I have a question I live in the state of Connecticut and I wrote to the Department of Public Health and asked them to please send me statistical information on all the nursing programs in the state ie. total # of students admitted, # of students who withdrew from the program, attrition rate, total graduates, expected graduates and students eligible for NCLEX. I was surprised that four of the nursing programs that I was interested in 3 are BSN programs one had a 23% the other a 3% of the nursing and the other a 1% attrition rate. and is an ADN program had a 26% attrition rate for the year of 2000-01. ( I am waiting to get the 2002-03 attrition rates). Most of the two year programs rate in the 20% range with the exception the BSN I had mentioned above. The other four year programs rate considerably lower. Should I be concerned about some of the RN programs that have a high percent attrition rate? What is an acceptable rate for a school? Why do the ADN programs have a higher attrition rate than the BSN? Is this common in other states? I am concerend because I do not want to spend all my hard work and money on a school that has a high rate of students not being able to complete the program. I would appreciate a responce.
May 11, '03
Attrition rates are not a good measure of the school's success. Attrition rates can be caused by a number of factors for example - what is their admission criteria? I kno wof colleges here where, because of Equal Opportunity legislation they must accept students taht they would otherwise not accept i.e. poor command of language. Some universities have a lower admission criteria for nursing streams than for, say, Engineering because nursing has a lower prestige among high school students..This creates a false "drop out "rate as students get into nursing just to get into the college and then transfer to another stream.
Drop out rates can also be caused by higher clinical content because there is always a percentage of students who enter nursing thinking it is about being a "caring angel" whose only role is to wipe the fevered brow.
Don't rely on this one crtieria ask quessitons such as how much clinical content does the school have?
May 11, '03
Using attrition rates can be deceptive. Just as Gwenith said there are many factors. In a class of 20 if 4 dropped out that would be a rate of 20%.
In a class of 10 would be 40%.
If someone were to stay out a semester or year for financial, family, maternity, or any other reason they would become a dropout statistic even though they eventually returned.
I would imagine that pass rates on the NCLEX would render a better view of the school.
May 11, '03
Would a better measure of the success of each program be the pass rates? Just an idea.
May 12, '03
As with any statistic, you have to look beyond the numbers to fully interpret them. You will have to talk with the schools themselves and ask them why they they have the particular attrition rate that they do. Is it because they knowingly accept a lot of students with a low chance of success? Some community colleges are force to do so because their open admissions policies -- anyone who meets the minimum criteria get accepted and simply waits in line to attend when their turn comes. Such schools need to "weed out" those who can not perform up to the expected standard and therefore have a lot of failures and drop-outs in the first half of their programs.
For most 4-year programs, the first 2 years provide a liberal arts education and most of the actual nursing isn't until the final 2 years. Students my enroll as a nursing major and then switch majors after the first year or two.
Each school is unique and you have to find out the "story" of the schools you are interested in. The numbers themselves don't tell the whole store.
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