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My school is notorious

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My ADN program at the local community college is notoriously known for having all of its students get barely passing grades to low B's during all the nursing courses. There is nobody in the current 4 semesters making an A, in ANY class (half of the 3rd semester cohort is failing currently).

This concerns me because if the tradition holds true it will have an obvious affect on anyone's GPA, so how is this conducive do preparing for the future of getting accepted into graduate school? Should I just avoid it and go to an easier school or what?

story of my life :cry:. In my undergraduate degree (not nursing, but similar classes) my gpa was pretty low (3.2). Everyone struggled. The class as a whole would get an average of 40 (out of a 100) on a test, and then they would curve it so the average was a 75%. A C gives you a very low gpa. How are all the students going to get into grad school when the AVERAGE is way below 3.0 and you need a 3.5 (realistically) to get in. I know exactly how you feel. One upside (though I consider this a downside mostly) is that most grad schools require you to take the GRE. If you do well on that it shows how "smart" you are. But ugh I'd hate to have to study for that...

The exams may be overly hard, but I am also curious as to the entrance criteria? Some schools use lotteries if you meet the min reqs, others have high GPAs that are set by the students admitted in the previous semesters. It plays a big role in student retention and NCLEX rates. Could this be part of the low grades?

Personally, I woudn't want to go to a school where I was barely getting by even with good study skills and lots of hard work. It would be terribly demoralizing, not to mention the whole GPA for grad school.

My ADN program at the local community college is notoriously known for having all of its students get barely passing grades to low B's during all the nursing courses. ... Should I just avoid it and go to an easier school or what?

Our school GPA requirement is a 2.5. A 2.5? Really? I dont think that is high enough. I think it should be a 3.0 at minimum because of what it takes to be in Nursing. Granted, I am not there YET, but will be in the Fall. I have plenty of friends in 1st and 2nd semester and hear the stories of how hard it is, not to mention, all of the boards and groups I belong to.

"...an easier school..." HUH? Easy? Nobody said this was going to be easy. Challenging, yes, Demanding, YES, taking over your entire life for the next 2-4 years - YES! ..... EASY - UH>>>>> NO! If you are looking for EASY - perhaps this program is not for you.

Dont think it is so much the "program" having a problem, as it is the people in the program. Maybe they are all dropping out because they dont have what it takes. Dont be discouraged. Always remember -- C = Continue! If C's are all I get, then I will be happy with that. Look at it that way, and that may help you.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

My ADN program at the local community college is notoriously known for having all of its students get barely passing grades to low B's during all the nursing courses. There is nobody in the current 4 semesters making an A, in ANY class (half of the 3rd semester cohort is failing currently).

This concerns me because if the tradition holds true it will have an obvious affect on anyone's GPA, so how is this conducive do preparing for the future of getting accepted into graduate school? Should I just avoid it and go to an easier school or what?

I see several potential problems here. Either the school is accepting students who they shouldn't be or they should look at the people who are teaching in this program. What are this school's entrance requirements for the program? If no one can make an A in any class, I'd have to think that this is a combination of the two- the school is accepting students who don't belong in a nursing program (not everyone is meant to be a nurse, sorry) and their faculty isn't up to par.

If "all of its students" can barely pass their classes, what is their NCLEX pass rate? That would be a red flag to me- I would not pay to attend a school that can't educate its students to pass the NCLEX.

Nursing is nursing- it's not "easy" at one school and hard somewhere else.

pghnurse527

Has 1 years experience.

Our instructors told us they had a personal mission to weed out anyone who was not cut out for nursing. We just finished, and there is less than half of the entire class left.

OP, I take your post to mean one of two things. Either a) your school is doing a poor job at educating or b) your class is not cut out for nursing. Nursing school is NOT easy. There is a reason so many people fail out.

There is nothing that bothers me more than hearing about students who cannot pass their NCLEX after numerous attempts. In my opinion, the program they attended most likely should NOT have passed them. I have encountered 3 PCTs in clinical who said they graduated from nursing school and are stuck being PCTs because they can't pass NCLEX. I would NOT want that person as my nurse.

Nursing school is tough. Not only are you learning new material, but you are learning a new way to *think* 100 and 200 level gen Ed classes are so easy. I had a 3.8 before I started nursing classes and now, let's just say, that I don't! Hehe Anywhoo, I graduate in December and have learned so much. Not getting an A does not mean you are a failure or that you aren't learning. I know that grad programs post a minimum GPA requirement, but they also indicate that if you don't meet that requirement they will evaluate program acceptance on a case by case basis. And really, that makes a lot more sense to do. Once you enter an MSN program you have obviously managed to pass the NCLEX and have been working as a nurse already. The fact that you didn't get any A's in nursing school is totally irrelevant at that point. Stay strong, don't give up, and do your best! It's the best you can do! :)

All nursing programs are difficult, so you shouldn't avoid the school just because you think it's too hard. There are, however, two plausible explanations for this program's reputation. Either they let people who aren't smart enough into the program, or the instructors aren't doing a good job teaching the material or writing the tests.

What are the admission requirements for your nursing program? If the bar is set too low, then this explains why the current students are doing so poorly. In my program, the entrance GPA is a 3.2, you must score highly on the PSB-RN, you need three letters of reference, and you must write an admission essay. They also encourage that you finish all your prerequisites prior to entering the program, and almost everyone in my class has all their general education already done.

If the admission requirements seem stringent enough, then you need to talk to some of the current students. See what they say about exams and classroom lectures. Do the lectures match the exams? Do the instructors do a good job of explaining information to the students? Are the instructors helpful and available to assist the students?

Also keep in mind that some people struggle in nursing school. Not everyone does well, and some people struggle throughout their nursing school career. That being said, I'm not sure that it's reasonable for that many people to be failing.

I see several potential problems here. Either the school is accepting students who they shouldn't be or they should look at the people who are teaching in this program. What are this school's entrance requirements for the program? If no one can make an A in any class, I'd have to think that this is a combination of the two- the school is accepting students who don't belong in a nursing program (not everyone is meant to be a nurse, sorry) and their faculty isn't up to par.

If "all of its students" can barely pass their classes, what is their NCLEX pass rate? That would be a red flag to me- I would not pay to attend a school that can't educate its students to pass the NCLEX.

Nursing is nursing- it's not "easy" at one school and hard somewhere else.

My school is very competitive. Over 150 people apply each semester and they only accepted 25 in my cohort. The minimun ACT requirement is >21, but I personally have a 25, and a few people in my class have an ACT >25. I had a 4.0 in all my pre-reqs, and most of my cohort has a gpa >3.5 with ALL pre-reqs completed. The NCLEX pass rate is 90%. We have endless in-school tutors, test resources (ATI, evolve, etc.). The fact that many in our class is barely passing or has a low B is shocking. And yes, despite what I've read on this thread, one community college different from the one I attend is known for handing out A's to its nursing students like free candy.

My school has a minimum GPA requirement of 2.5 BUT their admission is based on preference points more than GPA. Basically, you get 3 points for a GPA of 3.75 +, points for TEAS score, points for having done science classes, so on and so forth. It basically ensures that most students will have done their pre-reqs ahead of time. I currently hold 18 points with a GPA of 3.9. Statistically, 17 points + is "guaranteed." If they have to decide between several people with the same number of points, they base it on GPA. The NCLEX pass rate for my school is among the highest in the state. I'm very optimistic.

Edit to add: I forgot to mention that my school only admits 72 students per semester and typically sees close to if not more than 300 applicants.

so do graduate schools expect to see B's and C's in your nursing courses?

Take it from me, your A wont count for diddly squat on a busy med surge floor......

Many of the best nurses I know passed with C's...................

Take it from me, your A wont count for diddly squat on a busy med surge floor......

Many of the best nurses I know passed with C's...................

yeah but I'm hell bent on getting into Anesthesia school or PA/NP school. C = Nurse may hold true, but I'm not gonna be saying that when I decide to apply to graduate programs. I'm just in a pickle cause I'm in a situation where it's quite literally impossible to scoot by with an A.

so do graduate schools expect to see B's and C's in your nursing courses?

I doubt it.

I'm not sure about graduate schools or regular BSN programs, but I have heard from instructors in my ADN program that RN-BSN programs generally do not expect ADN students to have a 3.0 GPA. I have also personally seen people with 2.0 GPAs in nursing school get accepted into various CSU RN-BSN programs (although these people had high GPAs in their non-nursing pre-req's).

My school is also notorious for turning students with 4.0 GPAs into barely-passing, happy-to-get-a-C students. For example, the top student in my 4th semester class at this point in time has a low B average, and NO student has achieved an A in our school's 4th semester Med-Surg course in several semesters.

From what I've seen on this site, and seen/heard in real life, most nursing schools are this way. It doesn't matter how high you score on the TEAS, how high of a GPA you had in your pre-req's, what sort of prior degrees or education you have completed, or how much you want to be a nurse. Nursing school is brutal, and one-third to one-half of the students who start will never finish. Even my LVN program was this way!

I'll throw out a reason why some schools are so hard. It's so they can boast an insanely high NCLEX pass rate from their graduates. Nothing is better for business than saying we have a great pass rate which in turn will put students in desks which helps fund the program. It's a vicious circle that students are feeding as well as instructors. If tests are hard enough to fail so many, then the few that are left are good test takers and will ace the NCLEX. I'm not sure if it's even wrong. It's just the way it is.

Clovery

Has 1 years experience.

I'll throw out a reason why some schools are so hard. It's so they can boast an insanely high NCLEX pass rate from their graduates. Nothing is better for business than saying we have a great pass rate which in turn will put students in desks which helps fund the program. It's a vicious circle that students are feeding as well as instructors. If tests are hard enough to fail so many, then the few that are left are good test takers and will ace the NCLEX. I'm not sure if it's even wrong. It's just the way it is.

My ADN program is like OP's and the instructors have told us this ^ basically is the reason. They have a 98% NCLEX pass rate. In the upper level classes, there are only one or two As every semester out of 60 students. When our instructor told us this, I was shocked and asked "What about our GPAs?" and she just shrugged. lol. So I'm busting my butt to make one of those As. At least our school gives a grade of B+ with a weight of 3.5

RainMom

Has 7 years experience.

My ADN program at a community college was similar. Passing was 78% & I think the average for the class was probably around 82%. But I really think the instructors were great about teaching us how to think critically & making sure we knew what we HAD to know vs what is GOOD to know. For my class, there is only one person out of 26 (started with 40) that has still not passed NCLEX & a lot of that (in my opinion) is her own fault as she decided to have an elective surgery & then get married before making her first attempt about 5-6 months after we graduated. She's failed twice now. The class before us had 100% pass rate for NCLEX. One of our sister colleges with the same program (same test bank questions, same books, same everything - except instructors) has a pass rate of less than 50% & is known to be the easy program where most of the class has an A; apparently everything is spoonfed to them. Personally, I'd rather pass with a B or C+, be able to pass NCLEX & get licensed, rather than just being able to say "I have an A in nursing."