High Fail Rate for new Grads on Boards - page 5

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
    Originally posted by sls0831

    The following is a condensed quote:
    I'd like to reply to the message written by LauraRN0501. I am currently a junior in a BSN program.

    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.

    But if you dont know why you are doing something whats the point? what can you tell the patient?
    I think I have an important question to ask you, dear. Just who has given you the impression that ADN's and Diploma nurses " are clinically OK BUT don't know why they do the things they do?"

    I would really like to know who started this ugly rumor. I have NEVER encountered a diploma or ADN nurse who fits this description....
  2. by   teeituptom
    Howdy Yall
    from deep in the heart of texas.

    Speaking as a person from Texas. ThoughI went to Oklahoma to go to nursing school.When you look at Texas, undeniably one of the single richest states in the union.Financially,economically, stability and all other sorts of categories untill you get to the Texas school system which ranked 48th or thereabouts for the last decade. Then you look at who was governor during that time and you see only detrimental effects arising from his tenure in office. And you hear about about the increaseing number of nursing students failing to pass the boards. Makes you wonder how what he is going to do to this country now.
    Now I know this is going to spark criticism because of my stand. But I didnt like him as governor and I dont particularly like him now. Im just a hardcore democrat living in a land of republicans.

    Keep it in the short grass yall
  3. by   felltoddman
    I've read these posts with much interest, having gone to an ADN school that had a very high passing rate at the time (I don't know about now, I've moved from the area). I was perhaps a little too proud of my school, when I learned an area BSN program had a lower passing rate. I took the old 2 day pencil and paper test back in 1981 and while I didn't find it that easy, it was easier than the CCRN exam I took 3 years later. Our instructers informed us, though, that State Boards only measured safety. I remember a classmate who was very book smart and got straight A's in school and did very well taking tests, but she wasn't very good at applying the knowledge to real life. I haven't seen her in years, so I don't know if she is still in nursing.
    I don't know if the 60% (was it that many who passed or that many who failed?) information is accurate. Sometimes we hear things from other people and take it to be true when we really don't have the facts. (I know I've been guilty of that)
    I also can't help but comment on the issue of drug calculation and some statements made. I sat on a Task Force for Medication Safety and assisted in answering questions on a hospital self-assessment and doing drug calculations (beyond the simple ones, such as with Morphine 4 mg/ml, 2 mg is 1/2 ml) in your head or even with a calculator isn't always the best thing. Double checking with someone else is a good thing, but I also think we were blessed to have a Pharmacy with the foresight to purchase a program that included doing the calculations when the medications were entered into the computer. I realize many people will disagree with me, so I suggest going to the AHA web site at http://www.aha.org/medicationsafety/medsafety.asp and the JCAHO web site at http://www.jcaho.org/ptsafety_frm.html to read the information. The statistics on med errors and the cost to patients' lives are staggering.
    Just had to put my 2 cents worth in on that issue.
  4. by   felltoddman
    To clarify: I have nothing against nurses knowing how to do drug calculations, I think it's important, but we also need to recognize that we are human and can make mistakes, especially in today health care climate.
    I also realize that my comments were a bit off topic, but that issue was mentioned in the discussion and it obviously is an important one to me.
  5. by   mattsmom81
    Originally posted 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

    Hi there !
    You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and I wish you only good luck. I have worked with several excellent nurses who went to ICU right out of school and did well....they were exceptional and if you are doing well, you probably are one in that category!

    Don't close your mind to medsurg, as critical care without the strong medsurg background tends to leave some learning 'holes'.....with organization and prioritizing, and basic skills!

    I've always said a good medsurg nurse is worth her/his weight in gold...can't beat the knowledge base you get there...and ICU can miss the boat as far as baseline knowledge..... JMHO.

    Best wishes,
    Deb (mattsmom81)
  6. by   Dr. Kate
    Here in So. Calif. the community colleges produce the majority of the new graduate nurses. The current mandate is "everyone has an equal right to fail." What that boils down to is that schools have to take all those who are qualified. Qualified can mean different things and because of more candidates than places menas the shcools can set prerequisites that must be met before you can even seek admission. Then, the student gets placed in a lottery and with any luck gets picked, eventually. There is no place in the system for selection of the best qualified, or the one person who may lack certain qualifications but is well suited to nursing. It's no wonder we're seeing higher failure rates.
    We have also noticed that with the rolling NCLEX dates, new grads are often reluctant to set a date as they don't "feel ready" to take the test. No one every feels ready to take it. As our director of education tells them, every day grey cells are dying.
    To SLS0831--Try not to be so defensive and testy about your BSN. There are great nurses from every educational background. Education is at base more about what you put into it than what is put into you by it. Nurses judge new grads first by their skill set. Nurses judge their peers by what they're able to do with that skill set. In other words, by the ability to think critically, make quick, informed decisions, and do the best for the patient.

  7. by   ckirby
    I'm still a student, but that stereotype is inaccurate. I choose the school I'm attending now because it has the highest pass rate in the area (95 % or higher for over ten years). The graduates from the school I'm in are sought after because they DO know what they are doing. The trend here is that certain schools have higher fail rates. I challenge you, all of you, If the new grads are so 'bad', then teach them!!!
  8. by   ckirby
    Babs, I must be going to the same school you went to. Guess what its an ADN program(for those who think they are inferior). I don't know about other states, but here in Ill. the only classes I would have to take to get my BSN are business and management classes. At least in my ADN program, we have to go to the hosp the night before, get pt information for 2 pts, write care plans(without a book) and meet all eleven basic needs, fill out medication cards for every medication, lab cards, diagnosis cards and yes ADN do have to know why for every med, lab and test. If we can't tell the pt why they are taking every med and what side effects they can expect, as well as inform our instructor what we will assess before and after each med and what interventions we will perform we are sent home and given an absence. I started nursing school in 1990 and left two weeks before graduation to go to desert storm, if anything it is much harder now than it was then.
  9. by   EvelynRN-BSN
    I am actually keeping a count of all of those who are passing the state boards from our graduating class. So far all of us who have taken has passed. The head count is up to 18 right now. Maybe you should suggest these New Grads to take the Kaplan Review. I strongly recommend it. Our class to the review course as a group and it tremendously helped with understanding how to answer the NCLEX style questions. As of April 2004 they raised the passing bar and I was scared to take it, but the review course helped. It teaches you how to determine what the stem of the question is and how to come up with the correct answer even if you have no clue on how to answer it. Our school has one of the top passing rates here in the state of Maryland with a ninty something percent pass rate. It is an ADN program, although I am going to do the RN to BSN and MSN program.
    Really to fix the problem I strongly believe the Kaplan Review would be extremely helpful. I think Kaplan needs to reimburse me my money because of how I am telling everyone they should take it. I don't know if I could have passed it without Kaplan. I am not a good test taker. But, it helped me understand what the question was asking and how to answer it. I hope the will shed some light on the situation at hand.

    Quote from jerry Rn
    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 hired as GNs cannot be fired to make room for nurses that have passed their boards for a least 3 months ( when they retest).
    Is this trend national or local in nature? Also, as a preceptor I have noticed that many of our new grads are competent in clinical skills ,but have no idea of what is going on with their patients (disease process). Can I get some feed back and possible suggestions on what can be done to fix this problem?

    Thanks Jerry RN, BSN
  10. by   All_Smiles_RN
    60% fail rate is wrong. National average of RN's PASSING the NCLEX is 84%. See for yourself: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/nursi..._June_2001.pdf
  11. by   SCRN1
    With that high rate of failing, I'm surprised they haven't lost their accreditation! The college where I got my ADN had a high pass rate and the whole time I was there, the instructors constantly prepared us for boards. The university closeby for BSN students didn't have as good a record as ours and they did lose their accreditation. I've been curious since if they've gotten it back. I may like to go back one day to become a NP.
  12. by   WendyBSN2004
    It is true they did change the test...they have made it harder. I believe it started April 1st 2004. I will be taking my boards in a week so I will find out how hard it is soon.

    Quote from andylane78
    I a currently working in UT and have noticed our new grads (both BSN and ADN) having trouble passing boards as well. It is rumored that they changed the test year ago. Is this true or strictly rumor? I took mine three years ago and passed first time and I am by no mean a 4.0.

    Does any one know how to find pass rate stats for different universities and schools?
  13. by   KarafromPhilly
    I precepted a particular GN (for one shift) who absolutely scared the cr*p out of me. I was looking at a MAR, and I said to her, "OK, this med is ordered Q12. It was last given at one o'clock. When are we going to give it?" This girl COUNTED ON HER FINGERS and said, "Seven o'clock?" When I told her she was wrong, she argued with me. SHE PASSED THE NCLEX ON HER SECOND TRY. I kid you not.