You don't remember the entire study guide. Back when I went, the main chapters were 2 and 4. The others were rules and regulations to assist you in closing a location, prior testing such as urine drug screens, information on the assessment centers, what you need to do after you pass OR fail the CPNE, how to file an appeal, etc. You don't need any med-surg or acute care experience. Having a clinical background means (for the purposes of acceptance into the college) that you have the required credentials (license) to enter into the program. The workshops will show you how they expect you to do the IV drug calculations and pushes and those instructions are within the study guide as well. But you will need to study before attending the workshop. Also, EC offers the supplies that you will need to prepare with a low cost (I think that the wound and IV skill set was $110 back then). With my many years of hospital experience, I still purchased it because those skills have to be performed as they say, instead of how it's done on the job.
In LTC, you do wound care, injections, and IV antibiotics. But even if you don't, they offer what you need in order to learn. Depending on your state, you may be required to do additional clinical hours before they give you a license...check with your Board of Nursing and/or the EC website. They list those states with additional requirements.
Also, there are lots of CPNE learning resources out on the World Wide Web that can give you insight into how those lab stations are performed as well as the patient care scenarios. Even though some are excellent in helping you prepare, they are not affiliated with Excelsior College. NOTHING purchased outside of the EC website is affiliated with EC. But you must let that CPNE manual guide your preparation if you chose those other resources. There are CPNE groups on Facebook that you can join. There are tons of support, and as you become eligible, you will become a part of the CPNE conversations and how best to prepare, not to mention have links added to your EC page that guide you to your path to CPNE success.
Trust me, me, by the time you make it to your actual weekend, you will have received everything that you need, and then some, in order to pass that weekend. It's up to you to take advantage of, and the time to use all that is offered to prepare. They even offer the opportunity for you to write your care plans
and submit them for feedback on what your doing wrong and where you need to improve. When you are confident that you have mastered those tasks, you register for your weekend exam. You apply once you are CPNE-eligible even though your are not ready. Then you start studying. Throughout your studies, they will email you or call you with CPNE dates. You either accept that date or you don't. Whichever you do, you still keep studying. If you decline a date, they will contact you with other dates. They will do this until you finally accept one, which you do when YOU feel you are ready.
Keep in mind, nursing school
, no matter where you attend, is just a theory-based introduction to the field of nursing. Brick and mortar schools
(classrooms) do offer you the change to experience 'some' things that you will do once you become a nurse. The real training on how to BE a nurse comes with on-the-job training. Even now, after 28 years of nursing, we are required to attend MANDATORY inservices on Foley catheter insertions, IV insertions, NG tube insertions, etc., and we have to do this every single year on Skills Day. They care NOT which nursing school we went to. Every nurse has to do this.
Now, if you feel that your skills warrant more clinical exposure in order to ease your apprehension, by all means, seek other avenues for your training. Excelsior College is not for everyone. It requires a lot of motivation, determination, and initiative in a self-paced, online learning environment. I recommend that you call and speak to an admissions advisor AFTER you write down your list of specific questions that you have handy when you speak to them. I absolutely loved their ASN program and I'm finishing up my BSN with them in 5 weeks. Everything that I told you is subjective information, meaning that all of the above has been my actual experience. They may tell you ONE thing that makes you head for the hills when that same ONE thing may be right up my alley. But you won't know unless you make the call...in fact, if you're considering an ASN, you should make quite a few calls to quite a few locations, having your pen and paper ready to take notes for comparison after you're done. There may be other online options out there, but I was sold on EC, obviously.