City Colleges of Chicago and HESI exit exam

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    hello, everyone! good morning. i have a classmate here with me and she would like to make several comments based on her experience with our school and the hesi exam. please, be kind with your replies. please. note, this is her opinion and her experiences! lets respect that. thank you!

    [color=#333333]the academic staff at one of the city colleges of chicago awarded me my grades, which indicates mastery of their nursing program.
    [color=#333333]i was unsuccessful with the hesi exit exam, an exam that was utilized to protect their own pass rates two months before my graduation. the city colleges of chicago is implementing this exam only as an obstacle to prevent myself and other qualified classmates from taking the nclex rn exam. this strategy shows only one design, and that is only to give an artificially inflated pass rate for the school. which indicates that the city colleges of chicago lacks concern of the success of their students, but is only concern in protecting their own pass rates. i am not arguing the importance of appropriate and relevant testings. but the city colleges of chicago is using this exam to deny me and other classmates who have successfully completed the academic program the opportunity to graduate and sit for boards.

    it all boils down to the city colleges of chicago not having confidence in their own academic program. they are trying to bolster their nclex pass rates by eliminating me and other classmates from the test pool. if they have legitimate reason to question me and other students' ability to pass nclex, then why have i passed all of their nursing classes? if i had any unsatisfactory performance i should have been weeded out of the program long before completing the program! i provided above standard care of my patients and received excellent evaluations/competency from my instructors for the two years that i was in the program. my family and i sacrificed a lot. i completed the program, and paid my tuitions. my score was 85%, which indicates the probability by percentage of passing the state boards exam (nclex rn). olive harvey college stated they will not allow me to sit for boards or give me my nursing degree unless i scored 87% or above. the hesi exam is not a competency exam. only the nclex rn is the nationally recognized competency exam. i have accumulated over 100 college credit hours and most are nursing. nursing courses are not transferable. there over 1 yr. long waiting list in other nursing programs. i am in debt from college loans and with no degree to show for it. does this sound fair to you?

    in simple terms what am i talking about?
    what is the hesi exit exam? its an exam that determines the probability by percentage if you will pass the nclex rn exam. it is also used for both the faculty and students, to determine the student and nursing curriculum of their areas of weakness. in other words, it's a probability and assessment exam.
    for example, there are 43 students who completed the nursing program. out of the 43 students only three passed the hesi exit exam. out the three who passed the hesi exit exam, only two passed the nclex rn exam. now, the school can state that they have 99% nclex pass rate. according to the state requirement, if nursing programs can show they have above 87% nclex first time test taker pass rate (i think that the%) they can attain more money from the state and it will bait more investors. but, what nobody knows is that, the 40 students who completed the program, cannot attain their nursing degree or take the nclex rn exam. those 40 students are left with nothing but a student loan, low self esteem, and humiliation. four years of nursing school down the drain.
    one more thing, there are seven colleges within the city colleges of chicago. therefore, if there are 40 students who were unsuccessful, that would not include all the other six colleges. you can assume, 40 students times 6 colleges. plus, students graduate in december and may. that's 240 students times 2. you do the math. my classmates have been without their earned degree since 2006. i can assure you, currently, this sort of deceptive practice is still occurring city college wide. those students who were not successful, were abandoned by the school.

    another thing, the city college policy is so subjective. they chose who can and cannot re-take the hesi exam. nobody knows how and why, but its true.
    here is the kicker. you can take the nclex rn exam, according to the state licensing board up to twelve times within three years. but, the city colleges of chicago only counts those students who will pass nclex rn exam the first time. the second time test takers don't count. i wonder how many excellent doctors, and lawyers passed their boards the first time? i would like to hear from other city colleges of chicago nursing students who are going through this. we need to get together democratically and voice our concerns. this sort of diagnostic test is not being utilized in medical school. mayor daley i hope you will read this. how many times did it take you to pass your bar exam?

    there are a lot of issues and concerns regarding the punitive uses of this exam. the creator of hesi, susan morrison has stated herself that she did not create these exams for punitive reasons, but as a learning tool. i hope i have a few supporters regarding this issue. if the city colleges of chicago truly wanted their students to be successful, they should have utilized the hesi exam throughout the curriculum and not just at the end. it should have been implemented after each nursing course, which will give the student familiarity base, and used accordingly as an assessment tool for both the faculty and student. why did they have to wait until we have completed the program? can you imagine? you received you final grades, than for the school to tell you, "oh by the way, you have to take another test, if you don't pass this one, you will not get your nursing degree and you won't be able sit for your licensing board?"

    i would like nothing more than your support. help my classmates, please. if you have any question please ask away. you can research this issue, there are a lot of students who have voiced their concerns. i am afraid this sort of deceptive practice is becoming a trend with most nursing programs. other programs, have taken accountability and fixed their mistakes. unfortunately, the city colleges of chicago have not. i doubt that they will.
    contact mayor daley, senator dick durbin, reporters, past, current students, nurses and anyone else you can think of to attend and advocate us. please!
    the next board meeting will be held thursday, may 7, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. room 300 district office, 226 west jackson boulevard, chicago, il 60606.

    my classmates and i do not have anymore money to take them to court and we don't have the resources. telling our story is all i, we have. i pray a savior will come. i have faith in the lord in the people. mind you, we are not asking for a free-ride. we asking for what we worked hard for - the opportunity to take the nclex rn exam.

    i am sorry if this is so lengthy. i am sure that some of you can understand how much pain i am in. i and my classmates are suffering fiancially. please, help us.
    ryan8 and teacher08 like this.

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  3. 130 Comments...

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    Richard M. Daley failed his bar exam twice before finally passing it. It sounds like the HESI is quite similar to the ATI testing going on at WSCN. Most people feel that the less qualified students should be filtered out via the classroom, and not via such an abstract and objective test. It may not help much, but there are a lot of people in your shoes.
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    They should have tried to weed those people out in the begininng versus letting them in the program so they could suck them dry (money) and then tell them you can't sit for boards. If they feel you cant pass boards due to this exam, it is a reflection upon them as teachers!

    The pass/fail on state boards reflects the teachers not students. These are things they should have taught.

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    Well, if it took Mayor Daley twice to pass his BAR exam, the school would not count him. If his school had HESI he woudln't of been able to take his BAR exam, anyway.

    The HESI is a predictor. According to our school, you must pass it by 87% or higher. Meaning, you have an 87% or higher chance of passing NCLEX exam the first time.

    Remember, the school receives more money, funding if the NCLEX pass rate is high for "first time test takers," ONLY. The second time test takers are NOT counted.
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    I attend Chicago State University and we have the same problem here. If we don't pass HESI on the first attempt, they won't allow us to walk across stage. We get 4 attempts and if we don't pass by the 4th attempt, they don't award us our degree and they make you change your major. The school does NOTHING to help us prepare for this test which we're expected to score a 900 or better. Before we even get to HESI, we have to pass ATI for each clinical class we complete at a level 2.
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    This is ridiculous. I brought this issue up in my nursing class this past Monday and we had a lengthy discussion about it. I attended one of the City Colleges of Chicago and could not wait to escape from there. I'm reading about so many colleges of nursing using the HESI as punitive measure and this seems so illegal. Something needs to be done and you guys should never stop fighting. Many attendees of the City Colleges of Chicago are below the poverty level and to take the initiative to complete such a difficult program as nursing conveys these students' desires to become something in life and to be able to provide for there families. Don't stop fighting.
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    Something like this happens EVERY year with the City Colleges of Chicago...and nothing ever changes. It's nice to vent, but in the end nothing will change.
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    Hello everyone,

    This HESI exam is really UNFAIR and the students of the city colleges of chicago should all unite and storm the district office, illinois board of nursing, etc. until our voices are heard. This is my story. We were told that our HESI exit was on Sunday May 10, 2009. We all complained stating is was Mothers Day and we didn't have enough time to prepare just coming off a semester. But were told 'this is the only day'. We all showed up at 7:00 a. m. May 10 for the test. Due to a computer error the test didn't start until 10:00 AM. It gets worse. We were then told after hours of waiting (until 7:00 PM) that we wouldn't get our scores that day because the computers 'weren't working'. When we got our scores the next day a HUGE number of students failed (more than 60%). Then at about 2:30 p.m. on Monday May 11 an annoucement went out over blackboard that due to the computer errors the test was a throw out and the people that scored lower then 870 had another chance to take it on Tuesday May 12, 2009. If you were out of town or didn't get the mesage - tough luck. We all know how stressful this test is besides the fact that we all know what happens if you don't make the 870. If the test was a throw out then why did the people who scored above an 870 not have to retake it too? There is a big cover up with none of the administration answering our questions. (When they want to bend the rules they can). We all want an audit of the test and explanations as this is ILLEGAL. We students, the ones studying, going to clinicals, making the grade are being used so that the administration looks good. The schools policy states that you must pass a final exam before graduation. But what they don't tell you that it is this God awful exam that you only get two tries to pass. The material on HESI is not the material we studied in school. Our mandatory review we had to attend was not a HESI review but an NCLEX review in which both instructors stated how much harder HESI was than NCLEX. If you sign up with KAPLAN for $250.00 they GUARANTEE you will pass the NCLEX but not HESI. If you sign up with the city colleges, you pay thousands not to mention the thousand of hours studying and get no guarantee whatsoever.

    There are so many people in the city of chicago nursing programs that feel this way. We need a leader and a joint effort and a lawyer. HELP!!!!
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    Truman student;
    Are you serious? You only get two chances to take the HESI?
  12. 0 we go again. Every year its the same thing over and over and over again. No one will LISTEN. No one will step up to the plate until it effects them - personally. You CANNOT win this battle ..... BECAUSE the city colleges of chicago know that every year that students will NOT STICKE TOGETHER and fight them. Every year, only a few students will fight them whether be in court on some other way. NO MATTER what in the long run, the school is very AWARE that the students DO NOT stick together.

    THE ONLY WAY... to stop this malicious, apprehensible tactics from re occurring is to protest in front of district with everyone! Get the media involve. I cant stress this enough. Find ALL the students successful or unsuccessful with HESI and protest. Stick together until EVERYONE gets what is right. You completed the program, your student handbook said to give you an exit exam after completion, but the exit exam you are being was never covered in your classess.

    NO Brainer... if the students fail that means the teacher... the program failed. BUT its only the students who are being punished.

    STICK TOGETHER and fight if you want to WIN. Otherwise, don't bother.

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