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My EC Experience and Failure

Excelsior   (3,273 Views | 12 Replies)

lauranurselaura has 17 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Clinical Research.

3,180 Profile Views; 42 Posts

Apologies if this is a post that has been done a million times over (or maybe not?), but I wanted to hear some thoughts and maybe commiserate a little with those who did not pass the CPNE.

It seems like forever ago (2005 or so) that I was on a fast track to my dream. I got through all of the Nursing Concepts exams with speed and success! It then onto the CPNE! (This was before something called the FCCA? and maybe a few extra exams were required - see, I told you .. back in the day!)

Oh, the CPNE. I studied and studied and practiced and practiced and studied and practiced until I had it all down, engraved in my brain. (It still is to an extent - especially when I read everyone's posts.) I flew up to Schenectady, NY and the entire time reviewed and studied and practiced and prayed. Passed both Adult PCS's, but made a teeny tiny mistake during the lab checkoff. I repeated the next day and made another silly mistake out of pure nervousness and fear. DONE. DISMISSED.

All of those months and months of hard, devoted work - for a lady to look at you and say, "I'm sorry, that's it. You have failed."

I was a wreck. I cried and cried and cried for days. And then .. I sort of just dissolved into this walking zombie of failure. I felt so alone and like the biggest loser in the world. Granted, only 2 of the 6 of us passed that weekend (of course one of the women who passed said "I don't ever plan on even touching a patient. I just needed this so I can write Nursing text books. Eh, hope I pass, but oh well." Ahhh! So, the woman who didn't really care either way if she passed did indeed pass, but I, who put in blood, sweat and tears didn't? Eek!), but I couldn't shake it. It really "ruined" me for a long, long time. Sure, we've all had our failures and mistakes. I've been able to shake things off in the past, but this .. this really did something to me. I hate to sound so dramatic and PTSD-ish, but I'm hoping there is someone else out there who can relate.

I mentioned 2005. It's 2012 and I'm finally trying very hard to gear up and give RN school another go. I enjoy being an LPN, but my ultimate goal and dream has been to become an RN. I'm trying to stay positive and not focus on the past. I want to keep a great attitude and succeed. It's just hard, you know?

Also, this post is not to dissuade anyone from going with Excelsior or doing the CPNE. (Though at one point, I was very angry at Excelsior and their staff.) I simply want to let some of this frustration and heartache out. I hope you all understand.

Thanks for listening/reading.

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Pixie.RN has 12 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

8 Followers; 32 Articles; 13,368 Posts; 130,693 Profile Views

The CPNE is truly a PTSD-producing experience. I know so many of us who have had elements of PTSD after the CPNE, whether we passed or failed. It's difficult to explain to anyone who hasn't gone through it. I'm glad you're able to vent here with us -- you are in good company, for there are many here who weren't successful the first time. I passed my CPNE, but it wasn't perfect -- I came close to failing on the last day, but ended up passing in the end. My heart always breaks for those who don't make it because I (and others here) understand how much effort is put forth and ultimately funneled down into that one 2.5-day span of time.

You will be successful, because you have not given up. :) Are you going with EC again, or are you doing a different program?

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t-lo has 27 years experience and specializes in Geriatrics, Psych.

217 Posts; 3,410 Profile Views

lauranurselaura, please check your private messages on this site... I sent you something that I hope will help you

t-lo

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lauranurselaura has 17 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Clinical Research.

42 Posts; 3,180 Profile Views

t-lo,

Thanks for the PM! Since I haven't posted 15 legit posts yet on AN, I can only reply back this way. So - thank you for the offer/advice! I will certainly take you up on it if I decide to go the way of EC again.

Again, thank you!

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lauranurselaura has 17 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Clinical Research.

42 Posts; 3,180 Profile Views

LunahRN,

Thanks for the validation and understanding. I agree, it is traumatic for EVERYONE, not just those who didn't pass.

Since it has been such a lapse in time, EC's (extra) curriculum changes, and - oh yeah, the fact that the Virginia BON no longer accepts EC as a legit school, I will not be returning as a student with them.

However, I am now looking into ISU (Any thoughts on them?). It seems to appeal to me for several reasons. We'll see how that goes. Of course, I am still very hesitant and nervous to begin another program like this. I must keep trying, though!

Again, thanks for your kind words!

P.S. - I love that you have tattoos! I have a sleeve and 10 tattoos. I always feel like I'm the only nurse who leads maybe not the most 'conservative' lifestyle. Actually, that's not 100% true. I have a couple of friends with tattoos and who don't wear pearls and carry vera bradley bags, but you know what I mean. Also - we both work in the ER! There must be some correlation there! Haha!

Edited by lauranurselaura
spelling error

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BostonNurse2876 specializes in wound care, sub-acute, community nursing.

405 Posts; 8,299 Profile Views

I hope you decide to try again, I have a coworker that failed her first time too, and went right back to studying and passed the second time. She did an online workshop the second time and said it helped a lot. Don't give up!! I can see how you would be totally woured after putting blood and sweat into this and so much $$$, but don't let that stop you!! :redpinkhe I already told meself I have WAY too much invested to give up after the first try IF I fail the first time, and I am praying I won't have to repeat. Good luck if you decide to have a go at it again!!

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Pixie.RN has 12 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

8 Followers; 32 Articles; 13,368 Posts; 130,693 Profile Views

Since it has been such a lapse in time, EC's (extra) curriculum changes, and - oh yeah, the fact that the Virginia BON no longer accepts EC as a legit school, I will not be returning as a student with them.

However, I am now looking into ISU (Any thoughts on them?). It seems to appeal to me for several reasons. We'll see how that goes. Of course, I am still very hesitant and nervous to begin another program like this. I must keep trying, though!

Again, thanks for your kind words!

P.S. - I love that you have tattoos! I have a sleeve and 10 tattoos. I always feel like I'm the only nurse who leads maybe not the most 'conservative' lifestyle. Actually, that's not 100% true. I have a couple of friends with tattoos and who don't wear pearls and carry vera bradley bags, but you know what I mean. Also - we both work in the ER! There must be some correlation there! Haha!

I think ISU is an excellent idea. And the bonus is that you end up with a BSN, too! :) I got lucky with the time at which I finished, as I was living in Virginia until I commissioned into the Army last year -- I graduated from EC in 2008, before they stopped accepting EC grads for licensure by exam. But right after I passed my CPNE in June 2008, they published the information about how they were going to stop, etc... I sat there trying not to vomit while I read that, as I tried to figure out how it applied to me! Luckily it didn't. Whew.

I have a Coach backpack, but it's black! LOL. And a Vera Bradley wallet! Hahaha. Far have I fallen from my punk rock youth. :D

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lauranurselaura has 17 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Clinical Research.

42 Posts; 3,180 Profile Views

Haha!

Hey, I love Chanel and Versace as much as the next person and oh, how I have fallen too from my alternative, hardcore, punk rock, pop punk, indie, emo, etc. days. Sometimes, when I am immersed in a world far away from that one, I can't believe I live such a different way of life now. That's not to say I still don't hold true on many of my beliefs from way back when. It's still weird, though!

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11 Posts; 838 Profile Views

Hey

What is ISU? Can you give me some info about it. thanks

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475 Posts; 15,230 Profile Views

Best wishes and prayers on your journey; and I applaud you for getting back up and going for it again! I'm a newbie to Excelsior myself so I don't really have that much advice but I pray that all goes well and you can counteract your nervousness with positive energy! All the best!

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