Are Nursing schools hurting Nursing?

  1. First, please consider the attributes of your personal prototype of The Perfect Nurse. What adjectives would you use? Sensitive, caring, compassionate, patient, intelligent?

    Now consider the gauntlet students have to run merely to get accepted into Nursing school.

    Are the sensitive, caring, compassionate and patient being weeded out in order to make way for and to reward the competitve? And what is that doing to Nursing?

    Hey, I'm just a freshman plodding through my pre-reqs, and my psych class this evening included a mention of "Achievement Motivation." Just trying to put 2 and 2 together, and I sometimes phrase things bluntly to elicit responses (I wonder in which chapter that sort of behaviour is covered?)
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    About is5512

    Joined: Jan '09; Posts: 88; Likes: 34

    69 Comments

  3. by   guiltysins
    Well I think that it's not really about competition. It's about who they feel is academically qualified to be a nurse. If they are intelligent then they wouldn't be weeded out by the nursing process and you can only hope that they are just as sensitive and caring as those who couldn't get into nursing because of grades or couldn't get through the program. I don't think the process in which schools go about accepting students into their program is wrong, the fact that most schools just don't have enough seats for everyone seems to be the problem, thus why it is such a competition to get into the programs. I think the way they base their admissions are pretty fair. You should have decent scores in Math and Sciences to be a proficient nurse and the interview process can be used as a way to tell the difference from people who really have a good idea of what nurses do and is just not closing their eyes and picking the first major they can think of.

    I really don't think nursing programs would base their applications on such stiff criteria such as needing a gpa over 3.7 if they simply had enough professors to make more nursing classes. So it's not the school's that are hurting nursing, it's the lack of people to teach it.
    Last edit by guiltysins on Jun 25, '09
  4. by   is5512
    Whoops. I assumed too much. (By the way: Hi, guiltysins).

    At my present school, there is no interview process. You never have to see a member of the Nursing faculty. Highest g-p-a combined with Teas gets the slot, period. Residence in the district is the tie-breaker.

    A classmate and I went across the street to inquite at the private university across town and asked about the admission requirements, and we were told, "Well, we look at the whole person." "Yeah, that's real sweet. But what scores does the whole person need to get accepted!"

    So very cool that your school actually talks to students. But I'm wondering how smart it is to assume a 3.96 will be a better Nurse than a 3.95 when other factors aren't even considered. Or are we the only ones whose game is set up that way?
  5. by   guiltysins
    Quote from is5512
    Whoops. I assumed too much. (By the way: Hi, guiltysins).

    At my present school, there is no interview process. You never have to see a member of the Nursing faculty. Highest g-p-a combined with Teas gets the slot, period. Residence in the district is the tie-breaker.

    A classmate and I went across the street to inquite at the private university across town and asked about the admission requirements, and we were told, "Well, we look at the whole person." "Yeah, that's real sweet. But what scores does the whole person need to get accepted!"

    So very cool that your school actually talks to students. But I'm wondering how smart it is to assume a 3.96 will be a better Nurse than a 3.95 when other factors aren't even considered. Or are we the only ones whose game is set up that way?
    Hi!

    And I do agree, sometimes it's not really all about the grades. Heck there are some nursing schools out there that take into consideration high school grades and I think that's really kinda unfair because everyone was a different person in high school than college. My school doesn't interview, but you also don't need a 3.9 to get into the program which is what I like about it. People get in with a 3.2 and higher and the HESI A2 exam. You only have to get a 75 on each part (none of the science parts are included) and if you happen to get under a 75 in one or two areas (like a 70 or something) they give you a chance by enrolling you in the part-time program instead of full-time. You can also just walk to the nursing department and talk to an advisor about the program if you need to.

    One of the reasons that I am going to the school I am is because the other schools in my area that are public colleges and community colleges are way too competitive 3.7 or higher and I definetely don't have that. They also don't allow lower than C+ in science and math courses and things such as that which I think is a little strict because some people do slip up when taking those kind of science classes for the first time. Especially if they haven't taken science in a few years. Plus it's usually a race against time to make sure you can get your pre-reqs. One of the schools actually made the chemistry pre-req a lecture hall kind of class with 75 people.

    I go to a private university by the way and they accept over 100 students every year. They don't have those "you have to be in the school at least a semester before you can apply" stipulations. They don't even have a seperate nursing application. You just put nursing down as your major when you apply and if you get in then, you're a pre-nursing student with a spot as long as you pass your courses and your entrance exam.
  6. by   CuriousMe
    I think that nursing school's are trying to do more with less. Processing hundreds of applications takes time & cash, interviewing or reading the essays of hundreds of people takes more time & cash, etc. So, I think the acceptance methods that depend strictly on GPA's and test scores are inexpensive ways to try and weed through a lot of applicants.

    The other part of that though, is how do you objectively measure qualities like sensitivity, compassion, and caring in an application process? Even if there is an interview or an essay, really what you're measuring is how well they interview or write. The only way to really see the qualities you're looking for, is see them demonstrated over time....which means, after they get into the program.

    My school's application process didn't publish a point system but did say they weight A&P scores heavier than the rest of your GPA. They also require a proctored essay in which you speak about why you want to be a nurse, and times in your life that you've had different kinds of experiences (leadership, cross cultural, problem solving, etc).

    Peace,
    CuriousMe
  7. by   llg
    A lot of schools prefer to base their admissions on objective data (such as GPA's, test scores, etc.) because it minimizes the chances of law suits from those who don't get accepted. If they base admissions on subjective judgments, then they get sued by those whose numerical scores of higher who claimed they were discriminated against for one reason or another.

    ... And as another poster pointed out, it take an awful lot of time and money to do interviews, rate essays, etc.
  8. by   is5512
    Quote from llg
    A lot of schools prefer to base their admissions on objective data (such as GPA's, test scores, etc.) because it minimizes the chances of law suits from those who don't get accepted. If they base admissions on subjective judgments, then they get sued by those whose numerical scores of higher who claimed they were discriminated against for one reason or another.

    ... And as another poster pointed out, it take an awful lot of time and money to do interviews, rate essays, etc.
    I want to be extremely careful and extremely respectful when questioning one of my betters, and 31-years in a field I pray I'm good enough to even get In to establishes you as one of my betters. However (lol; there is always a "however") we all have sound reasons for the things we do; and some of the things we do really should result in the jail getting throwed on Top of us. Mass murderers, insurance salesman and administrators all "have their reasons."

    I will grant that even discovering valid subjective standards is a herculean task...and takes time, and money, and risks lawsuits. It may even be fattening and cause zits. Still, I rephrase and amplify my original question: Do schools - particularly public two year institutions who admit purely based on GPA - create ultracompetitive environments that reward certain personality types that may not be the best types for the Nursing field?

    oh good heavens, i'm even talking like one of "them" now...
  9. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from is5512
    I want to be extremely careful and extremely respectful when questioning one of my betters, and 31-years in a field I pray I'm good enough to even get In to establishes you as one of my betters. However (lol; there is always a "however") we all have sound reasons for the things we do; and some of the things we do really should result in the jail getting throwed on Top of us. Mass murderers, insurance salesman and administrators all "have their reasons."

    I will grant that even discovering valid subjective standards is a herculean task...and takes time, and money, and risks lawsuits. It may even be fattening and cause zits. Still, I rephrase and amplify my original question: Do schools - particularly public two year institutions who admit purely based on GPA - create ultracompetitive environments that reward certain personality types that may not be the best types for the Nursing field?

    oh good heavens, I'm even talking like one of "them" now...
    If you're looking for a yes/no...I'm going to say no. Having a 4.0 doesn't preclude an applicant from being caring, compassionate, etc (just like having a 3.0 doesn't preclude the applicant from lacking those same qualities). That comes from the same stereotype that spouts that 4.0 students aren't as good clinically (and no, I do NOT want to go there again!!!).

    All a 4.0 GPA shows is that the student was able to successfully exceed the expectations of the established performance requirements of the classes. It shows that they have a combination of intellect/work ethic, but doesn't say what the ratio of either is (ie not as gifted but works really hard ranging to super smart and works kinda hard).

    All it is, is an indicator of how the applicant may do in their nursing theory coursework. It is not an indicator of any aspect of their personality or character...positive or negative.
  10. by   is5512
    Ok, it's possible...no, its Very Likely...that I'm a very slow learner, so let me try this from a different angle:

    Imagine your Doctor - your personal physician. Is it someone you have a solid Doctor - Patient relationship with, or is it someone who grunts at you when they walk into the exam room, types a few paragraphs on the computer keyboard, and then leaves? How did you find him/her? By calling up a referral service to see who had the highest gpa in med school? Or did you assume that everyone at that level could find certain body parts if allowed the use of both hands and a roadmap?

    I *think* the last post I read suggests that it's ok for schools to pass only the brightest and most competitive because those who would be best with and for patients will be fairly represented in that group? Is that good enough?
  11. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from is5512
    Ok, it's possible...no, its Very Likely...that I'm a very slow learner, so let me try this from a different angle:

    Imagine your Doctor - your personal physician. Is it someone you have a solid Doctor - Patient relationship with, or is it someone who grunts at you when they walk into the exam room, types a few paragraphs on the computer keyboard, and then leaves? How did you find him/her? By calling up a referral service to see who had the highest gpa in med school? Or did you assume that everyone at that level could find certain body parts if allowed the use of both hands and a roadmap?

    I *think* the last post I read suggests that it's ok for schools to pass only the brightest and most competitive because those who would be best with and for patients will be fairly represented in that group? Is that good enough?
    Since I wrote that last post, let me clarify. I didn't suggest that it's ok for schools to pass only the brightest and most competitive; I answered your question:

    Quote from is5512
    Are the sensitive, caring, compassionate and patient being weeded out in order to make way for and to reward the competitve? And what is that doing to Nursing?
    and then the clarified question of:

    Quote from is5512
    Do schools - particularly public two year institutions who admit purely based on GPA - create ultracompetitive environments that reward certain personality types that may not be the best types for the Nursing field?
    And I said no; admitting based on GPA and test scores doesn't address personality types at all. It addresses their ability to get higher GPA's and high test scores. And explained that the idea that folks that do get high GPA's and score well on exams, are NOT a personality type, and there is no posative or negative inference to their character (are they compassionate, honest, patient, etc). A program that was looking for certain personality types would do personality testing (Meyers Briggs, etc) just as employers do, a program that was looking for character traits...well there are psych tests that show that as well (that the corporate world also uses) but really, the best way to see that is through demonstration.

    The question from the opposite perspective might be more interesting. Is the competitive process of nursing school application leaving out 3.0 students that also have the personal qualities suited to nursing? Then the answer is yes. But that is because (as was discussed above) there just aren't enough seats.
    Last edit by CuriousMe on Jun 26, '09 : Reason: To add a second thought
  12. by   DolceVita
    Not at my school. Anyone with a pulse and a 2.0 GPA can get in to the nursing program. The waiting list is 4 years long and there is NO merit based application process.

    I think that in itself weeds out a lot of good people. It is a long time to wait before getting on with your life.
  13. by   is5512
    LOL!!!

    I had a sudden flash of inspiration (or to quote from the movie Hook, "I've had an apostrophe!):

    Maybe who shows up with credentials and how they got them isn't all that important. It'll just be up to the veteran Nurses on the floor to mentor and nurture the ones who are good for Nursing. Heck, they're not all that busy anyway. That's just one more tiny job for them to do...
  14. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from is5512
    LOL!!!

    <snip>

    Maybe who shows up with credentials and how they got them isn't all that important. It'll just be up to the veteran Nurses on the floor to mentor and nurture the ones who are good for Nursing. Heck, they're not all that busy anyway. That's just one more tiny job for them to do...
    Well yeah, the veteran nurses on the floor should mentor new nurses...but nursing students also have nursing instructors and new grads also have preceptors. Nursing students and new grads need to be taught and mentored no matter what their personality type is.....so I'm not sure what you're point is with that?

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