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Hiring Manager Question

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Specializes in Psychiatric RN. Has 2 years experience.

I keep hearing discouraging discourse r/t diploma mills. As a student it is discouraging and confusing. I am attempting to get a PMHNP to help the many people in my area who struggle for months to get an appointment and to advance my career. I keep seeing comments on this website and others about degree mills which discredits many programs and the work the students in those programs do. I am one of those students and would like to know I am not wasting my time. This question is for anyone whose job it is to hire pmhnp and any other APRN. Are there any schools you would not hire a graduate from? 

Neuro Guy NP, DNP, PhD, APRN

Specializes in Vascular Neurology and Neurocritical Care. Has 9 years experience.

I've got my hands in many different things including academia, clinical practice, my own venture, and public service. In my clinical practice, I am in a hiring role and YES there are certain program I will not hire from. I'm not alone in that either. If you've been reading the forums then I gather you know the programs in question. That's not to say it's a universal practice, so you'll have to research your area. Many hospitals and practices have bios of their providers. How many of them went to program similar to the one you're researching?

Food for thought. 

Neuro Guy NP, DNP, PhD, APRN

Specializes in Vascular Neurology and Neurocritical Care. Has 9 years experience.

51 minutes ago, RN/WI said:

It is unfortunate to hear that people with bias opinions are in the hiring role. 

It's not bias in the way you mean it. I have had more than one negative experience with such students. I even taught at one such program for a while and was appalled by what I saw. So my opinion is based on first hand knowledge. I'm sure, though, you'll be equally appalled to know I serve in a regulatory capacity too. Oh well. Everybody still gets a fair shake, despite the fact that I don't appreciate some programs. Every person appearing deserves - and gets the benefit of the doubt until demonstrated otherwise. 

Edited by Neuro Guy NP

ApolloC, BSN, CNA, RN

Specializes in Psychiatric RN. Has 2 years experience.

Would you be willing to privately share the names of some of the schools one should avoid if they wanted to be hired by you? 

Neuro Guy,

what did you experience that appalled you, was this a specific school with different students ? A few schools, what are the specifics? 
Please share what schools and the specifics.

Neuro Guy NP, DNP, PhD, APRN

Specializes in Vascular Neurology and Neurocritical Care. Has 9 years experience.

21 minutes ago, RN/WI said:

Neuro Guy,

what did you experience that appalled you, was this a specific school with different students ? A few schools, what are the specifics? 
Please share what schools and the specifics.

Walden. The curriculum was not rigorous and what seemed to be a pervasive culture amongst the students of what I call 'grade grubbing'. The students did not have a lot of basic knowledge coming into the program that they ought to have and put forth minimal effort into their learning and it showed. If students didn't get their way about almost anything (wanting to turn in late work, round up a grade of 78 to 80, etc) it was routine to go over the instructor's head without following chain of command to try to get their way, no matter how undeserved. 

Don't get me started on the light punishments for plagiarism. I had a student plagiarize AN ENTIRE 10 page paper and when I referred it to Academic Integrity, the punishment was a 50% grade reduction and some modules on honesty. 50% of what? She should have gotten a 0 but instead they wanted me to assignment the grade she otherwise would have gotten and then deduct 50%. I had around 6 preceptors contact me expressing concern about the lack of knowledge the students had on even basic things compared to where they were in the program. Two of those individuals sent the students away and said they could not accept anymore of our students. Of course, there were positive experiences too, in all fairness. But that was IN SPITE of the program, since these were super motivated students who'd have succeeded anywhere. 

On the whole, the best I could expect were a group of mediocre students who'd barely squeak by.

I could go on and on but will quit here for the sake of time.

Wow, if it really is as you explain above, this type of educational system seems quite discerning. I am not familiar with Walden, but if this is the norm for this school, how are the students passing tests if online and how are they passing the board exam? Are the students passing the boards first time graduating this school? If not wouldn’t the Board of education strap down and not allow students to sit for boards until the school shows ability to reform? This is what used to happen with local brick and mortar schools years ago, not sure with how things go nowadays....
Not to call out anyone who’s personally gone to Walden, but I wonder if this is the norm for this school, or just happens to be one area that this school practiced. 

Neuro Guy NP, DNP, PhD, APRN

Specializes in Vascular Neurology and Neurocritical Care. Has 9 years experience.

I can't speak for the entire school or even entire nursing program (there are various programs and degrees), just my experience. I'm sure there are Walden students who do just fine. On the one hand, school is what you make out of it, but on the other hand you have to have quality. There are students who initially struggle but do fine with the right mentoring and support and I'm afraid Walden is not able to provide personalized support for such students who need more assistance. Not everyone is cut out for online learning, and unfortunately many students are not discerning enough to realize this. Therein lies the crux of the problem.

Look, I have no personal animus against Walden, Phoenix, Capella or whatever else, but why are some programs so commonly maligned when others such as UAB, etc are not? There's at least some kernel of truth to the concerns, it's just that those who attended do not want to admit the inadequacy of the program. And that's a natural response. Perhaps there could be some meaningful change with the right direction at the institution, I'm not sure.

And I'm not sure what the statistics on board pass rates are. This isn't something that was shared with us like my other academic institutions do. Many BONs adhere to an 80% pass rate and examine your program if you fall short of this. I know first hand of a couple examples, and some states don't permit Walden to register students in their state. I won't delve into this more here. And the truth is that passing boards doesn't necessarily equate to competence. This goes for any discipline. I have met NPs, PAs, physicians, PTs, RNs and others that I scratch my head and wonder how they passed boards because they're soooooo incompetent. My father's old MD is an example (and didn't stay my dad's PCP after a mistake).

Boards merely measure whether you're minimally competent to safely practice as measured by your ability to recognize patient clinical issues presented on the testing questions. Whether you recognize the relevant clinical issues in real life is an entirely different store. I write board exams, etc so I ought to know. They're just not the same, which is why the common argument that we all have to pass the same boards isn't a valid argument. Otherwise, the many gross medical mistakes wouldn't be so commonplace in healthcare. 

But I digress.

Edited by Neuro Guy NP