Help, my school won't allow me to take Nclex.

  1. Hey, so I am a graduate of a Pa. practical nurse program. I completed the program in full, paid off the balance of my tuition and attended the pre-graduation mandatory Nclex preparation course. Unfortunately the day of my graduation I had a family emergency and was unable to attend the actual ceremony; shortly thereafter I ended up putting off nclex and spending the rest of the year caring for a terminally ill family member. Throughout that time I periodically kept in contact with my school and told them about my situation.
    Now a year later I am finally ready to take Nclex and my school is refusing to allow me to do so. I called and talked to the head administrator of my program yesterday. She was initially glad to hear from me, I explained my situation again and she mentioned that It had been a year since my graduation and that they hadn't cleared me for Nclex with the SBON yet. But she said that she would and for me to call back today. Today I called and she talked to me for a bit before telling me that the director of the nursing program was worried that since it had been "so long" I had forgotten my skills and that I would fail at my first attempt (effectively dropping their pass rate). The solution that they came up with is that they want me to come in and take a competency test on all areas and pass it with at least a 90% before they approve me for nclex. I feel like that is unfair since I already completed their program and I said as much. After going back and forth for a bit, she said that she and the director would have a conference call with me tomorrow. My questions are can they do this and what options do I have for recourse? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edit by Jdv13 on Jun 26, '13
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    About Jdv13

    Joined: Jun '13; Posts: 3; Likes: 1


  3. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    Have you discussed this with your old school's Dean of Students, or the PA Board of Nursing?
  4. by   morte
    if they are going to do this at their cost, I wouldn't see a problem....
  5. by   orange_dolphin
    You probably have forgotten many things, enough to possibly fail NCLEX. If they're offering this help to pass for free, you should jump on it! It's a win-win for you and the school. I thought the NCLEX exam was very tough, and I took it one month after graduating and I studied a lot for it. Also, you want to be able to say you graduated from a school with a good reputation too, and their fail-rate is part of that reputation. A good school reputation can help with job offers.
  6. by   TheCommuter
    My advice is to take the competency test that is being offered by your school of nursing so you'll know your weak areas. If you know where your knowledge base is weak, you can effectively study these content areas and remedy your weaknesses before taking NCLEX.

    Graduates of nursing programs who wait more than three months after graduation to take NCLEX have a staggeringly high percentage of failure at their first attempt. Whether you realize it or not, you school is doing you a huge favor. Good luck to you.
  7. by   Jdv13
    orange_dolphin, they essentially want me to come to school and allow an instructor to administer a random test to me on any/all subjects to test my knowledge so that they will approve to take nclex if I pass to their satisfaction. It most likely won't be nclex style as the instructors there like to write their own test. So I have no way to prepare or study beyond my old books of which nclex books won't be very helpful and I won't know what subjects their covering until I open the test.
    Last edit by Jdv13 on Jun 26, '13
  8. by   Jdv13
    TheCommuter, If the competency test was just to test my knowledge and I could use it to highlight my weak areas, I would be all for it. But if I don't pass to their liking, they won't approve me for nclex at all. That is my problem, I don't understand how they can do this considering I have completed the program, graduated and paid my tuition in full already.
  9. by   1pinknurse
    At my LVN school we had to pass an Elsevier competency exam & score at least an 850 prior to graduation. Out of approximately 40 students, more than half failed at the 1st attempt. They allowed everyone to participate at graduation, otherwise wouldn't have been many of us. They gave everyone a 2nd chance to retake the test & a pass was required before they would send your paperwork to the BON to sit for your NCLEX. This is honestly for YOU & I would accept the challenge. It will only benefit you in the end. Try not to stress & knock that test out. Good luck!
  10. by   CT Pixie
    I can see why they want to make sure you retained the knowledge gained during your schooling. I can't say I blame them. A year out of school is a long time. Studies have shown the farther out from graduation that the NCLEX is taken, the higher the chances of failing the NCLEX are.

    "But if I don't pass to their liking, they won't approve me for nclex at all."

    And if you don't take it they still won't approve you to sit for the NCLEX. So you'll still be in the same boat. Some BON won't allow someone to sit for the NCLEX after a certain time frame after graduation without a refresher course. I would say just start going through NCLEX questions and take the school's test. You really have no other options at this point.

    My PN school also had requirements...even if you passed all your courses and clinicals and had a 4.0, if you didn't pass the exit exam, they would not send the paperwork to the State that allows your ATT to be issued.

    But my question to you is this...when you did graduate and meet all the requirements a year ago, were you issued your ATT? If you were, I'd think the ball is now in the State Board of Nurses hands to reissue the ATT. Just as if someone who did take the NCLEX after the ATT was issued and failed, or someone who did not take the test in the alloted time frame for the ATT, it is not the school who has to do anything to have a new ATT issued, its the tester and the State BON. I suggest calling the State BON for your State and see how you go about getting a new ATT issued.
  11. by   mul7371
    We had several people that didn't attend graduation but still were issued Affidavits of Graduation. Our Affidavits of Graduation were done before the actual ceremony and it was a requirement that you attended if you wanted to get your ATT. Did any of this happen in your case? If you're going to take the NCLEX, you need to take a prep course anyway. I'd do that and then take the school's course. You should pass with flying colors no matter if they write the test or not.
  12. by   Cathylady
    Honestly I think that's a crock! If you graduated you should be eligible to take the test at your convenience not theirs. If you don't pass then you're on your own to get the necessary review to pass.
  13. by   Meimpress
    Competency test is a good idea.
  14. by   Jory
    I'll be honest with you...I have issues with this story.

    First of all, the school doesn't "allow" you to take the NCLEX, the board of nursing does. You register for the exam and they send you documents, some of which the school has to complete. This is what I would do if I were you:

    1. Was a diploma/degree ever issued to you? If not, I would call your state senator or the governor's office. If you have paid your fees and passed all your exams, they CANNOT require you to attend the graduation ceremony (they may threaten, but that is a myth). I would not do this before going to the highest level of the college, be it the Dean, President, etc. If you cannot get anywhere, then call your state rep.

    2. If you do #1 and they still will not issue you a diploma..I would get an attorney who I guarantee would do it for next to nothing. One letter from them and I bet you'll have it in your mail by the end of the week.

    I am so sick and tired of these schools taking money and then trying to act like they hold all the cards...they do, until you complete the program...after that they don't have a legal leg to stand on.