Hawaii Pacific University Nursing School

  1. I just wanted to take some time and give my opinion about attending nursing school at Hawaii Pacific University. I remember last year when I was considering attending HPU and I asked in this forum if anyone knew what the nursing school at HPU was like and did not get many responses. So I wanted to offer some information in case anyone is considering attending and also to make sure that the school is accountable in some way for the good and bad way in which it treats it's students.

    First off, HPU does have some good things going for it. It's a small school, in a beautiful area, that is very international where you get exposure to many different cultures and people. Some of the professors that I have had have been amazing and inspiring. Some of my fellow students have been intelligent and wonderful, but most of the students are not what I would consider "stellar" or motivated people.

    With that being said I have had many dissapointing and frustrating experiences with the University to the point where I just cannot in good conscience recommend it to anyone. I am a mature, hard-working, adult student. When I was accepted at HPU I was told that I could start clinicals after one semester of finishing some prerequisites because they were transfering most of my prerequisites from the college I had attended prior to HPU. Unfortunately it took me three semesters and thousands of extra dollars because of the way their system works. The only way you get a spot in clinicals is by the number of credits you have from HPU. As a transfer student you are at a disctinct disadvantage. When i arrived at HPU to get into clinical you needed 15, after a semester it was 30, finally after taking 19-20credits spring semester I got in with 45. Had I known that it was going to take me three extra semesters to start clinicals I highly doubt I would have come to HPU, but they conveinently leave this information out when they send you your acceptance letter.

    Dealing with the nursing school administration is like dealing with DMV on crack. The HPU Nursing Office has got to be the absolute most disorganized, ill-logical place on the planet. I really think a clincal study needs to be done on how an environment can foster such lack of organization and common sense. Nothing is ever really clear or well-planned out. Every semester you have to deal with some stupidity that threatens your chance at being in the program. Whether it's clinical health requirements that constantly get changed, lost, or whether it's the nursing curriculum where instead of thinking you'll be able to do a semester of clinicals in the summer in order to graduate the follwoing spring, but they decide out of the blue to not offer those clinicals this summer so you're stuck at the school even longer, it all is just too much to bear.

    I've had friends endure horror stories that could make nursing students ears bleed. Whether it was my friends who mentioned to a nursing professor that you might want to aspirate the needle before giving the injection, and the instructor being so embaressed she tried to make his life miserable for the rest of the semester and tried to find grounds to ultimately fail him, or the time I got a letter saying that because I have so many credits I am now ineligable to receive any financial aid in the future (with two more years of clinicals to go at $10,080 a semester). The school knew how many credits I had when I transfered and how many credits I was going to need to graduate, why didn't they tell me this before I came?

    I know every school has it's good and bad points and I think nursing schools are exceptionally prone to disorganization and frustrating moments. With that being said I think HPU really takes advantage of it's students, both their money and their sanity, and it's time that other people needed to know about it. The school feels like it can make thee demands because their are so many nursing students that want to attend but if people knew the truth this just wouldn't be the case. So my advice to anyone considering HPU is to think long and hard about your financial situation, about your sanity, and about if you want to go to a school that really doesn't have it together nor cares that when it's screwing you. I also really want to save anyone else from what I've had to go through with this school.
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    About jpeters84

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 244; Likes: 187

    39 Comments

  3. by   seasister
    Hey thanks for that info.. I am a newly licensed LPN and was considering HPU for continuing education... I just gradusted from a class of grown women who were really into making noise rather than serious business.
    it was like being in high school all over again. i want to have a more professional learning atmosphere fpr my RN.
  4. by   kelsie*bear
    Hi JPeters84,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. I don't think it's right for them to refuse additional aid because of the amount of credits you have. Is that right? I am beginning to think too that they are trying to keep students behind by having them pay for more tuition. And it is true that the curriculum keeps changing, by adding more classes. They have just changed the pre-reqs and the curriculum starting fall '08. I know you have come a long way to get your 45 credits, are you just sticking through it or planning on transfering to another school?

    Take care!
  5. by   jpeters84
    Kelsie Bear,

    I got the finanacial aid thing worked out. Apparently they can deny you financial aid if you have too many credits but I thankfully had a connection at the school who was able to work this out for me. I am going to stay at HPU. I considered transferring to University of Hawaii but I wouldn't be able to start clinicals until Spring and the clinicals at UH take 3 years so I'd really be putting myself behind. I've invested a lot of time and effort here at HPU and I'd really like to see it out. There are a few professors that really care and are helping me out with my frustrations with the school. I'm just really scared that with each semester something is going to come up that threatens my ability to continue with the program which has happened to a couple of people I know. I'm just going to keep my head down, study my heart out, and just hope that it all works out. But it is definately a less than ideal situation.

    On the upside the nursing school did just get a new dean and I pray that she makes a lot of positive changes and that the school turns itself around to a more student-friendly, organized, logical program that I know it has the potential to be.
  6. by   5860TomCat
    I hope this new Dean Lasts.

    I am a graduate from HPU Nursing program, it took me 5 semester (2 and 1/2 years to graduate going full time)

    We went through 3 deans during my time (if you count the temp ones)

    I aggree with your assessment above of HPU. Once you are in the program, your commited (unless it is your first semester)

    Learn flexability

    Always read and look ahead (course info, expectations etc... HPU will not accept the excuse you did not inform me, you have to be proactive. Also if the sylabus say's one thing and the teacher says you don't have to do it or don't worry about it. Follow the Sylabus it is you contract in writting of how you are graded.

    Get use to your clinical changing at the begining of the semester with no notice.

    I would not recomend the program to anyone, but people who have to go to school part time (6 credits at a time) Few schools offer part time.

    I will grudging tell you a few good things about HPU.
    When I graduated I found out that I did things in clinical that some of the RN's I work with have never done. ABG's, the time in the ICU, PACU, Surgery, watching a c-section and helping deliever a baby etc..

    I am not sure what you guys are gettting to do now, But I did get exposed to a lot of different types of nursing and that was great.

    For instructors: There are the good and the bad, 30% good - 90% bad. Sorry

    If you have questions about who to take if you have that option let me know.

    Hope this helps you in the future.... reply if you have more questions,
    Sincerly a graduate of JAN 08
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Nov 29, '08 : Reason: Deleting names per Terms of Service
  7. by   jpeters84
    Tom Cat,

    Can you tell me anything else about changing of the class and sticking to the syllabus. I haven't heard that before and that scares me. Do professors all of a sudden change the class and you get screwed because you did what they said but ultimately didn't follow the syllabus and if so who were these professors, what classes were these? I'm trying to save myself as many headaches as possible.

    I really appreciate your insight and recommendations. I busted my butt to get first choice of professors for Level Ones and I am really glad because so far I really enjoy who I have. Looking back does the time it takes to go from level One to Level Five seem like forever or does it go fast? Do you have any other advice as far as clinical sites, clinical equipment i.e. shoes, stethos, etc. that you recommend? What class did you most enjoy, what was the hardest, the worst?

    One thing I hate about HPU is how patronizing the school is. They scare you every semester by saying how hard it is, how many people flunk out of classes, and then they treat you like children, and on top of all that they don't even have their **** together and somehow make that your problem. The school is really one gigantic headache. The whole nursing school machine is so not supportative and uplifting at all, it seems to work against you in every possible way instead of with you. As far as the dean goes, at first I was optimistic, now I'm a little skeptical. They're making all of these "changes" with the curriculum where they use the term "critical thinking" every other sentence, as well as Dungan's model, and they say they've raised the bar in every class as far as material covered and percentage you need to pass. To me it seems like more headache and more patronizing and just something that they can point to when they're accused of not having higher standards of education or need to get re-accredited.

    Thanks for all of the info. The more I can find out and know the more empowered I feel against the insanity that is the HPU nursing school.
  8. by   5860TomCat
    The teachers won't change the class or curriculum overall, however during the semester the class might fall behind in the lecture or in the schedule. Sometimes teachers will cancel assignments. That is when to be cautious. If they say things like don't worry about it or we are going to focus on this right now. Some teachers will honor their "canceled" assignments, others will say it was in the syabullus... You should have done it and we should not have to tell you that. Also just because a teacher doesn't explain an assignment or never even brings it up. It is still expected to be turned in. They will say, " It was on the sylabul, if you had questions you should have asked."

    The main part is do your assignments, early if possible (some are not) do what reading you can, or form a study group for tests.

    I remember they were switching the order of classes when I was leaving so I am no longer sure of exactly which classes are on which level.

    However, therapeutic communications will be your easiest class (clinical),
    The lecture depends on your teacher for the test answers; follow lecture, then the "bible" that thick packet of information about the rules of communication and then use your book. It is not hard, just details and getting caught up with technicalities.

    Health assessment clinical was fun. Don't stress about you video in the end. Just practice with a friend and remember head to toe. Take your time, you have plenty of it. - Also even thought the class seems easy/simple to understand take you time and practice because it will help you feel more confident when you do assessments in you med-surg clinical.

    Health assessment lecture- study accordingly. You can't read everything for all you classes. so I recommend a study group and practice flash cards.

    Nursing concepts and processes clinical- Never be late (had a friend do that and had to make an appeal to the dean not to fail.) Do your paper work how your instructor wants it done-even if other clinical are doing theirs slightly different. This clinical is really weeding out who is willing to work hard, deal with the fluids of human body and help people who need it. Versus those in nursing for family tradition or money.

    Nursing concepts and processes lecture- attend lecture, study accordingly, if needed for a study group for tests.

    Nutrition is boring, but actually kind of hard in that you have to remember all the details of vitamins what food gives what and how much you need and what exactly it does for your body.

    Math for meads. If you struggle with math do your practice sheets over and over. If you are good with math you should have no problems.

    Pharmacology. Study! flash cards read the chapters I thought that this was one of the hardest classes in first level.

    After that it is second level:

    It never really gets easier or Harder at HPU, you just get new frustrations and challenges.

    I personally think Level 2 is the hardest, because patho can be really easy or hard depending on your instructor. Also I hear David Dunham is not teaching Med-surg I any more and the teacher who replaced him does not do power points or notes or allow you to record in class it is just her voice and you hand written notes.

    Level 3: Altered mental health is not bad, can be a boring lecture, but the teacher tries. Med-surg II, David Dunham is awesome teacher.

    Clinical depend on your instructor.

    Level 4: there are really no bad teachers for child bearing/rearing both in lecture and clinical. Because the nurses who do this for a living really enjoy their job and have a passion for it. (some not great instructors, but no scary or bad ones)

    Level 5: Start Your final paper as early as possible!!!! It is so hard to complete with midterm, clinical and everything!!! Turn in your rough draft. You will need all the feedback you can get. Take you Critical care clinical very seriously, not only are you learning things some schools don't offer their nursing students, but you need to pass you paper work in lecture and clinical to graduate. Get things done and out of the way as soon as possible... Your life will be so much less stressful.

    That is my long winded advice....... IF you have specific questions... let me know : )
  9. by   jpeters84
    Thank you so much for the additional information Tom Cat. You have some really great advice. It's so nice to hear from someone who just graduated and actually made it through the program. Good luck to you and thanks again!
  10. by   5860TomCat
    No worries,

    If you have more questions, just reply back on this thread again and it will pop up to my e-mail.

    Good luck, it sounds like you are a very intelligent person and will get through the program just fine. (You might have a little bit of a headache, but so does every nursing student going through HPU)
  11. by   angelluv
    Hello all,
    I go to HPU as well whatever you wrote is absolutely correct. I'm LPN- BSN I thought everything is going well for me this semester but one teacher made my life miserable. I can't believe why some teachers love to make people lives miserable. Anyway did you graduate yet. is there anyway that we can report them or complaints to the board of nursing just to straighten things out . I'm just curious. Pls. reply
  12. by   5860TomCat
    You can complain to the dean, during those sessions that happen on the lani (I forget what they are called, or you can write a formal letter of complaint to the school) However and unless you can show that the person has violated some rule or ethical standing they are not going to be dismissed. They are to short staffed to get rid of anyone unless they absolutly have to. They will make a note of the complaint and put it the teacers file. The good news is; if and others make a formal complaint and later down the road that teacher breaks a rule or does something not to the standards of expectation. There will be a record of problems agaisn't the teacher before that incidence and help support and disaplanry action that is taken.

    Sorry that is about all you can do that I know of.
  13. by   angelluv
    thanks for the reply i don't think they will do something about it. The students have no voice in the university and teachers always win. I just have to repeat that class and hoping to pass this time with the right teacher. I already talked to the coordinator and told her what the teacher said and she was on the teacher side and all she said was sorry maybe she did not mean it that way. So even though I c/o nothing will be done and they might give me a hard time. Just remember they do have the power to do things and we are at the bottom that's how i feel. I'm sure a lot of students feel that way as well but can't do anything.
  14. by   jpeters84
    The one thing I've learned is that you just have to play the game to get through the system. I'm still just starting out and I'm still learning the game but it's a little bit like being in the military I imagine. You overprepare for everything, you make sure you're early, never late, that your uniform is always perfect, and you never want to stand out too much positively or negatively because someone is going to knock you off that pedestool. If you're busting your butt and you're keeping your head down and being quiet and just working hard the professors tend to like you or not give you a hard time. If you're one of those students that constantly has an excuse or is late or forgets things or doesn't push themselves or is loud during clinical or class then the professor thinks you need to be taught a lesson about professionalism or thinks you're not taking nursing school seriously and they get ****** and look for a reason to give you an academic warning, to make your life miserable, to say a hurtful comment, or worse not pass you.

    So angelluv whatever happened forget about it. This school can be so so tough on you. Just think positive thoughts and forget about the things you can't control. When you take the class again be sure to be uber-prepared, work your butt-off, and lay low in class. We're all just doing whatever we can to get through this hellish process as soon as possible. I think the faster we all learn to play the game I hope the easiest it get's to navigate the treacherous waters that is HPU SON. I will say with all that being said I have had some glimmers of good even amazing moments during the semester, mainly during my clinical. Here's for hoping that things get better for us next semester!

    Oh and P.S. I wouldn't go talk to the deans unless it's a major emergency like they're threatening to kick you out of the program. The nursing school administration generally doesn't like it when student's come to them with grievances about professors and tends to give the tough luck, too bad response almost always in those situations. Don't muddy the waters unless you absolutely have to. It may not seem fair but it's the way it is.

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