Need advice about where to turn.

  1. Hello,

    Let me preface this by saying I am a 47 year old male who was enrolled at a local Community college in the Paramedic to RN program. I have been a Paramedic since 1986 and I have worked in a large urban fire department for the past 27 years. This was going to be my second career. Our school has a policy of a 75% average on the total number of exams for that module. If you do not meet this requirement you have a chance to retake the module to achieve a passing score and complete the program. This took place in August of 2013.

    Here's my dilemma,

    I successfully passed every module for our program the first time except for the Maternal/Newborn module. I retook the module with the same instructor and failed again. My exam average was 71.25% but my overall average was an 88%. My clinicals were stellar. Since I did not meet the school's requirement I was dropped from the program and told I could not reapply for 5 years. I was devastated and almost suffered a severe anxiety attack. I have never suffered one before because I work in a large urban fire department where I need to make life or death decisions in a matter of seconds in less then stellar conditions. I also sank into a severe depression and retreated into my bedroom avoiding my wife and children. I'll be 52 in 5 years and I have no intention of starting the program then. Both times I requested a tutor but they said there were none available. Also the instructor was standoffish and arrogant and seem to look down on all students because she had a PhD and made sure we addressed her as "Doctor". Talking with other students in my program the entire program was in a state of chaos basically. A lot of the older instructors retired and there was no real leadership per se. The only person who I could count on for the correct information was the Department's secretary who has been there for years.

    I wrote e-mails to all the people who I thought could help my situation in some way. I received no responses. I typed a letter and sent it to the same list of people. I finally received a reply from the Director of Nursing who basically summed it up by saying tough luck. Not our problem.

    No one could believe that this was their response. My sister and wife are both RN's and spoke with co-workers who said that was just wrong. What I am asking for from you all is what do you think I should do? Over the holidays my sister ran into one of my clinical instructors and asked how was I doing. She told her what happened and she was astonished to. She said I performed above average in clinicals and the instructor that I had has had numerous complaints against her. I am willing to retake the module I failed but I am too far into this to start the entire program over. It makes me angry that there were students in the program who screwed up bad in clinicals and were almost expelled but those same students are now RN's. Can anyone tell me which direction I should turn or who to contact to assist me in my dilemma?

    Thanks for reading this.

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    About Biohazard

    Joined: Dec '13; Posts: 2; Likes: 1


  3. by   AJJKRN
    Are you able to transfer your credits elsewhere to take the minimal classes needed to get your degree? You may be stuck with taking a handful of extra (unintended) classes but this alternative may be better than a complete loss of time and education. I hope it works out, I had seen this happen in my ADN school as well...especially to males
  4. by   Biohazard
    No, they won't let me repeat just that module at other schools. I guess it's all about the money.
  5. by   TC3200
    Or it might be that your ex-school's modules don't line up with the semester content of the other college RN programs. I would be in the same boat if I ever decided that I want to get a ADRN or BSRN. I was at a diploma school for one year. But the content was all scrambled up and recombined in odd ways, so that none of it except perhaps Nursing I would match any normal college degree program sequencing.

    Become an LPN and then bridge to RN? At least that would get you into nursing in 12 months. Here, LPNs have plenty of nursing home work at average $15/hr. Down in Beaver and Allegheny counties of PA, it goes up to $18-$20 or maybe even $22/hr, for LPN. That is starting pay for new grad RN in some places.

    Repeating courses costs money and takes time. But it's always easier the second time than the first. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Unfortunately, the test grades have to meet a minimum and yours didn't.

    I totally can relate to the anxiety attacks. (I can also relate to the chaos. The school I went to was definitely NOT ready for prime time the year I was there. Instructors quit. Director was fired, hospital had financial probs, etc.) I am a women who's worked in engineering, sci, and tech for over 20 years. Nursing was so much a traditional women's world that I felt like I'd been turned upside down. By the end of Year 1, I'd had enough. And it was the mother-baby-labor-delivery-OB stuff that really got me fed up and PO'd. I don't have children, I am not interested in raising any, and I didn't have any idea how much there is to all of that. It did, however, convince me that I was really too far down the road from all of that motherhood and family stuff and I just really wanted to NOT ever be involved with it at this late date. LOL.

    Good luck. If you are still interested in nursing, don't let the _____ win. You just have to get back on the horse and ride. You'll turn 52 on the same date, regardless or whether or not you repeat nursing.
  6. by   squatmunkie_RN
    Stay a paramedic. You're 47. You'll retire in a few years. Being a new RN you're going to make $hit money $22/hr average. The stress is high. The reward is hardly there. Don't redo it. If I was in your position I wouldn't. Take a vacation, and enjoy life.
  7. by   jadelpn
    First off, I am so sorry that this has happend to you. It does sound as if this was a for profit school. Get a copy of your transcripts and your record at the school today!!

    Then go to your local community college with said transcript. Make an appointment with the school's guidance counselor. See what credits they will take, see what you need to take to get to your RN. While you are at it, you might as well take what you need to become a BSN. This seems to be the preference. Apply for financial aid. Go to your high school website and see what they have as far as alumni scholarships.

    One of the craziest things going is that these for profit schools seemingly making professional adults take and retake "modules" for a large amount of money, and holding hostage advancement for a bizarre amount of time (5 years, SERIOUSLY?!?!?!). Also making one believe that the ONLY way for one to obtain a degree is through them. Which is just not true.

    If I had a dime for every person who had to retake stuff, that they "ban" one from retaking for years (and think about it, you will pay off your student loans by then, and again be able to borrow the max amount for their "requirements" at that time) I would have enough money to get my PhD!!

    Being a paramedic is awesome. Being on the street in one's 40's not so much, so I get it. Perhaps now is the time to try for some per diem at your local ER? It would get your foot in the door at the hospital as well.

    There are ways to do this. I really think some of these "bridge" schools can be scamming. At a great cost to the well being of the student. Clear your head and go forward with confidence. Unless there's some contract that you can't transfer, start looking at new schools today!! Even if you had to start at square one, it is less than 5+ years!!

    Best of luck in your endevours!!
  8. by   PurpleLover
    I am wowed by what I have read.
  9. by   bbcfan
    I am so sorry this is happening to you. It is quite upsetting. My BF also had his only negative experience in nursing college in the maternity rotation. I felt the instructor had issues with male nurses in that field. Maybe look into a program in a different state? I know it would be difficult with a family and work but it would bear consideration.
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    I'm sorry this happened to you. I would follow Jadelpn's advice -- it's probably your best shot. Good luck!
  11. by   nursewr
    Sorry to hear u made it so far only to not make it. That's horrible. But that's the way these programs are set up, Private or public... There are standards and it's much harder to fail clinical than theory. You can learn to be a better nurse clinically. I've seen people in my program fail by 1 point and be dismissed from the program, because the rules. Good luck.
  12. by   plumbtrician
    Apply to my school. Being male has been nothing but a benefit!
  13. by   liberated847
    I feel for you, why not try Excelsior College? Seems your fly through that program in less than a year (that's what I did when I was a paramedic).
  14. by   KatRNBSN2014
    Apply to another school, and start again. I mean, what will you be doing in the mean time if not working for what you're passionate and good at. Who cares about your age? Would you rather be 52 and an RN or 52 and a paramedic? Life is short, so go for what you want and don't let anyone stop you. There may be bumps in the road in your journey, but that doesn't mean that you should stop altogether and quit. There are so many nursing schools out there; apply else where and forget those people.