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Failed BSN Program One Week Before Graduation

Lani1207 Lani1207 (New) New

Tonight was suppose to be the night before my graduation, and instead of celebrating with the rest of my classmates, I am looking for a job as a CNA. I am trying my hardest to stay positive but I am pretty saddened by it. I dont really know my options yet. Anyway read my story and see what you think, any input would be greatly appreciated.

I started at my college 5 years ago in '06 fresh out of high school. I got into the nursing program in '08 after A&P and English and Microb yada yada and it was QUITE a wake up call. The nursing program in my college is on a 7 point grading scale, below an 80 is a D, 87 is a B, 94 is an A, which makes it difficult to stay above the 2.5 to stay in the program in the first place.

I have learning disabilities but I decided to not take the accommodation route because I wanted my peers and my teachers to take me seriously. I did fine up until my second semester sophomore year and I failed Med Surge II with a 76. A lot of that was due to me leaving an abusive relationship at the time, which I seeked help for through the school. I was pretty devastated because I would not be graduating with the people I studied so hard with for so long. A fellow student also failed the class.. by a quarter of a point. Yea, they don't play huh? At the time my school did not offer Med Surg II every semester so I had to wait a WHOLE YEAR to get back into the program where I left off.

During that time I had the prepaid plan for financial aid which only covered four consecutive years and only covered if I was a full time student. I did not want to waste that money so I filled my time with as many classes as I could to get out of way that weren't nursing classes like Statistics. I retook MedSurg II and passed. I eventually rejoined that class my Senior year the following class and did well! My MedSurg III teacher was new to the BSN program and was great surprisingly. I ended the class with a 86... which drove me crazy.. 1 point away from a B. I also started my practicum that semester which was awesome, I loved it. I got an A in it! I was on top of my game!

My final semester however did not go as hot. Research was that semester and that was scary! But, I passed. I got 86 on the final which was I was pretty proud of! Then.. the dreaded ATI Comprehensive Predictor came about... the exit exam. I had heard about this monster from the class that I was in before... and one of the students had failed it. She had failed a nursing class before (ironically Med Surg II). The policy on failing a nursing class is that you have a chance to retake that class and re enter the program.However, the next time you fail ANY nursing class you are dismissed from the program and can re enter 3 years later, and start ALL over from the beginning. Our "capstone class" grade was broken up into basically two grades 48% for the capstone paper and 50% ATI comprehensive NCLEX predictor grade and 2% participation. This "capstone class" was considered a nursing class, therefore if you fail the ATI test on your second attempt, you fail a nursing class. Considering there are 7 students in this class who are retaking a nursing class, this was HUGE.

Here's where it gets interesting. From my knowledge NCLEX (at least in VA) gets redone every 5 years and this year is going to be pretty hard. My school purchases ATI for us and makes us take them randomly throughout our career to see where we are at and they are usually are like 8% of our grade. Up until now we have been studying towards the 2007 ATI. Well here we go our Senior year and they give us the 2010 ATI for our Comprehensive Predictor. 4 people passed out of 26. It was a train wreck. We all reschedule to take it the following month. During this time we have our 92 hour practicum going on as well as our Med Surg IV class. (I would like to point out however, the previous class had already finished their Med Surg IV class and their practicum and had a whole month to study JUST for the ATI). Also, during that time I had a death in the family that caused one of test grades to plumet. I had informed my teacher the day of the death and that I would not be able to make it to the test on Monday. She forgot to inform me that every day you miss the test.. you have five points deducted... however it is mentioned on the syllabus. Which, of course in my emotional turmoil, I should have checked.

Every single person who failed, including me, was livid over the fact they randomly gave us the the 2010 version. I even spoke to the director my program about it. I explained my anxiety about the test and every one else's and didn't see how it was fair. She told me there was nothing to worry about, and it was the same test and that it is based on the new NCLEX and she is confused why everyone failed. I got pretty adamant about the subject and she seemed upset with the classes anxiety, but again, there was nothing she could do.

So imagine my surprise when the week of the test I received a mass email to my class from the director saying that ATI "accidentally sent them the wrong version of the test and don't know why" and that we would be taking 2007 version and she was "sorry for the inconvenience". Really? Ok.. whatever..

Anyway I studied my BEHIND off for that ATI test. I had a test that Monday in Med Surg IV, practicum on Wednesday for 12 hours and the ATI on Friday. Every minute of every bit of downtime I had I dedicated to that test. I was determined to not let this money making, bull** predicting test be the reason I fail out of school. The day of the test ... a week and three days before graduation... I don't even know how I made it to school that day. I used every test taking strategy I knew. 180 questions later I was so nervous. I couldn't even check the results, I got a friend to do it. And you know what? I PASSED with a 76! 96% chance of passing the NCLEX on the first try!

Nice right? Time to relax for the one week before graduation? NOPE. I had a FINAL in Med Surg IV that Monday as well as my practicum that Sunday for 12 hours ( Which I later found that I didn't even have to go to, my instructor calculated my hours wrong, however, according to my instructor.. I am responsible for calculating my hours). I felt like I finally had a chance to breathe though... yet I still studied. It took me alll DAY to get my study guide together in the first place and studied on my downtime during my practicum. I got up at 7 am and studied with a group until 9 am for my exam and quizzed each other. I had it in the bag. I had a 78.7 in the class because of that horrible test that I bombed earlier. I needed like an 80ish but, it was final, I have pulled it off before I got this.. But the test was horrible.. half the stuff on the study guide wasn't on the test! I looked around the room and you can see the looks of frustration and the awful "uuuggghhhhhh" through out the test.

Most of the class had failed the exam... and so did I... but most of them... well every other one of them wasn't in the same boat that I am. I failed the class and therefore I have failed out of my program. But I am staying positive. I wrote a letter of grievance to re enter the program but so far it has been shot down. I cant imagine starting the whole thing over. I really cant. I am going to try to transfer to the community college around here.. but from what I heard the credits have a hard time transfering for some reason. I was also thinking about taking the LPN exam and using that to make money until I figure out a game plan. I just dont know what to do.

What do you think?

Edited by Moogie
Edited out veiled profanity

You have completed more than 50% of the program, therefore you are eligible for the Excelsior College program. Something to consider if your state is one of the ones that accepts EC graduates. Best wishes.

Thanks! ill look that up! I appreciate it! can you tell me a little more about it though? Would I be able to get my Bachelors?

I'm so sorry. I feel your pain. I didn't pass my course and was dismissed from the ADN program. Since I completed 50% of the nursing program, I decided to continue with Excelsior. All of my prereqs transferred and I just need to complete the nursing courses. Another option is to get your LPN license if you can, work for a few years, save some money and try doing an LPN to RN bridge program.

metal_m0nk, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

A ridiculously expensive online for-profit college that does not offer a start to finish BSN (although they offer an associate's and an RN-BSN bridge) that neither federal grants or federal student loans will cover - and whose associate's in nursing degrees may not be recognized by some state boards of nursing or taken seriously by hiring managers...What I gather from word of mouth and from their website.

ThePrincessBride, BSN

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 5 years experience.

The grading system at your school is horrendous.

I'd switch out and find an even better, more fair program.

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 9 years experience.

I'm really sorry. That's such an awful situation when you were so close to graduation. Did you speak to the Med Surg IV instructorto see if there was anything you could do to raise your grade?

We have to pass all our classes with a 77 or better. 20 people failed out of Med Surg I junior year and had to stay behind an entire year. I'm sorry you have to deal with this- but good for you for thinking positive!

Only 4 out of 26 students passed the 2010 predictor?? That doesn't sound promising, if the test is supposed to be based on the most recent edition of the NCLEX. I will mention that my class took the 2010 predictor after using the 2007 practice tests and course books, but I didn't really notice a difference. I don't think the material can change that much in just a few years.

Good luck to you!

I would explore every other option before resorting to Excelsior. Are you able to get your LPN license? I would do that and then transfer to a LPN-RN program.

The other day I realized that the Board of Nursing for my state is literally down the street from me... Tomorrow I am going to speak with some people. I dont know who I should ask for though?

Just tell them you have a question. The customer service rep will get someone who can talk to you about what you want to know.

I am sure that you have already made yoru decision, since this was about a year ago. I say go for the LPN NCLEX! Do it now, because you can always do a bridge program once you have it, online. I am almost done with an LPN program and will be glad to be done with traditional school. What a pain in the a@$ for you! They make it so tough for us folks with learning disabilities, and nursing student in general, beg for our degrees. Do what you can not to have to go back there...I am curious what you have decided upon...


Asheville, NC

ATI's pretests in many cases are full of incorrect and outdated information. Their post-graduation 3 day NCLEX review is a dog & pony show. I relied solely on that review and the material provided to take my NCLEX and I failed. ATI is a tool used by schools to maintain their accreditation and nothing more. ATI is about making money and I have even had a professor of mine admit to me that she was fairly sure that nurses were not making up the content on the ATI tests. I have taken 100's of snapshots of ATI questions with snipping tool (found in windows 7) and shared them with nurses who flat out say they are wrong! For instance, ATI believes that nurses are the ones who ensure a patient understands a surgical procedure they have upcoming when in fact that is the physicians responsibility. ATI also does not know the difference between side effects and adverse side effects. ATI believes that nurses are responsible for helping victims of physical abuse develop escape plans the next time they are abused. Of course, ALL of these are WRONG. All their NCLEX review did for me was have me study materials I wasn't even tested on when I took my NCLEX. ATI is a complete waste of time and effort. I graduated an accredited university with a Bachelors in Nursing with a 3.25gpa and failed the NCLEX because I relied on ATI to provide a quality review and used their materials to study. What I got turned out to be a bad joke and now a horrible situation. There's a reason ATI doesn't want anyone copying their questions on tests. There's a reason ATI reps won't speak directly to students. There's a reason you can never get a nurse on the line to speak to at ATI. They are trying to cover up the fact that they are in the business of making money, not educating students.

If anyone fails out of their nursing program due to not passing an ATI test, I suggest contacting a lawyer.

i have taken 100's of snapshots of ati questions with snipping tool (found in windows 7) and shared them with nurses who flat out say they are wrong! for instance, ati believes that nurses are the ones who ensure a patient understands a surgical procedure they have upcoming when in fact that is the physicians responsibility.

i can help with your difficulty here.

it is the nurse's responsibility to ask the patient if he understands what dr. smith just explained/plans to do, and if the patient says, "no," it is the nurse's responsibility to see that his questions are answered-- thus ensuring that he does (even if she has already witnessed the signature on the consent the md just obtained). this is a higher-level question requiring the student to think as the nurse patient advocate s/he will soon be, not as a student stuck on sound bites like "that is the physician's responsibility." by this point, the student has to see the difference between an almost-factual sound bite and the duty of the rn to be a patient advocate. some students...don't.

ati also does not know the difference between side effects and adverse side effects.

you don't give an example, but whether that's the central issue in a given question or just a distracting fact to confuse the unaware is an open question at this point, but i would bet it's the latter given the general way this is going.

ati believes that nurses are responsible for helping victims of physical abuse develop escape plans the next time they are abused.

the nurse who works with an abuse victim is acting as a nurse (professional) patient advocate by helping the woman to consider such a thing and verbalize it, even if she may not be planning to implement it at this time. this is a classic question which many students get wrong because they can't tell the difference between a factual answer which doesn't help the woman down the path to self-determination and safety ("the research says he will just do it again") and one that does ("let's think of a way to keep you safe"). helping people to reach higher levels of health and well-being is a prime rn responsibility according to our scope and standards of practice...to which you aspire to be held. this is what it takes.

of course, all of these are wrong.

of course, you are wrong on every one of them, and so are whatever nurses you shared them with. see, it's a higher level you will be held accountable for. i'd like to help you understand the rationales, if you have more examples, so you can move past this block.

as to contacting a lawyer, well, i recently worked a case very similar to this (it even included that battered-woman question, believe it or not), and the lawyer who hired me to help the student came to the realization that she did not, in fact, have a case and did not meet the standard of a graduate nurse based on the review i made (and i tried, tried, tried to make it come out in her favor, i really did, because i believed her story, so much like yours...and it turned out not to be true), and he changed his direction to other issues. and thanked me for it.


Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

I second GrnTea. Seems like a lot of questions that boil down to patient safety escaped you.

And I would suspect snipping and sharing questions is a no-no (not familiar with ATI but I know you could end up sued for that with the NCLEX).

bna04, BSN

Specializes in Medical Surgical.

I can imagine your pain. Same thing happened to me. I failed in Foundations and I was able to retake.In my final semester, a day prior to graduation I failed for Advanced topics. Now I am out of nursing program. So, what are you doing now? Did you get admission in any school? i was told to enroll in university for one calender year and maintain a minimum of 2.5 gpa. After one calender year, I should re-apply to the program. Still there is no assurance that they will take or even if they take, the school of nursing will decide which subjects I should study.Anyway, I am going to enroll in the same university and select psychology as a major.and will re-apply after another year. Because no school accept me.