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Anyone else had this experience... is the BSN program better

My hubby and I are attending an LVN program together, this is the last couple weeks of our first semester - 2 more to go. We are both experiencing so much frustration that we have at many times considered dropping out. Not due to grades as we are both at the top of our class as far as that goes, but due to the instructors. We have a few instructors all of which are completely disorganized, don't communicate with each other, catty, and there seems to be no accountability. We spend day after day literally wasting time by waiting on instructors to arrive (often more then 15 minutes late to class), then waiting for them to figure out what we are doing today, then once one of them figures out what we are doing the other one comes along and gets on to someone for doing it that way and then we have to waste some more time for the instructors to tell us how we all never listen, are never organized, and need to do better. One instructor on occassion looses her temper and berates the students in front of each other telling them things like 'you are going to be a horrible nurse', 'if it were up to me i would kick you out'. OH and then there is the testing. We have never tested when we were supposed to, things are always changed at the last minute, and when you get the test there is a high likelihood that you will look on the bottom and see it is a test from 1997 and does not have any information from your current materials. ALL the materials are old. We paid for a syllabus that I swear is dated on most worksheets, study guides, and notes.. before 2001. It is insane the amount of chaos we have to deal with on a daily basis, simply because the instructors have no idea what they are doing, or what day it is for that matter. And if that is not enough most of them have the attitude that LVN school is just hard and we are just not coping well if we complain .. we need to be more flexible they say..

I am just wondering is this the norm for LVN schools. I mean I could kinda see why, as the pay is not lucrative in teaching therefore you are not likely to get a lot of stellar instructors. BUT does it get better in the BSN program.

PeepnBiscuitsRN

Specializes in OB (with a history of cardiac).

Heh...do you go to my school? I swear those words have come out of my instructors mouth on more than a few occasions in some form or another...berating us and demeaning us. My school is just bad...the instructors are ok, but the administration sucks, the clinicals suck in that it seems that for all 3 clinicals we go to the same places: nursing homes, and for our peeds clinical we go to a day care. Maybe 2 or 3 groups get to go to a hospital for a rotation but that's pretty much a game o chance. Not much for variety.. I don't think all programs are that icky, but it certainly seems to be the case for our schools isn't it?

Find a way to file a complaint, see if any of the other students are sick of it and do something about it. It's what I should do, because if they tell us we're going to be crappy nurses they're creating a self-fullfilling prophesy by telling us that.

This sounds exactly like my school...I'm in the LPN program and my clinical instructor sucks, gives you absolutely NO encouragement whatsoever, the woman who taught us Fundamentals and Dosage is on another clinical group and the woman who is with us now is EVIL. She is condescending, refuses to answer questions, and is downright rude. *sigh* I would drop, but the folks at my school would probably put me with the same *****. No decent clinical sites, unless you count nursing homes, a woman who is still on staff who cheated her son through the program, the list goes on. None of the people I complain to (including the dean) seem to give a **** though.

I also notice by talking to some of the people who were in this program prior to me say that many of the instructors change, so obviously they can't keep anyone quality.

I'm just counting down the days til Clinical one is over. 11 days to go... *sigh*

I dread going to Clinicals every day, it's that bad.

hehe...strandysmommy....can't be your school HAS to be the one i went to!!! I went through the LPN program last year and it was the worst year of my life!!! Not course wise but the instructors. We had one that was a true teacher and one that i'm not really sure what she was...other than a drama queen.....but it wasn't a teacher! She knew her stuff but she couldn't teach it for the life of her...she said she left the hospital and all that money to teach but we suspect she was let go. They had tension between them and it was basically a control issue .... there was major favoritism shown and it was so blatenly obvious. I am now in an ADN program and chose to go straight through the entire program and one of my LPN instructors told me i was dumb for repeating the first half of the program...i was so glad to get to the end of the program...now i have wonderful instructors and i hate to see the semester end!

I don't really have much advice .... i am the type of person that holds things in and just eventually lets it go .... i would just deal with it from 7-3 everyday and go home and have a glass of wine and a long hot bath!

It will be worth it in the end....but don't change yourself to fit into their ways...go and get your work done and just grin and bear it...i wouldn't complain until the end of the program. Just my opinion...i would not want to be the center of their amusement for the rest of my time in the program. There was issues where a student complained about one of our instructors and she made comments the rest of the year that we knew was meant for the student that acutally complained.

Good Luck!!

This is all to familar. An no it doesn't necerssarly get better in the RN program. At least ours didn't. Midway through our LPN year we found out out school was on accidemic probation, and had been since 2000. The reason low board pass rate. They fixed that in 2005 they failed almost half the class. Aparently fed up half the instructors left for what ever reason. After scrambling to find instructors for the fall 2005 semester it began only to finish with a full third less that they started with. The ADN course equally lacking in instructors failed almost half of the class. I couldn't believe they could keep any kind of reputation with this quality of teaching. So I called the state board of nursing, the people who originally place them on probation. Funny thing, there rating is based on the number of people who pass the board not the number who start or graduate from the class. In other words the can graduate the top one percent of the class, allow them to go on to boards, and they end up with a 100% pass rate. And what happens to the other 99% of the class. Too bad they are out of luck. a year later and a few thousand poorer they might get to try again if they haven't upset anyone on the selection board. This appears to be all to common and it doesnt look like our state boards are willing to anything about it. I would imagine that the majority of us keep quiet and just dont say anything for fear of ramifications in the hopes that we will get that slim chance of making it thru next year.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Has 14 years experience. Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

My comment might anger a few souls, and I apologize in advance.

There's an excellent reason why someone would take an $8 to $10 per hour pay cut to teach nursing. Either they truly love teaching, are physically handicapped, or were incompetent hospital employees. One of my instructors was being paid $45 hourly as an RN at a Southern California hospital, and she now earns $29 as a clinical instructor. She divulged that she had been fired from every hospital job she ever held. Two of my instructors were handicapped, with one being wheelchair-bound due to post-polio.

One of my instructors quietly admitted that he was an incompetent hospital nurse but has found his niche as an instructor. Another instructor had three children under the age of 18 and needed the steady daytime hours so she could be at home with her family during the evenings. The female instructors were catty and gossipy, and much of the trash-talk reached the ears of the students. I was dissatisfied with my experience in LVN school. There are, however, varying reasons for the bad attitudes of instructors.

pedinurse05

Specializes in Peds stepdown ICU.

My comment might anger a few souls, and I apologize in advance.

There's an excellent reason why someone would take an $8 to $10 per hour pay cut to teach nursing. Either they truly love teaching, are physically handicapped, or were incompetent hospital employees. One of my instructors was being paid $45 hourly as an RN at a Southern California hospital, and she now earns $29 as a clinical instructor. She divulged that she had been fired from every hospital job she ever held. Two of my instructors were handicapped, with one being wheelchair-bound due to post-polio.

One of my instructors quietly admitted that he was an incompetent hospital nurse but has found his niche as an instructor. Another instructor had three children under the age of 18 and needed the steady daytime hours so she could be at home with her family during the evenings. The female instructors were catty and gossipy, and much of the trash-talk reached the ears of the students. I was dissatisfied with my experience in LVN school. There are, however, varying reasons for the bad attitudes of instructors.

WoW!!! You are right...this post is so disturbing that it leaves me speechless.

nursejohio, ASN, RN

Has 8 years experience. Specializes in NA, Stepdown, L&D, Trauma ICU, ER.

I don't think that it's a unique LVN school phenomenon. I'm an RN and it seemed like the teachers I had were either the old school "eat their young" type nurses, or the blithering idiot type. The few I had who didn't fit either profile had all gone back to the hospital by the time I graduated. The worst one had complaints written to the hospital about her. The patients son wrote that the student taking care of his mother had been wonderful, but the instructor was a mean spirited nasty old woman who shouldn't be allowed near anyone in need of kindness and compassion.

As hard as it is to do the care plans, meds, patho pages, for clinicals and studying in for class, some teachers still think they need to make it harder by calling students immature and telling them that they won't make it on the floor, even if the manage to graduate. Go figure!

I just made my mantra "I'm not going to let that ***** make me cry!" and concentrated on ignoring them. As long as your grades are good, and you don't make dangerous or blatently neglectful clinical mistakes you're gonna get through it. Good luck

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Has 14 years experience. Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

I just made my mantra "I'm not going to let that ***** make me cry!" and concentrated on ignoring them. As long as your grades are good, and you don't make dangerous or blatently neglectful clinical mistakes you're gonna get through it. Good luck
This is excellent advice.

My comment might anger a few souls, and I apologize in advance.

There's an excellent reason why someone would take an $8 to $10 per hour pay cut to teach nursing. Either they truly love teaching, are physically handicapped, or were incompetent hospital employees. One of my instructors was being paid $45 hourly as an RN at a Southern California hospital, and she now earns $29 as a clinical instructor. She divulged that she had been fired from every hospital job she ever held. Two of my instructors were handicapped, with one being wheelchair-bound due to post-polio.

One of my instructors quietly admitted that he was an incompetent hospital nurse but has found his niche as an instructor. Another instructor had three children under the age of 18 and needed the steady daytime hours so she could be at home with her family during the evenings. The female instructors were catty and gossipy, and much of the trash-talk reached the ears of the students. I was dissatisfied with my experience in LVN school. There are, however, varying reasons for the bad attitudes of instructors.

Reading this was like listening to someone who had been eavesdropping on my previous conversations about school. I swear you said almost exactly the way I did. AMEN! I still have 8 months to go, (graduate in Aug. 06) and I dread every minute of it really, but I will not allow them to make me quit. However, I must admit if we had not already invested so much time and money into this both of us would have made the decision to just go for our BSN. If I were ever to be asked if it were worth it to go straight for the LVN/LPN and work your way thru the rest I would say "NO!, unless you only want to be an LPN then don't go thru the program it is way to frustrating and if you are not able to self teach you will not make it." I say that last part because we have seen so many be lost just because of the incomptent teaching ability of our instructors.

This is all to familar. An no it doesn't necerssarly get better in the RN program. At least ours didn't. Midway through our LPN year we found out out school was on accidemic probation, and had been since 2000. The reason low board pass rate. They fixed that in 2005 they failed almost half the class. Aparently fed up half the instructors left for what ever reason. After scrambling to find instructors for the fall 2005 semester it began only to finish with a full third less that they started with. The ADN course equally lacking in instructors failed almost half of the class. I couldn't believe they could keep any kind of reputation with this quality of teaching. So I called the state board of nursing, the people who originally place them on probation. Funny thing, there rating is based on the number of people who pass the board not the number who start or graduate from the class. In other words the can graduate the top one percent of the class, allow them to go on to boards, and they end up with a 100% pass rate. And what happens to the other 99% of the class. Too bad they are out of luck. a year later and a few thousand poorer they might get to try again if they haven't upset anyone on the selection board. This appears to be all to common and it doesnt look like our state boards are willing to anything about it. I would imagine that the majority of us keep quiet and just dont say anything for fear of ramifications in the hopes that we will get that slim chance of making it thru next year.

This is the case with our school. On avg 35 students start and only around 15 graduate. They use a practice board to eliminate students at the very end. They have what they refer to as a clinical U and once the practice boards have been taken they start handing out clinical U's - deserved or undeserved - to those who do not fair well on the practice exam. They don't come right out and say this though, this is information I have gotten from previous graduating class members. I am not concerned as I am fortunate enough to test fairly well. However, it angers me because there are people in our class that I know in the end will not make it because they either do not have the previous educational background, or they are unable to self teach. In the end that is what it boils down to at our school. It is a self taught program with the assistance of instructors who will most likely misinform you (though their misinformation usually makes it's way to the test). Graduation cannot be soon enough :)

Can the education departments in our state boards of nursing really be so dumb as to let this continue. Or is it they just dont care. This seams so easy to fix. If the state boards evaluated the schools on the number of students who completed the course, start thru passing boards rather than just the minority who were allowed to take the boards and passed then the schools would have to improve their teaching. There would be a lot more qualified nurses and a lot less inadequate instructors.

Simba&NalasMom, LPN

Has 14 years experience.

Yup, sounds like the same crap that went on in my program, although thankfully all but one of my instructors were competent; still, the cattiness, organization, last minute schedule changes, etc. were horrendous. I was put on clinical probation early into the program by an instructor with whom I had a personality clash; ostensibly the probation was for my performance, but in reality the b**** did it because I stood up to her for inappropriately mentioning that she was concerned about me and knew that I had a new boyfriend and was wondering if that was getting in the way. It was only after I tried to call her on bringing my personal life into it that I was written up.

It seems like the old motto stands true..."Those who can't do, teach." Unfortunately, sometimes the teaching and other BS leaves a lot to be desired as well.

You two have already put so much into your futures by going through this program; just grit your teeth and hang on, it does go super fast, and it also will help you to prepare for the real world...I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are just as many nurses in the real world who are clueless and catty.

This is horrible! I feel so bad for you guys going through this. Although, I must admit, it makes me feel less alone in my problems with my crummy school (see my post regarding this).

Does anyone have any suggestions to whom to report this to, or anything like that, if the dean doesn't give a ****? The State? The National League of Nursing? Your state nursing union?

Any suggestions guys? I mean, NO ONE should have to go through this nonsense. We paid for (through the nose some of us) and at great personal sacrifice to become COMPETENT and COMPASSIONATE nurses. If we have such morons teaching us, however are we going to make it? I'm all for petitions, letter writing campaigns, things to bring this situation to public light.

Faeriewand, ASN, RN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in med/surg/tele/neuro/rehab/corrections.

Would it be possible for you to finish this semester and then go to another school? Your experience in school sounds just awful! And so many others have posted the same way about their school. Yikes! Hope this is not what's in store for all of us pre-nursing students! :uhoh21:

These questons arise.... Are they actually teaching you anything? Are you learning? Would you learn more if you went someplace else?

I'm so glad I'm not in your situation! I look forward to reading more of your posts and what you have decided to do. :)

I won't start my LVN program until August '06. The two instructors I have dealt with so far have been wonderful and so is the head of the school. Hoping the LVN program is just more of the same. :)

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Has 14 years experience. Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

These questons arise.... Are they actually teaching you anything? Are you learning? Would you learn more if you went someplace else?
One of my instructors, a wheelchair-bound elderly lady afflicted with post-polio, was a wonderful theory teacher. Her lectures were so informative and thorough.

However, the vast majority of the theory (classroom) portion of the program was self-taught. In order to have made it successfully through my LVN school, the students had to have been excellent readers and decent self-teachers. If you are unable to teach certain concepts to one's self, you'll be in trouble.

Unfortunately, I am wholly unqualified to teach certain things to myself because of the lack of experience. I did learn a wealth of new knowledge while in LVN school; however, I taught myself much of the time. I do not know if I would learn more had I attended some other school.

[quote name=:

These questons arise.... Are they actually teaching you anything? Are you learning? Would you learn more if you went someplace else?

[/quote]

question 1

They do teach us some things, yes. We have one classroom instructor, who unfortunately has been out a lot due to illness, who seems to enjoy teaching, is very organized and would bend over backwards to help students. She is always making herself available to those students who are struggling in her classes and even helps with some of the stuff from classes that she is not teaching currently. She has also been very ill and I believe that is why she is teaching now, though I don't know this for sure. We also have a clinical instructor who for all her faults (she is a complete mess, literally, very unkempt) she is very hands on and though she does not always follow proper procedure on her part she is very good at finding learning experiences for her students in the clinical setting.

question 2

My hubby has a BS in psych and has taken many of the science pre req's for the BSN program so he had a pretty good base knowledge going into the program. I have him for a tutor, so I am blessed. But yes essentially we are learning. More from our own attempts though than classroom instruction. Here is an example : in the beginning of the semester we had 3 weeks (approx 10 hours of class lecture and 40 hours of clinical time in the lab)of lecture over positioning patients, baths, oral care, and ADL's that was 2 chapters in our text- in the end of the semester when we had some 5 chapters to go over regarding oxygenation and airway management we had 2 hours lecture and 30 minutes in the lab with her showing us an oral airway and she also through in some IV stuff since we had spent no time on that. For the most part on the oxygen and airway stuff she just said "you will learn this on the job". i think I would rather chance learning to give a bath than learning how to suction or prevent aspiration etc. The test was difficult for most people and the avg score of the class was like a 70. Our patients may die if they have a need for oxygen or aspirate but we are bath giving fools.. :)

question 3

I thought perhaps until I posted this :)

I think perhaps the difficult thing about LVN school is not so much that it is an amazingly large amount of information in a short time but that you have that and also have to overcome the situation of incompetent nursing instructors.

We are definetly not dropping out though :) .. been to far at this point..

luv4nursing

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, Peds, LDRP.

Im gonna tell you the same thing my older sis told me when I was in school and used to vent about my school/teachers. Youd better get used to it bc its only a taste of what u are gonna be putting up with as a nurse from patients, their families, doctors, and other nurses. :chuckle

Seriously though, I say bite the bullet and get through it. The person who said that before was right. You will "get through it" and move on to bigger and better things.

All things being said, I think that becoming an LPN is a valuable life experience. I believe that as an LPN you build a strong clinical/bedside foundation that they dont teach you in the BSN programs. I believe we literally had more clinical hours in 1 year of LPN school than they do in 4 years in the BSN program. I have nothing against BSNs. I am working on my RN right now and will eventually get my BSN/MSN.

But I am thankful that I had this experience to feel comfortable with my abilities and skills. It seems to me LPN school gives u a crash course in theory with an emphasis on CLINICAL while RN/BSN is a crash course in clinical with an EMPHASIS on theory. Many older nurses will tell you that LPNs often make some of the best RNs out there. Just wanted to say that! Im proud to be an LPN and I would do it all over again 100 times. My only regret is I didnt do it straight out of high school and by now Id probably be an NP or something ;)

Just thought I would share the latest fiasco from our school. First of all the reason the hubby and I took this particular program is because it had 6 45 am - 3 pm hours and that meant that our 11 and 9 year old would not need to go to daycare for us to attent together. There were other programs that got much later release times and earlier clinicals. We moved to be close to the school and clinical and sites (and get in district tuition) to ease our stress during the year as well, by cutting travel time. Yesterday morning our Director comes into class and informs us that since she waited until the last minute (last week) to secure our clinical spots for next semester we will be having to travel 30-60 miles to clinical sites and be doing them from 12 in the afternoon till 9. This may be the straw that broke the camels back for us.. for one of us anyway.. We are now scrambling for a way to make this happen for us. I am so angry.

Simba&NalasMom, LPN

Has 14 years experience.

Daw, I'm so sorry that you both have to go through this; you would think that after the trouble you went to to make things a bit easier that the school would make efforts to meet you halfway.

All I can do at this point is offer you encouragement and tell you to hang in there. Based on my personal experience and other comments I've read on this board, this kind of stuff exists in every LPN/LVN program out there, so I would be very cautious when deciding whether to change programs after all the effort you've put into this one. When I was in my program, so many students got screwed over in one way or another and tried so hard to fight the system, but as long as the district kept raking in the tuition, that's all they cared about.

I hope you can at least take comfort in the fact that we've all been there and so many of us did make it through despite every effort the idiots in these programs made to break us. Cheesy as it sounds, "where there's a will, there's a way" and I have faith that you will get through this.

:flowersfo

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