Are we preparing our students for the real world, or just to pass the NCLEX exam?

Specialties Educators


  • Specializes in surgical, neuro, education.

I am curious does anyone who is an educator of nursing feel that we are preparing our nursing students to be effective nurses, or just to be able to pass the NCLEX exams?


5 Posts

I'm not a classroom instructor, just a clinical one for an ADN program. And I do my darndest to get the 'kids' ready for the real world in the short time I have them. I think it depends on the program you go to. Certainly the boards are important, but I have seen a decrease in the amount of clinical time spent over the years, at least in the schools around here, and I'd much rather see more. I think two 10 or 12 hr clinicals a week should be minimum. Or, do all your clinical time the last year, 3 days a week. The program I teach in has been pretty flexible about times..they've done some evening clinicals, weekend, etc. to help accomadate working students.

In this area, there are 2 BSN programs, and 2 ADN programs. I have nurses at each hospital where I work tell me that the ADN students are generally superior clinically when they graduate and start working. I don't know why that would be, unless the BSN schools put an emphasis on 'management' which hardly anyone is going to do right out of nursing school.


39 Posts

I am an instructor for both classroom content and clinical application. As a realist, I definitely prepare students to pass NCLEX (otherwise the nursing shortage would be much more acute!). As a professional nurse, I definitely attempt to provide clincial experiences that will prepare them to work in the "real world." Am I always successful? No. Does that keep me from continually trying to achieve these goals? No.


32 Posts

Im not an instructor, but i just graduated in 6/02 from an ADN program. Just found out yesterday that i am now licensed. I have also heard that many of the BSN schools do not put the emphasis on clinicals. My school had us do clinicals 2 days/wk for approx. 10 hours. Our last month in school we were required to work 7 12hr shifts with an assigned nurse.

Overall, i believe my school spent MOST of their time preparing us to be R.N.'s Of course, they give you the classroom lectures to help reinforce our knowledge, but actual clinical perforamance was was what impressed them. Christel


137 Posts

BSN schools put as much emphasis into clinicals as ADN programs. Please do not be mistaken. For each 7 week specialty clinical rotation we had 16+hours of clinical, not to mention our Leadership clinical in a specialty area of our choice, we had to complete 224 clincal hours with a RN. I just completed a 13 month Accelerated BSN program last week and I had to complete the same clinical and class requirements as a student who takes the 2 year route.

Every exam was formatted with NCLEX type questions. Being a BSN program theory was stressed as well as clinical.


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

Just to pass the test (and isn't that how YOU, as educators are evaluated? by how many of your students passed YOUR part of the test?)

If students were being prepared for the real world, they would be taught assertiveness, union organization, political activism, their legal labor rights, etc.


137 Posts

I agree with you sjoe. There is one instructor at my school who makes sure we learn about political activist, that is her soap box but she also a good example. She runs for legislative office and arranges trips to the state capital for students interested in being politically active.

During my community nursing class, for the annual political trip, the whole class went to Washington DC. Each individual student went to a senator/rep etc. and tried to sell the Nurse Reinvestment Act. I am happy to say it has been passed!!!

I forgot to add, during out Leadership class we had someone from a union come and talk to the class about unionization.


78 Posts

I teach an issues course to seniors during their last semester. It is a non clinical course that covers topics such as: Professional organizations, political activism, bioethical issues, educational degrees in nursing, resumes, interviewing skills, credentials in nursing, legal issues in practice, team work, Covey's 7 Habits, and a smathering of nursing history. As far as I know, this type of content is required in order to be accredited.

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