Johnny_B 947 Views
Joined: Dec 21, '07;
Posts: 37 (8% Liked)
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For those that don't know - the scores are really meaningless. What they do is compare your scores to those of others taking the test around the country and create a percentile ranking. The overall percentile ranking is how you did compared to all the others (like 20,000 others).
The school then has a limited number of seats for students based on a ratio of 10 students to one clinical instructor. CLC was like 60 students per semester admitted and I think Oakton is like 80 students per semester.
The school takes the NLN percentile ranking to figure out who to admit based on the number of applicants. For example, if at Oakton, 200 people apply and 80 are admitted, they must weed out 120 students that semester. They start with the 99 percentile (the highest possible ranking), and go down until they get all 80 students. They will not know until after the selection what the lowest percentile accepted was. The lowest will likely fall between 89 percentile and 92 percentile somewhere. Another student theorized it would likely be 90 percentile or 91 percentile for the upcomming semester.
When I attended CLC, there were 250 applicants for 60 slots. The minimum score when I got in was 89 percentile or 90 percentile, I cannot remember. I heard the following semester it was 91 percentile. But this was back in 2007.
Well, I got into the program a long time ago and graduated in July 2010. My NLN ranking was 99 percentile. 92 percentile may be good enough to get in.
I already passed the boards and got my license in Illinois and Wisconsin and took and passed an ACLS (advanced life support class).
But I am finding it difficult to find jobs for new grads. Now they have intern programs. From what I have seen, definitely sign on for one of those intern programs. Some people that have been working as pct's or interns are getting jobs before me. I have been looking now for 7 months.
In my opinion, the most important thing is to relax before the exam and have eaten well at least an hour or more before. This will help. The key is relaxation.
That being said -
for the electronics portion of the exam, you need to know the difference between a series and a parallel circuit. You need to know the formula E=IxR where E is electromotive force (voltage), I represents current in amperes and R represents resistance. If I recall, the electronics questions were that basic. Although I have a good background in it.
For physics, you need to know that Einsteins law of relativity is related to the equation E=M*C2, (squared), that the speed of light is 186,000 miles/second or 300,000 meters/second and have to be able to use some basic formulas like F=MA (force = mass x acceleration). You need to know the difference between potential and kinetic energy and know that there is a conservation of energy. You also should know about Newton and that he was known for the apple experiment, that objects of different weights still fall at the same rate and that terminal velocity of an object is around 120 mph.
Math was a bunch of fractional math including cross multiplication, ratios, etc.
Good luck. Ask if you have more questions.
Although I did not go to Oakton, I can tell you how the NLN scores work. The NLN entrance exam is a standardized exam for ranking people trying to get into an accredited nursing program.
Many schools use the NLN exam to weed out students. When a school has more applicants to the program than slots available, they must use some tool to select those students that will be accepted into the program. In Illinois, for example, the acceptable ratio of clinical instructors to students is 1:10. This means for each instructor teaching in a clinical setting, they can only teach 10 students at a time. If your school has 10 instructors that can teach in the clinical setting, they can only have 100 new students a semester.
When a school must choose which students will be accepted, there are several things taken into consideration. First, is the application requirements. Assuming a student has met all their requirements, the NLN score is used to cut down the application list. Lastly, if two students tie for the last slot, academic history is used.
Here's an example: The program allows 60 new students a semster. 250 students that qualify for the program, apply to the program. 190 students must be eliminated. The NLN results are sorted and at 91% overall ranking, 189 students are eliminated from the competition. The two lowest scoring students (tied), are evaluated and the one with the most coursework and highest grades is accepted. In this case, the lowest percentile ranking would be 91%. This will vary from school to school because of the number of applicants and available student slots. You will only know the minimum ranking required after all the students have been chosen.
Good luck whatever you get as a ranking!
Just like the other schools that use the NLN test, in Illinois, there is a maximum ratio of teachers to students. This is required at clinical sites. That ratio is 10 students maximum to one instructor. A particular school will need to weed out a number of students that exceeds their limit each semester. They do this fairly by using the nationally recognized NLN exam. they do not know the score required until they compare the percentile rankings, but they use those rankings to sort out the students. Percentile ranking requirement could actually go down if there is a drop in enrollment.
Someone else pointed out in/out of district. They are right. It has gotten so tough to get into a local school that community colleges have restrectided admission to county residents. I know of one guy that worked in Lake County, and he chose CLC because it was near his work, but he was denied enrollment in the program because he lived in another district.
If a student is in district, however there is a tie for the last slot, lets say at 91 percentile, they look at academics. That is, they compare grades and other course completion for the tie breaker.
In these programs, they also expect the student to be doing all the leg work. If you get accepted, be sure to check your requirements continuously with the nursing department. If you get through part of the program and are missing something like part of your health check or currency in CPR certification in the right program, you will be dropped from the program.
If you get into the program and you do not qualify for financial aid, you may be able to get scholorships. They are not too hard to get. Nurisng is expensive. Plan to spend $800 + on books. You will be buying a decent stethoscope and/or other items as time goes along. Flash cards can be helpful and I like the Mosby's nursing drug reference book. The 2010 one is quite good. I like the one for Iphone (on skyscape), but the paper one will do just fine. And be prepared for expenses for graduation, pinning, NCLEX registration, photos and other school requirements to finish. Its not cheap!
The programs are tough to get into, because if you aren't willing to put in extra effort, someone else will. Good Luck.
I did not attend Oakton, but I wanted to let you know about the NLN exam. It is a service that many schools use for testing, to weed out candidates. What you need to get into the school depends on how many people apply. In Illinois, and probably other states too, the school must have no more than 10 students per clinical instructor. If your school has 6 instructors per semester, it can only handle 60 new students at a time. If 250 students apply for admission into the program, they must weed out 190 students.
Scores and composite scores are meaningless for the most part. What they do is compare your scores electronically with 20,000 other scores for that period, around the entire US. Then you get ranked into a percentile. You have a percentile for the science, math and verbal sections. Schools look at the overall percentile ranking. If it comes down to a tie for the last slot available, they will look at the individual percentiles (probably focusing on the science portion of the score). They will also look at completed coursework and grades in a tie situation. Percentiles are tabulated and should be on the sheet you receive back from the NLN testing people.
Someone that is prepared for nursing school will probably score over an 80th percentile. Most nursing schools take something around, (just under or over), the 90th percentile these days. They also do not take people from out-of-district. Most of the people that went to my school when I started scored between 90th percentile and 95th percentile, however some scored higher. I managed a 99th percentile, which by the way is the highest possible ranking. I still missed 3 or 4 in science, 6 to 8 in math I think and about 11 in the verbal sections. But overall, it was ranked a 99th percentile.
Thinking back - I have a wife and 5 kids. I was working while taking the prereqs. One semester I had General Biology, Intercultural Communications and Sociology. I maintained a 3.7 GPA that semester and worked about 32 hours/week. I worked my first semester in nursing, but it was a strugle, especially since they wanted to alter some of the scheduled class dates/times to accomodate nursing education needs.
While there was memorization of normal values and key words, terms or phrases, they require critical thinking. This is because we have to be able to evaluate different situations and make good decisions/choices regarding patient care. Our test questions are not just "which is the best answer". The questions we get are like "what kind of care would you give to a patient as a top priority if the following variables exist". And 3 of the 5 choices may be good choices, but something is most important like airway or breathing.
My point is to those looking to choose a program - There is traditional school where nursing is taught like bioloby and there is modular teaching where the student must look-up/follow or plan completely for himself/herself and cooperate with other students to make the best of it.
It is not just important to choose a school by the number of graduates or reputation, but how they teach the curriculum. Looking back, I would have preferred going somewhere with a traditional method (lab really means lab), and you are observed in clinical for a grade, rather than a 1-2 hour clinical test.
Well, I am going to a 2 year community college for an ASN/RN program. There are 2 types of nursing schools, those that follow the traditional method and those that follow a modular method.
My wife graduated with a BSN many years ago and it was traditional. It was harder, but similar to A&P, where you were taught everything and could follow in the book and lecture notes.
My brother-in-law got an ASN from another community college and it too was traditional. His nursing classes were similar, but there was more to learn/remember. He was previously a B/A student in is other bachelors degree, so it was definitely a lot more to remember.
The real difference is the thinking process for answering questions and the clinical practice.
Now as far as the modular method - I'd like to throw it as far as I can. It is nothing like the traditional class. We are given packets of hundreds of pages or more each semester. We are expected to find what to do by reading through the hard to read syllabus and calender each semester. Sometimes there are postings or announcements or bulletin board changes we have to be aware of. Nothing is consistent from semester to semester except writing care plans. The instructors write the tests from NCLEX questions, but try to be tricky and put a couple of alternative answers in and say choose the best one. Who knows what they were thinking at the time, but I think that their judgement is a little off sometimes. The lecture class is basically only a student review of material (without much teacher participation). The lab is only a 2 hour/week or less view of equipment (mostly that doesn't work), a quick demonstration or students leading students with very little if any instructor help. Clinical is the best experience, if you have a reasonable instructor that helps. Mostly my complaint is we have to learn and practice everything on our own time, about 40 hours a week. When we go to the lab, the nurses that are lab instructors are there doing module testing and have almost no time to correct errors for students practicing. Again, its students supporting students, and if they get it wrong they just don't do well.
And even though my school changed the program to do away with PE's, some schools do them. Clinical experience is mandatory, however it is not graded. Only the report you turn in is graded and mandatory to do, but doesnt really affect your class grade if you complete it. Everyone that completes the homework meets the criteria to do well. We have an end of semester, (and in the last semester - middle of semester), PE or Practical Exam. Its a 1 hour 15 minute test in usually 3 areas of care with a plastic dummy. Oh, first semester was with a partner. 4th semester will be on a live person, creating a care plan and performing areas of care. If you don't pass, you have to repeat the class. Since it is not being offered anymore, a failure means repeating the program. It basically comes down to pass your PE or repeat the whole darn program from day 1!
Yeah, nursing is harder because of the pass/fail, home study, working together with students and not getting much from the instructors. I would have done so much better in a traditional program. When I started back to school, I only needed all my bio and some other courses. I mostly got all A's with a couple of B's. I did very well in my BIO courses. In nursing I got a B, then a C, then a B and will hopefully get a C this semester. I suppose I could get a B, but I am having more trouble with the paperwork.
My recommendation - go to a school with a traditional program where the teachers actually teach and you get evaluated on your clinical skills in clinical!
I don't recall the composite scores. And you have to look at the percentile ranking not percentage correct.
What happens is the NLN people take your score in each category and your composite score and come up with a percentile ranking. That percentile ranking compares your scores with approximately 20,000 other students across the US. The end result is what they call percentile ranking.
Most schools have a minimum requirement to get into nursing. CLC's I believe is somewhere between 40th and 50th percentile, however, this is a minimum. It is not what you will need to get in, only to be considered by the school.
CLC, like other schools has a maximum ratio of students to teachers. At CLC, it is 10 students per teacher. I believe this is a state requirement. With 10 teachers a semester, that means only 60 students will be accepted each semester. Typically at CLC, 200-300 students apply to the program each semester. This means the school must eliminate 140-240 students. They use the NLN exam, (because it is a nationally recognized standard for evaluating necessary knowledge). The percentile that ends up being the cutoff for entrance ends up being the lowest possible ranking that eliminates all but 60 students at CLC and probably something different at other schools. Percentile rankings can be from 0 percentile to 99 percentile. When I got into the program, I believe the minimum percentile ranking accepted was 91 percentile. But this varies from semester to semester. I believe last semester they must have had more applicants and it was 92 percentile. It all depends on how many people they have to eliminate.
With that being mentioned, here is what I ended up doing: On the math, I did very well. I think I may have missed 6 questions at most. On science I missed about 10 questions and on vocabularly, it was maybe 11 or 12 wrong. At least that was what I recalled. In any case, the only number they used was the percentile ranking, which for me was 99 percentile. So you don't need a perfect score to rank high.
As a side note: I studied from the cream and blue colored book and I found it useless for content. The style of questions, however, were similar. Math questions were almost all fractional type math. Science included lots of basic physics questions, I think a handful of chemistry questions, a few anatomy and physiology questions, mostly about the heart and circulatory systems and a couple of basic electronics questions. I studied a 300+ page vocabularly book and only found one word from the entire book on the exam. The vocabularly words were mostly centered around healthcare. When I took the exam, I was enrolled in general biology. I looked at some information about the heart and circulatory system, thinking this would be good to study and it was. I had a background in electrical engineering, so the electronics questions came easy. I had a fairly strong background in physics as well. I was worried about vocabularly, but it was considerably easier than what was on the SAT test. My background also included lots of math, including Calculus 1, 2 and 3 and Diff EQ, as well as advanced engineering mathematics, but none of that was necessary. Basic algebra and knowledge of math with fractions was all that was necessary, and maybe a little basic triganometry.
If you truely got only a 56 percentile ranking (and check you looked at on the results sheet), you will most likely need to retest. You need to find the percentile ranking for your chances.
I found 2 other books listed at Amazon. The following book has the best rating at their site. The other book was not ranked as high. The one I used was the Cream/blue book and it was not very good.
I hope this helps.
Well - I guess it was knowing what to expect on the exam that would be the best help. Some people like the cream/blue book that is sold at the CLC bookstore. Someone told me the other, large Gold book they got at Amazon is much closer to the exam.
Here is what I found on the exam in 2007-2008:
Math: Mostly fractions with cross multiplication
If I recall, there may have been a couple of trig questions, but they were basic
Science: Some basic physics (energy related questions), some chemistry questions basic equasion balancing, ion questions, nursing related H, Ca, Na and K, Anatomy&physiology - mostly just about the heart and circulation system
Vocabulary - basic, A&P terminology (not nearly as tough as the ACT or SAT vocabulary). There were some basic electronic questions about series/parallel circuits and using Ohms law and/or Watts law. But I worked 3 years as an engineer and had a background in electrical engineering, so I breezed through them.
Personally I only missed a few math and science questions and I think it was about 11 vocabularly questions. Anyway, I managed to get 99%'tile when I took the test. If you want any pointers, you can ask.
Oh yeah - all of the questions in every area had a nursing slant. They were geared at the nursing part of the math, science and vocabulary.
Good luck to all of you. I am completing my 3rd semester at CLC and it has been a challenge. I am so happy it is almost over.
About the NLN - they typically have 60 slots open per semester. In the past they usually had around 250 applicants and had to eliminate about 190 or so. To do this they use the nationally accepted NLN exam. They take the top 60 and break ties for the last few slots by looking at grades, etc. Each year they looked at only the percentile ranking and each year it has gotten tougher.
Many years ago, they were taking people with something like an 82% ranking. When I got accepted for fall 2008 (graduation Spring 2010), the minimum percentile was either 91% or 92%. I am guessing it is still about 92%, but it depends on the number of applicants. I was lucky, I had an extremely high score and got in the first time.
Oh yeah, definitely apply for scholorships, even if you cannot get financial aid. I did apply and got scholorships all 4 semesters.
Hi - I am completing my 3rd semester at CLC. I hope you got in. I know I had to stay on top of things when I got in. Constantly follow-up with the nursing office. They believe it is your responsibility to tie up all loose ends.
As far as shots, etc., you must have all your requirements met by the first day of clinical. That includes the 2 part TB test and everything else. They create a tri-fold booklet they call a passport and you need to present it both 1st and 2nd year, with everything updated. You also have to be at the meeting to do the drug screen and background check and have paid for it before the test.
Well, I am in the program and almost done.
Although the program has changed (no more PE exam), it is what I'd call basically a self-study course. The changes are that they require you to take the CNA course or at least be CNA certified before entering the program. The program is 5 courses over 4 semesters (assuming you have all your bio and other requirements complete). It is self study because you get modules. You buy all the books and go over each module prior to the class. You need to come prepared to discuss the module focus and are responsible for the readings. You take weekly or bi-weekly (depending on semester), module tests. I basically got all "A's" in the Bio courses, but in nursing I got a "B", a "C" and it looks like a "B" 3rd semester. Getting all "A's" is nearly impossible - you'd need to be a walking dictionary of everything in the module.
Looking back, I got into the program because I could walk to the school, it is in-district and I managed to get scholorships every semester. But if I had to do it all over, I'd pick a traditional style like that at Harper or even Cardnal Stritch in Wisconson (near Milwaukee). I hear a lot of people go to Gateway too, but I don't know about their curicculum. For the amount of work we did, I should have gotten a bachelors in nursing.
The program has changed because of complaints about the PE exam. Its a single clinical exam each semester and it has been difficult. However the program has changed.
I am curious about the program offered in Kenosha. Did you have to move there or are you going - out of district?
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