Napa Valley nursing students draw crowd as they protest use of ATI exam - page 11

nvc nursing students draw crowd as they protest mandatory exam napa valley register - napa,ca,usa about 100 napa valley college nursing students filled the college board room thursday night in... Read More

  1. by   nursemi
    Quote from classicdame
    Sounds like blaming behavior to me. However, many schools use similar tests to help the student gauge their success. That way the student does not have a gripe coming when they flunk NCLEX.

    Also, the schools are monitored as to how many graduates DO pass NCLEX. One way to keep that score high is to test periodically and encourage the lower scoring students to a) study harder or b) change majors or c) drop out. That way the graduates who are left should be successful. Either way, it would not have happened if the students had passed the test. Sorta sounds like they are blaming someone else for their own behavior.
    The word "Encourage the lower scoring students" and "periodically" "study harder" is exactly what these tests should be used for. If it was used to develope an increase in "looking up" what you missed on the exam, and remediate with the instructors, "that's great". But to say, you only scored [/B]50% = meaning 5000/10000 students[/B]who took the exact same test in the United States and you are not good enough to be in our program at the end of the school year is absurd. Or for us, 90% of us scored at 78% overall in the United States is not good enough after we completed the program, is pure evil in itself.:angryfire


    The word blaming goes both ways, the faculty did not comply with the criteria set forth by the ATI and neither did the students. See what you teach the students.
  2. by   Sheri257
    Quote from nursemi
    Students want to take the "Standarized Practice Exams" but without penalty.

    Remediations are great, students want that too, without penalty.
    Yeah ... but what students want isn't always a good thing.

    The research shows that remediation without penalty doesn't work. Additional instruction doesn't work unless there are penalties.

    Why? Because students won't study unless they know they're going to get booted out of the program if they don't pass these exit exams.

    The schools were faced with the problem of falling NCLEX pass rates nationwide. These exit exams turned that around and substantially improved the NCLEX pass rates.

    It is the schools' job to increase NCLEX pass rates. You can't argue with that.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Dec 8, '06
  3. by   smk1
    Quote from lizz
    BTW ... this school doesn't have a great NCLEX pass rate. Maybe that's why they didn't allow people to retake the ATI like before. Maybe they are trying to weed out students and boost their NCLEX pass rate.

    Last year they did ok with 86 percent, which is in line with the state and national average.

    But, the year before that their NCLEX pass rate was only 69 percent.

    And, in the years before that .... their pass rate was 70 percent, 75 and 77 percent.

    So, maybe that's what's behind all of this. When the NCLEX pass rate starts falling a good 10-15 percent lower than the state and national average ... there's a problem.

    :typing
    I agree that something needs to be done about their pass rates, but why not take a look at the content of their program? If their students are failing year after year, then perhaps they need to look at what they are teaching, how they are teaching it, look at their entrance requirements, are they admitting good students to begin with...I have a serious problem with a school taking these students money, and not preparing them adequately. If these students are required to take this exam to pass the course, then the study guides and prep time should be incorporated into the curriculum just like any other test is. To give out A's and B's to them for years and lull them into the thinking they are learning what is required, seems wrong. I agree that I personally would have done everything I could to pass, but if it is graded on a curve then it sounds like 50% of them wouldn't pass anyway no matter what. That is unacceptable if it is true. and why wait until graduation time to give this test? Why not evaluate the students all along the way to see how they measure up? This would save a lot of students some money and time...
  4. by   smk1
    Quote from lizz
    Yeah but, what everyone also seems to be forgetting is that just a year ago ... this school's NCLEX pass rate was 69 percent. And the year before that, the pass rate was 70 percent. So maybe these students' B averages don't mean much as far as NCLEX preparation is concerned.
    :typing
    But shouldn't it? I still think they are side stepping the true issue, which appears to be their curriculum, program requirements and possibly faculty.
  5. by   smk1
    Quote from lizz
    I think it's important to remember that not all schools wait until the final semester to give these exit exams. Some schools require students to pass the exit exams before the students can go on to the next semester. Maybe that's a more fair way to do it instead of waiting 'til the end.

    In my program, we've been taking these exit exams all along. But it didn't count for anything until the end because, with the previous exams, the teachers were using it mostly to evaluate whether their teaching as effective or not.

    Maybe these exams should have counted all along but we were, at least, getting exposure to these tests throughout the program.

    :typing
    I like this idea. Test and evaluate their learning along the way.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    I don't approve of a lottery for admission. If your GPA is not high enough you can take classes, get "A"s, and bring it up. Why not discriminate in favor of past excellence?
  7. by   Ex130Load
    Postings have swung through how the ATI exam is used, does its use comply with the company's intent and board of nursing requirements, are students aware or requirements to matriculate to gradation and sitting for NCLEX, and making RN a more exclusive profession. Some good and interesting points, others less so.

    Some observations:

    ATI may be designed for one thing, but used for another. When you're the boss, you can sorta do what you want assuming it complies with the nursing board. If students are forewarned about a test and its consequences, the onus is on the student to meet standards. Seen cheating or suspicious behavior to get As and Bs at your school? Junior year and exit exams help keep students on their toes if they adequately prep for them.

    Recruiter seems to be doing their jobs quite well by all accounts. Are they recruiting the best students? Nursing schools as a group are tough. How well do applicants comprehend what they're facing? I didn't understand the significance of HESI until the third semester. Yeah, I think it was in the student handbook... was that my fault? Faculty and administration weren't stressing HESI from day-one, that is was smart to continually review previous classes study material. I remember weeks of 12+ hour days for two terms, and I still need time to review old stuff? If recruiters mention the importance of ATI, HESI, and attrition rates, will we continue to have long waiting lists? Entrance lotteries, "diversity" quotas, etc. do little to nothing overall in my opinion to place the most capable students in a challenging program.

    Two students couldn't make the 50th percentile, of a national average, but got As and Bs? Is the problem with the students, test, faculty, or admin? Fiftieth percentile of a national average? So much going on here at different levels.

    I really like this site: NursingCenter - Library - Journal Issue - Article

    Make nursing more exclusive and it will do just that; it will exclude people. How short of nurses is the US today? And ten years from now? Does the US need more Chevys or Cadillacs? We have a "minimum caliber of nurse" (NCLEX) for a reason. Do college level cheaters pass NCLEX? From what I've seen, some seem to be perfectly adequate.

    My opinions--Recruiters, tell applicants straight up what they can expect. Faculty and admin does the same with concrete ideas on how best to meet program (!) and class objectives. Testing is a necessary evil if nursing boards mandate NCLEX passing rates. Good, bad, or painful, it motivates significantly and raises passing rates because the nursing board mandates... If schools want to keep or have to keep weaker performing students, they must doing something more concrete than simply identifying deficient study areas as noted by testing. Schools will need to commit additional resources to effective remedial programs that address deficient subject knowledge, effective study methods, discipline, and ethics.

    I mention discipline and ethics because so many public school students today are spoon fed topics. There is little to no consequence for cheating or not completing class work, but students still advance. I've seen this at the junior college level too. Regardless of how they got there, too many ill-prepared students are in nursing programs.

    All this brings up the multi-faceted question with an equally multi-faceted answer, how do we as a nation get nurses at requisite knowledge and proficiency levels to where they are needed? If we don't change dynamics, more than enough pain will continue for all to share--students, schools, and patients.
  8. by   weezledawg
    So, our NorCal NS class also has to take the ATIs. We were required to make 70% or better on the ATI or remediate. The first semester we all did better than 70% (as far as I know...), and the second semester some had to remediate. We did the maternal health and newborn sections. Now we will be taking the third semester unit within a week. I feel like the test just helps us prepare for the boards. It's not like they don't give us the book to study with. How can students possibly place the blame of not successfully passing this test on administration when they knew ahead of time AND had the book? Being in nursing school has been an exercise in self-motivation, and I believe my experience in the profession will be the same. Ultimately, we are all in charge of our own success or failure in life and there are always those who want to put that responsibility elsewhere.

    Personally, I would rather find out before I take the boards that I was woefully unprepared so that I could make some changes prior to that time...
  9. by   weezledawg
    Quote from spacenurse
    I don't approve of a lottery for admission. If your GPA is not high enough you can take classes, get "A"s, and bring it up. Why not discriminate in favor of past excellence?
    I believe the chancellor's formula has much better predictive qualities for nursing school success. This is the formula our school uses. It reduces attrition, and it has worked so far for us. I'm all for discriminating based on excellence...:spin:
  10. by   nursesaideBen
    Quote from weezledawg
    So, our NorCal NS class also has to take the ATIs. We were required to make 70% or better on the ATI or remediate. The first semester we all did better than 70% (as far as I know...), and the second semester some had to remediate. We did the maternal health and newborn sections. Now we will be taking the third semester unit within a week. I feel like the test just helps us prepare for the boards. It's not like they don't give us the book to study with. How can students possibly place the blame of not successfully passing this test on administration when they knew ahead of time AND had the book? Being in nursing school has been an exercise in self-motivation, and I believe my experience in the profession will be the same. Ultimately, we are all in charge of our own success or failure in life and there are always those who want to put that responsibility elsewhere.

    Personally, I would rather find out before I take the boards that I was woefully unprepared so that I could make some changes prior to that time...
    :yeahthat: I completely agree with you, they give you the books, the DVDs, and the practice exams if you don't study them than guess what you won't pass the real exam.
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    Why not require a certain score?

    Grading on the curve on a test required for graduation is just unfair.
    If 90% correct is required and 75% of test takers get 90% or better why fail 33%?

    Nursing students may win fight with NVC
    Napa Valley Register Online | LocalNews
  12. by   Sheri257
    Quote from weezledawg
    So, our NorCal NS class also has to take the ATIs. We were required to make 70% or better on the ATI or remediate. The first semester we all did better than 70% (as far as I know...), and the second semester some had to remediate. We did the maternal health and newborn sections. Now we will be taking the third semester unit within a week. I feel like the test just helps us prepare for the boards. It's not like they don't give us the book to study with. How can students possibly place the blame of not successfully passing this test on administration when they knew ahead of time AND had the book? Being in nursing school has been an exercise in self-motivation, and I believe my experience in the profession will be the same. Ultimately, we are all in charge of our own success or failure in life and there are always those who want to put that responsibility elsewhere.

    Personally, I would rather find out before I take the boards that I was woefully unprepared so that I could make some changes prior to that time...
    I couldn't agree more.

    :typing
  13. by   nursemi


    I highly doubt that these two students are incompetent.

    They would not have had over 100 supporters if they were.
    I saw a picture on the NVC paper, and it stated that the picture is that of an nursing instructor, hugging the two students during the protest. :spin:

    These exams should of been used diagnostically and from the beginninig of the program. Why wait a month before graduation to test their areas of weakness? Why didn't any of the teachers from first, and second year know where the students' areas of weaknesses are? According to the attorney, evidence wise, it was not stated anywhere in the curriculum. That matters alot. Specially in our field, where documentation is very important. There were more than the two students who actually filed suit against the school. Not sure, why the others did not want their names mentioned. No matter, realizing that, lead me to believe that the two had courage. Can't have courage without fear. A true Nurse.

    I understand that the colleges need their accrediation based on first time test takers, but state board also looks are graduation rates.

    It is quite evident, the colleges who are not utilizing the exams diagnostically from the beginning of the program, will have more legal problems.

    Remember, there are hundreds of thousands of nurses before us who did not take these exit exams, and are considered quite competent.
    Remember: When you get your license , you will be working with them. Would it scare you that they did not have the standarized exam?

    I see this is a greater issue than expected and just as I thought - a nation wide issue.

    It is probably a better idea for the nursing students to create another blog elsewhere for our space purposes. So we can better determine how to get together as a nation-wide advocate against the improper use of these exams.

    PM those who are only truly interested.

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