Wednesday, December 10, 2008

to transfer, or not to transfer

I've been asked about why I feel the need to transfer nursing programs.

Here we go:

*current program is not privately accredited, although it is state approved

*current program is on the July '08 State Board of Nursing report as being one of the programs in the state with a less than 80% NCLEX pass rate

*current program in a state of transition due to previous instructors leaving just prior to classes starting this August

*One of the replacement instructors walked out after being forced to by the second year students because they didn't like her teaching style(yeah, that speaks volumes about so much, but it is not what is at issue here).

*The dean of nursing, who has been teaching our intro class, has not been able to answer questions from us students, that a dean should be able to answer. Examples of such a question include general information about ATI testing, or information about classes of the upcoming semester.

*The instructor who came back is actually an awesome teacher, but it's not certain she will remain past the spring semester.

*When we've been taught skills we're taught one day, tested the following week, and that's it. Those skills are not re-visited, at all, the rest of the semester. There is no skills final. Because of my previous medical training (Air Force medic, and Medical Assistant) I am ok with this, so far. What about later when we're learning other skills that are new even to me? I can't imagine being one of the students in this program who have no experience. Some of them have voiced their concerns over not being sure about their vital signs skills.

*This semester we were in lecture a total of three hours(two for intro and one for basic skills), and lab 5-6 hours, during the "on" weeks. Our intro class was a "hybrid" class and the off weeks were spent online answering some sort of nursing related question:
The nursing process is defined as being composed of five phases: assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate. Which of these phases do you believe is most important to the delivery of high quality nursing care, and to the achievement of positive client outcomes? Do not respond that all of the phases are equally important – that evades the question. Demonstrate critical thinking in the argument you present to support one phase over the others.

*one hour a week dedicated to basic skills?

*next semester we have two hours for Nursing Principles and Concepts I, six hours for its lab, 1 hour for Principles of Pharmacology, and two hours for Mental Health Nursing. Supposedly this semester they were extending the latter two to span the whole semester, whereas in the past they've been eight week courses, first pharm, and then mental health. I've heard they'll be changing it back?

*We start our first clinicals this spring, after which we will no longer be in lab. So we'll go from 6 hours of lab a week, to only clinicals Wednesdays and Thursdays 6:30a-12:30p.

*there is no availability for open lab to practice

That's about it for now, because now I'm getting madder.

I know no program is perfect, but when you're paying for an education that is supposed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to pass a state board that determines your career you want to have the best chance possible.