nursing school curriculum change

  1. I am a 2nd semester (first year) student at a community college nursing school (ADN).

    This is the first class to participate in the "new curriculum". We have been told by the faculty that this curriculum change was mandated by the accreditation board (specific board un-named) across the country. We were told that our program was one of the last changing over to the "new curriculum" nation-wide.

    In essence, we have fundamentals the first semester. The second semester we have 10 weeks of med/surg (formerly taught as a 16 week course but now "compressed") and 6 weeks of Mother/Child. Summer semester is 8 more weeks of med/surg.

    After these three semesters, we are elligible to sit the LPN licensing examination.

    At this point, we can opt out of the program as LPNs, or continue for two more semesters (psych and one other --can't come up with it right now off the top of my head) to sit the RN boards.

    Unfortunately, due to the compressed content of this semester so far (16 weeks of med/surg in 10 weeks' time), the best guess is that out of 65 students, only about 15-17 are passing. In comparison, last year's class (now seniors) started with about 60 and still 40-some remain.

    I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has experience with this "new curriculum". Is this really an across-the-board change for ADN nursing schools?

    While I am grateful for the opportunity to work as an LPN while finishing out the program for my RN, I am concerned by the rate of attrition, as are the rest of my classmates.

    The time constraints are enormous. As you all know, there is a tremendous amount of time required outside of the classroom for reading textbooks, care plans, studying, computer-assisted lab assignments, etc., and we are simply unable to make a 16 week time frame course fit into a 10 week slot. Like trying to put the proverbial toothpaste back in the tube.

    Any feedback is appreciated.
  2. Visit pdmt profile page

    About pdmt

    Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 22
    RN - med/surg


  3. by   traumaRUs
    I do know that I went to a one plus one community college in Vegas, the first year, you did all the prereqs, and LPN clinicals, then you sat for LPN boards and picked up again in the summer for summer, fall and spring semesters and you got an ADN. Our attrition rate was fairly high, but that was 12 years ago and I don't remember the statistics. Are they talking about the NLN accreditation??
  4. by   Shell7280
    I just graduated in May of last year. Our ADN program was 1st semester- Fundamentals (16wks), 2nd semester- Med/Surg (16wks), 3rd semester- 8 wks of OB and 8 wks of Pedi, 4th semester- 6 wks of Psych, 6 wks of Advanced Med Surg and 4 wks of Leadership/Management...which they just added that year. The semester after I graduated they started making second semester split into two 8 wk med surg courses.
  5. by   Rena RN 2003
    i attend a community college and we have not had any "across the board" type changes.

    first quarter - fundamentals (11 weeks)
    second quarter - fundamentals (11 weeks)
    third quarter - ob (10 weeks)
    fourth quarter - psych (8 weeks)
    fifth quarter - med/surg (11 weeks with components of peds, ER, and OR)
    sixth quarter - med/surg (11 weeks more of the same)
    seventh quarter - advanced med/surg and mentorship (9 weeks)

    nothing seems to be changing for the class that's following me or the newest class that will begin this fall.
  6. by   sjoe
    There is a student nursing forum on this BB.
  7. by   pdmt
    Thanks for the replies. I am aware of the student nursing forum here, but was actually looking more for feedback from those who have already graduated. Am aware of the GN forum, too, but felt I needed information from those who would have more experience with the accreditation process and the governing boards -- the names of which I do not even know!

    To elucidate further, we were told that the "BIG (emphasis not mine) decision was made nationally that by 2003 all AD nursing programs must put in place this new approach for the curriculum........decision has been in effect for about 1-1/2 years across the nation......forced to make this change in order to stay accredited with the state and national boards of nursing...."

    If anyone can point me in the direction where I can confirm this statement, either on a "state and national boards of nursing" website, or provide the correct names for said boards of nursing, I would be grateful.


    p.s. Again, the problem seems to be that we have having a 16 week course that was previously taught in the 2nd semester of 2nd year compressed into a 10 week time period right after fundamentals.....just trying to get a handle on the whole situation.
  8. by   Edward,IL
    1) There is not a national board of nursing, but there are state boards of nursing in each of the fifty states, each U.S. territory,
    each Canadian Provence. The National State Board Test Pool (old name, now the NCLEX) develops the standardized test that all the states use.
    2) The National League of Nursing (originally the National League of Nursing Education, c. 1903) has been the nursing profession's
    accrediting body, whose authority is secondary to but well respected by all the state boards of nursing and generally have provided a higher set of standards than the minimum standards set by the state boards. They used to look down upon 1+1 or 2+2 programs with the rationale that a professional nurse needs a professional orientation from the first day of school, rather than beginning with a technical mindset and then trying to rethink to the professional level. I don't know where they stand now.
    3) The American Organization of Colleges of Nursing (or is it the American Association of Colleges of Nursing?) accredits bachelaureate and higher degree programs and has (or at least had) deemed status by the Department of Education (Federal Level).
    Please investigate these organizations to get an update on their current requirements for curriculum content.
    I hope this helps you. Edward, IL
  9. by   pdmt
    Edward -- Thanks for the info. I appreciate your taking the time to post all of this information. It is exactly what I was looking for.
  10. by   NurseGirlKaren
    pdmt--I don't know about the curriculum change, but I just want to say that I feel your pain!! Our nursing class (went to a state university for B.S.) was the first to graduate under a new curriculum. The old program was 8 semesters total, with the first 3 all prerequisites and the last 5 a mix of prereqs and nursing classes. Under the new curriculum, it was 4 semesters of prereqs and then 4 of strictly nursing. We experienced some serious problems with the new curriculum, and the pat answer was "we're working out the system". Didn't help us at the time--we were true warriors by the time we graduated!!

    Hang in there!
  11. by   llg
    As you find out about the NLN requirements, understand that they rarely spell out the details of HOW things need to be done. They usually state general principles that need to be followed. It's then up to the individual programs that must work out as to how to implement the general guidelines.

  12. by   Edward,IL
    As llg noted, the NLN and other standards are written in general terms to allow for "creativity" on the part of Nursing Faculty.
    My suggestions: You (the individual who is entering a learned profession) are responsible for your own learning and knowledge. Good, because this allows you to be as creative as you want to be.
    1) Maintain your own nursing library at home. Take advntage of your student status to subscribe to several nursing journals at the reduced (often times 50% off) rate. Go to used book sales in your area and look for used nursing texts, often times for $1-2.(the information really doesn't really change, the older books you sometimes find can be a real hoot!
    2) Commit yourself today to life-long learning. Check out the curricula of other colleges of nursing at the best universities, including masters and doctorate programs. Take a look at the course title, course content and the cognate courses.
    Even though you may not be able to move right now to attend school at a top-rated program at that level, you can closely assimilate much of the same stuff into your own pesonal program(you can take as elective credits now or even after graduation such courses as elementary statistics, nutrition, gerontology, research methods for education and/or the health sciences, psychology, child development, economics, etc.) You will end up with an Associate Degree but still be well-read and well-rounded
    (and well-prepared to go on to your next degree). If you live in a remote area, a lot of universities offer coursework over the internet. You are already and will be in the future getting plenty of clinical experience, lecture content via the internet greatly enhances what you are doing and learning at the bedside.
    My favorite schools: University of California, San Francisco and other campus sites within their system.
    University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Boston College. Boston University. St. Louis University, St. Louis , MO. New York University. Columbia University, New York. University of Iowa.
    Contact the admissions department of all of the above and request a college catalogue and application for admission. They will send you this for free. Then, you and the other students in your study group can really get a handle on how well your school measures up.
    Thanks for asking, Edward, IL