Poll: what is the ratio for credits:exams/grading opportunities at your school?

  1. So I am just curious to see how schools all around the country compare.

    How many credits is your semester nursing curriculum and how many grading opportunities do you have? My school (ADN) has 1 nursing course each semester (15 weeks) it is worth 9 credits. We started semester 1 with 100+ students all with 3.8 GPA's or better for the most part. We lost about 30% after semester 1. I guess this is almost double what my school typically loses in the first semester. A 77 is failing in our program and you can not sit for the final unless you passed at least 1 of the 3 unit exams with a 77 or better. Each unit exam has 75 multiple choice NCLEX style questions worth 1.34 points each, the final has 100 worth 1 each.
    • We meet for lecture 2 times each week for 4 hours total. We have 3 unit exams worth 22.5% of our grade, 1 final exam worth 22.5%, and one special project worth 10%. Every other week we also have a math "quiz" but the grade is not recorded, it is just used to gauge your skills.
    • We have 2 hours of lab each week, there is a lab manual we have to complete each week, a mid-semester practicum, and final practicum. This portion of our course is Pass-Fail (no grades)
    • We have clinical in increasing amounts each of the 4 semesters (8 hrs per/wk semester 1, 12 hr/week semster 2, etc) We have a bunch of clinical paperwork to pass in each week, care plans, etc. This portion of the 9 credit course is also Pass-Fail.
    So I was just wondering how other schools compare. I feel that 5 grading opportunities for a 9 credit course isn't really enough. If you don't do well on 1 exam, it is pretty impossible to get an A in the course. Do your schools give you grades for lab or clinical work? Do you have quizes or other ways that your school grades you?

    Not sure if there are any baseball fans out there but I compare this to the all-star game. They made it "worth something" by giving the winning team home field advantage because they felt that the players were not playing hard because the game didn't mean anything prior to that. I think the same could be said about my school and our labs/clinicals. Give us some grades and you might see more effort and enthusiasm. People like to see that their hard work pays off, and in school that can be shown through grades.

    For the record, I passed without a problem, so this is really just out of curiosity. I did lose a few friends, many of them excelled in clinical and will make great nurses one day (So I hope they don't give up!). They just had trouble adjusting to the NCLEX style questions on our exams, maybe had a bad day on exam day, or maybe they just didn't prepare enough before the exams (who knows). I think they would have gotten better at taking the exams before the end of the 2 yrs and most of them would have been able to pass the NCLEX exam with no problem. I know that the schools pass rate is what is important to them, my school has one of the highest in the area. Is it not also important too however, to look at the drop out rate of a program? I did not even think about this when I was looking into this school. It just seems like the school weeds out students that they worry might hurt their pass rate, which is ok (I guess) but after only 1 semester?...I just think that is kind of jumping the gun and not giving everyone a shot.

    Anyway, sorry for getting fftopic:I look forward to seeing what other schools do and maybe this is just the norm.
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    Joined: Sep '08; Posts: 306; Likes: 127
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  3. by   tiggerdagibit
    My ADN program has 5 semesters. Four of them are 16 weeks and the summer semester (for me, it was 3rd semester) is 10 weeks. We start with 72 students both spring and fall. We lose some each semester, but add more in from students that failed or for some reason had to quit the previous semester. Also, 4th semester added in students from the LPN-RN program. Because of that, we usually get back up around 70 students each time.

    1st and 2nd semester clinicals were 6 hours/week
    3rd was 9 hours because of the shorter amount of weeks
    4th was 12 hours (2 days)
    5th is 15 hours (2 days)

    Lecture is usually 3 hours twice a week, but this semester is 2 hours, twice a week.
    Lab is 3 hours a week.

    Each semester has had different amounts of unit exams worth different percentages. This semester only has 6, but others have had around 8 or 10. There are usually 50 or 60 nclex style questions.
    The finals also vary. For example, this semester the final is 20% whereas last semester it was only 10%. There are 100 questions. You can fail exams, but must have an 80% overall average to pass the semester.

    We have had different projects to do each semester too. Some were presentations. Some were research papers. We also have a few quizzes added into the mix. These things added together were only worth 5%.

    Lab and clinical are both pass/fail. 1st through 4th semester has a LOT of clinical paperwork. 5th is so much less and we don't pick up a clinical assignment the day before. They are trying to get us adjusted to real life nursing.

    I can't imagine only having 3 unit exams!! I was shocked at only 6. lol I feel like you do.. the more you have, the better chance you have to do well. It's interesting to see how other schools do things so differently.
  4. by   Nellifuturenurse2010
    Im in a BSN program which is 3 years (yea I know, long) and is 6 semesters long.
    I only really heard the term credits when I went to a quarter school, we typically talk in terms of units.
    For passing you have to get a 73% to pass any class and if you fail a class, when you retake it, you have to get at least an 80%.
    If you fail it again, or you fail two classes you will be dropped from the program completely and will most likely have to change your major.
    But sem 1 is 11 units
    Its comprised of:
    Process- Once a week for 2 hours and 50 minutes
    Theory (Pathophysiology)- Once a week for 2 hours and 50 minutes
    Pharm- Once a week for 2 hours and 50 minutes
    Skills- Once a week for 4 hours

    2nd sem:
    Process- once a week for 2 hrs
    Theory-(Med/surg) twice a week, 4 hrs total
    Clinicals- once a week for 8 hrs
    Skills- once a week for 4 hrs

    The semester I am currently in is Sem 3:
    12 units
    Clinicals- 2 days a week for 6 hrs each
    and everything else is the same as the other semesters.

    Each class is totally separate from the others, so the point scale varies from class to class. Clinicals are our only classes that are credit/ no credit. Our lab class is similar to yours, we have modules and critical thinking activities we turn in every week and one midterm and a final. Semesters 6-8 do not include a lab class.
    We started out with 84 students, but Im not sure how many we have now. The person I was closest to actually didnt make it last semester and has been removed from the program . My current estimate of students is around 79-76 students left. Semester 5 and 7 are also known to be the hardest semesters so I am nervous.

    I wonder my schools drop out rate. After looking at some of the past graduate classes pictures, they look incredibly small! Some of them looked as small as 30-40 people! And to compare that to 80+ is scary.