Regents/Excelsior final competency test.

Nurses General Nursing


Hi all,

I'm taking the Regents (old name)now Excelsior route to get my ADN.

Has anybody out there done this. I'm wondering how hard is the final hospital-based competency? What all do you have to do in terms of competencies? I'll be taking mine in Madison, WI.

Any, all info will be greatly appreciated.


Pooh :confused:

Hi Pooh ! I got my degree through regent's-graduated in sept. 2000.I also took the CPNE in Madison and you couldn't have chosen a better location ! If you study that (used to be blue) book that the college sends you , you will do fine.It helps to practice making a "grid" to follow when you do your test.For instance: You will be given 5 PCS.Each one will have different areas that will be checked off for you to assess.You don't know what will be assigned, so you have to have a generalized "grid" memorized that you can jot down on the back of your paper before entering the patient's room with the examiner.You can think up pneumonics to help you remember each element of each assessment that must be included to pass the PCS.It has been awhile for me now, but I would be happy to help you via e-mail if you like.As far as competencies are concerned-there is a lab component that you must pass before beginning patient care assignments.These are done in a room where stations are set up each with an examiner.You have to pass IV station including calculation of flow rates and the rate is counted to ensure that it is correct-you have to be within an exact # of drops of being correct-dont remember how many, I think maybe 5.You have a PO, SQ, IVP, and IVPP station.(if I remember right)and a sterile dressing change station.You have to pass all stations before starting the PCS part of the test.The book the college gives you lists all of these things-if you don't have that book, get one, you need it-it will become your Bible until you pass this test.Madison evaluators are very fair-they will fail you though if you do not follow the guidelines.They are very good however not to be overly intimidating and make you feel as comfortable as possible(which isn't very comfortable!)in an unfortunatly uncomfortable position.The motel was nice-Best Western with shuttle service for students to and from test site.Good Luck! Let me know if there is anything I can do.You might also hang out in the College Nursing chat lounge-lots of good info there. Kathy

Specializes in Home Health.

I didn't take their CPNE, I did the two clinicals for the BSN program, but I do know this, study the way THEY have things documented in the samples in your study guide. Forget whatever is in your head already, the way you do it, that the very latest research may indicate a better way of doing something, just DO IT THEIR WAY!! Document it THEIR WAY. I know someone who failed for not signing out meds on medex immediately after giving them.

Have you registered in the EPN chat room? TONS of ADN students chat there, many of whom have taken the exam, or know of someone who has, they are a great source for info, but also a source of stress, since you may hear scary, or at times exaggerated stories. Just remember, you CANNOT think you can go into this test w/o studying and memorizing that study guide. There is NO WAY you can "wing it" no matter how experienced you are, b/c as I said, they want things done THEIR WAY and if you don't read that book and study it, you will not know what their way is, it may be very different from how you practice.

Also, they really like to see you send in practice modules if there are any in your book. They also really like you to contact instructors prior to the exams to ask questions and clarify things. It's almost as if, if you don't communicate with them, in a humble fashion, asking questions, they think you are cocky and in my personal opinion, they hold it against you.

My advice is, put your pride aside, be humble, ask questions of the instructors frequently via e-mail or phone , even if you really understand the material, FIND some questions (some of them are actually quite helpful, others, well.... I won't go there), send in practice modules (BIG brownie points here, they quote higher pass rates for the BSN final if this is done), and sign on into that chat room, make some friends, suck up all you can there, with a grain of salt. I had one person tell me how she failed the BSN final, all the inconsistencies she experienced with the instructors, etc... only to have her admit in the end that she had thought she could "wing it" and didn't really study (the study guide)!! TO get to the chat room, go to the site, I don't know what it is since the new name, but then you will see if you surf around a little a link for EPN or Electronic Peer Network. It helped me enormously to have the support of all those other students. WE then shared e-mails to discuss more sensitive things (remember the EPN is owned and MONITORED by the school, refrain from any anti-regents remarks on there, it WILL haunt you if you do). All together I was in communication with about 14 people, we shared our typed notes, and in the end we had phone calls, and 3-way calls for mini study groups. It truly helps, b/c it feels very lonely and isolated when you are getting your degree by mail, this way you are connected, it was great. I now have friends in Alaska, Colorado, California, Missouri, you name it, it was great. I would NOT however share the fact that you are studying with other students, they want you to study with THEM, and they are very paranoid that other student give out answers, which in a clinical is quite difficult to do! Be sure to read the academic honesty policy, code of ethics, etc... read EVERY PAGE in that book!! Also, read about exactly how many items you can miss (if any) and how they score, so if necessary, you can decide to work on your strong areas, and decide not to worry about another area. Ex. in my first BSN clinical, I may have had to perform a reflex exam, no matter how hard I tried, I could not get the brachial reflex down, after much work with a nurse prac, still a bust, so I decided, since I could miss one area, that would be it, and worked to get every other part of the exam perfectly.

Best of luck to you!!

Ornurse and Hoolahan: Thank you for this information. It's very helpful to hear from someone who has been there. I hope to start sometime next year. I was hoping to get some input about Excelsior, and it seems to be popping up quite often with mostly positive comments. I'm not looking for easy, just expedient.

Specializes in Home Health.

mustangsheba (I love that name), I never said I would recommend it, I only answered the question. After my experience, and I will not go into it, it's water and stress under the bridge now, I would most heartily discourage anyone from getting a BSN there anyway. I personally had many issues, and trust me when I say I did try to make things better by acting on those issues, hopefully to prevent other students from having the same stress. What I learned is that the educational system, just like nursing administration, often prefers to wear blinders. All it did for me was get me on a $hit list BIG TIME!

Many of my friends had a much better experience at U of Delaware, there are also on-site clinicals, but far less stressful, though much more expensive.

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