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CLC student 1st semester...any advice

Illinois   (4,270 Views 28 Comments)
by clcstudent22307 clcstudent22307 (Member) Member

1,804 Profile Views; 107 Posts

Any advice for someone who's starting the nursing program in August. Also, I still need Microbiology. Any suggestions for professors? Thanks

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168 Posts; 2,823 Profile Views

If Dr. Hinkley is still teaching go with him, if not Dr. Elizabeth might be teaching she also teaches A&P. Good luck, I havent taken a class there every since 2005.

Maxs

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5 Posts; 571 Profile Views

Run not walk is my advice. As a second semester student in the program I can say that after attending classes at a few colleges CLC is, without a doubt, the worst college program I've ever been in. There is no lecture, only case studies in groups in class. Several of my classmates have yet to perform simple ambulation or med administration tasks. The worst part is the performance exam, an hour-long practical at the end of every semester that will fail you for 1 mistake (like a 1 inch gap in the curtain) regardless of your grades. Regardless of what the faculty say at the orientation meeting, it is a disaster. Of the 60 second semester students, about 30% failed and have to repeat in large part because of the PE. Some faculty members are great, others don't like to help students and even seem to enjoy failing them on the PE. At least 1 student in another section had to sue them last semester over grading problems with at least the practical. The program is way too practical-centered because the final and only practical can fail you single handedly. Everyone focuses on the practical skills and neglects reading and so forth, and the group discussions are of little use because of it. The NCLEX pass rate for CLC is now in the low 80's as well, whereas Harper and other ADN programs in the Chicago area are high 90's. Notice CLC doesn't post their NCLEX pass rates anywhere like most other programs do. This should have tipped me off.

Personally, if I had it to do over again, I'd look very strongly at another program. If you must stay at CLC, READ READ READ. Hook up with a CNA, EMT, LPN, someone in your class to help b/c there is no time in the curriculum for the instructor to, well, instruct. We were fortunate to have a few in our class sections between day and night. Practice early for the PE (like week 1 or 2) and keep it up, and you'll do fine. Most of the first semester PE failures just didn't practice alot.

Sorry to rain on the parade but while I'm excited about nursing I dread going back to CLC for 3 more semesters. Other students were having anxiety attacks and it seems to be a common but true joke about using Valuim before finals. STAY CALM and start early, and find a knowledgeable friend. The one thing I noticed was that most upper semester students realize what a failure the program is and are usually willing to coach you, help you out, answer questions, etc. Don't be afraid to ask one in the lab or hallway. Good luck. If you see someone leaving in a straightjacket around finals say "hi" b/c it's probably one of us 172 second sem. students. Good Luck (as odd as that sounds after my post)!

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CLC172 has 2 years experience and specializes in Pediatrics.

141 Posts; 3,887 Profile Views

I agree with everything in the post above. I am also a second semester student at CLC and I only continue to go there because currently I have no choice. No other college in the area offers an all-evening program, and I am a full-time working mother.

This program was such a let-down. CLC had a wonderful program--years ago. The reputation is getting worse and worse. I suggest you do some research on this program and decide if you really want to begin your nursing career at CLC.

Complaints have been made to the Board of Trustees, and there are some changes that are supposed to be happening, but they will not be implemented as early as next Fall. I don't anticipate them occuring while I am still at CLC (provided I pass that practical exam each semester and actually graduate when I'm supposed to!)

If you have never worked in healthcare, you will be at even more of a disadvantage, since you are expected to learn pretty much everything on your own, because there is no lecture, and very little practical instruction. I learned most of what I know from the healthcare workers that were in my class.

When you know that this one test can mean the difference between going on to the next semester or having to wait an entire year just to repeat the term, it provokes an incredible amount of undue distress. That test is a joke anyway. Make sure you remember to put soap on the wash cloth or turn the stethoscope the right way or you will fail if you have one of the sadistic evaluators who take joy in the disappointment of their students.

On a more positive note, I also agree that there is an incredible amount of comradery amongst the students of all levels in this program. I had some saints in higher levels who helped me get along through school. I don't know what I would have done without some of them. Also, my class is extremely close-knit and we all help and look out for one another, which has helped us all survive the first semester.

Get into a study group as fast as you can. I have no idea how anyone can pass the nursing program if they do not have a study group. There is just too much to read, and also the material is so vague that you need the forum of a group for discussions about the content.

I hate to be so negative, I really do. It's just that when I received my letter that I was accepted, I was so ecstatic. I heard so many good things about CLC's reputation (in the past!) and I came into the program with very high expectations and they were dashed by the reality of it. It was a big let-down and I don't want the same thing to happen to someone else. So if you choose to continue in this program, then at least you're more informed than my classmates and I were. If not, then at least I helped you avoid the same problems we've had.

Please, please, please do your own research on this!!! Just do a simple Google search on the Net and you will find out what we're talking about. Also, CLC has to disclose their NCLEX pass rates if you ask, so go ahead and check into it. There's a reason it's not posted on their website. 80% was the last pass rate. When it gets to 75%, the NLN accreditation will be in jeopardy.

Feel free to ask me anything else about it. I'll answer any questions you have specifically.

Good luck!

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107 Posts; 1,804 Profile Views

Thanks for the 2 detailed responses. I was actually supposed to be with you guys (starting this past January) but needed to postpone the start until August. Another program is not really an option. Do you think other programs would be just as stressful? I can't believe this program relies only on NLN results (math, science and reading/vocab.) but fails you because of direct patient related tasks. It doesn't make sense. You'd also think the department would change itself to improve NCLEX pass rates instead of being forced by the CLC board. This is all deja vu to me as the teacher education program I went through at a UW school had many problems including law suits!! So basically I need to dismiss all other things in my life to be successful in the program. If you guys could do your first semester over what would you change? I'm going to ask many questions including the pass rate at the orientation. Any specific people to avoid? I'm also going to get into study groups with people already in the healthcare field.

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CLC172 has 2 years experience and specializes in Pediatrics.

141 Posts; 3,887 Profile Views

At orientation, you can go ahead and ask the NCLEX pass rate, but they probably won't give you the PE pass rate (the practical exam). My classmate had to do some digging for that. The lab assistants are wonderful. I have nothing but great things to say about them. They were a huge asset to my practical learning and they were great about being available and patient whenever you ask for help. Also, there have been multiple times they even stayed late to help me. Most of the faculty that I have run across have been pretty good. I don't want to name specific names on this site... If you look up on the Internet, there is one particular person who has a dissertation [ublished about how great learning without lecture is, and I would think she should be avoided. I get the impression from her that she actually enjoys that power that she has to fail students... The first semester teachers that I know really do seem to want to help you succeed. They dislike the PE as much as we students do. The problem is that the program is set up a certain way and they can't really teach us.

These few things are best advice I can give a new student: Begin reading as soon as you get the texts, and question any discrepancies between the texts and the modules. Also, GET INTO A STUDY GROUP ASAP. That saved me. I don't know how it's possible for anyone to do it solo. And get into the lab to practice the rote memorization you are required to know for the PE as often as possible. It's a game that you have to play, so just practice the scenarios over and over again as much as possible, until it becomes something you don't even think about. (I'll admit, toward the end I pretty much purposely failed a written test because it came down to me only having time to study for the PE or for that test, and I knew I could make it up in the final, whereas the PE meant the difference between me going on to 172 or staying behind!) Also, ask lots and lots of questions. I don't think I questioned enough early on. I got more confident as time went on, but it would be better to start early.

I will help you if you need it! As I said, the students in the higher levels are usually more than willing to help anyone behind them, because we know how it is! Good luck!

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32 Posts; 772 Profile Views

Hello,

I just took the NLN for CLC and could use some help understanding my scores...this info about CLC has me worried..I have heard it called "the college of last chance"...I am hoping to get into the nursing program in January...any info is appreciated

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1,194 Posts; 5,923 Profile Views

I have been going to CLC for the past 3 years. I have not started the Nursing portion yet...just finished up my pre-req's in the spring. I just took the NLN test this past Tuesday (for the 3rd time) and am hoping I did well enough to get in.

I have heard it is a hard program, but I wouldn't expect anything less. I have seen bad reviews about specific teachers, but heard others are good. I have a full-time job as well as a 21 month old daughter, so this IS my only option. I know someone who went through the program and her advice is NO MATTER WHAT, don't miss any classes and study, study, study. She graduated a year ago from the program. Micro, I took it at night and I had Manish Parkeh (not sure on spelling of last name). He is hard to understand (language wise) in the beginning, but I did really well with him.

As far as the scores for the pre-entrance exam. I got mine today and got a composite score of 124 at 85% and I am hoping that will be good enough for the Spring. I know someone last semester in my Micro class got in with 88%, so I am not taking it again in fear I will end up with a lower score.

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107 Posts; 1,804 Profile Views

I got in with an 89. So your chances are good Imm1019. I've heard Pareskh (sp??) is good but I may have a hard time with the accent. Hear anything else about Micro professors? I know the program will be tough. I also have a baby so it'll be extra crazy. I'm ready for the challenge I just like to be on my toes! So advice has been good from my original posting. klf73241 we used to call CLC the College of Last Chance back in 1990 when I graduated high school!!!! The truth is that it's one of the best community colleges in the nation. I just hope the nursing program is respected as well. I'm not in the health field so I don't have access to opinions as much. What kind of help do you need in interpreting the scores? Look at the AD Composite Percentile Score.

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