High Fail Rate for new Grads on Boards - page 4

I work in East Texas and have noticed a alarming trend, our new grads are failing their state boards at a alarming rate (60 % from our local junior college). Moreover, all these new grads that were... Read More

  1. by   mattsmom81
    JWRN, sounds like you have a NEAT job! I enjoy the 3 day /12 hour shifts too and that would be hard for me to give up too.

    Kimberly, I'm the same way...I look stuff up all the time too and go to every seminar I can to keep current! Always something new out there...

    Konni, I've got a feeling your ICU nurses are enjoying you! I also love precepting nurses who present with a mature and interested attitude. Guess I've been running into a few immature egomaniacs lately...LOL...and they tend to rub us 'oldies' the wrong way. Good luck to ya although bet you won't need it...you're right on target!

    As far as the new NCLEX...how strange that sounds to me. Sounds like it must be confusing to totally switch gears like that. Reminds me a bit of my old LPN boards ---'tell/ask the RN' was always correct if it was a choice...even if we KNEW what to do we had to dumb down to pass the test. They didn't want to see 'too much' independent action and maybe this is where they're coming from with NCLEX too??? What's everyone else think?
  2. by   shipslitehse
    Originally posted by Healingtouch
    In my neck of the words, used to be pretty hard to get into ADN school. They only accepted 40 out of 280 applicants the year I got in (1994). Since then, according to one of my former ADN nursing instructors, both the quantity of applicants and the quality of applicants have dropped. The school is now accepting students they never would have dreamed of letting into the program just 8 years ago. Perhaps young women are now pursuing other options; perhaps all the bad press have turned off a lot of potential applicants.
    When I was in nursing school, our community college had the best record in the state for passage of the Boards--100% passage rate for many years in a row. That has changed also
    What state are you in???That sounds alot like my school....I chose my school because of their reputation for being very hard but with a 98-100% pass rate on NCLEX for many years....they've now dipped into the 70's??!!!! They told me the same thing about the quality of the applicants both for the reg. RN program and the LPN mobility to RN. They are closing the mobility program for just that reason. Here in Alabama the universityies pass rates have dropped right along with the community colleges so.......its got to be either the NCLEX itself(I heard its changed in the last 2 yrs tooo) or a problem recruiting the better qualified students. I wish the burned out nurses would keep their mouths shut, just because they burned out does not mean that nursing is a horrible profession, and we as happy nurses need to speak up!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. by   whipping girl in 07
    Mattsmom81 and SICU Queen, thank you very much! I think the reason I have a mature attitude is twofold: first, I'm a little older than some of the nurses they are precepting (28 instead of 22 or 23) and my mom has been a nurse for what seems like a zillion years, so I understand the gravity of what I am doing and the responsibility that I have. I am thankful for the preceptors who risked their license to train me while I was waiting to pass boards. I am glad I was able to work before I took the NCLEX (certainly helped the family budget!) but I'm not so sure its a good idea to allow graduate nurses to practice nursing under a temporary permit. Because I was doing well, my preceptor would often just let me handle things till I came to him with a problem. But he was potentially risking his license if I did something I wasn't supposed to. I think he knew that I would let him know if I didn't know what I was supposed to do in a situation, but what if I had given him the impression that I had everything under control and then I didn't? I remember back in my clinical days, there were some students who had the teachers convinced that they knew what they were doing, but they really didn't, and they were constantly having to be bailed out by classmates or floor nurses. Scary, isn't it?
  4. by   purplemania
    Got my ADN at a TN school which emphasized test taking skills and gave plenty of practice tests. NEVER went to a lab to learn injections, dressings, etc. Said I would learn that on the job. They were right. Passed NCLEX first try but was really stressed out on first job. Now work in Longview and got BSN at UTT. Noted many students have poor reading skills. That could be a problem with test taking as the questions are not written like we talk. Maybe more emphasis should be taken on test taking skills. Ideal would be to balance that with practical skills but HEY, the school's real job is to prepare you to pass that test. Just my opinion
  5. by   lever5

    I hope your orientation package will include training on PBDS style. Situational learning. This is not taught in nursing school. The only thing like it that I have seen is the old ACLS megacode.
  6. by   gauge14iv
    Here all the pass rates for the Texas schools as of 12/2001 -

  7. by   babs_rn
    Well, I CAN say that I have recently worked with students of the same nursing program that graduated me 14 years ago... and these girls have it a WHOLE lot easier than we did. I have also worked with students from other nursing programs and they also have a much, much easier path to their degree than we did. Back in my day, to prepare for clinical, we got our assignments the day before (2 patients), had to go to the hospital and for each patient, study the chart, write down EVERY SINGLE lab value, tell why it was ordered, what it was for, what the value meant, write a brief exposition on the diagnosis and the patient's h&p, get our own history and HTA, write that up, make up drug cards on every medication the patients were on (no pre-made ones, that was cheating), write up a care plan with at least 5 nursing diagnoses and cite author, title,page, and paragraph # of the book we got our nursing intervention from (and care plan books didn't cut it...had to be nursing texts)...
    and if one of our patients was discharged, we had to do it again on another patient. We turned in our paper work the first morning of clinical, got it back that afternoon usually with a lot of red marks on the care plans that we had to go back and correct; and had to have that done and our interventions documented and evaluation also filled out on our care plan and turned in at the end of clinical the next day. The students I've worked with mainly observe, rather than take on patients and provide their care; the instructors are nowhere to be found (ours followed us and STAYED on our BEHINDS) and they take breaks with each other when they choose (breaks??what are those?). The students I've seen don't actually provide patient care until their preceptorship right before graduation...we hit the ground running back in our day.

    Any question why new grads are having trouble adjusting to the work world and have insufficient clinical skills now?

  8. by   mattsmom81
    I notice students in my area doing some very disturbing things---they are apparently allowed to get away with it today...it would NEVER have flown when I was in school, either Babs! Sounds like we attended the same school. My instructors were on me like fleas on a dog..LOL...and I was competent on graduation!

    Students today call my nursing station, ask for the charge nurse then ask for a 'report' on an 'easy' patient 'on 'only 1 or 2 meds' for them to take tomorrow. I tell them get their butts in and research their own patients...not my job to do this for them. (I'm a grouchy ol' charge nurse...bwaahahah!) Who tells them to call me, I wonder???? As if I don't have enough to do....

    Students also call me on the phone to ask me drug questions. I tell them "Look it up." Reply: "I don't have a drug book". Well, duh. Better get one, sweetie, you are going to need one...believe me...I am not going to spoon feed you this data...and I sure hope nobody else is either...<SIGH>

    Are nursing schools today shirking their educational duties and short changing students in order to 'put out' a grad in today's nursing shortage?
  9. by   RNinMay
    I graduated with my ADN in May of last year. We had to go get our patient assignments the day before, spend hours with the chart and then all night looking up drugs, making cards, researching all the labs, pathophys reports, just like Babs did. Same kind of careplan too, with nursing diagnoses and rationales for every single intervention, referenced in APA format. I guess my program was "old fashioned"? But then again our school has a high pass rate also.
    I am working in the ICU, have been since last July. There is still so much I don't know!! I think it will be at least 2 years before I can confidently call myself a "critical care nurse". The staff I work with is wonderful and honest, and the feedback I have so far is very good from them. Even the ones who don't think new grads should be allowed to go into critical care (and they will tell you to your face) say that they "got lucky" when they hired me. That makes me feel good! I am doing my best to learn more every day.
    One "veteran" nurse told me she still learns something new everyday, that's the great thing about nursing.
    Lots of people in my class were there for the wrong reasons, to capitalize on the shortage or as a stepping stone to working for a pharmaceutical company. And yes, many acted like they "knew it all" when the opposite was true. It was mostly the younger ones (I am 29). I hope the "real world" of nursing set them straight.

    As for the money issue of it being cheaper to hire new grads, my pay rate is not very much below what the 15 year nurses are making (much to their dismay--- and they have every right to be paid much more than me). Plus the hospital paid for me to go thru a 3 month critical care internship program. I realize this did not come out of my nurse managers budget, but the cost had to be figured in somewhere. It is also true that I am more amiable and don't argue with the administrative changes and all the things the other nurses complain about---I am too busy learning to do my job safely and effectively---but that is changing quickly! Especially the other day when I had FOUR patients assigned to me. You betcha I was in her office about that one. So yes, at first we are more meek, but we catch on to what is going on and start speaking up within the first year
  10. by   pama
    National pass rate on the NCLEX-RN for 2001 was 85.43%. The test plan has not changeed for about three years. Drop down calculators have been part of the computerized testing for several years.

    In West Virginia the state pass rate for 2001 was 87.29%, above the national average. Pass rates for ADN programs was 88.71% and for BSN programs pass rates were 87.15%. All above the national pass rates.

    State Board of Nursing need to become actively involved in monitoring of programs. If schools are scoring below the national average, especially two or more years in a row, there is a problem.

    Program results should be posted on each state board web-site. If not there perhaps go to the NCSBN web-site to try and get scores.

  11. by   Huganurse
    Dittos to mattsmom and babs! Surprising how much has changed everywhere over the last 10-15 years! I still have my expandable files full of handwritten (very small writting) 10-20 page careplans. They were so in depth in every aspect. I have never seen careplans or written that way since. I have no idea why I keep them!

    As far as the boards go: I don't think everyone who fails is or would be a bad nurse. They are tests and some people do better on written, or choice, or matching, or verbal tests than others. The tests reflect if someone is able to take a test. I have gotten where I can pass just about any test I take with mild study and just looking at the questions. There are tricks to choosing the best answers. Sometimes I don't have to know anything about the subject to pass or answer correctly because of the way the questions are written. Especially with multiple choice! Some schools take the time to teach these skills and some don't. Some even provide or atleast encourage the RNCLEX reviews. The schools want a high pass rate to attract students. The statistics don't tell everything.
    The tests change from year to year. If you take a review with someone who knows what is on the test you will most likely pass. And believe me those folks who give the reviews do everything they can to find out what is on that test! The reviews also teach you the skills to take tests and how to identify types of questions (umbrella, which one doesn't belong, etc.), disect, and answer correctly. So my question is how could any one test ever truley measure the capabilities and competency of a nurse at the entry level?
  12. by   yeshuaservant
    It's interesting to read about the various schools. I graduated May 2001 from an ASN program in southern California. I had checked around before I registered and one of the questions I asked was the pass rate on state boards. The school I chose had a 96-98% pass rate. They had a waiting list, but I just kept working on my prerequisites until I was in.
    We had 30 students and only about a third of the original class made it to graduation. Everyone constantly complained about how hard the tests were. But I felt that it would be better to have a hard school and feel confident that I could pass boards.
    The boards were actually much easier than the tests in school. The only thing I would have changed in my school would have been to have more clinical time. We had the summer off between semesters and I would have liked to have used that time to practice clinical competency.
    I came out of school and went directly to a medical cardiac stepdown unit at a teaching hospital and it was quite overwhelming. However, we had a critical care component in school and I had worked in ICU/CCU, ER etc as a student. They even gave me 2 patients in ICU! Talk about stress! The other new grads at the hospital did not have that advantage and it took them longer to finish their competencies.
    I think that it's definitely a school by school basis for passing. Some of the state boards of nursing post the pass rates for their schools. I know that North Carolina does.
    I don't think that the test has gotten any easier. Although all but two of our class passed the boards the first time, most felt that the test was really difficult.
  13. by   sls0831
    I'd like to reply to the message written by LauraRN0501. I really resent your comment on the lack of clinical experience of BSN students-I am currently a junior in a BSN program. By the time I graduate next year I will have 3 full years of clinical experience. I think its the nurses you have come in contact with. Personally I dont feel that i would be ready to be out there after getting rushed through a 2 year program. and for those of you who think you are prepared that's great. But the education that I'm getting is allowing me to understand the whole patient, disease process and all. Thus far the understanding of patho and the reasoning for nursing interventions that i have seen in clinical from new 2 year grads have been lacking. Granted the clinical skills may be there, but they are in any good nurse, new or old, 2 year or BSN. But if you dont know why you are doing something whats the point? what can you tell the patient? so the theory also needs to be there. and as for the boards graduates from the program i'm in have a 94% pass rate the first time.