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At least 2/3 of my BSN-A cohort is failing... what to do?

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by sertile sertile (New) New

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Moogie specializes in Gerontology, nursing education.

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I hear what you're saying but think that culling the herd should take place before students have invested time and money into a program. Student attrition rates should be no more than 5-10%. If 2/3 of a nursing class is flunking out in its last term, either there's a problem with the teaching or the admission standards are too low.

Again, not saying that nursing school should be a bed of roses but it's a waste of time and resources to recruit students into a program, get them through several terms, then flunk them out in the last term.

This sort of nonsense happens during times of a nursing shortage as well as during an oversupply. Like I have said before, not everyone who starts nursing school should necessarily become a nurse. But when you have such a large number of people failing, you have to look at program weaknesses, either in admission standards or in the quality of teaching. Somewhere, the school is dropping the ball.

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149 Posts; 3,168 Profile Views

I don't know what to tell you but if I was the teacher and 2/3 of my class was failing I would think it was me not the students

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Trilldayz,RN BSN specializes in Critical Care (ICU/CVICU).

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The thing about nurse tests is that the answers are as right as the instructors want them to be. Its nauseating when their answer is stupid.

Back when I was in basic police training we had an instructor who was always right in the scenario and the student was always wrong. You could've had a panel of attorneys, FBI, state ppolice, and who else ever and they would've been wrong.

Its usually up to the interpretation of the instructors little mind particularly in higher order questions.

....AND the United States secretary of defense LOL :lol2:

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Okay, finals were yesterday and the class is now officially over, so I just wanted to let you guys know how things turned out. I would have replied sooner, but I needed all the time I could get to study...

Basically, all attempts at talking to the teachers or administration by myself and others were fruitless, 2/3 of the class was still failing (or extremely borderline) going into the final, and (long story short) at least 9 of us didn't make it, myself included. That's about 1/3 of the total class (of 30). 1/2 or 2/3 would have failed, but the professor gave a pass to anyone who was within 1-2 pts. The nine of us were all about 10-11 pts away from a 75% test average.

Now, I'm not one to place blame or shirk responsibility, but when 1/3 of the class fails (and another 1/3 should have) the problem clearly lies with the instruction and not the students. That being said, does anyone have any ideas or input on what the 9 or 10 of us should do to make things right?

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245 Posts; 4,048 Profile Views

That really sucks. Does this mean you can still stay in the program or retake the class? If your prof will let you retake the class then I'd leave it at that, but if this means you can't continue nursing at this particular school then I'd bring it on!

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2,801 Posts; 13,411 Profile Views

OP, first off, I'm sorry to hear about what happened. It sounds terrible.

I do hope you all appeal this. If you calmly and professionally present an assessment of your shortfalls* and a plan to address it with measurable goals, then that might allow the school to justify giving you all another chance. As I noted to someone dismissed from a different program, your objective right now is to show you have what it take to succeed in nursing school. It may very well be that you would've passed if the instructor had or hadn't done something, but the point isn't whether or not the school or program is good enough, the point is will you/can you do what you need to do to become a nurse regardless of the quality of instruction your receive. They may point out that in the 'real world', no one is going to 'hold your hand', so you can't expect to 'be spoonfed'.

On the other hand, if the program has too many problems, it may be altogether better for your foundation in nursing to go through a different program. There's not much benefit to be had with a RN license if you feel otherwise unprepared. Many Nursing Jobs have an incredibly steep learning curve even for those with experience, much more so for totally new grads with just the very limited experience of a student.

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*In this case, the "shortfall" may be in regard to "honing critical thinking skills". Translation: learn test-taking strategies for nursing school NCLEX-style test questions and make NCLEX review questions part of your study plan for any given unit.

I'm guessing this may be where the main problem lies since I'm assuming you all have proven your academic abilities with high grades in your pre-reqs and probably your first bachelor's (or master's!) degree as well, as that's the average profile of A-BSN students. In my nursing school experience (a well-reputed hospital-affiliated university BSN program), too many times, the rationales for the 'best' answer weren't solidly supported by anything we were supposedly being tested on, nor did they test our retention of seemingly important info such as normal lab values, drug interactions, pathophys, etc. Heck, I did better by just skimming for studying. If I really dug into the materials, I would end up "reading too much into" the questions, making it that much more difficult to identify the 'best' answer. Some of the questions were written such that it seemed even a group of experts could debate over what exactly the "best" answer is.

But maybe your current dilemma is a totally different issue altogether?

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235 Posts; 3,824 Profile Views

Sorry to hear. I am all for teamwork but when it comes to nursing school the only thing you have control over is your own grade. I think losing 95% of the original class before graduation seems to be the norm.

Nursing school is tough. It sucks to see your friends fail but in the end they couldn't cut it and you don't want a nurse on the floor who couldn't cut it.

Keep your head up and keep doing what you have been doing, it is working.

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521 Posts; 6,532 Profile Views

Sorry to hear. I am all for teamwork but when it comes to nursing school the only thing you have control over is your own grade. I think losing 95% of the original class before graduation seems to be the norm.

Nursing school is tough. It sucks to see your friends fail but in the end they couldn't cut it and you don't want a nurse on the floor who couldn't cut it.

Keep your head up and keep doing what you have been doing, it is working.

Where did you get the idea that 95% of the original class being lost is the norm? Not saying youre wrong, as I have no idea what the attrition rate is, I would just like to look at what ever information you came across to come to such a conclusion.

Edited by Student4_life

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Moogie specializes in Gerontology, nursing education.

1 Article; 1,796 Posts; 22,386 Profile Views

Is this the first time so many students in the BSN-A cohort have failed? Is it a new instructor? Has anything changed since previous cohorts?

The educational literature suggests that schools have no more than a 5-10% attrition rate. A significantly higher percentage of attrition means there is a serious problem with either the admissions process, the teaching/learning approaches, or the way students are being evaluated. In other words, the school is either admitting students who will not pass (unlikely in an accelerated BSN program), not teaching them properly, or not evaluating them appropriately.

Another possibility is that the program has had a lower first-time pass rate for NCLEX and they're trying to "weed out" students they think might not pass the first time. The school should be spending its money on helping students prepare for the NCLEX---but then again, many schools are facing budget cuts and can't spend anything extra.

My best suggestion to you, sertile, is for all of you to appeal this. I honestly don't think it's you---I think there's something wrong with the system. I am sorry you are going through this and wish you the best.

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1,917 Posts; 15,293 Profile Views

Is this the first time so many students in the BSN-A cohort have failed? Is it a new instructor? Has anything changed since previous cohorts?

The educational literature suggests that schools have no more than a 5-10% attrition rate. A significantly higher percentage of attrition means there is a serious problem with either the admissions process, the teaching/learning approaches, or the way students are being evaluated. In other words, the school is either admitting students who will not pass (unlikely in an accelerated BSN program), not teaching them properly, or not evaluating them appropriately.

Another possibility is that the program has had a lower first-time pass rate for NCLEX and they're trying to "weed out" students they think might not pass the first time. The school should be spending its money on helping students prepare for the NCLEX---but then again, many schools are facing budget cuts and can't spend anything extra.

My best suggestion to you, sertile, is for all of you to appeal this. I honestly don't think it's you---I think there's something wrong with the system. I am sorry you are going through this and wish you the best.

We started with 30 first semester, we lost 10 of them. That's 1/3 of the class. Now, those 20 remaining students are down to 15. That's 1/4 of the class. From what I can see, that is pretty much the standard.

The above bolded statement is exactly what's going on at my school. They school is in danger of going under warning status with the BON if they don't get their NCLEX pass rates up. They have also completely revamped the admissions procedure in the hopes that they will begin admitting more successful students.

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235 Posts; 3,824 Profile Views

Where did you get the idea that 95% of the original class being lost is the norm? Not saying youre wrong, as I have no idea what the attrition rate is, I would just like to look at what ever information you came across to come to such a conclusion.

I am a nursing student, that is where I get my information. First MOD we went from 30 original class members to less then half. Next MOD half of that is failing.

Also if you read my original post I said "I think..... seems..." Hence I was basing off of what I have seen not statistics.

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521 Posts; 6,532 Profile Views

I am a nursing student, that is where I get my information. First MOD we went from 30 original class members to less then half. Next MOD half of that is failing.

Also if you read my original post I said "I think..... seems..." Hence I was basing off of what I have seen not statistics.

I read your original post, and thats why I asked why you had that IDEA . I wasn't questioning your stats or if you had them, just wanted to know how you came across that thought. Its ok for your ideas to be a reflection of your experience, I was just wanting to know if there was more to it than that as 95% attrition seems pretty intense.

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