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What in the world happened to CU Denver's College of Nursing??? Unbelievable...

Colorado   (18,378 Views 22 Comments)
by SummitRN SummitRN (Member)

SummitRN has 5 years experience and works as a ICU.

2 Articles; 30,101 Visitors; 1,501 Posts

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The stories I've heard from people going there have suddenly become quite appalling!

I've always respected CU as a school with very high standards in their nursing program, although the institution seemed a little too proud of itself as reflected by a non-caring attitude towards its students when it came to clinical preferences.

However, the latest information I've heard is rather astounding. They shortened their accelerated program length while doubling or tripling the enrollment. CU was then unable to find clinical placements for the well over 100 new students. What did they do? They bumped their traditional BSN students from their classes and placements, delaying them a semester, forced students to cancel internships they'd arranged with hospitals, and students lost most of their financial aid due to them dropping to part-time status.

Now I've heard that their accelerated and traditional classes that are to graduate in May np longer have clinical placements at two of the three academic hospitals: University Hospital and VA. I also was told that CU has zero or near zero ICU/ED/NICU placements for senior practicum (SIP). Apparently, there is even such a shortage of med-surg placements that they are sending senior practicum students to outpatient clinics! Students have been told, "tough."

I feel sorry for all those nursing students. Why did they get into one of the top two competitive programs in the state if the program is going to treat them like that and give them sub-par clinical experiences? These are the antics I'd expect to hear from University of Phoenix and ITT-Tech, not CU Denver which like to bill itself as a top-10 nursing school at the national level. What gives?

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Director of OB Services.

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Huh, I still see plenty of UC Denver students in OB at the University Hospital.

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SummitRN has 5 years experience and works as a ICU.

2 Articles; 30,101 Visitors; 1,501 Posts

I was told they still have OB and peri-op/PACU, but something about some tower move meant they weren't taking students otherwise.

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That is interesting since I am currently enrolled in UC Denver's traditional program, and I have had 2 placements at the VA and 1 at University... I also know for a fact that the VA has groups for the rest of the year.

About half of my group are having our "summer" break during part of the spring semester due to clinical placement shortages, but we were warned this could happen on day 1 of orientation. My financial aid decreased by a whooping $26 when my status changed from full to part time for spring. Nobody had to cancel internships in my group, because we have known about this since last fall, and many of my classmate are currently working as ACPs (formerly the "nurse intern" position) at University.

University is also not the only game in town for good clinical placements, I have had friends at Denver Health, Rose, Childrens, VA, Swedish and more that have had great experiences. I have only heard of a few bad clinical experiences from my classmates.

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Sand_Dollar works as a RN (BSN).

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Hi Summit,

I don't go to CU Denver but another U in the area. I got a Sr placement at UCH and specifically requested critical care. I got an email from UCH stating there would be no critical care or ED placements at this time because of the new tower. The UCH placement liaison said she anticipates the new tower will impact ALL future placements. Since my plans at the time included applying to the new grad residency for CC at UCH, which REQUIRES CC experience, I was upset. Thankfully, my school liaison was able to get me into an ICU at another hospital (but, as far as I know right now...only 4 of us have CC placements, and one of those is out of state).

I don't think the placement situation is something that only CU-D is facing. Our own liaison tells us that acute care placements are diminishing. I think this is attributed to the number of nursing schools in the Denver area. Thankfully, we haven't had anything but excellent placements for our school and no juggling of schedules. I hope this doesn't change.

~SD

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SummitRN has 5 years experience and works as a ICU.

2 Articles; 30,101 Visitors; 1,501 Posts

Since my plans at the time included applying to the new grad residency for CC at UCH, which REQUIRES CC experience, I was upset. Thankfully, my school liaison was able to get me into an ICU at another hospital (but, as far as I know right now...only 4 of us have CC placements, and one of those is out of state).

For that precise reason my friend at CU-D is most upset as they wanted to apply to the UCH CC residency and was told the same thing. I am glad you were able to still get a placement that met your design.

I don't think the placement situation is something that only CU-D is facing. Our own liaison tells us that acute care placements are diminishing. I think this is attributed to the number of nursing schools in the Denver area.

Indeed, plus CU-D has increased enrollment massively and I hear that Regis has modestly increased enrollment. Also, I guess another nursing school just opened in Denver. However, you'd think that the top tier schools would have the least trouble with these placements? That is one of the major reasons people go to the competitive programs, after all. I gather that the politics of clinical placements is rather horrendous.

Perhaps, if I want to make money, I'll become a placement coordinator and take kickbacks. ;)

Thankfully, we haven't had anything but excellent placements for our school and no juggling of schedules. I hope this doesn't change.

~SD

I hope so for you too!

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Actually they did not increase enrollment that much, while the summer 2012 group was huge, the winter 2013 group was 24 people, so for the year I believe the enrollment is about the same.

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SummitRN has 5 years experience and works as a ICU.

2 Articles; 30,101 Visitors; 1,501 Posts

Actually they did not increase enrollment that much' date=' while the summer 2012 group was huge, the winter 2013 group was 24 people, so for the year I believe the enrollment is about the same.[/quote']

I had heard that the number for the summer group was around 170 which is beyond huge and created a demand spike for placements that it messed up life for the traditional students. You may have only lost 26$ but many apparently lost thousands in aid and had to take out loans. Just because a school says in orientation that they might screw over the students doesn't make it ethical or desirable.

I wasn't making a claim that CU hasn't had UCH or VA placements up until now, but that they won't have many/any over the next several months, specifically for practicum.

Edited by SummitRN

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Director of OB Services.

3 Followers; 113,260 Visitors; 13,097 Posts

I'm pretty sure that UCH places CU Denver students at their facility before any other schools (meaning UC Denver students have priority over other schools). I'm guessing that if there is a moratorium on placement in the CC units of UCH, it will end after the new tower opens and there's been a transition period there. I don't blame them for wanting to curtail clinical placements while things are in utter chaos.

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SummitRN has 5 years experience and works as a ICU.

2 Articles; 30,101 Visitors; 1,501 Posts

If I went to CU, I'd blame them for not planning ahead and placing accordingly. They knew this was coming for a long time.

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CU College of Nursing is serious about the education of our students. Further we care about the satisfaction of our students and clinical partners.

In the Denver area, schools and colleges obtain space for and place students in clinical agencies using a centralized scheduling system. Placements are not determined by individual colleges. There are times that agencies have to cancel pre-arranged placements at the last minute. Frequently, this is due to agency staffing issues where patient safety is first and foremost. Although the circumstances are beyond our control, we at the CU College of Nursing realize this wreaks havoc in our student’s lives. We regret these circumstances and move quickly to find alternative clinical placements. Fortunately, this has happened to very few students.

Despite the challenges, clinical placements at the CU College of Nursing have been provided for all scheduled clinical courses and there have been no delays in student progression to anticipated graduation date. We hope that nurses and nursing students will choose to get the facts and investigate the issues before choosing to believe that schools, their staff or educators don’t care.

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I work on the CU Anschutz Campus and am applying to the accelerated program for spring 2014. The campus is pretty new and the expansion of the University hospital to double their beds probably means they need to work on placing a lot of qualified and solid staffing to ensure the same quality of care throughout the hospital. I bet that impacts who gets placed where because it kind of messes up the works until everything gets stabilized as far as healthcare goes at the new wing of the hospital. I am sure once the new VA is finished and everybody moves into the news wings at bout Children's and University Hospital, then things will slowly get to a more normal state.

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