Nursing School Admission requirements are they fair? - page 4

I used to be an LPN, I have been working on my prerequisites for a year now... As we all know the competition to enter a program is ridiculous. Most school uses the GPA as their primary filter in... Read More

  1. by   Yin Yang
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I disagree that 'most' of nursing is comprised of 'vocational' skills. A signficant amount, to be sure.

    'Most' of my job comprises of being a critical thinking expert that continually compares the status of my patient from one point in time to the next and evaluates both what the differences are and what the necessary course of action should be to either foster or correct those differences, calling to bear my allied health peers, such as a doctor, when necessary to bring about the changes to improve the status of my patient.

    I tell new nurses that I precept that a good chunk of nursing is like the old sunday morning cartoons with the 2 pictures side by side where you have to figure out what is different in the pictures. THAT is what I do, and that is why I get paid. (I recently found out that there is actually a term for this: it's called 'lighthousing'.)

    To be sure, I can clean poop with the best of them. And while I DO consider that an essential component of my job, it's not why, or at least, not primarily why I'm at the bedside. Others CAN be paid to do that. But, they can't be paid to be the critical thinking expert that commands my salary UNLESS they understand the SCIENCE of human physiology and compensatory mechanisms and the SCIENCE of what tools we have at our disposal to positively interact to improve such things.

    Don't make this a BSN/ADN debate. I didn't say that you had to have a bach degree to be a good bedside 'scientist'; I said you had to have a good foundation IN science. ADN programs teach that as well.

    My point was an emphasis on who were are recruiting and that science is and should be the queen of nursing. I might not remember formulas off the top of my head either, but, I know when to look up the deoxyhemoglobin dissociation curve (or indeed, how to interpret that ABG in the first place) or how to calculate an SVR if I have to. I know how a balloon pump works, not just how to operate it, and I know how most of the drugs I give work and not only what to expect from their actions, but when to intervene and how if those actions don't produce the desired results. That's science. More important, it's what I do, on a daily basis.

    While it might be true that I learned many of these skills on the job, it is also true that understanding and applying these skills absolutely demands an aptitude for the science we use on the job, every single day. It does not serve the interests of nursing, either globally or at each individual bedside, to pishaw the science of our profession.

    This is not aimed at you individually, but I do much mislike the characterization of what I do as primarily vocational in nature. My skills are much more than that, and worth much more than that.

    We should foster the Science ability and aptitude in our newest protegees. In fact, those are the skills and aptitudes we SHOULD be looking for above all others. 'Caring' is an endemic human quality. Science is not.

    Wow - couldn't have saidy it better!!

  2. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from mauxtav8r
    One aspect of this discussion that has not yet come up is . . .

    What about the seemingly bright student who apparently cannot think critically? This is your basic 3.5 or better student who memorizes well but cannot handle "nclex" type questions.

    This simultaneous prioritization and assessment of all wild factors is more than some linear thinkers can take.
    Nursing is probably not the best profession because so much of the job is critical thinking. It doesn't mean they are not smart. That is why you see 4.0's flunk out of nursing school...they are book smart and good test takers based on fact, but if you have to deviate and put what you have learned to application, not everyone can make the transition.
  3. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from PACNWNURSING
    I used to be an LPN, I have been working on my prerequisites for a year now... As we all know the competition to enter a program is ridiculous. Most school uses the GPA as their primary filter in order to be selected. Is this a fair practice for potential students who have less then a 3.5 gpa to be excluded automatically... Does having a 4.0 equate to automatically being a successful nursing student or future licensed nurse?
    My gpa 3.8, because I know want some of you will be thinking
    No. Nursing school entrance requirements are not fair. No matter how they do it.

    When I started, it was first come first serve and the waiting list was two years long. As long as you met the minimum requirements of the college (community college) you were eligible to start the program. Consequently, we started out with 70+ students and now less than 20 from my original class are graduating this week. That's alot of empty seats that could have gone to more qualified candidates (?) that may have been statistically more successful.

    HOWEVER, since I started the program has switched to the more popular point system using primarily the applicant's GPA and the NET test. Keep in mind that high school GPAs are used if the applicant has no past college experience. The ACT requirements, especially the math portion, are higher as well. Overall, there has been a significant decrease in the number of failures.

    So why do I think the newer system that seems more efficient is not fair? Well, if I had been held to those standards vs. being admitted after waiting my time on the list...I would not be a new grad right now. My ACT was 27 with a 25 in math...not shabby by any means. But coming straight out of highschool, my first semesters of college as a general major and then an accounting major were taken not so seriously to say the least and would have kept me out of the program unless I had repeated almost everything (half of which didn't even apply towards my nursing degree.) Because I was given the chance, and more mature and dedicated towards becoming a nurse, I was able to take all my pre-req's and nursing with no problems. Mostly As and a few Bs. Exceptional clinical performance. And confident that I will be an efficient and competent nurse in the next few months. There are many other students that are in a similar position who are not getting into the nursing program now who could perform just as well as the current students accepted.

    Another aspect to consider; the median age in my class is quite higher than that of the newer class. Mid thirties vs. early twenties. That's because alot of these newer students are being accepted with a highschool GPA of 3.5 or higher, while students with a college GPA of 3.0 are considered less competitive. Anyone with half a brain knows that this doesn't add up. The powers that be are "working out the kinks" in their selection process, supposedly.

    To me, neither system is fair in one respect or another. But the second system is producing a higher number of nurses, and that is the desired outcome. I'm just glad I came in before this new system was put in place at my school or I would not be celebrating my graduation this friday...I'd be flipping burgers or teaching yoga LOL
    Last edit by nurse4theplanet on Dec 9, '06