Curriculum for Nursing Schools

  1. I am a nursing student in my senior year at Arizona State University. There has been much concern about what we are learning in nursing school and how this will apply to the N-CLEX. My class is the first class in a new curriculum that very few nursing schools have adopted. Our class has come to a concensus that we feel totally unprepared to practice as nurses when we graduate next semester. In response to this concern, we have formed a student coalition. We plan to evaluate the former curriculum and compare it with the newly adopted curriculum. We are also interested in speaking with students from other colleges on their opinions of their curriculums of nursing schools. Our main concerns are that we are not being taught pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, and many of us are lacking technical skills. Instead, we are being taught classes about "The Art of Nursing" and "Communication". Please post your feelings about the nursing school you attended or are attending. Thanks!
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    About MeganWoods

    Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 2
    nursing student


  3. by   Hypoxic Pixel Eyes
    I'm about to finish my prerequsites after next semester and am also concerned about the curriculum at the community college level.
    Since my ultimate goal is Johns Hopkins I will of course verify transferrable credits with them but what I'm concerned about is that I don't want to do the "minimum requirements".
    I think the nursing shortage could affect our educations adversly as demand exceeds supply.The need to get students through to the workforce with greater urgency than ever before could water down the curriculum so that weaker students(not less intelligent)could still graduate.
    This happend in the previouse field that I was in.During it's "boom" I went through a papermill of a one year program that "earned" me the right to sit for the boards and earn the same pay as those with 4 yr. degrees.
    I prepared for the material in the boards and I passed.Not because the school I attended had prepared me but because I sought out the knowledge and consumed it.
    You have earned the right in my opinion to take the boards for RN-CLEX by way of what must have been a difficult four years and I commend you for it.
    Perhapse your'e feeling a little inadequate but you've earned a "right of passage" and now it's time to live up to it.
    Find out what your lacking and consume it.
    Constantly seek your weak points and shore them up.
    Science will always evolve and so must you.
    Your a good enough student to last four years at a fine school like ASU and I think you're good enough to pass that test.Period. I think we will all need to constantly review our skills regardless of what school we attended or how many certificates we hold.We have the trust of our patients to honor and in doing so we honor ourselves.
    I'm sure future posts on this thread will confirm the apprehension those that have gone before you had felt.
    That being said,do you have a copy of that curriculum?
    I would like to compare it to programs in the Baltimore area that I am planning to inquire about and see what kind of program I would like to attend.

  4. by   canoehead
    I got through a bachelor's program as a post RN and never did a clinical day with an instructor. I can write a mean paper though. Luckily the diploma program focused on what we needed to do to practise safely, but let us know that all the organizations and journals were out there once we had gotten our feet under us.

    And yes, after all that book learning you will be a disaster on the floor, but look for a long orientation, or an RN internship program. The lack of experience with real lfe nursing is bad, but not your fault, and your coworkers will know that. Just do your best.
  5. by   Tim-GNP
    If you have a concern about your schools curriculum, you should bring it up to your schools dean or provost/vice provost. If you get no satisfaction there, go to the National League of Nursing at:

    or American Association of Colleges of Nursing at:

    The last thing you want is to be unable to pass the NCLEX examination... especially after 4 years of college.

    Good luck.

  6. by   Enright
    I am a 1987 grad from an accelerated BSN program. I had an excellent clinical education. HOWEVER, I had no idea my clinical life would be spend starting IVs, watching IVs, taking out infiltrated IVs that other people were supposedly "watching" etc. I wish I had been far more intensely educated on venipuncture and phlebotomy. It would have made my early clinical years far less stressful.
  7. by   purplemania
    Nursing school is not a trade school like auto repair and cosmetology. You expect college grads in business, science, etc. to know more than just the rote of how to do their job. You will learn how to do your job as you are doing it. But nursing school is just a means to an end - the right to sit for the Boards exam and get that license to practice. Your first year in practice may be stressful ( mine was) but this too shall pass. You can reduce your anxiety level now by not expecting the nursing program to focus on "hands on" skills. They are focusing now on training you to think, know how to reference and be able to function on your own. If you can't do that, no amount of skills will carry you through your career. Good luck and stay in there!
  8. by   fergus51
    You have to do it all. The touchy feely courses are a necessary evil because we don't know how to be with patients when we start. You won't realize how much you learned in communication until you work with nurses who could use a course like it.

    The clinical is essential. When I went to school we did 2 days of clinical, 2 days of class time each week, plus practicums for at least a month a year. If you want more clinical time, why don't you try to expand practicum? It means more work for you. We did about 30 hours a week(not including homework!), 48+ during practicum.

    Pathophys should be picked up in clinical in my opinion. When you have a pt with CHF you should research it before hand on your own time and understand the patho or ask your teacher. Same with the drugs. Learning them in a classroom setting is almost pointless because everyone forgets it until they give the med.

    And remember no one feels prepared when they graduate, it's a trial by fire. I am sure your NCLEX pass rates will tell the university if the program needs changing. Until then I doubt if they will.