I am a second year student at Chamberlain Arlington. I have a mixed experience with a leaning toward the mediocre. Without trying to be angry about the fact that I pay out the nose for "world class nursing education" and don't feel that I am receiving one, is difficult. So please forgive the emotion behind what I have written. Objectivity may not be best at this point since I am dealing with yet another tear in the mirage. Without knowing me, you would think all i want to do is complain, but I really hope things change there for the better, as I do have a little less than a year left.
I sat through orientation and listened to Dr. Hughes, the President of Chamberlain Arlington, Va. talk about Chamberlain providing a "world class nursing education". Thus far, I am not impressed. It makes it hard to come to school and be positive, although I do try and I put my all effort into my education as reflected by my grades.
As many of these things may seem like minutiae, they add up, much like the nickle and diming of fees at Chamberlain. At $8000.00 + a semester, I find it to be unacceptable service/education that I am paying for. Every semester brings a new bout of frustrations ranging from poor communication with instructors and administration, as in waiting days for time sensitive replies, to some instructors being unfamiliar with teaching materials, or just plain incompetent. Why did I have to pay for a Chemistry class with a lab, when there was NO LAB?? And as a kudos to the students in the class, we the students taught ourselves the material, we certainly did not learn from the instructor as shown in the class evaluations. That is one positive about Chamberlain: the majority of students are highly motivated and passionate.
When I finally got to my nursing sequences, again incompetence was encountered with my Fundamentals lab instructor not being able to get through the required material and our class fell behind. Then our class was interrupted by a videographer wanting to film a commercial for Chamberlain. My first encounter in this situation was with the Dean of Admissions. When I was asked to leave the classroom, because of not wanting to participate in the video I calmly expressed frustration to him. His unprofessional reaction of, "Don't talk to me about it, Corporate told us we had to do it." and "If ..(I)..have a problem to put it in writing." was absolutely disrespectful and certainly not befitting of any Dean's salary I am paying for out of my tuition. This led me to one administrator, who heard me out about our class being behind and the frustration of my learning environment being interrupted to benefit the profit of Chamberlain/Devry. The situation was rectified thanks to her and to the instructor that came as a replacement.
Supplies in Fundamentals lab had been sparse, again, wondering where my money goes.. Sharps boxes full and not emptied so they don't work, not enough gloves or alcohol wipes, machines and beds that don't work...
I heard the reasons for the delay of my Fundamentals clinical experience, which should have been taken care of a month before hand as students were prepared with their paperwork, yet the facility and Chamberlain were not. We missed 2 of 7 clinical days because of the red tape problems. 3 weeks later, we were thankfully reassigned, but on that first day, we were there for 3.5 hours because our clinical instructor had to leave. These are not my problems. This is not what $8,000 pays for. This is not reflective of a "World Class Nursing Education." In fact it supports the unfortunate stereotype of profit driven higher education; charge as much as the government financial aide will allow, but not follow through on services.
Every semester I prepare by acquiring the books and supplies required in my syllabi, ending up paying for items that aren't used and difficult to return with a full refund thereby losing out on precious dollars. I would expect that teachers are prepared enough to let students know what is really used in class, BEFORE class starts, not just the carte blanche roll out of an "E-Learning Syllabus". Much money has been squandered on an "I clicker "($45), not to mention several books that were not returnable to the book store, or the electronic bookstore (approx. $350.00 including some still shrink wrapped).
These examples are just a small vignetting of what goes on. There is a pattern of disorganization, communication breakdowns and maybe even a poor vetting standard for some faculty.. I don't know for sure, but I do know, this is unacceptable for the high dollar education we as students are paying for. Many students share their feelings, which amount to similar frustrations. Some may voice it, others just vent to other students. I know I am not alone in these feelings about Chamberlain, but here you have one students experience.
I had the expectation of really wanting to be a person that promotes this school and be excited about my nursing education. My grades are excellent and I am a passionate, creative, smart person that really wants a World Class Nursing Education. I could not with any amount of integrity say I would recommend Chamberlain at this time to prospective students.
The curriculum is challenging and having to deal with these "problems" add to the stress of a rigorous program. There are a few great standouts at the school and hopefully there will be more as the school develops, but right now, in my opinion, the amount of money paid does not equate for the excellent standard that was promised.
I will keep you updated as things progress. I really do hope for a turn around.