Everest Nursing school issues

U.S.A. Florida

Published

higher cost for higher learning

by kris hundley, times staff writer

published friday, july 3, 2009

their ads promise a fast path to a high-paying future. come to our school — everest, keiser, or itt technical — and we'll train you for america's hottest jobs, whether your interests are air-conditioning repair, accounting or medical assistant.

the recession has been good for proprietary schools, for-profit postsecondary institutions that are seeing their enrollments spike as people look for second chances in a lifeless job market. while public universities are in a holding pattern with tighter budgets and bigger classes, the for-profit sector is spending lavishly on new branches and sophisticated marketing.

log onto everest university's web site and you don't get a catalog. you get a live chat with a sales rep. in just minutes, you too can become a student.

these schools say they provide critical job training without taxpayer subsidies, but there's a catch. they survive on a firehose of billions in federal and state student grants and loans, funneled through enrollees who need only be willing to sign now, pay later.

nimble at adjusting to the job market, schools that once scheduled classes in massage therapy and pastry arts are moving up the academic food chain to high-demand fields like nursing. florida, anxious to encourage such startups, last week relaxed the state board of nursing's oversight of new programs. now if benchmarks are met, a program is automatically approved, no site visit required.

meanwhile, the state agency that licenses all private postsecondary schools is coping with a 55 percent increase in new programs this year. whether an institution is training truck drivers, bartenders or trauma nurses, the state's paperwork is the same.

everest, formerly known as florida metropolitan university, is one of a number of for-profit schools getting into the nursing education business. on everest's brandon campus, students are put on the fast-track from novice to registered nurse in an intense, 21-month curriculum. similar associates programs at community colleges take two years.

but speed and access to an rn degree do not come cheap. everest's program costs about four times as much as programs at public institutions. some everest nursing students wonder if they are getting their money's worth.

they say instruction is poor and hands-on time with patients in clinical settings is limited.

they've found it impossible to transfer credits earned at everest to other nursing schools.

and the first class of everest graduates stumbled when it came to passing the nationwide licensing exam, the key to qualifying for an rn job.

of 14 graduates in the first class to take the test, 57 percent passed on the first try. the next group of four graduates all failed. statewide, about 87 percent of all nursing graduates pass the board on the first try.

everest officials say it's common for first classes at any school to do poorly on the test. the school said it has improved its curriculum and better results should follow. though five of the 18 students who graduated in october have yet to pass the boards, everest says all have jobs.

landing work is important because students at for-profit schools graduate with heftier debts than students at other schools. meanwhile, default rates by students at these schools have been twice the rate by students at public colleges and universities.

• • •

here's why you can sell a $40,000 associates in nursing program when there's a $10,000 program in the same market: the less expensive programs, at public schools such as st. petersburg college and hillsborough community college, have four applicants for every seat.

for sedina pilav of tampa, everest's nursing course — $41,580 not including books and fees — was a last resort.

"i thought i wouldn't get into usf's program," said the 23-year-old, who had flunked organic chemistry at the university of south florida. "and there were waiting periods everywhere else. at everest, they called me back in about five minutes."

scheduled to graduate in the fall, pilav will start her nursing career with about $45,000 in educational loans. "i feel like we're being prepared very well," she said.

gareth nesbeth, a native of jamaica, may be the biggest debtor in his class of 23 at everest. by the time he graduates, including basic courses at a community college, he'll owe more than $100,000.

"everest was the only school i could get into," said nesbeth, a 32-year-old who needed student status to retain his visa. "but the classes have been excellent."

everest isn't the only for-profit school to recognize fertile expansion territory. keiser university has rolled out nine associates nursing programs in florida since 2002; a program will open in tampa next year. itt technical institute, better known for classes in criminal justice and information technology, also has planned a nursing program in tampa.

this surge of interest in training the next generation of nurses is bumping up against constraints. one is the limited number of clinical sites where students can get hands-on experience......

John20

190 Posts

Teaching kindergarten kids to wash their hands counts as clinical time? That is so silly I'm laughing right now. Watching a baby be born from a mannequin? The people running this school are borderline sociopaths to take $40,000 from students then give them that learning experience, finally throwing them out into the world to take care of us (even if they pass their boards).

I had to juggle several patients at clinicals. I was responsible for medication, turning, labs, checking on procedures, discharge instructions, and all doctor orders written during the day. It sounds like Everest is a little less intense learning experience.

Motoxer28

4 Posts

hey john, silly is too mild a description, it's downright abusive. what's even worse is that when the educator for everest was questioned about this "clinical experience", she actually attempts to justify it. the unfortunate reality of what's going on here is that as long as no one becomes aware of what's taking place here, it will continue.

in my opinion, everest's only focus is money, certainly not the quality of education, or trying to help our country's nursing shortage. the sad reality of a poor nursing education is that ultimately, it is the patients who pay the heaviest price. patients who are more often then not at the mercy of those providing care for them, since they are sick, scared and believe that their caregivers know how to care for them. what happens when they don't?

GilaRRT

1,905 Posts

Link to original article:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/article1015632.ece

So, it only takes 120 hours of clinical experience to become a RN these days? Good luck to patients in Florida.

AtomicWoman

1,747 Posts

Link to original article:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/article1015632.ece

So, it only takes 120 hours of clinical experience to become a RN these days? Good luck to patients in Florida.

I was wondering about that, too.

Motoxer28

4 Posts

The article was pointing out that during the Maternal/Pediatric semester that the Everest Nursing Program information packet stated that each student would receive 120 clinical hours but that Mr. Weiri and all of his fellow students received significantly less clinical hours than what was promised and paid for. The article also revealed that of the hours received, approximately two days worth, were spent in an observatory capacity only. Mr Weiri watched an OR procedure where a wood splinter was removed from a patients knee.

lele2be

101 Posts

This is outrageous!! and these ppl are going to be caring for ppl??! oh goodness!! I'm not an RN yet but I'm attending st. petersburg college and to me all these ppl that are jumping into nursing for the money aren't grasping the bigger picture! these are human beings that are cared for with ppl becoming RN's bc they paid a large sum is not going to save some1's life and I would hate for one of those people to take a job I am going to work so hard for! How are they even passing their exams?!! and now that everest is "out" these FL standards need to be raised!!

quezen

63 Posts

The most knowledgeable all around nurses I ever worked with were 'Diploma' School graduates.

What did nursing do in it's infinite wisdom? Get rid of most of the Diploma Schools and insisted that Nurses be trained in Colleges.

This sort of silliness is just rewards for this elitist path that nursing went down all those years ago.

I loved College, and,as I get older my education gives me comfort and allows me to make my own individual sense of the world.

I don't think I learned all that much about nursing in the University, however. I didn't get 'clinicals' until the last 1 & 1/2 years of a four year program. I learned most by doing, after I got out and started working, and by being shown how by the 'old timers'. I think the best training I had for the actual 'work' of nursing was the waitress work I did to put myself through college. That job gave me the skills to create pathways in my brain to remember who ordered what, and the time management skills to get the order to the right person in a timely, and friendly, manner. The same skills, I would wager, that 'Diploma' nurses learned from day 1 when they started working in hospitals half the day and taking classes the other half.

You know that old saying "those who can do, those who can't, teach".

Well, just substitute 'manage' for 'teach', add the two phrases together and you have a pretty good picture of the world of Nursing today.

Health Care, in the US today, is about the money.

The most money spent on health care in this country is spent in the last two weeks of a persons life. "Dead men tell no tails".

I will bet that a lot of these grads that 'can't' will end up in management for some corporation managing an extended care facility, or some such entity, that would scare the be jeasus out of the old timers.

This seems to be what the Health Care system in the US today wants.

Let's just wait and see if any of the organizations of foxes, who are supposedly 'watching the hen house', (JACHO, the United States Public Health Service, and so on), move in to take any action on this state of affairs.

stephenfnielsen

186 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Informatics.

What is the big deal? Why should any school be ashamed for charging 40,000 for two years of school? There are a lot of schools in this country that charge that much per year and send their grad out the door with much less marketable degrees.

Most of the nursing theory in my program I taught myself out of a book. If you think that there's a deficit of clinical experiences, take it up with the board of nursing. I'll be starting as a new grad in the ICU next month and they make sure you are a safe practitioner before they turn you lose on patients by yourself.

Frankly, I probably wouldn't go to a school that had such a bad pass rate on the boards, but I would still like to have that option.

In the long run it is a better financial decision for the prospective student to go to the more expensive school if it gets them into a job sooner. And if the student is driven, learning opportunities will show themselves.

nyteshade, BSN

555 Posts

Specializes in Legal, Ortho, Rehab.

We cannot blame the students who had to wait too long to get their nursing education moving...we also cannot blame the public colleges for not having enough qualified teachers...you can't make 'em appear out of thin air.

These students, afterall, were promised a quality education...

These daytime TV colleges are to blame.

They prey on single mothers, minorities, and those who find "traditional college just isn't for them"...just look at the people they use in the commericals...and being a young Latina myself (who came from nothing), it makes me want to vomit...

Call it capitalism or "The American Way", but pushing the layperson to RN in 10 shifts (120 hours) for $40K will only further backlash the US economy.

Especially if there is patient harm, and lawsuits start rolling in...it WILL become a nasty cycle.

quezen

63 Posts

What is a 'Daytime TV College'?

What does it mean to 'push the lay person to RN in 10 shifts'?

Just wondering.

The poster above does have a point. There are a lot of colleges in the US that charge 40 grand a year.

After I posted about the demise of the Diploma Schools I got to thinking, I studied Nursing about the time of the change over from Diploma based education to college biased education for the Nursing profession.

Part of our 'brain washing' process in the University was to be taught that we were somehow 'better', or 'superior', to those Diploma grads.

I was clueless about the reality of the world of Nursing, so I believed this 'ego stroking'.

Until I got out and got to work and saw the difference between my knowledge, skills and abilities, and those of Nurses who had actually worked doing nursing work of every kind for three years while they were being educated. The diploma Nurses were just a different breed, they knew what they were doing, from the get-go, after graduation.

When we university grads hit the floor it was just common knowledge that we would have to undergo a long 'rehab' process if we were to be made into 'working' nurses.

The Diploma nurses used to complain about our performance level.

We University grads were taught to complain about the performance level of the Associate Degree Nurses.

I have since learned what nonsense this was. The Associate Grads are just like us University grads, some worthless, some OK, some really good. The difference MAY be that you cannot discuss esoteric issues with them, when you have a free moment.

I say MAY, because a lot of Nurses who went back and got an Associate Degree in Nursing have a degree, or even an advanced degree, in another, non marketable, skill.

Nursing has always been confused about what it is, a 'Profession', or a 'Trade'.

Now the 'established' Nursing schools are crying foul because they have been usurped by upstarts who are producing THEIR product, and making a nice tidy financial profit doing so.

Sounds like a lament for a Country and Western song to me.

Guess what. You guys stuck it to the Diploma Programs, and now these 'upstarts' are sticking it to you.

Could we get to the 'core' issue here. WHY is EVERYTHING related to health care in the US about MONEY?

alhbre99

2 Posts

I am a student at this school. Yes the school is expensive but every student attending made a choice to pay the money. The article was extremely biased. The quotes from students were taken out of context. The positive comments from current students never made the article. Most of the information came from students who are no longer in the program because they were unable to pass the classes or clinical. Part of nursing school is learning the skills required to become a competent nurse and unfortunately it does weed out the students who can't handle the stress and work load required.

As far as for our clinicals, we do have patients we are responsible for. We are responsible for knowing all labs, giving medication, new Dr orders just like other nursing programs. The birth of the baby from the mannequin was part of the hours required in the lab at school. We practice ALL procedures in the lab and must be able to perform them correctly before we can do the skills in the clinical setting. My rotation at the pediatric hospital was wonderful. I had hands on experience most of the time. Some parents did not want nursing students treating their child. As part of the community nursing rotation, we had to teach kindergarten students the importance of hand washing and the proper way to wash hands. Other students taught the importance of nutrition or exercise to other grade levels. This was two hours of our required 82 clinical hours.

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