4.0 GPA ...Great memorizing abilities.Yes...Good thinking/reasoning skills maybe not! - page 2

I've notice alot of posts regarding NS drop outs! Whats going on? Can it be that the instructors aren't competent enough? Is it that many students have other responsiblities besides NS( families,... Read More

  1. by   Freedom42
    Thanks, Tweety.

    Another point on admission standards: If 41,000 qualified applicants are already being turned away in a single year, wouldn't raising admission standards only serve to decrease that number artificially? We'd still be left with the same problem: a nursing shortage compounded by lack of faculty, no significant increase in the number of seats available in schools, and a federal government that lacks the will to do something about it (unless, as history tells us, it needs nurses to serve its purposes in wartime).

    Another approach to reducing attrition rates might be to actively recruit high school students and to advise them in advance of what they must do to prepare for success in nursing school. But then, until more seats are made available in nursing schools -- the cycle continues.
  2. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I think standards CAN be raised, but this needs to be done fairly and consistently across the board. And I believe the standards can be raised WITHOUT making a 4.0 GPA a pre-requisite for entry .....

    Truly, those of us who are nurses all know people who are excellent nursing candidates or nurses, but not necessarily were/are straight-A students.

    Personally, I think it would be helpful to interview candidates and get a feel for them before acceptance. Time-consuming? Perhaps, but how much time is consumed right now, weeding out people who should never have been accepted in the first place? I mean, I was not an instructor, but I could see clearly in the first week, who should and should not probably become a nurse.

    Also, how about looking hard at the whole person? Possibly considering those who have taken the time to perform community service and/or volunteered in some capacity? Or were involved in their high school in community-service-oriented activities? Or perhaps we could require character references, similar to those needed for job application processes? Those who do well in these areas are the types likely to make EXCELLENT nurses, IMO.

    There, I have come up with a couple of ways to raise standards that do not include simply raising the GPA requirement (which just does nothing to ensure a person has what it takes to be a good nurse).

    No one wants to see fewer people become nurses; we just want to see higher-caliber people joining our ranks. It would appear there is no shortage of people trying to get into nursing school-----so why not look HARD at those who are, in some other way than just book smarts?

    JMO anyhow.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 22, '06
  3. by   Tweety
    Deb, a lot of programs do have interviews to get into the nursing program. It's a tough and grueling process to get into some schools only to have many of them drop out later.

    But it's not consistent across the board.

    Good point from Crocuta, that there are naturally going to be students in any program that change their mind. I was a business major at first........thank God I came to my senses. Doesn't mean the standards to get into the business administration should be reaised, just means I changed my mind.
  4. by   Freedom42
    SmilingBlueEyes, I think your ideas for changing the admission process are great. Every applicant to any college program should undergo an interview.

    But is that realistic, given the already too-high vacancy rates among faculty at nursing schools? If there are 41,000 qualified applicants turned away, who knows how many unqualified applicants were rejected. That means the likely number of applications was in the hundreds of thousands. I can understand why maxed-out nursing schools would resort to using a GPA as the primary standard for efficiency's sake. The school I attend uses a 29-point matrix, with GPA the first cut-off; after that, applicants gain points based on their essays, pre-requisites, performance in science classes only, etc. It seems to me a pretty fair system given that the school is besieged with applications.

    Of course, if I'm not admitted come next April, I may have to revisit my fairness assessment!
  5. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from RNsoon!
    Who said Instructor competence had or should have an effect on Admission standards?? I SAID, perhaps one of the reasons students drop out/fail might be due to their Instructor's incompetence.Read Carfully .
    That's pretty funny. I remember lots of students crying about failing or having to drop out, and blaming it on the 'stipid' instructors. Yet, I received an awesome education from those same instructors. But, it must be somebody else's fault, right?
  6. by   RNsoon!
    Quote from Freedom42
    USA Today, citing figures from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, recently reported that nursing schools turned away 41,000 "qualified" applicants in 2005. If that's the case, how much higher do you think admissions standards should be? I already hold a BS in another area and hope to transfer into a BSN program. My adviser has told me that the cutoff for transfer students last year was 3.7 -- and that is not for the accelerated program.

    Yes, there are attrition problems. But -- and I am purely speculating here, not writing with any empirical data -- how many of these dropouts are people who are in fact well-qualified for admission but find out that, for one reason or another, conclude that nursing simply isn't for them? I'm a pre-req program that includes ADNs; some are already talking about dropping out because they're unhappy with the liberal arts requirements (and accompanying expense) for a BSN. And there are many students like me, people seeking second careers who find that they didn't know as much about nursing as they thought they did. That first semester is a real eye-opener. I'm sure there are plenty of others who realize they're simply not willing to make the commitment to intense studying.

    Raising admission standards to impossible highs would be counter-productive, given the nursing shortage. Perhaps a better focus would be raising faculty salaries to attract and keep the best and brightest instructors. In my home state, the current faculty vacancy rate is between 7 and 8 percent. That can't encourage high-quality instruction, and it increases the pressure exponentially on teachers who already do a great job in the classroom.

    Well said
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    That's pretty funny. I remember lots of students crying about failing or having to drop out, and blaming it on the 'stipid' instructors. Yet, I received an awesome education from those same instructors. But, it must be somebody else's fault, right?
    To some people it always is lol.

    Since i was waiting for my potatoes to finish boiling, i took my college's guidebook and flipped through it at the kitchen table. Between the admissions process for the school, and the admissions process for the nursing program itself, i don't think they could increase their standards, short of including a rectal exam. And if they would, i would hope they would choose someone with small, warm hands for that.
  8. by   RNsoon!
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    You said drop-out rates were affected by instructor competence (or lack thereof, really). And I simply disagree. It's a real cop-out to blame others when one flunks out of school. I can honestly say, all the people who dropped out of my class (and it was more than 1/2) needed to be dropped for one reason or another. The standards were clear and they failed to meet them. They could not blame the instructors, the school, or anyone else. If they wanted or needed to place blame, all they needed to have done is look no further than their bathroom mirror.

    The same is true in nursing itself. When/if we make an error, or fail to meet standard of patient care, owning up and learning from it is critical. Finding out what went wrong and fixing the problem is not an option, it is a must. Personally, I found the students who did not own up to their own failings in the school were likely to be the same people who would refuse to own up later on, in their nursing careers. We don't need or want people like that in nursing. Sadly enough, not enough of these folks are weeded out in school and some do go on to to become nurses. And if you do were to do a topic search here, you would find threads that discuss, at length, these types who refuse to own up, have zero integrity, and cut corners in their patient care---and when pressed, will out and out LIE about what they did to cover their behinds. No one wants such people to be their nurse, or their loved ones' nurse. It is a tough job as a nursing professor/instructor to find these types early-on and get rid of them before they go on to become nurses and harm or kill someone one day.

    I remember talking to my nursing school superintendant when I was in school, and she said she used to lose sleep over the students who slipped through her fingers, passing and later, graduating, because they had done nothing blatant to flunk out---she worried they would go on to hurt others due to lack of integrity or sneaky tendencies. I felt for her; it was not an easy job to do.

    Rare is the drop-out student who can completely blame his or her instructors' incompetence for failing out of school. Really rare.
    It doesn't happen often , but sadly, it sometimes does.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It's extremely rare. And most schools have in place grievance processes whereby a student can fight for reinstatement. I just don't buy that it's due to incompetent instructors that students fail. I will concede there ARE instructors out there who maybe should not be, but I cannot believe this is the primary reason a student would fail and wash out.. Nope. Usually, the student has done (or not done) plenty to get him/herself removed from nursing school. Again, ownership is critical if one is to become any kind of decent nurse. I find the opposite often true; in many cases, it can be hard to get rid of people who should not be nurses, yet have done nothing serious enough to wash out or be removed. I have met plenty of nurses that make me wonder how on Earth they graduated and I would not want to touch me or my loved ones.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 22, '06
  10. by   JBudd
    A class I had partially dealt with how to choose applicants. Five groups were given the same lists of "applicants", we were told that we needed minority representation, liklihood of completing the program, that people involved in their community were more likely to stay there, etc etc etc.

    With exactly the same criterion, list of applicants, requirements etc, all our groups overlapped on only 5 "student" choices out of 30 (we had 60 to choose from). Within our own group we argued and fussed and argued some more before we agreed on our 30 choices. Its not an easy process to pick and choose among so many "qualified" applicants, and that was just an exercise! Sometimes getting in will be on how your application struck someone's fancy that day.
  11. by   RNsoon!
    Why do so many people insist on the fact that it's a good idea for pre-Nursing students to have straight A's? Does having straight A's indicate having good thinking/resonable skills ? Maybe ..Does it indicate good memoraztion skills ? Maybe. So how can we better determine someone's success in NS and as a future Nurse when both A students and C+ or B students may have the same qualities or weaknesses?hmmmmm...Surely not by raising admission standards! How can that be a solution when there are still high drop rates at schools with a high AS?hmmmm
  12. by   BSNtobe2009
    I couldn't agree with you more. The problem with some of the nursing schools is that too many of the "4.0" students have only taken Chemistry, API and APII, and too many of them took those classes one at a time. I think that is a huge factor in their dropout rate b/c they are so focused on the GPA that once they get in, they can't handle a full class load.

    I'm not saying that everyone that has a 4.0 did it like that, but I've seen it alot. Too much.

    I went to college with a girl whose father was a very high up in IBM. IBM is a company that will not consider most applicants that don't have a minimum of a 3.5, but if you have a 4.0, they don't want to hire you either because in their experience, they tend not to work well with others.
  13. by   santhony44
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    i don't think they could increase their standards, short of including a rectal exam. And if they would, i would hope they would choose someone with small, warm hands for that.
    That's funny! However, I did have to have a documented Pap smear on record, right along with my vaccinations, before I could actually start classes in my BSN and master's programs!

    I don't know if they still have that requirement.