Napa Valley nursing students draw crowd as they protest use of ATI exam - page 4

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   Sheri257
    Sorry but, I don't think the ATI (or HESI) is all that unfair ... at least the way my school did it. It's like anything else in nursing school .... you can't expect the instructors to spoon feed all of the material. Whether it's fair or not ... that's not going happen. You've got to take the initiative and prepare for the exam as much as you can on your own.

    We were informed about having to take the ATI months ago, and I'm sure the students in article knew about it well in advance also.

    So, what me and some of my classmates did was share the cost of buying the practice exams (which was about $120) so we could try prepare, get used to the testing style and, also, the type of content they were looking for. From what I understand, you can buy HESI practice exams also.

    For those of us who did the practice exams, I do think it helped at least to some extent. Most of the class did ok on the exam.

    We can go on and on about unfair these tests are but ... the fact is (at least in most cases) we did have fair warning and were able to do something about it if we wanted to. The practice exams didn't help as much as we would have liked but, still, it did help.

    Also ... I think it's important to realize a key factor in all of this. A lot of times students will say ... that test was unfair because we didn't have that material in school. I have good grades overall so, how could I fail?

    Well, a lot of times, we did get the material but some of it was taught way back in first semester and/or was mentioned in some obscure part of the reading years ago, and people have already forgotten about it because there's so much material to remember overall.

    There's a big difference between taking an exam on material right after it's been taught and still fresh in your mind, versus taking an exam that covers everything for years going back to pre-reqs. It's definitely a lot tougher but, that's just the way it is.

    It's like anything else, you've got to constantly refresh yourself and study because it is very easy to forget the overwhelming volume of material. But, that's not necessarily the school's fault. It's just the fact of life of what has to be done to pass the NCLEX.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Dec 5, '06
  2. by   morte
    lizz, the point is, that THIS IS NOT the use for which the test was designed!!....perhaps if given in that way (assessment) it would be greeted happily by students.....and my complaints remain....no test is perfect...even a particular copy of a test...comp error is possible....what happens to the student who has put up 100,000 in education costs and ends up with out a degree, even though they have passed the course set forth by the institution that took THAT money? what recourse do they have? this just smacks of one more way to get money out of students....as you said there are "practice" exams....more money spent by students, who should have learned what they need IN CLASS/readings
  3. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from lizz
    Sorry but, I don't think the ATI (or HESI) is all that unfair ... at least the way my school did it. It's like anything else in nursing school .... you can't expect the instructors to spoon feed all of the material. Whether it's fair or not ... that's not going happen. You've got to take the initiative and prepare for the exam as much as you can on your own.

    We were informed about having to take the ATI months ago, and I'm sure the students in article knew about it well in advance also.

    So, what me and some of my classmates did was share the cost of buying the practice exams (which was about $120) so we could try prepare, get used to the testing style and, also, the type of content they were looking for. From what I understand, you can buy HESI practice exams also.

    For those of us who did the practice exams, I do think it helped at least to some extent. Most of the class did ok on the exam.

    We can go on and on about unfair these tests are but ... the fact is (at least in most cases) we did have fair warning and were able to do something about it if we wanted to. The practice exams didn't help as much as we would have liked but, still, it did help.

    Also ... I think it's important to realize a key factor in all of this. A lot of times students will say ... that test was unfair because we didn't have that material in school. I have good grades overall so, how could I fail?

    Well, a lot of times, we did get the material but some of it was taught way back in first semester and/or was mentioned in some obscure part of the reading years ago, and people have already forgotten about it because there's so much material to remember overall.

    There's a big difference between taking an exam on material right after it's been taught and still fresh in your mind, versus taking an exam that covers everything for years going back to pre-reqs. It's definitely a lot tougher but, that's just the way it is.

    It's like anything else, you've got to constantly refresh yourself and study because it is very easy to forget the overwhelming volume of material. But, that's not necessarily the school's fault. It's just the fact of life of what has to be done to pass the NCLEX.

    :typing
    I completly agree! Well said....
  4. by   Jolie
    Quote from lizz

    It's like anything else, you've got to constantly refresh yourself and study because it is very easy to forget the overwhelming volume of material. But, that's not necessarily the school's fault. It's just the fact of life of what has to be done to pass the NCLEX.
    :typing
    I agree that studying and refreshing one's knowledge of "older" material are vital steps to passing NCLEX. But passing ATI, HESI, etc. are not. To deny a candidate the opportunity to sit for NCLEX based on an exam that is being used for a purpose other than it was intended is just wrong!

    How did we ever pass NCLEX back in the dark ages (1980's) before these exams existed? We attended and successfully completed quality nursing education programs, and then we took boards. I didn't even know anyone who took a review course. (The program I attended consistently had > 96% pass rate, and still does.) That's what our nursing program was designed to do: prepare us to practice safely as entry level nurses. Imagine!
  5. by   Demonsthenes
    I believe that competency and knowledge should be at the forefront of nursing practice, rather than political intimidation and force as exemplified by the protests. Togeather with the inherent objectivity of the exam which rewards effort and ethical behavior, I believe that the protest is inimical to good nursing and nursing professionalism. I support the exam as a requisite.
  6. by   Jolie
    Quote from Demonsthenes
    I believe that competency and knowledge should be at the forefront of nursing practice, rather than political intimidation and force as exemplified by the protests. Togeather with the inherent objectivity of the exam which rewards effort and ethical behavior, I believe that the protest is inimical to good nursing and nursing professionalism. I support the exam as a requisite.
    Do you equate these students' appeal with political intimidation? They are exercising their rights within the university system to appeal a decision they believe to be unfair. How does that amount to political intimidation?

    Denying a diploma, degree and the opportunity to sit for NCLEX to a candidate who has successfully completed the university's academic program...now THAT'S intimidation!
  7. by   Jolie
    Quote from Demonsthenes
    I believe that competency and knowledge should be at the forefront of nursing practice

    I couldn't agree more. These students have demonstrated their competence and knowledge by successfully completing the university's course of nursing study.

    Why is the university so darned afraid of letting them sit for a licensure exam that (statistically, at any rate) they will PROBABLY pass?
  8. by   Jolie
    Quote from Demonsthenes
    Togeather with the inherent objectivity of the exam which rewards effort and ethical behavior...
    Exams don't reward effort or ethical behavior. If they did, any well-intentioned, hard working person could be a nurse. Thank Goodness, that is not the case!
  9. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from Jolie

    How did we ever pass NCLEX back in the dark ages (1980's) before these exams existed? ................... That's what our nursing program was designed to do: prepare us to practice safely as entry level nurses. Imagine!

    AHH! You've finally hit the nail on the head. A lot of these schools are NOT teaching the students what they need to know. As as result of the shortage of good teachers, we are left with some teachers who just aren't cutting it-which is resulting in students not being able to pass standardized tests.

    If the students knew that they were required to pass these tests, then the time for protest was BEFORE they accepted their seats. I'm sorry, but they knew they had to take these tests. Just as I knew I had to take HESI in order to graduate. No graduation-no NCLEX-no RN.
  10. by   nursemi
    I see people are still not understanding the "WHOLE PICTURE"

    WE WANT TO take these exams, WE DON"T WANT it to be used against US.

    WE WELCOME the exams BUT NOT to stop us from taking the NCLEX RN EXAM.
    We already SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED the nursing program. WE failed HESI so than we had to pass a 6 week remediation course with each of our specialized nursing instructors, before taking HESI again. WE all passed the remediation courses. We had study groups, we did saunders Q/A, We even had over 90% on the HESI CD. Went over all of our nursing books - fundamentals, nutrition, peds, ob, med/surg. We Passed Everything...

    BUT.... 90% of us FAILED HESI. Now we CAN NOT take HESI again. We CAN NOT get our nursing degrees. We CAN NOT sit to take the NCLEX RN EXam. WE ARE FINISHED- WE HAVE NOTHING.

    IT is not a COMPLAINT but a TRUE CONCERN.


    What part of this sounds FAIR?
    lizzz & CardiacRN??
  11. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from nursemi

    What part of this sounds FAIR?
    lizzz & CardiacRN??

    I hate to say this, because I'll probably get flamed. But, HESI was easy. I thought it represented my curriculum. I felt like I could answer all the questions presented to me using the critical thinking skills that I developed through the years of Nursing school tests. I felt like HESI and the NCLEX were easier than any test that I had to take in Nursing school (with the exception of the math tests). So I say, I AGREE with it being used this way. It will make the teachers teach what needs to be taught. If 90% of your class failed the HESI then that says a lot about what you were taught in school.

    Sorry. But fair is fair. If you knew that it was required when you accepted your seat, they you have to play by their rules or find another program...
  12. by   bookwormom
    Isn't this the same controversy the public schools are having about teaching to the test in "No child left behind"?

    I believe we should teach students what they need to know for competent practice, and for passing the NCLEX. But I don't think the tests discussed here should be driving the curriculum. (I have no problem with the tests being used for assessment, however.)

    I am concerned that we are making the tests the focus of education rather than teaching students to be professional nurses. I believe we are promoting a culture of anxiety that is counterproductive to learning. Someone above pointed out that you can take the NCLEX more than once. It's that way in other professions (CPA, law, etc.) Is that so bad?

    I loved nursing school, back in the 70s, and did well on the paper and pencil NCLEX. If I had had to deal with the degree of anxiety encountered by nursing students today, I don't think I would have pursued nursing at all.
    Last edit by bookwormom on Dec 5, '06 : Reason: left out words
  13. by   Jolie
    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    If 90% of your class failed the HESI then that says a lot about what you were taught in school.
    Yes, it does! And it puts the onus on the university to correct the situation, not to simply disqualify these candidates from pursuing their chosen careers.

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