is 10 questions and you can only miss one, if you miss 2 questions, you flunk. I had a good friend flunk twice, she is out of the programs and devastated!
  8. by   sjrn85
    I don't get it. When I was a student, I was too busy worrying about my own learning to be focused on what others may/may not have been doing.
  9. by   new2this
    hello,could you please tell me what school you are attending,it sounds alot like concorde career insti





    Quote from DonaldJ
    Just thought I'd vent a little about this. I always thought that nursing school was going to be a real "trial by fire". It was such a hassle to get in, between all the paperwork and testing, and the school only selecting 50 students out of 600+ applicants. We had so many lectures on attendance, appearance, academics, etc. etc. shoved down our throat at orientation, I thought I'd mistakenly joined the military.

    However, a few months down the road, on into the second quarter, it's a totally different story. 43 out of the 50 made it to the second quarter. ZERO people failed. The only people that are out are the ones that chose to quit. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't WANT to see anyone left behind, but it just doesn't sound right that 100% of the class (that didn't outright quit) passed.

    In this quarter, we're doing Pharmacology and Administration of Medication. Lots of math. Not necessarily *hard* math (the hardest part for me is apothecary conversions), but it's a lot of math. At LEAST half of the class had SERIOUS problems with such simple concepts as moving decimals and converting grams to milligrams. They can't do these VERY BASIC equations, even though they somehow managed to pass the high school-level NET entrance exam.

    Now, get this. We have a med math exam that we have to pass with 100% before we're able to give meds in clinicals. We have 5 tries at the exam before we're out of the program. How many people passed the exam on the first try? 100%! The same people who couldn't figure out that 0.01 times 10 is 0.1 were able to pass a med math exam with 100% on their first try? Give me a break!

    And that's not the worst of it. Open book and open discussion exams have become commonplace. And by "open discussion", I mean the instructor literally giving us the answers to about 25% of the exam.

    We're going to clinicals giving meds next week, and we have students who can't even do basic freaking math that are going to be drawing up injections and figuring pill dosages. I can only pray that our clinical site is going to be doing unidose so we won't be able to screw it up.

    Now, here's where it gets interesting. I'm pretty sure I know why people are being pulled through this time. We have a new Nursing Dept Coordinator. She was brought in because the last 2 coordinators were only achieving about a 15-20% course pass rate (of course, NCLEX pass rates for those classes were 100%). This reason was told to our class by the coordinator herself. So, her goal is to get over 75% pass rate.

    But now, I see exactly how she's going to get her 75% pass rate. By holding everyone's hand all the way through the program. I can only HOPE that the NCLEX will weed these people out. And then, when the NCLEX pass rate for the program drops to 20%, I wonder what the Board is going to think.

    It's getting to the point where I'm seriously considering reporting this activity to the Board. God forbid these students somehow manage to pass the NCLEX by some miracle, only to kill a patient right after they clear orientation. The only thing that's stopping me is that I know if the Board does an investigation, the school will likely lose their accreditation, which means I'll have to start all over again.

    Again, don't get me wrong. I don't want to see any particular person fail. But, not everyone was meant to be a nurse. It's as simple as that. Desire is not enough. If desire were enough, I'd be swimming in gold doubloons right now. If you can't figure out that 0.01 times 10 is 0.1, then you may need to think about another profession.
  10. by   icugirl33
    Hi,

    I went to a school which was oposite of what you described. We started with 93 people & by 4th semester has around 45 of the original 93 around. I don't know if this was a weading out process, but if you required hand holding, you were one of the people who didn't make it. It was sink or swim, survival of the fittest. Once I graduated in May/05, I swore to never go back to that school again. Then I took the NCLEX that I hardly studies for and passed with 75 questions. While on orientation at my new job, I realize that my school wasn't so bad after all, they prepared me to be a real good nurse. I was so impressed that i'm going back in Jan for my MSN/ARNP/CNS, to the same school I swore to never step foot in again.

    Out everyone I graduated with, only 2 people failed the NCLEX. From the last graduating class, they now have a 97% nclex pass rate, the highest in the state. If your school's goal is above 75%, then they are not aiming for much. If they continue spoon feeding the student, they'll be lucky to have a 50% pass rate. I would just continue learning as much as I can. As far as your classmates, "YOU CAN'T FOOL THE BOARD". You may graduate from school, but if you didn't learn much, you will not pass it!!
  11. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Quote from DonaldJ
    Just thought I'd vent a little about this. I always thought that nursing school was going to be a real "trial by fire". It was such a hassle to get in, between all the paperwork and testing, and the school only selecting 50 students out of 600+ applicants. We had so many lectures on attendance, appearance, academics, etc. etc. shoved down our throat at orientation, I thought I'd mistakenly joined the military.

    However, a few months down the road, on into the second quarter, it's a totally different story. 43 out of the 50 made it to the second quarter. ZERO people failed. The only people that are out are the ones that chose to quit. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't WANT to see anyone left behind, but it just doesn't sound right that 100% of the class (that didn't outright quit) passed.

    In this quarter, we're doing Pharmacology and Administration of Medication. Lots of math. Not necessarily *hard* math (the hardest part for me is apothecary conversions), but it's a lot of math. At LEAST half of the class had SERIOUS problems with such simple concepts as moving decimals and converting grams to milligrams. They can't do these VERY BASIC equations, even though they somehow managed to pass the high school-level NET entrance exam.

    Now, get this. We have a med math exam that we have to pass with 100% before we're able to give meds in clinicals. We have 5 tries at the exam before we're out of the program. How many people passed the exam on the first try? 100%! The same people who couldn't figure out that 0.01 times 10 is 0.1 were able to pass a med math exam with 100% on their first try? Give me a break!

    And that's not the worst of it. Open book and open discussion exams have become commonplace. And by "open discussion", I mean the instructor literally giving us the answers to about 25% of the exam.

    We're going to clinicals giving meds next week, and we have students who can't even do basic freaking math that are going to be drawing up injections and figuring pill dosages. I can only pray that our clinical site is going to be doing unidose so we won't be able to screw it up.

    Now, here's where it gets interesting. I'm pretty sure I know why people are being pulled through this time. We have a new Nursing Dept Coordinator. She was brought in because the last 2 coordinators were only achieving about a 15-20% course pass rate (of course, NCLEX pass rates for those classes were 100%). This reason was told to our class by the coordinator herself. So, her goal is to get over 75% pass rate.

    But now, I see exactly how she's going to get her 75% pass rate. By holding everyone's hand all the way through the program. I can only HOPE that the NCLEX will weed these people out. And then, when the NCLEX pass rate for the program drops to 20%, I wonder what the Board is going to think.

    It's getting to the point where I'm seriously considering reporting this activity to the Board. God forbid these students somehow manage to pass the NCLEX by some miracle, only to kill a patient right after they clear orientation. The only thing that's stopping me is that I know if the Board does an investigation, the school will likely lose their accreditation, which means I'll have to start all over again.

    Again, don't get me wrong. I don't want to see any particular person fail. But, not everyone was meant to be a nurse. It's as simple as that. Desire is not enough. If desire were enough, I'd be swimming in gold doubloons right now. If you can't figure out that 0.01 times 10 is 0.1, then you may need to think about another profession.
    Did you ever think maybe it is not the simple math problems that are slipping everyone up, but the stress of being put on the spot? If you have ten problems to do and you can only miss one, as another poster indicated is the case in their program, maybe they are just under pressure. If I knew only one problem stood between me and my staying in school, I'd be stressed too.
  12. by   FirstYear2005
    I say just do your part in nursing school, learn as much as possible and don't worry about other students. frankly i don't see how it is any of your business.
  13. by   studentnurserachel
    I have learned to keep my mouth shut about stuff like this. It just comes off as sour grapes. I have in the past felt a little resentful that I work my butt off and get really good grades and other people have been coaxed along and skate by with the minimum 80% to pass and that only with a little help (extra points thrown in at the end of semester). I no longer feel that way, I actually feel bad for the students who have been pulled through the program this way because we are now in our second to last semester and it seems like the powers that be have decided its time to cut the dead wood. They are throwing it at us like never before and are bragging that they expect the highest grades on the final exam to be around 80 (which is just passing for us). Those people who probably should have been cut out early are instead facing being eliminated when they are one semester away from graduation, with absolutely nothing to show for their effort.

    As a sidenote, math does not make a nurse. You seem very critical of the students who do poorly on math. I have always done great on math, even the advanced calculations, but there are other things that other people show me up on. After spending time tutoring some of my classmates, I realized that it is not like these people are deliberately not getting the math, some people understand it, some don't. As long as they do pass the math, I would give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they studied really hard. As far as the hand-holding, you just need to worry about you. We had an instructor our 2nd semester who put asterisks next to everything on the powerpoint that was going to be on the test, there were invariably 50 asterisks for 50 questions. They're not doing anyone any favors, but you've just got to rise above it and make sure you're not just studying the test.

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