Roll Call for Excelsior Grads - stand up and be counted - page 2

Hi. How many Excelsior grads are out here? Please share with all of us a. Your graduation date b. Your best advice to someone starting the program c. Would you do it all over again? d. What... Read More

  1. by   RN34TX
    Quote from jrsyjo
    I've read with great interest the advice for staying the course with Excelsior -not to procrastinate, set up goals, etc. I am currently enrolled in the Excelsior program and enjoy the freedom it allows. I was able to complete NC1 thru NC7 in about 4 months (there is no other program that would allow you to pace yourself in whatever way you are confident in).
    The problem arises with Excelsior itself. It's taking anywhere from 4-6 months to get a date for the CPNE. A friend of mine sent her application in 7 weeks ago and has not yet received a date for the CPNE. When I called the MPAC to see where the status of my app was. Well, the lady that does the scheduling was on vacation so there was no one to process and schedule. If Excelsior has this many students applying to take the CPNE, doesn't it make sense to have more then one person scheduling and processing?
    This to me is about the only frustrating thing about the program. Otherwise, the counselors are great and always very helpful. Except for the bureaucracy, the flexibility of the program is awesome.
    My 2 cents
    Mark
    When I took it just over two years ago (through MPAC, just like you) it was made very clear in both the catalog and the CPNE study guide distributed to the students that it could possibly take up to 6 months between the time you become eligible to take the CPNE and when you actually get a test date due to the high demand and enrollment in the ADN program.
    Maybe they don't make that as clear to students anymore.

    I agree that if the scheduler is on vacation then someone in that office needs to be stepping in and taking up the slack but apparantly her work just sits there undone until she returns.
    But if Marge (who I think you may be referring to) is still working there, I urge you to call her upon her return from vacation.
    She is very nice and approachable. She will work with you.
    Ask her about cancellations and let her know if you are flexible to going to an alternate site rather than just Racine, for example.

    I wrote on my application that I did not want to be scheduled before October 1st of the year I tested. She actually called me at home and asked me if I'd be interested in a date during the last week of September because there was an opening even though it was about a week earlier than what I'd indicated on my application. She advised me to do this if I felt I would be ready because otherwise my test date wouldn't have been until late November. So she basically shaved two months of wait time for me by making a little effort to call me.
    Other students have also been known to call around to the different sites (SPAC, WPAC, etc.) and ask about the current openings or cancellations at their sites and select a site based on availability, rather than how close it is to home. The staff will share this info with you and try to accomodate you.

    Just a suggestion, but if you're frustrated over the wait time for the CPNE, don't just mail in your application and sit around waiting for a response.
    Start making phone calls and do some investigating.
    I've known people who have gotten test dates in 1-2 months by doing these things.
  2. by   BBFRN
    Quote from RN34TX
    Other students have also been known to call around to the different sites (SPAC, WPAC, etc.) and ask about the current openings or cancellations at their sites and select a site based on availability, rather than how close it is to home. The staff will share this info with you and try to accomodate you.

    Just a suggestion, but if you're frustrated over the wait time for the CPNE, don't just mail in your application and sit around waiting for a response.
    Start making phone calls and do some investigating.
    I've known people who have gotten test dates in 1-2 months by doing these things.
    Yep, that's how I got a test date within 3 months- I could've taken a date in 2 months if I had wanted it. You really have to keep in touch with them, and they'll help you out as much as they can. You'd be surprised how many cancellations they get, too. People get nervous and scared, and push their test dates back all the time.
  3. by   jrsyjo
    Thanks for your reply.
    I must have missed where it was stated in the guide that it may take up to 6 months for a test date.
    Your right about making phone calls. I talked to Marge yesterday. She is very pleasant to talk to and understands students frustrations. She seems a bit frustrated about the process herself. They are so backed up on applications that it is taking several weeks just to get to an application (they are4 especially backed up because of the closing of testing centers in CA).
    Excelsior has been offering this program for many years now. Although I'm not privy to the inner workings of the college, it just seems after al this time they would have tackled the issue of long waits for a CPNE date. If they have
    I do believe I will get an earlier date unfortunately not at the site I would like to go to (I live about 15 min. from The Plano TX site).
    Don't misunderstand me, I'm not sour on Excelsior College. I would not hesitate to recommend their program. I just feel that a seasoned school like Excelsior should have a better system in place. Stopping the applications from being processed because one person goes on vacation is a bit absurd.
    The bright side is I will use this time to know what is needed to pass the CPNE the first time.
    I appreciate your comments.
    Mark
  4. by   RN34TX
    Quote from jrsyjo
    Thanks for your reply.
    I must have missed where it was stated in the guide that it may take up to 6 months for a test date.
    Your right about making phone calls. I talked to Marge yesterday. She is very pleasant to talk to and understands students frustrations. She seems a bit frustrated about the process herself. They are so backed up on applications that it is taking several weeks just to get to an application (they are4 especially backed up because of the closing of testing centers in CA).
    Excelsior has been offering this program for many years now. Although I'm not privy to the inner workings of the college, it just seems after al this time they would have tackled the issue of long waits for a CPNE date. If they have
    I do believe I will get an earlier date unfortunately not at the site I would like to go to (I live about 15 min. from The Plano TX site).
    Don't misunderstand me, I'm not sour on Excelsior College. I would not hesitate to recommend their program. I just feel that a seasoned school like Excelsior should have a better system in place. Stopping the applications from being processed because one person goes on vacation is a bit absurd.
    The bright side is I will use this time to know what is needed to pass the CPNE the first time.
    I appreciate your comments.
    Mark
    I agree that there should have been a better system in place by now but it wasn't always that way.
    The CPNE wait time started climbing when nursing school's waiting lists were getting longer and longer in the 1990's.
    EC became more popular than ever as a result because other schools became clogged with hundreds of applicants for a mere 30 spots in a program.
  5. by   SierraC
    Quote from RN34TX
    I agree that there should have been a better system in place by now but it wasn't always that way.
    The CPNE wait time started climbing when nursing school's waiting lists were getting longer and longer in the 1990's.
    EC became more popular than ever as a result because other schools became clogged with hundreds of applicants for a mere 30 spots in a program.
    I went to NY from CA to test for my CPNE. I tested in July in NY...the wait in Long Beach , CA was until December . It was worth the money and the travel time . I am glad that I did it. I graduated in Sept. Passed the NCLEX this past week. Moving to Nevada next week, already have my temp license there.
  6. by   BBFRN
    One piece of advice I can offer for those who aren't done with the program yet, and are going to have a long wait for the CPNE: You are eligible for the CPNE once you finish all the nursing courses and are within 9 credit hours of finishing your general eds. So save those last few general eds until last- you can get your CPNE process started and take those courses while you wait.
  7. by   RN34TX
    Quote from SierraC
    I went to NY from CA to test for my CPNE. I tested in July in NY...the wait in Long Beach , CA was until December . It was worth the money and the travel time . I am glad that I did it. I graduated in Sept. Passed the NCLEX this past week. Moving to Nevada next week, already have my temp license there.
    Good for you! Love to hear good stories like that.
    Q: Are you moving to NV because you weren't enrolled before the deadline in CA or is it for other reasons?
  8. by   SierraC
    Hi, my husband and I came out too CA about a year ago. We have been traveling for a few years now ( he is a RT) . We first did it in our home state of CT and then ventured out here because he has family here. I was enrolled in EC before we came out here so I knew that I could not work here. Our plan was to go to Nevada once I finished the RN program and settle down.
  9. by   medicrnohio
    Graduated January 2005 w/ASN. I can't believe it's already almost been a year.

    Don't procrastinate. Schedule your exams before you start studying, it gives you a deadline to work towards.

    I would definitely do it all over again.

    Currently working on a cardiac stepdown unit.
  10. by   eborgelt
    a. Your graduation date
    I graduated in August 2005 with my ASN. I was an LPN since July 2004.
    b. your best advice to someone starting the program
    Just go for it. I was worried because I had only been an LPN for 5 months when I started the program. I finished all my Nursing Concepts tests in 2 months, then just waited for a CPNE date while I finished my general ed classes. Just do it!!
    c. Would you do it all over again?
    Definitly. I love being an RN and am glad I decided to continue pursing my education.
    d. What are you doing now?
    I am working as an RN on a Neurology/Neurosurgery/Trauma unit in a large hospital and pick up shifts with a home care agency for a little extra cash. I am working on my BSN through University of Wyoming right now and plan to finish in a year. Then, I will pursue my Masters and hope to become a CNM and FNP.
  11. by   akvarmit
    I graduated Sept. 2003 - Can't believe it's been 2 years already - Wow!

    All of the advice here has been wonderful. I also paid and scheduled each exam about a month in advance and then made myself study like a madwoman till that date to keep on a pattern of testing every 4 to 6 weeks.

    I also would love to do Excelsior again for my BSN, but the idea of another clincal with them doesn't thrill me. Especially now that as an RN there are a lot more programs to look at out there.

    Currently I work in the ER at a Level 1 trauma center..........
    Dawn in PA
  12. by   BBFRN
    Quote from DVarmit

    I also would love to do Excelsior again for my BSN, but the idea of another clincal with them doesn't thrill me. Especially now that as an RN there are a lot more programs to look at out there.

    Dawn in PA
    I was told by an EC BSN advisor that Athabasca University's Health Assessment course can be taken in lieu of the HAPE, so that may help if you want to get aorund the clinical exam. Here's the link:

    http://www.athabascau.ca/html/syllabi/nurs/nurs326.htm
  13. by   chip193
    a. Your graduation date
    April, 2004. It was very nice to be a month ahead of the traditional students when looking for a job!

    b. Your best advice to someone starting the program
    Join the Yahoo groups and stay away from the publishing companies! Also, take the EC prep course for the CPNE - they were wonderful.

    c. Would you do it all over again?
    Without reservation.

    d. What are you doing now?
    ER, EMS Clincial Education, and still teaching all the merit badge courses!

    Chip

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