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Thinking of going to Excelsior College for my RN

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Hi, I am undecided about the Excelsior College. Right now I am an LPN, trying to pursue my degree in RN. Can you give me some information on Excelsior College? Do you recommend it or not? If you do, how do you study for the tests and how often would you take tests? I know that the program I will go into does not have financial aid and it's exam based only.

BarbaraNM, ASN, RN

Has 3 years experience.

Hi, I am undecided about the Excelsior College. Right now I am an LPN, trying to pursue my degree in RN. Can you give me some information on Excelsior College? Do you recommend it or not? If you do, how do you study for the tests and how often would you take tests? I know that the program I will go into does not have financial aid and it's exam based only.

Hi... here is EVERYTHING you need to know!! I am just starting... so far, so good!! GOOD LUCK!!

https://allnurses.com/excelsior-college-online/excelsior-college-distance-808335.html

I just finally passed my CPNE and will be sitting for boards next month. What I tell my LPN friends is that Excelsior is in NO WAY easier, and not much cheaper. It is better logistically if you are an adult learner with a typical adult life (family, work, responsibilities, etc). I ONLY recommend it under those circumstances. If you are single, not working, can go to regular classes, etc, I would say a traditional program might be better. It's true, you can study and test almost as quickly as once or twice a month, but between the FCCA and the rigor of the CPNE, I think if I had been able to be more flexible, I would have gone the traditional route.

So just to clarify: If you have a family, a job, responsibilities...consider Excelsior. If you are free to go class, study for hours at a time, don't need to worry about finances...go the traditional route.

I hope this helps! :wacky:

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

I chose it because I didn't want to spend more than a year in college. AND because the F that I got in A&P lab over-shadowed the A that I got in lecture.:devil:

I don't recommend it based on the cpne alone. the classes are great for those who like the online, self-paced method.

tnmarie

Specializes in geriatrics, hospice, private duty.

I do recommend it (I think). I'll let you know after Monday when I complete my second attempt at the CPNE. :D

All kidding aside, I thought it was a great program and perfect for my needs. I tested every couple of weeks or so. I used the recommended reading and outlined all the chapters based on the content guide but there are many options to study. You just have to find the one that works for you.

If you are looking for quick and easy, this is not the program for you. If you aren't self disciplined and motivated, this isn't the program for you. Also keep in mind that the first time pass rate for the CPNE is 59%, so there is a good chance that you will be taking it twice at $2,100 dollars a pop plus travel expenses; and you STILL may not pass. If you don't, it is highly unlikely that any of the work you did for the EC program will transfer and you will have to start over again if you decide you still want to pursue your RN.

Even if you finish your theory exams relatively quickly, your FCCA will take two months and then it will take you 3-6 months after that to get a test date for your CPNE. So not quick, not easy.

As for the money, you still qualify for private loans. Just remember that private loans typically have adjustable rates, can't be consolidated, and can't be discharged in bankruptcy. I know a lot of students who just saved up for each test and studied while they saved.

I disagree with the poster who doesn't recommend it if you don't have family. Based on your learning style, a self paced program may be better for you, regardless of family/work obligations.

Good luck!

tnmarie

Specializes in geriatrics, hospice, private duty.

I don't recommend it based on the cpne alone. the classes are great for those who like the online, self-paced method.

Okay, I'm having a rare moment of nosiness. I've seen several of your posts about the CPNE; did you pass it?

I'm taking it this weekend for the second time myself....

sorry I'm not getting email alerts about new posts for some reason. yes I passed at grady 6/12, but I still think it's impossible and never recommend Excelsior to anyone.

tnmarie

Specializes in geriatrics, hospice, private duty.

Congrats. I wasn't so lucky, but taking the test a two sites was very eye opening.

I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for EC. At the time, the CPNE pass rate was 61%; it is 59% now. I just assumed people showed up unprepared and/or with the attitude that "I"ve been a nurse for X amount of years, I don't need to study", etc (and some students do). I took the CPNE twice at two different sites and it was very eye opening. I passed planning at Utica, but then failed the whole CPNE in the planning phase at Albany. Same student, same tactics, same approach. Then as we sat together after the first PCS, one student remarked: "The CEs aren't supposed to help you, but they do". She passed, btw. Then I read on this very site that Ec removed CPNE journals because students were talking about how they were given second chances to do things (i.e. pulses).

It's not objective and the CEs apparently "help" SOME students and let others even REPEAT critical elements (and the pass rate is STILL 59%!). Basically, you are most likely not going to pass unless you are one of the ones the CEs choose to ignore the whole testing process. I won't be doing it again, and I am definitely going to try and get the word out about my experience so that students realize that no matter how prepared you are, it is a crap shoot when it comes down to the CPNE. Some people are okay with being passed, but I'm not. If you are, you'd better hope you are the one that the CEs choose to "help" and give the extra chances.

And if you did pass without extra help from the CEs, I am truly sorry that the fact that the test is not objective with an even playiging field as proclaimed brings the validity of your success in to question.

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

Basically, you are most likely not going to pass unless you are one of the ones the CEs choose to ignore the whole testing process.

I am sorry that you had two less than stellar experiences, but blanket statements like this are simply not true. I was given no special breaks, no "gimmes," and I passed. I failed one PCS, and it was totally my error.

I have been around this program for a long time and read hundreds of journals, and for the vast majority, it was incumbent on the student to do things correctly -- no mulligans, no do-overs, no special treatment.

To say that people only pass when CEs choose to look the other way is incredibly disrespectful to your fellow students and graduates who have worked hard to pass the CPNE. I have no doubt that you worked just as hard, and I wish you'd had a better outcome. I also wish you'd take your last shot at it, but I understand that is a big decision, both emotionally and financially.

tnmarie

Specializes in geriatrics, hospice, private duty.

Hence the qualifier: "most likely". I am sure some students do pass without special treatment. My complaint is that the CPNE is supposed to be given on an even playing field and obviously isn't, with students given varied information and "tips". I'm sorry if you are offended and/or feel disrespected, but that doesn't change the fact that the test isn't administered as outlined in the study guide and some students pass because of it.

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

I failed my first PCS as well, because I left something off of my care plan. I had it written EVERYWHERE except where it should have been. That was the only mistake that I made that weekend. Although it was a simple 240ml mistake, it was MY mistake. So I revised my entire approach for the weekend and went on to pass with no more issues. There were six of us that weekend and only two failed the entire thing. I don't think that showed any biases. Just my opinion based on my experience. One of the two that failed said that she kept forgetting to ID her patient. However, she passed her second CPNE and was able to sit for and pass the NCLEX before I even got my ATT! I think students that pass and students that fail will more than often have opposing viewpoints of the same situation.

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

I think students that pass and students that fail will more than often have opposing viewpoints of the same situation.

Absolutely ... because we are human. A test administered by humans will always contain -- surprise! -- the human element. It is not uncommon to see students go from liking EC's program and recommending it to others to being one-person negative ad campaigns. Seen it many times. It's painful to watch (because you know it could easily have been you), but again -- all too human.

The CPNE is the one reason that I don't recommend EC to people with in-person alternatives. There is too much riding on one stressful exam. If this is your only option, then great -- I will give you as much information as I can and share what I know to help you succeed.

I am sorry that you did not pass this weekend. I took my as well this weekend and by no means it was handed to me or I was "one " of the chosen ones" I studied hard and knew all my critical elements not just on paper but I knew what to look as a nurse. I knew How to make my careplans specifics to my patients needs as well. And they always said Have you completed your critical elements? when I was about to give in my paper work. I did not see them playing favorites either. For you to suggest that I did not pass on my own merits just reflects how bitter you are. You should address this with Excelsior and not bash the hard work of many students. I hope you finish your goal you have proposed for yourself. To others if you really work hard and understand and not just memorize what you are going to be tested on, you will have success , nerves and anxiety are a great factor control that and with a great foundation yo will do great!!

Edited by edny6
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KitkatPRN

Specializes in LTC, Rehab. Has 5 years experience.

Sorry you failed TnMarie & I think you have every right to be bitter ! The original poster was asking how people liked Excelsior and I wish I had read some more candid posts instead of sugar coated ones because now I'm hitting the brick wall called the CPNE !! Of course I'm trying my best to be positive but yes, it is SUBJECTIVE and that is what makes it so frustrating and makes it feel unfair hence the bitterness !! Hope you feel better soon, this program isn't for the faint at heart, for sure !! BTW: I'm taking it agian tomorrow ~~ Yikes !!

BarbaraNM, ASN, RN

Has 3 years experience.

sorry I'm not getting email alerts about new posts for some reason. yes I passed at grady 6/12, but I still think it's impossible and never recommend excelsior to anyone.

Ok, now I am curious, too... you passed. Other people pass every weekend. There is no doubt that Excelsior is difficult... but it cannot be impossible. I know many people that have completed the program, and some that are doing it now... myself included. Why won't you recommend it? So far, for me... it is the ONLY way to go. I am unable and unwilling to attend a 'traditional' school, and love the flexibility of the self paced program. Sure, I need to fan the fire under my butt from time to time to get re-motivated, but I could not become a RN any other way.

Reebok, are you working as a RN? I would like to try to understand your negativity toward the program.

Thanks,

Barbara

yes, though I didn't and don't want to. I only did it to do NP but need some resume padding. the online portion is nice, the cpne is impossible. tnmarie is right on imo.