Hesi Exit Test - page 6

Hello fellow educators....I am dealing with a dilema which I have no control over as I am a staff member, not administration, but it is just eating away at my concious. My community college uses the HESI exit exam for the ADN... Read More

  1. 1
    Quote from LiveToLearn
    I think the use of HESI and other standardized examinations for uses other than to evaluate student areas that may need reinforcement is a bit abusive. . . It should not be an obstacle to prevent an otherwise qualified student from taking the NCLEX or graduating. This strategy seems designed only to give an artificially inflated pass rate for the school. If I were a student, I would not attend such as school. I agree with the posting about seeking legal counsel in such a situation.
    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you, unfortunately many, many, many colleges are using this HESI test to make their pass rates look like 100% or very close to it via HESI. The only problem with this is that potential students see this pass rate, and think that they will be very well prepared for NCLEX, and will receive excellent instruction. If that particular college dumps a percentage of their students, not allowing graduation if people don't pass HESI, then those people are not allowed to try to pass NCLEX, and thus the college's pass rate doesn't include those people who are not allowed to graduate. In my mind, this is deceptive and dishonest to students who are paying a high price to go through nursing school.

    I believe that all of this is geared to suit colleges and the boards of nursing. Students and the dollars that they represent in purchasing power are not considered in any part of this equation. This is inequitable to say the least. Not only that, but there is heavy duty fear on the part of discussion forums like this one, to hide the names of the particular colleges that have a high failure rate, in order to protect themselves from attack from said college's legal departments. This is a crying shame.

    What is sorely needed is a factual site that posts numbers of students accepted for each class of nursing, how many of those students made it far enough to take HESI (for both LPN and RN courses), and how many of those passed, versus failed, and then how many of those who passed, those who passed NCLEX and failed NCLEX. This would give a much, much truer scale for the quality of instruction and honest pass rates per school.

    I contend that the schools who love HESI are more likely to be the same schools who would have abysimally poor pass rates, and they like a 3rd party to weed out the students who didn't teach themselves all the things that their instructors failed to teach them, and artificially inflates that college's pass rate. When I read that 50% or more of a class can't pass HESI, I do not believe that that percentage of the students were such dummies that they couldn't possibly know what they need to be a safe entry level nurse, I think that the instructors at that school are seriously deficient. Potential students NEED TO KNOW a nursing school's ACTUAL PASS RATE, not the artificially inflated one.

    Yes, I do believe that a class action suit probably needs to happen to prevent colleges from using HESI incorrectly and barring some percentage of people who would pass NCLEX from being able to sit for the exam. Unfortunately, our schools are packed full of students who live in fear of being arbitrarily kicked out over some subjective thing by the people whose current livelihoods depend upon the unethical use of HESI.

    Perhaps somewhere, someone will grow a set and put up a site where students can see the actual numbers. Then, perhaps, students would have the ability to put their money where their mouth is, and take their training at the colleges with good, actual pass rates, and the ones with the artificially inflated rates will dry up and blow away.

    Shine the light of knowledge so that people can make in informed decision! This is the honest thing! This is the honorable thing!

    BlessedRoseRN likes this.

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  2. 0
    Quote from VetTechingWasEasier
    I believe schools should be ranked by their HESI pass rate!!!!! I think we'd see a massive change in the curriculum and the quality of the classes. If they're ranked by pass rate of the NCLEX and only graduate students who'll pass, according to the HESI model, a school can legally just have their students play kickball for 2 years, graduate just 1 student who passes the HESI, and STILL CLAIM A 100% PASS RATE and pocket the other 80+ student's tuition with impunity.

    HERE,HERE! ANyone brave enough to put up a website with the truth????
  3. 1
    I took the Hesi yesterday & didn't make "the grade" (900) but I passed the class- so they gave me a "D". I will have this on my transcript to lower my GPA, even though that is not the grade I earned. There's something wrong when 1/2 of the class doesn't get to graduate because of this test.
    *LadyJane* likes this.
  4. 0
    Wow, that's really too bad. Did you know that according to a study cited by Darrell Spurlock in his paper <TABLE width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top colSpan=2 height=40>
    Do No Harm: Progression Policies and High-Stakes Testing in Nursing Education,
    </TD></TR><TR vAlign=center><TD class=it13>
    Journal of Nursing Education Vol. 45 No. 8 August 2006
    </TD><TD width=43></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2>A score of 800 on the HESI correlates to a 90 percent chance of passing NCLEX. According to those statistics, you have a better than 90% chance of passing NCLEX.

    So, will the college "let" you graduate? Will they "let" you sit for NCLEX? How many people in your school failed HESI? Which school of nursing is it?

    Shine the light, people, shine the light.

  5. 0
    OK, re-reading your post I see that your school is basically failing 50% of the class for not making 900 on HESI.

    That, to me, indicates inadequate preparation, and it seems to me that your class didn't get what they paid for. I'd be livid if I were you.
  6. 2
    I am afraid that part of the problem we see is due to several factors. I went to nursing school in a rather horrific environment. I determined I would become a nurse educator so I could try in some small way to right what I saw as poor education practices. I am by no means perfect, but I do have my students' best interests at heart.

    1. I think there are many things you have to look at when you see a struggling student. The first I look at is social issues. Is that student having problems outside of the school setting? If so, I encourage them to seek help in whatever form they may need (ex- financial assistance, counseling, help from family, etc).

    2. If that is not the case, then I start to look at how they are learning the information. In almost every course other than nursing courses, they have been exposed to rote memorization, where the information just "disappears" after the course is over, never to be used again (for me, geometry comes to mind!) This won't work for nursing school.

    3. I look back over their tests and their notes and try to pinpoint the problem. I don't think success or failure should hinge on one event. If my students fail a test, they are required to come in for office hours. I don't want them getting behind.

    4. In clinical, if a student has problems, you spend a lot of time trying to diagnose the issue. Sometimes, it's as simple as disorganization, and with new tools, that student excels. A lot of it is building confidence, getting students to think out loud (I try to always 'talk out loud' when making decisions about patient care so they see this) and to apply information.

    5.) If you just cram in information, as soon as you don't immediately need it, you will forget it. But if you apply it, you see a totally different result. Also, we try to teach students everything. They aren't supposed to be learning EVERY SINGLE FACT about nursing. We are teaching them to safely practice in the first 6 months of their career.

    So how does all this relate to HESI? The student who does well on HESI has a high likelihood of doing well on NCLEX. If one or two students aren't doing well, it is likely due to individual factors (maybe they had a bad day, maybe they are poor test takers, etc).

    If HALF of your students aren't doing well and are going to flunk, I would want to know several things:
    If these students are truly unsafe, why was this not addressed prior to this point? If I see a student that is not practicing according to accepted standards, I immediately take steps to help them.

    If these students should be failed, why? Why was the deficiency in their education not caught prior to now? It's easy to tell when a student is struggling if you simply interact with them regularly instead of slinking off to a far-away room to grade papers during clinicals.

    If half are failing, what does that say about the school's curriculum, that half the students will not be prepared for practice? And why do they feel the need to artificially inflate pass rates? NCLEX is a minimal standards exam. It tests a graduate's ability to safely meet the basic standards of care in the first 6 months of practice. Why on earth is that student even at the point of graduation if they are truly unsafe? Why weren't these students offered help before? And if they aren't unsafe, why are they being punished?

    *Off soapbox now*
    BlessedRoseRN and *LadyJane* like this.
  7. 1
    This certainly seems to be a volatile subject. Our school uses the ATI process, and failure on three tries for the Comp predictor still allows you to pass the program and get your degree; however, prior to the program recommending you for the NCLEX, you take an additional independent study course (1 to 4 credits) where you receive additional time, and take additional coursework, mostly geared towards the NCLEX (test taking strategies, professionalism, study sessions, etc. are also provided). Once you have completed those requirements, then you are recommended for the NCLEX.

    Like many of you, it is very disheartening to see a program rely on a single test for failure or passing. I have heard it explained by several senior nurse educators that the premise for this type of pass or fail program is to make nursing more professional, like the BAR exam for the lawyers or the boards for the physicians.

    Years ago when I was in the military, we had many certification opportunities. Similar to nursing, there was of course a final test (like the NCLEX). The difference, however, was that following the test, regardless if the student passed or failed, the results were analyzed and the student's weak areas were identified and then a specific qualification program was developed on those weak areas. Once the student was educated on those weak areas, then they were passed if their initial score was high enough (I think it was around 70%), or allowed to test again.

    I realize this would not constitute a "professional examination" in current education, but it still seems smart to me - even if people got a 99% on the test, they still were told their weak areas and were required to receive additional education to get them certified. I wish a program similar to this was available for nursing - I have seen so many good, good, caring nursing students be so scared by tests - life isn't a piece of paper and a pencil, or a test on a computer. I realize a basic standard must be maintained, but there are other ways to ensure requisite knowledge.
    *LadyJane* likes this.
  8. 0
    Thank you for your thoughtful replies, Livetolearn and vkubiak. Livetolearn, I couldn't agree with you more on your reasoning. While I would expect some people to fail out over the course of the year, and then perhaps a few not pass HESI, I wouldn't be surprised. But 900 seems a high level to require, especially when the company that produces HESI states that a score of 800 predicts a passing score on NCLEX, so why require 900?
    I agree half the class not passing HESI indicates a serious problem with the curriculum or the instruction, especially when the students failing are hard workers who had previously scored high up until that point.

    Yes, making a whole degree hinge on a single test is wrong, and using that to artificially inflate a college's pass rate is truly dishonest. Why not just give the degree if earned and permission to test and let NCLEX do the test? That is what med schools and law schools do. Passing the exam is up to the students. To have a pre-nclex before and then the real nclex after graduating is just stupid and dishonest. Or if the college does this, then why not put up the honest statistics and let the consumer (student) decide where to spend their dollars. Where is the consumer protection here? It's absent, I'd say.

    Actually, vkubiak's school has the best program I've heard of. He wrote:
    "This certainly seems to be a volatile subject. Our school uses the ATI process, and failure on three tries for the Comp predictor still allows you to pass the program and get your degree; however, prior to the program recommending you for the NCLEX, you take an additional independent study course (1 to 4 credits) where you receive additional time, and take additional coursework, mostly geared towards the NCLEX (test taking strategies, professionalism, study sessions, etc. are also provided). Once you have completed those requirements, then you are recommended for the NCLEX."

    This seems to be a school that may be more interested in producing safe nurses to enter the healthcare world of work, rather than just being a business with their own self interest at heart.

  9. 2
    I agree with all of you! I recently took exit HESI and did not get the grade I needed to pass. My college requires 850 on it to graduate, I made 815. It was in a horribly noisey enviornment...and then add in the stress factor! I have a previous degree in another field and feel a bit cheated right now. I passed my classes...and I still don't get my degree because I was a little off on ONE test!?! It's madness, but such are the rules of the game. I will retake it August 21. Any tips on how to do better? I studied the first stage of Suzanne's study tip (still need the second one for NCLEX-RN) and will be attending a review session given by the people who make the exam.

    I honestly know how all of you feel, I'm in the same boat! good luck to all!
    Selene006 and *LadyJane* like this.
  10. 1
    I encourage my students to avail themselves of all the resources they can possibly use, BUT not to cram. I have them start first semester, and gradually build up how often they practice NCLEX questions. I like Saunders NCLEX review books. Of course, HESI should also be providing you with review information. I would suggest looking at the print-out, and trying to find more about your weaker areas. For example, are you more weak in analysis, or planning of care? Are you more weak at a given disease process (ex- care of a client with cardiovascular compromise)? Look for something you can reasonably address in a short period of time. And remember, testing is not the only way to measure knowledge. Practice plenty, but don't panic and try to cram. The idea is to become comfortable testing, so it's not something you do only at the end of the semester with a final standardized test. Also, consider earplugs! No, I'm not kidding.
    I let my students wear them during tests. For some of them it really helps.
    *LadyJane* likes this.

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