university of detroit mercy second degree program

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    I am thinking about going to Mercy's accelorated second degree program but I hear they lose many people during the year due to grades. Is that true? Is it too fast and should I consider a 2 year program? I am a good student but I'd hate to spend all that money then not make it as they don't allow anyone to retake a class so I hear as other schools do. I am open to all feedback. Thank you.
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    Hi!!

    I just wanted to start by telling you I currently attend the University of Detroit Mercy and I am in the second degree program. I started in May of 2009 and I only have three weeks of classes left! prior to this program I felt like I was a good student too.

    The acutal material is easy i think, however the amount of work is very consuming. You can handle it believe me. There are several people in our program who are juggling a family and nursing school. I think as long as you don't work and you are willing to forfeit a portion of your social life you will be fine.

    As far as people dropping out because of grades, well we started with 60 and today we have 51 i think. I dont think thats bad dropping only 9. I would actually say that some of those people that we dropped, honestly should have.

    I think you should do an accelerated program because you cut a lot of the ******** of a normal 3 year program. BUT if I had the choice now I wouldn't have attended this university. they lie, there current nclex passing rate is only low 70s. that is LOW compared to oakland, michigan, and wayne.
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    Hello as0227

    Congratulations on being 3 weeks away from graduating. I am applying for Jan 2011 class at U of D Mercy. I thought the school was suppose to prepare you for NCLEX exam. Why is the passing rate so low.. Thanks for your response.
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    well it is supposed to prepare you for the nclex and they do. you take exams and stuff online and the questions are nclex style.

    we were told when we started that the passing rate is in the high 90s. now after we have started they have slipped and told us that over the last two years the numbers are averaging low 70s, and they don't know why. Personally i think its the teachers. several us feel unprepared and not ready to be a nurse, but then again we are being told this is how we should feel.

    all i am saying is if you get into another school then go there first, if not then go to u of d. its known as a good school, however that has not been my experience and several other of my classmates as well.
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    I graduated from this program in December of '09. Not all of us have taken the NCLEX yet, but so far everyone we've heard about taking it from our cohort has passed (mostly with 75 questions).

    We had heard that pass rates were down and the faculty was trying to figure out why. They were also adjusting the program and trying to find ways to bring the rates up. I think the cohort behind ours took the brunt of the changes, and I don't know what's being done with the January '10 class.

    I would suggest that you keep in mind that you might not really know accurate NCLEX pass rates from other Universities either. Data is usually several months old (if not older) and NCLEX constantly changes and adapts. It could be that other schools also saw pass rates drop for whatever reasons and are also working to adjust their cirricula. Students from UDM are only experts on the UDM program.

    UDM wants its students to pass the NCELX for obvious reasons. If something changes their pass rates you can be certain that they will try and identify the problem and make corrections as quickly as possible. I think it would be a mistake to believe otherwise.

    I agree that the material is learnable. The difficulty is really just getting everything done in a very short time. Many of the people in my class had families and were able to do it. But their familes went through the program with them. If you have a spouse and kids just know that there will be times when ou have to go study or write papers and you won't be able to spend as much time with them as you or they would like.

    We lost about 15% of our original class, and I agree that the people who didn't make are were by and large the one's who shouldn't be nurses. We had a couple lost to family situations as well. But really if you get in there is no reason that you shouldn't be able to complete the program.

    If you're interested in the program I hope you continue to look into it. It's not easy, but I think it was worth it and that when I left I was ready to start orienting as a new grad in any of the local hospital systems. I think my classmates for the most part felt the same.

    Good luck.
    smp077 likes this.
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    Thank you so much for your input. Yes I am going to U OF D I have only heard good things about it.
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    That was going to be my next question, do you feel prepaired to be a nurse when graduating knowing the program goes so quickly? Are nurses who graduate OCC or anywhere else that has 2 years or so do better or feel more prepaired?

    I also wanted to ask about the 15% your lost which seems high. Do you know if most of them just didn't really study enough? or did they study their butts off and still not pass which would concern me more.

    I really appreciate your feedback.

    daniel
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    Quote from creativetype2007
    That was going to be my next question, do you feel prepaired to be a nurse when graduating knowing the program goes so quickly? Are nurses who graduate OCC or anywhere else that has 2 years or so do better or feel more prepaired?

    I also wanted to ask about the 15% your lost which seems high. Do you know if most of them just didn't really study enough? or did they study their butts off and still not pass which would concern me more.

    I really appreciate your feedback.

    daniel
    I felt prepared once I graduated. The last 5 weeks (or so) of the program allows you to work along side a nurse 1:1 full time on his/her unit and shift. That's really where you get a full taste of the work and put the years education together.

    The following is only my opinion- I have absolutely no basis in fact for what I am about to say with the exception that all nursing programs (Diploma, ADN, BSN or ABSN) require their students to have a certain number of hours of clinical expereince, the minimum number being mandated by either the state or acrrediting agency (I don't recall which).

    What that means is that no matter where you go you are going to get more or less the same amount of clinical time. Some programs allow you to do it more quickly than others. In the SDO program at UDM that means 16 hours a week in the first semester and 20 to 24 hours a week in your second and third semesters in addition to the 1:1 experience at the end of the program.

    UDM (and other ABSN programs) do it very quickly. At 12 months, UDMs program is I think a little faster than some other local ASBN programs.

    The place where I think the most noticable difference is really outside of the clinical setting. Skills labs (where you practice on manequins or with a partner) in ADN and traditional BSN programs are, from what I hear, kind of brutal. You're checked off on things like placing a foley catheter. There are steps that must be performed in a certain order in a certain way and with very good reason. Again, based largely on hersay, check offs are very rigid in most programs (including UDMs traditional program) and making too many mistakes can lead to a student failing out of the program. I have seen this in the UDM traditional program. In the SDO program check offs are very relaxed and informal.

    Now this is kind of a double edged sword. SDO students are given a break, but it's really because they are expected to be able to understand the demonstration, repeat it back quickly and be able to perform it clinically with an acceptable level of competence. In other words "We trust you. Now don't #!(%$ up." UDM feels that if you're in the program that you're there because you and they believe you can, in fact, drink from a fire hose and not drown. They're right at least 85% of the time.

    In reality, the first time you place a foley you will discuss it with your instructor away from the bedside and he or she will be in the room with you to provide any coaching that might be necessary as you're doing it. But you'll walk into the patients room knowing that you have had relatively little practice. You'll also end up placing the foley successfully and be able to do it pretty easily the second time.

    Students who go through ADN or traditional programs might get more practive time in the lab, but it's more stress on the front end. I don't know how they feel doing it in clincials for the first time.

    I also feel that because the UDM program is so short things are a little fresher when you graduate. Your Pathophysiology class is less than 12 months old when you should be sitting for your boards, for example. On the other hand, you had something like 10 weeks to absorb it all.

    If you've ever taken a full load (19-21 credit hours) of fairly challenging coursework then you have kind of a sense of what the UDM program is like. It's a lot of information compressed into a very short period.

    Of the 15% we lost I would say about half of them were people whose families for whatever reason were not able to handle the strain the program put on them. Spouses who are unwilling or unable to to handle 75% or more (and heaven knows my wife picked up a ton of my slack) of keeping the house and family together may cause a student to have to choose between home and school. A few of our classmates chose (and probably it was the best decision for them) home.

    The other half were academic washouts. Why couldn't they handle it? I can honestly say I don't know. I could, and so could most of my classmates. Based on more hersay about their clinical performance I think it's best for anyone who they might have taken care of that they were not able to complete the program. And that's really where it shakes out. You might or might not know how someone is doing in the classroom portion of the program, but screw up in clinicals and everyone hears about it. Students who are dangerous and won't last. Everyone makes mistakes, but trying to thread an IV pole through the arm hole of a gown is forgivable (and funny). Dropping a patient because you didn't have a side rail up when you turned them isn't. Doing it twice means that you need to turn in your stuff leave.

    NOTE: These were top-of-my-head examples. No one in my cohort (or any other that I am aware of) tried to put an IV Pole through a gown or dropped a patient. Ever.

    Some people in the program studied more than others. Some had to and some wanted to. A few coasted and passed anyway. If you earned your first degree and did well on your pre-reqs you should be fine.

    I will tell you that my class was well thought of by the faculty and told us more than once that we were an unusually close group. We generally got along well and everyone helped each other. We all wanted to get good grades, but we didn't feel the need to do it at the expense of other students. We formed study groups and information was shared between groups. From what I have heard not all classes are like ours was.

    I guess I would compare the attitude to playing golf. Golfers are really competing against a golf course, not one another (for the most part). They go out to play their best possible game, not to beat the people they play with. And they don't have any animosity towards the course in any real way. Our class was like that. It was us against the program. But aside from the occasional grumble or stress induced rant we liked most of our professors and instructors. We respected the faculty and I think they respected us as well.

    If you go into the program I would urge you to try and nurture this same sort of culture. Anything else just adds more unnecessary stress to the basic difficulty of the program.

    For one year you're all sharing a life boat. It's not "Survivor". Everyone who finishes wins. There are no losers.

    Lastly, remember, there are a lot of nurses out there in the world, and most of them are doing the job well and safely. But very few of them are anything other than normal, average people. Nursing programs, like most other fields of study, take regular people and turns them into nurses. That means that a regular, average person with the desire to become a nurse is usually able to do it. In that regard I don't think it's much different from going in to business school or teaching. We're all regular people doing regular jobs.

    An ASBN program takes regular people who feel that they are able to learn a lot pretty quickly, puts them through a bunch of nursing classes, adds some pressure and turns out regular graduate nurses. If we can do it, you should be able to as well.
    GinaKinaBSN_RN, bonnevie13, ejcl68, and 2 others like this.
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    Wow, thank you for all the information. I feel I should take you and your wife to dinner for all the guidence lol

    My only hold up is not necessarily that's it is more expensive then other programs, it's the fact if you get 74.5% you are out of the program, even in the last semester and they don't let you retake anything. that's a lot of money to be out of if god forbid that happens. Any last thoughts on that?

    Again, you are such a huge help!!!!
    313RN likes this.
  12. 3
    Quote from creativetype2007
    My only hold up is not necessarily that's it is more expensive then other programs, it's the fact if you get 74.5% you are out of the program, even in the last semester and they don't let you retake anything. that's a lot of money to be out of if god forbid that happens. Any last thoughts on that?

    Again, you are such a huge help!!!!

    Alright, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you get a 74.99% you're out. Now the good news is that it's cummulative. You can fail a test, ace the next one and if the average is 75%or higher you're fine.

    But yes, there were times when it was down right scary. But again, most people get through it. The school is not looking to fail anyone. Their main goal is to produce safe nurses who are prepared to take and pass their NCLEX. They gain nothing by washing you out arbitrarily.

    Up until very recently they used to allow students who failed a course to cycle back and retake the class or classes they failed. According to a faculty member I talked with, they stopped doing it because very few of teh people who failed once managed to successfully complete the program. They could 1) put a hopefully better prepared student in that slot and 2) not simply keep taking money from people who might not be well suited for the SDO program on a nearly indefinate basis.

    The new rule is that if you are unable to progess in the SDO program you are given the option of joining traditional program at the place where you would be had you been admitted as a regualr undergraduate. I believe a couple of students chose this route.

    There were plenty of times when all I wanted was to take my 75 and go on. Once in a while I'd have a bad quiz. But I graduated with a 3.78 when all was said and done. And most of the class I think was at 3.5 or higher.

    Like I said, if you did well on your first bachelors and on your prereqs then you should be able to get through the program. If you struggled or can't take the pressure then I'd think about other options. To be honest I think that most of the pressure to pass is internal. I know that even though all I wanted was a 75, the times when I scored in the high 70's were deeply upsetting to me. I'd usually end up talking with my professor about the test, what I did wrong and how I could do better on the next one.

    And that's another upside. The faculty is accessible and willing to talk with you and help you. I never got the impression that they were doing me a favor by talking with me or that I was an interruption or inconvenience. They were always willing to help, or at times, to just listen. They won't pass a failing student just to be nice, but they're not out to get anyone and will do whatever they can to help you earn a passing grade.

    I hope that helps. Any time you have questions feel free to ask.

    Good Luck.
    GinaKinaBSN_RN, bonnevie13, and smp077 like this.


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