lowering standards R/T shortage - page 4

I have been hearing many stories lately about how nursing instructors/nursing programs are being asked to lower the "scales" to pass more students directly due to the nursing shortage. Has... Read More

  1. by   mamabear
    I returned to school in 1999, at the ripe old age of 52, to get a bachelor's in behavioral science. I graduated from nursing school in 1982, so I'd been away from college for a long time. Everything has been dumbed down; I couldn't believe it. Not only were the textbooks filled with glossy pictures and diagrams, the students themselves had no concept of English grammer, couldn't spell "cat" if their lives depended on it, and whined repeatedly about "tough" assignments. It was disgusting!
    I had been a "B" student in nursing. I got straight "A"s this last time.
  2. by   Flo1216
    I think schools are making it easy to get into the program but I don't think they are making it easier to pass. I think, in regards to my school, that it is easy to get in but difficult to STAY in. You need a 77 to pass, plus you have to pass clinical, which includes care plans and all that jazz. My class started out with 30 and now as a senior, we are down to 11. I think that schools are accepting more students in the hopes that they will retain at least half of them and that that half will turn out to be good nurses. I feel a little offended as a student by the insinuation that schools are lowering standards to GRADUATE nurses. The schools need a certain number of students to pass the boards, or else they lose their accreditation. So if they floated people through they would be helping no one.
    Last edit by Flo1216 on Nov 17, '02
  3. by   Flo1216
    Kara from Philly- which nursing books have glossy photos of nurses in action? CERTAINLY not mine. AND mamabear, speaking of cats...could you be any cattier? I certainly don't consider my curriculum as being " dumbed down" . In fact, it is quite challenging and I was a college educated person before I even started nursing school. And I am pretty sure that all of my classmates can spell cat and follow a textbook without the help of glossy photos and graphs.
    Last edit by Flo1216 on Nov 17, '02
  4. by   Q.
    Re: the glossy photos of nursing in action. I agree with Flo; my texts didn't have much of that. The only book that did was a PHOTO atlas of nursing skills. Does anyone have the title, year, etc of this book they are referring to? I'd like to know, as we'll be starting Curriculum Development soon and it might be a good thing to discuss.

    Besides, there's a shortage of advanced degree nurses as well, and no one really seems to appreciate the nurse in academia, so who's gonna write new textbooks?
  5. by   Flo1216
    We have a photo atlas also, but that is in ADDITION to the 15 other textbooks. It is merely a supplement.
  6. by   kimmicoobug
    I hate to admit it, but my program has been dumbed down. Only five years ago, an 80% was needed to pass both clinical and theory. Now, it is 75%. Crazy, I dropped out during my first year due to pregnancy. When I came back, I got a 78 in clinical. I would have failed. Now, I make A's in clinicals. But anyways, I do wonder at times at some of the people they let into the program. I have an aquaintance who badmouths the program because it is not fair that we are "forced into critical thinking" because not all of us can think this way. Also, I do agree with previous posters who said they train us to pass the NCLEX. I have had instructors who have said, "this stuff will be on your boards, and that is why I am teaching it" Our exams are NCLEX type, but they are not easy! I have to think! I actually struggle more with multiple choice than with essay or any other format.
    I too also find illustrations informative. It supplements my learning as well as the text.
  7. by   kimmicoobug
    Forgot to mention that at my school over half of the original students from my class have not continued with the program for one reason or another and the program is getting crap from the school to lower standards or to be more selective in picking students. My program has accomodated by being more selective. They are taking students who have no parallels to take or students with very few. In my class, it was not uncommon for students to be taking 2-3 parallels on top of nursing.
  8. by   Flo1216
    I am sorry...what is a parallel? I don't think it is wrong to prepare you for the boards. I think schools would be doing theselves and their students a diservice if they did't prepare students for the boards. Wha is wrong with formatting test questions the way they would be seen on the boards? It's not as though they give you the test beforehand with all of the answers. Is it any different that an SAT review or MCAT review? I can't speak for any other program, but I have to say I do believe that mine is challenging. Unless of course, I am a dummy.
  9. by   Stargazer
    Originally posted by kimmicoobug
    I have an aquaintance who badmouths the program because it is not fair that we are "forced into critical thinking" because not all of us can think this way.
    Wha? It's not fair? Does she understand that it's "not fair" to the patient if she can't do critical thinking?

    Yikes. You're scaring me, kimmi. Please tell me this person isn't passing.
  10. by   MICU RN
    I agree with FLO126 that it seems they are lowering their admissions standards and not the actual curriculum. But what does this tell you? To me it shows, as I have stated in other post, that the schools are not attracting the best and brightest college students. And how can they compete with other traditional college educated professions when the job conditions are so crappy and the job disription includes doing plenty of nurses aid work which requires no education. If nursing wants to compete with other professions in this day and age it will have to get a huge make over. Better pay, work conditions and respect, until then you will continue see a decrease in quality BSN applicants. Nursing has to decide does it really want to be a college educated professsion or more of a trade that requires a two year degree from a community college? I think the current trend seems to be showing that the community colleges have plenty of people trying to get into their programs where the BSN programs are stagnant. Why? Because at the community college level, which I started at and have plenty of respect for, nursing is seen as a high paying trade that in ables you to work inside and offers benefits. Compared with the university level where all the professions are offered and nursing is considered to be not that attractive for the reasons I mentioned earlier in the post. So, therefore, most people are choosing other more attractive careers. In addition, I feel the multiple entry points with nursing have as much to do with the dichotomy we find nursing in. If there was just one entry point we would at least know where we stand and would not try to be competing at two different levels.
  11. by   Pretzlgl
    Anthony, what is this "competing at two different levels you speak of". I agree with you that if requiring a BSN to enter nursing would help us to become a true profession, then so be it. But I can't see how that alone would do it. AT THE BEDSIDE, what does a BSN do differently than an ADN. And please don't say critically think - because I can do that with the best of them.
    I do believe that a BSN should be necessary for research and certain management positions. However, when hospitals and their administrators start hiring more aides to do the aide work - then maybe RN's won't have to do it. Nursing is becoming task oriented in certain markets - but I don't think acquiring a BSN would totally solve the problem. It may be a beginning step - but in the middle of this nursing shortage? Also, when all of the BSN's out there started their programs there were still ADN and Diploma programs being taught. Maybe at that point they should have realized that nursing was just a "trade" and not a profession. (I for one do not subscribe to this theory). Or maybe teaching - which does require a Bachelor's degree - could have been a choice. Because we all know how much teachers are paid and respected.
  12. by   llg
    Pretzlgl: Please forgive me for taking so long to respond to your previous post. I use my computer at work to participate in these discussions and therefore, don't participate on the weekends.

    I agree that, at the bedside, there is very little difference between most ADN's and most BSN's. If you re-read my earlier post, you will see that I believe that an ADN is sufficient for bedside staff nursing. Also, I said that individual ADN nursing may outperform individual BSN nurses. I think we agree on a lot of key issues.

    I think the differences start to show (for most, but not all nurses) after a little time in practice and in the practice of more complex and/or leadership skills -- and sometimes, that even means in staff nurse roles such as Charge Nurse, Preceptor, Committee Member. In general (but not always), I have found that the BSN nurses are more able to handle delegation to support staff, organize the work of others, evaluate the performance of others, develop a teaching plan, prepare a committee report, participate in policy and procedure development by analyzing literature, etc. These are all things that "advanced-level staff nurses" do in many hospitals.

    Yes, some ADN nurses do quite well in these tasks and some BSN nurses do terrible. But, when considering thousands/millions of nurses, I think the BSN population is better prepared for these more advanced tasks.

  13. by   llg
    To MICU RN: Another great post. I enjoy reading your thoughts.

    As for me, if the option of starting with a 4-year college degree from a major university had NOT been available, I never would have become a nurse. As a high school valedictorian (spelling?), I wanted to "go to college" and have that 4-year university experience. And I wanted to enter a PROFESSION in which I could progress to higher levels with graduate education. Had nursing school been equivalent to a vocational trade school, I never would have gone. I would have chosen another (health) career.

    If the generic BSN option were to disappear, nursing would lose a lot of its recruits -- the "college bound" high school kids would choose something else.

    Not that I think that's what you were suggesting ...

    Last edit by llg on Nov 18, '02