Lottery System...How does it work?

  1. 0
    I just submitted my nursing application and my school does the lottery system. I forgot how many times I've applied to this program... 3? 4? I don't know, but I know more than twice. I've read their statistics and mentioned that people that are applying for the 7th time are part of the selection pool. I just thought that was ridiculous and I would thought that by then those people would be frustrated by the 5th application. I know I sure as hell would and I know for a fact I would be depressed losing hope. I've also opted to apply for the LVN program also and then later on go to the LVN-RN program. I'm also looking into other careers in the health industry, which I hate to do because I've always wanted to become a nurse but I don't want to wait til i'm 40 to get into the program (im 27).

    I just want to be a Nurse already.

    I've heard somewhere in one of my classes (medical dosage class) told me that your name goes in twice the second time around and so on to better your chances on getting in, but if you skip an application process, you are back to just one name. I don't know if that is the case now though. I really think my name is just buried with the other 1100+ applicants that are either in there for the incentive, really have the passion, have or don't have what it takes in the job industry or whatever reason it may be.

    Counselors are not sure how it really works and the Nursing dept. always point me to their website. Next time, I will go to their seminars and explain that it is not explained on their website and to fill me in.

    I don't know if i'm just wasting my time. I really don't want to opt for private institutions and pay $50+ grand and start my nursing job in debt.

    Does anyone know how your lottery system works at your school? Did you see a counselor? Nursing seminars?
    Last edit by Derls on Oct 22, '12
  2. 11 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    The lottery system may have worked for the Hunger Games, but I think it's ineffective for nursing school. Nursing schools should select the most qualified applicants, period. Accepting students based on how long they've been patient enough to jump through your arbitrary hoops is kind of backward.

    Sorry I don't have an answer to your questions, but this needed to be said.
    A Nurse Someday and cp1024 like this.
  4. 0
    I would not go to the seminar and tell them their website doesn't explain it. I think it did a pretty fair job of explaining it - good enough that, at best, I might ask if I understand this correctly...

    They make two piles: one of applications that are on their desk at the end of the day the applications are due. The rest in a second pile. Those in the second pile are (effectively) thrown away. That leaves one pile.

    Then they split that one pile into two piles: one pile for all applications that have all the prereqs completed. The rest (including those with some prereqs in progress) are put in a second pile. The second pile is thrown out. That leaves one pile.

    That one pile is split into two piles: one pile for all the applications showing weighted grades that meet the minimum level. The rest in the second pile. The second pile is thrown out. That leaves one pile. Usually, it is a pile of 300 to 400 applications at Sierra.

    Nothing else factors in.

    All the applications in that one pile are assigned a number. Then a random number generator picks 30 numbers and then another 10 numbers. The nursing department looks up which name those thirty numbers were assigned and they get the acceptance letters, the other ten get on the waiting list. Thirty or however many students they can take in each class.

    The next year they start taking new appliations without reference to which people have submitted applications before (whether once or more than once).

    There are obviously disadvantages to the lottery system. But there are disadvantages to all the other systems also. Waitlist systems make everyone wait several years, merit based systems lock out capable people who struggle a bit with some aspect of the criteria that form the basis of comparison, etc. I think it is good to have a variety of application systems.
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    Logan, that is wait-list system, not lottery.

    I disagree anyway that there should be only one system (merit based). For one thing, how would you determine who is the most qualified? Just grades? just interview? just a test score? just recommendations? just exerience? All of them miss some people who would make excellent nurses and all of them select some people who are totally unsuitable and/or incompetent nurses.
    A Nurse Someday and soxgirl2008 like this.
  6. 0
    My school uses a point system and I think it's very fair. The points are based on your GPA, how many of the pre-reqs have been completed already, TEAS exam score, work experience and an extra point for a license such as CNA etc. They pick the top 160 people each semester plus a few alternates and everyone else reapplies next semester. I like it because my TEAS score was lousy but my GPA was great so it really helped and according to my school, with my points I'm "golden". I should be hearing from my school about my application this week so we'll see how "golden" I really am....
  7. 0
    Saysfaa, you make a good point in schools having a variety of systems. I've known someone who is excellent with grades, tests...basically smart with books BUT, when it comes to the work industry, she panicked, got stressed, and had a different outlook in the real world versus school. She now works as a medical assistant. She said it's a lot calmer and easier. I've tried telling her that she could chose a different dept. rather than where she was (LND) rather than choosing a different profession. She insisted and I didnt argue.

    Christina, that actually sounds fair with the point system. I think that is called the multi-criteria??
  8. 0
    Quote from Derls
    I just submitted my nursing application and my school does the lottery system. I forgot how many times I've applied to this program... 3? 4? I don't know, but I know more than twice. I've read their statistics and mentioned that people that are applying for the 7th time are part of the selection pool. I just thought that was ridiculous and I would thought that by then those people would be frustrated by the 5th application. I know I sure as hell would and I know for a fact I would be depressed losing hope. I've also opted to apply for the LVN program also and then later on go to the LVN-RN program. I'm also looking into other careers in the health industry, which I hate to do because I've always wanted to become a nurse but I don't want to wait til i'm 40 to get into the program (im 27).

    I just want to be a Nurse already.

    I've heard somewhere in one of my classes (medical dosage class) told me that your name goes in twice the second time around and so on to better your chances on getting in, but if you skip an application process, you are back to just one name. I don't know if that is the case now though. I really think my name is just buried with the other 1100+ applicants that are either in there for the incentive, really have the passion, have or don't have what it takes in the job industry or whatever reason it may be.

    Counselors are not sure how it really works and the Nursing dept. always point me to their website. Next time, I will go to their seminars and explain that it is not explained on their website and to fill me in.

    I don't know if i'm just wasting my time. I really don't want to opt for private institutions and pay $50+ grand and start my nursing job in debt.

    Does anyone know how your lottery system works at your school? Did you see a counselor? Nursing seminars?
    Hey where are you? Sounds like ARC and Sac City in Sacramento... That's where I am applying and I completely understand your frustration! Lotteries are not fair!
  9. 0
    Quote from logank622
    The lottery system may have worked for the Hunger Games, but I think it's ineffective for nursing school. Nursing schools should select the most qualified applicants, period. Accepting students based on how long they've been patient enough to jump through your arbitrary hoops is kind of backward.

    Sorry I don't have an answer to your questions, but this needed to be said.
    Okay, so the university around here selects 26 people PER YEAR for their nursing program. It is merit based. I know people with 3.7 GPAs and tons of volunteer experience who did not get in. Their only choice is to go to one of the private schools that lets everyone in who meets a certain GPA/test requirement or one of the ADN programs that has a wait list system (oh no! the horror!). So are you saying that this person does not deserve to be a nurse? Or that those schools that don't do it on a merit system have crappy programs?

    I take offense to this, because merit based programs are always going to miss people who might make good nurses. Nursing schools are very competitive. I've heard of programs where you can't get in without a 4.0. Should the students with a 3.9 find a different career? I know a girl who went to college when she was 18, partied too much, failed some classes, went back to school when she was 24 and got straight As but still could not get into a merit based program because of her past history. Does she not deserve to get into a program?

    There needs to be programs that aren't completely merit based for the good students who don't get into a merit based program. I'm not saying nursing programs should let anyone in, but to say that someone with a 3.5 GPA who didn't get into a merit based program should have no other options is ridiculous. The programs around here that aren't merit based are still VERY rigorous once you are in clinicals. Many people fail out, and the number of people that graduate 2 years later is only a fraction of the number that started clinicals. So when all is said and done only the best of the best are left standing after 2 years. The private BSN programs that aren't merit based are just as hard as the BSN programs that are merit based. The merit based program around here actually has an easier grading scale than the non merit based programs. I think it's silly to say that all nursing programs should be strictly merit based, because you will miss out on a lot of potential good nurses. Honestly, some medical schools are easier to get into these days than nursing schools with the number of people going into nursing.

    I am sorry if my post came across strongly, but I am one of those students who messed up my grades right after high school because I wasn't seriously about school, but now I am serious about school and all my recent grades are great. I can't get into a merit based program because of my overall GPA (going back to when I first started college) To basically say that I shouldn't be able to get into a school then and try to prove a good nurse I can be is a slap in the face.
  10. 0
    Soxgirl, I see your point as well.

    As I have explained on a previous post that I knew someone with some great grades and couldnt handle the real deal and vice versa. I believe the multi-criteria system sounds fair to be qualified to apply. You get points based on GPA, degrees, low income, as many times as you applied..etc. as long as you meet at least a certain number of points, you are considered qualified to apply.
    Last edit by Derls on Oct 25, '12
  11. 0
    Quote from cjr2619
    Hey where are you? Sounds like ARC and Sac City in Sacramento... That's where I am applying and I completely understand your frustration! Lotteries are not fair!
    Yep! even if you turned in the Sac City App (multi-criteria) you get into a lottery based system. ARC is just lottery based... I just wished that it's true that your name gets put in more times each time you apply.

    Oh the frustration! So I also applied for SCC's LVN program too. I just want my foot in the door as a nurse. I've been a CNA for 3 years and I have a pretty good idea on handling the real deal. I did a pm shift and there were times where I had to work with 16 patients (before I complained to the union about short staffing) and 12 at the least. Sometimes double shift. So I basically..."got my hands dirty" in the health industry =) Good luck to you!!!


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