Hey all. Am about to finish my 2nd semester (we take our final on Mon and Hesi on Wed) so will try to answer some comments as well as talk about my experience. Sorry if this is long.
I'm applying to the 2013 but thank you for putting my mind at ease regarding my points! When you ladies get your letters and start. please keep in touch because i will need help and advice!
something that already bothers me, i asked a pre-nursing student in my bio class why she wasnt going nursing here and she told me because they are racist here. she honestly shocked the crap out of me so i couldnt say anything more. not that i would let something as petty as racism stop me, still it kind of hurt to hear that...
There actually was a dean here a few years back who was accused of not letting in Black students who were more than qualified to be admitted to the program. There was one Black applicant who had all the pre-requisites, was a straight A student, shined on the HESI admission exam, had more than enough points and was still not allowed into the program. So she got a lawyer and threatened to sue. This was not a case of pulling the race card, apparently even many of the white students backed up her claims that there was some racial discrimination going on in terms of admittance into the program.
And the complaints had been going on for a few years. Anyway that dean retired a few years back after that lawyer threatened to come after her if she kept pulling that stuff and is gone. My class is pretty diverse and I've never had any problems with any of the teachers (I'm Black) so I wouldn't worry about racism. There are a few black clinical and lecture instructors as well (but all the teachers are nice to varying degrees)
I understand I have to work hard in this program, but I really feel that some of the staff do not meet you half way. I took my CNA course at prairie state in the summer, and God was it TERRIBLE!! the only thing we got to do in our clinical was feeding patients. It was terrible! the lecture was based on the professors' personal life, how her uterus is upsidedown, and can never have a child, how her sister has aids because she was promiscuous, the experience was terrible.
Ya some of the nursing students in my class who had taken the CNA class (I had a good instructor but I took the CNA class back in the summer of 07) said they had a horrible teacher who was lazy and didn't do anything with them in clinicals and would always let them leave early. They basically said they didn't learn anything. But they complained to the dean and that teacher was fired. Not before taking it out on the students who complained of course but it didn't hurt their grades and they made it into the program. Not sure if it's the same teacher you had though. From what I've heard a couple of those CNA instructors sounded less than impressive. But this does NOT apply to the actual nursing program.
And yes this is a VERY hard program. We started with 95 students in the fall of 11' and out of the original 95 I think we have less than 45 left and that's going INTO the final (we have 55 students now but many came back 2nd semester who dropped or didn't pass in previous 2nd semester classes). And I know not everyone is going to pass this semester. But keep in mind Prairie State students have a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam. The program is hard but if you make it through believe me you will learn this material.
But most of the people you start out with just aren't going to be there after the first year. And keep in mind anything under an 80% in terms of your overall grade and quizzes is considered failing. And if you're getting under a 76% they will kick you out. But people worry about their quiz percentages way too much. It basically just matters how many points you get. This semester we have a total of 440 points. You need 350 to pass. Try to look at it like a race and 350 is the finish line. Don't get hung up on whether you "passed" the quiz or not. Worry about your point total. And try to do well enough so by the time the final comes around you have some wiggle room. I know some people going into the final who either aren't passing or are barely passing. Believe me you do not want to do all this work and go into the final with that make-or-break stress on your mind. I can't imagine going through 16 weeks of this only to not make it (and 2nd semester is supposedly the hardest, which I don't doubt).
I'd also recommend recording the lectures. This is something I always thought was stupid and pointless (who wants to listen to a lecture you've already heard once, 2 or 3 more times?) but I started doing it after the midterm because I was not doing well at all and it helped IMMENSELY. Try to figure out ways to study that work best for you. For example, I try to study in 30 min - hour long chunks. Take a break for an hour or so, then go back to studying, and rinse and repeat. I can't sit down and study for hours on end which is what I kept telling myself I needed to do, until I realized it just didn't work for me and I had to find another method. And I learn more doing it that way then procrastinating over how much I have to study like I was doing before.
Try to understand the anatomy and physiology of what you're learning if it's applicable. It's much easier to understand the disease processes, medications, pathophysiology, etc of what you need to learn if you understand the body mechanisms that they effect.
Anyway sorry for all the reading. If you have any questions feel free to message me or I'll check out this thread again. Try to relax as much as you can before the program.