Nursing program refuses to pass graduating class

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I finished my nurse program and in one week we will be having a pinning ceremony. The problem is my school is holding us back from graduating. We have Hesi exams at our school since day one of the program as 15% of your final grade. At the end of our semester, we do it Exit exam which is 45% of your grade. Really hard. Unfortunately, the director of the program told us that some students from last semester (other class) seems like that act dishonest with the exam.

    She decided to penalize our group saying that in order to graduate we need 85% to pass. We all freaked out but we agreed. Half the class made it to 85 %, including me. She wasn't happy and said that she thinks some students acted dishonest again and told us that we need to repeat the exam . I don't think you can cheat on this type of exam because it is impossible to know what it is going to be there. It is impossible. Anyway, she sent us an email two weeks ago saying the FALL 2018 the school would be using ATI for the exams. I never heard about this exam. She said in the email that she would be training the students and, present the module, quizzes, etc... Last Monday we sat down to repeat the hesi again and she gave us the ATI exam instead. She said that in order to graduate we need to do that .

    We as a class didn't have any idea of the ATI exam. It was a surprise. Everybody was upset but we did it because we all want to finish with this nonsense. The day class failed ( only 3 passes) and the night class failed too. It was a terrible exam, completely different if the hesi that we learn from the beginning . Now she said that the hesi score was canceled and we need to do the ATI 4 days before pinning in order to get pinned. That is ridiculous. We are together as 24 students trying to get lawyers to help us with this nonsense. We never signed up for ATI and her email was exclusive saying for the Fall 2018, which means next group, not us. We are done and she is forcing us to do to that. She is acting illegally, is causing emotional stress in the group, and we are suing the school. What you think about this nonsense ???

    Dear Nonsense,

    The best I can follow, your school's graduation requirements included passing the HESI exit exam, which you did. At the last minute, your school changed the graduation requirements to passing the ATI exit exam. I am sorry you are going through this stress at the end of your program.

    Both the HESI and the ATI exams are used as indicators of how well students will perform on the NCLEX exam. They are structured differently but are both valid and reliable tests that basically cover the same content. Neither of these exams are required to take the NCLEX but some schools make them a requirement for graduation, and graduation is required for the NCLEX.

    Half of your class passed the HESI while only 12% of your class passed the ATI. This is a concern and begs the question if your class is ready to sit for the NCLEX. It is possible to cheat on standardized tests, once the content has gotten out somehow.

    The question here is whether changing the course catalog requirements for graduation is a legally binding contract in your state. This is what your lawyer can determine for you.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Sep 19
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,573; Likes: 4,728
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho


  3. by   RN&RDH
    I would also advise this student to contact the BRN. School curriculum is viewed and appproved by the board in order to be accredited. They may have an opinion on if this last minute curriculum change is allowed.
  4. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from RN&RDH
    I would also advise this student to contact the BRN. School curriculum is viewed and appproved by the board in order to be accredited. They may have an opinion on if this last minute curriculum change is allowed.
    I agree. And from a reader on another site:I hope you have talked with the chain of command above the Nursing Program Director. That is your first line of appeal. Keep good records.

    You should also contact any accrediting agency named in the catalog and pertaining to nursing: ACEN, CCNE, SACS, HLN, etc. and the State Board of Nursing. All reports should be in writing though you could call in advance to alert them of the issue and seek additional guidance.

    I also suggest that you work with an editor so the threads of your story are tightly woven, accurate, in chronological order, and includes any emails or notifications you have.
  5. by   wishing2beRN
    Ask the attorney up here on allnurses! Its convenient having people like her and Nurse Beth giving their input in these situations.

    Also, I am sorry to hear about your situation. I know for a fact the Hesi is much easier than the ATI TEASE. I would be outraged!
  6. by   Alex_RN
    My school used ATI from start to finish for all core classes and NCLEX prep. A big part of preparation was simply getting used to ATI. I cannot imagine getting surprised with ATI at the last minute.