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How To Choose The Right Nursing School for You!

Written by kimmel52 on November 11, 2008 – 11:42 pm

By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.

In considering going into the nursing profession, there are a few priorities that are crucial to determining future success.

When individuals look at all of the criteria it becomes clear which schools would be a better choice. The first criteria that many people face when going back to school is financial. Some of the factors that need to be considered about the school are for instance, how much will it cost per credit hour? Cost per credit hour depends on the school, whether or not it is accredited, a community college, a private college or a four year university.

The other criteria for determining which nursing school to attend, is of course whether or not one can obtain financial aid. Financial aid is available for many that are in the working class.

There are also Federal loans that can be obtained with very low interest rates. It would be considered a wise step to visit the financial aid office of a college or university near ones home to find out about the availability of government funding.

The next criterion, which may or may not be important for some, is the vicinity of the nursing school. For many whom work and plan to attend school, the closer the school’s location the easier the commute. In this society of multitasking, the closer that work, home and school are to one another the better.

Also, gas is now a real concern. Driving fifty miles may not have been a deterrent to some a few years ago, but certainly with the cost of fuel now days; it has become a real deterrent to many.

Along with the schools vicinity, one needs to look at whether or not the nursing school is accredited. If someone is considering obtaining an Associates Degree in Nursing from a non accredited nursing school, then if they decide to go on to their Bachelors of Nursing, they will find that they cannot continue. The reason for this is due to the following; an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, requires and accredited degreed Nursing Program from the two year Associate Degreed Nurse.

What this imples is that the two years Associate Degreed Nurse who graduated from a non accredited nursing school will not be able to transfer in their nursing courses to the four year university. This may be a real stumbling block to those nurses who wish to go on for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

It is also important to know how the nursing school graduates perform on the NCLEX®, the National Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. When there is only a forty or fifty percent passing rate on schools National Boards, this should raise a red flag for the prospective nursing student. There is no greater disappointment then failing the boards on the first time around. Many hospitals will hire graduate nurses prior to their sitting for the national boards, on the premise that if they fail their national boards, one of two things will take place;

1. their job as graduate nurse with the hospital will be terminated,
2. they will be demoted to a lesser position with less money,
3. they will be demoted to a lesser position with less money and be offered a second chance with a specified time frame to sit for the national boards once more.

None of the previous scenarios is an attractive option to any graduate nurse. Therefore the percentage of students that pass the boards at a particular school should also be included in the criteria for choosing a particular nursing school. However, do not judge the school too harshly on their rate of students who do or do not pass the national boards. The reason for this is due to the fact that some schools require a high grade point average, such as a four point zero just to get into the nursing program. This requirement will of course skew the results of passing scores in favor of those with higher grade point averages. These criteria will of course preclude many from even entering the nursing program, since many students are not four point zero in academics. Generally speaking, an average of seventy percent and above passing rate on the national nursing boards is a good predictor of the nursing school. But, it is up to the individual as to how much time and effort is put into the program as to how much they get out of the program. The nursing programs in general are very physically demanding, time consuming and mentally challenging. It is a very serious profession and there are those who find out that the field of nursing is not for them very early in the program. The best advice to those deciding on which nursing school to attend, is to use the above mentioned criteria only as a guide, because it will be up to the individual how well they do in the final analysis.


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Continuing Nursing Competency

Written by kimmel52 on November 11, 2008 – 11:38 pm

By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.

For those student nurses who are about to graduate, their main priority is to pass the NCLEX-RN examination. The practice of nursing is regulated according to licensing authorities in each state jurisdiction.

Each jurisdiction must ensure that each nurse has the minimum competency to practice nursing in their state. In order to ensure such requirements, the National Council of State Boards of Nurses, Inc.

(NCSBN) has developed a comprehensive examination entitled, National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The NCLEX test plan occurs in several steps. The first step is to conduct a practice analysis. This is used to collect data on the practice of entry level nurses. By collecting this data the board can design NCLEX test questions that will be applicable to the majority of graduate nurses.

For instance, it has been found that the majority of new graduate nurses find work on medical/surgical units. The majority of the new graduates surveyed also indicated their primary responsibility was in the delivery of direct patient care. (1) Therefore, questions regarding the care of patients on medical/surgical units is pertinent and important for graduate nurses to know. Although some graduate nurses will tell you that they had more questions on psychiatric nursing or maternity nursing on the NCLEX, this is not the norm. Six thousand or more newly licensed registered nurses are asked about the frequency and priority of performing more than one hundred and fifty care activities. These activities are analyzed in relation to the impact on patient care, safety and client settings where they are performed. It is in this framework that NCLEX test questions are designed to be applicable in real world settings, thus requiring graduate nurses to be knowledgeable of such practices.

The second step in the NCLEX test plan is to develop a method to test behaviors regarding the content formed in step one. The NCLEX-RN, Test Plan, provides a focused summary of the concepts to be tested. It serves not only to delineate what content to cover and the method of presenting the test questions but also serves to assist in developing a study guide in preparing those who will take the test. The NCLEX assesses the graduate nurse’s knowledge of required skills to practice nursing safely and competently.

Beliefs about people and nursing underlie the NCLEX-RN test plan. People are finite beings with varying capacities to function in society. (2) Each person is a unique and special individual existing in a system that they exert some control over, such as their beliefs, social systems, family systems, health customs. It is in this underlying theory of each individuals beliefs that the nursing process guides in the intervention to promote psychological and physical wellness. Nursing is an art as much as it is a science, founded on a scientific body of knowledge that has been tested and proven effective in meeting the goals of each individual. The cognitive learning domain is a integral part of the NCLEX test plan. The use of Bloom’s taxonomy is the basis for writing and coding items (Bloom,e tal.,1956: Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001) Since the practice of nursing requires application or higher levels of cognitive ability, it becomes imperative to test graduate nurses complex and abstract reasoning.

The framework of Client Needs was selected for the NCLEX due to its all encompassing body of nursing knowledge that must be applied to successfully meet these needs. There are four distinct categories of Client Needs that are integrated into the exam, with two of the four categories subdivided to more adequately cover all subject matter. The categories are as follows:

A. Safe and Effective Care Environment
1. Management of Care
2. Safety and infection control

B. Promotion and Maintenance

C. Psychosocial Integrity

D. Physiological Integrity
1. Basic Care and Comfort
2. Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
3. Reduction of Risk Potential
4. Physiological Adaptation

Integrated concepts and processes are fundamental to the nursing practice and are applied to the various and categories of client needs.

These integrated concepts are as follows:
A. The nursing process- a scientific problem solving approach to client care that includes, assessment, analysis, planning, implementation and evaluation.

B. Caring- interaction between the nurse and client that provides for a nurturing, positive, and helpful environment whereby the client feels special and important knowing that the relationship that develops between themselves and the nurse will provide the needed assistance in their achieving a higher level of psychological and physical wellness.

C. Communication and Documentation- verbal and or nonverbal interactions between the nurse and client, significant others and multidisciplinary health teams. Validation either through written and or electronic entry which reflects that what has been done is documented and is within the scope of the nurses educational and licensure level as well as meeting the policies of the hospital or other client care environment.

D. Teaching-Learning- facilitating the acquirement of further knowledge which will lead to a more informed and skilled nurse with the application of the newly learned material.

The distribution of content and the percentage of test questions assigned to each Client Needs subcategory in the NCLEX test plan is based on the results of the Report of Finding from the 2005 RN Practice Analysis:
1. Zerwekh, JoAnn, Claborn, Jo Carol, (page95) 5th Edition, Co. 2003, Nursing Today Transition and Trends , Saunders, Philadelphia 2. Henry Ford Community College, Division of Nursing, NSG255 U-1 M-1.6, Co.2006 page 3-5, Dearborn, MI


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Nursing Scholarships and Your Ethnic Roots

Written by kimmel52 on November 11, 2008 – 11:35 pm

By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.

Have you ever considered finding out if you are eligible for a scholarship? If not, my advice to you is to try. Why? Well, for one, you would be surprised at how much money is actually out there for you. It is certainly worth the effort, instead of having to pay back school loans at a given interest rate for years to come. Remember, the most important thing about nursing school scholarships or scholarships in general is that they do not have to be paid back. They are given free to those who qualify. Do you think that you won’t qualify? Again, do give up. Chances are that you do qualify for a scholarship to nursing school. Some good resources to find out if there is a scholarship for you would be to visit the nursing school of your choice. There are counselors on staff that you can make an appointment to see, to find out about other nursing school scholarships that best fit your needs.

Nursing school scholarships abound, and are not only offered from diverse places and entities in America but are offered from other countries for those students going to school in America that have some type of affiliation with that particular country. One would be wise to get in touch with their ethnic roots. Whether you are a fifth generation American or a third generation Irish, there is a scholarship for you. It is also important to consult your local college or university of choice to find out if there may be others that fit your situation. Yes, you can have more than one scholarship for nursing school. Actually there is no limit to how many scholarships that you can get, as long as you qualify for the particular scholarship.

It is very important in considering a career in the nursing field to research scholarships that are available for nursing school. You will find many on the internet, but be careful of those that seem too good to be true. This article is written to help direct prospective nursing school students to the many resources that are available to them. There may seem to be a lot of reading, but it is well worth your time and effort. But before we begin with a list of important sites to help you, here is a wonderful true story of a woman who has been blind since birth. Her name is Melissa Resnick and she has always dreamed of becoming a nurse. Read this excerpt by Kathy Quan, you will find it awe inspiring. You know why? Because she has actually begun her studies as of 2005. The moral of the story is, if she can do it so can you.

Here is a list of some websites that may prove helpful in your search for information on nursing school scholarships:

  • www.afrotc.com/scholarships/hsschol/schools.php
  • www.nasa.org
  • www.ana.org
  • www.fafsa.gov
  • nursing.sdsu.edu/scholarships.php
  • aid.military.com/scholarship/search-for-scholarships.do
  • www.globalscholarship.net
  • www.uic.edu/nursing/programs/gep-admissions.shtml
  • www.butlercc.edu/fin_aid/index.cfm
  • Graham School of Nursing Scholarships and Awards

Want to read more…. just go to my nursing education store and get the book entitled ‘Nursing Scholarships


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Alternative Medication Therapy

Written by kimmel52 on November 8, 2008 – 1:12 am

Alternative Medication Therapy
Alternative medication can be defined as those compounds that are intended for use in the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of disease but are not approved or recognized as medication by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Included in this definition are compounds that are commonly referred to as herbal medicines, nutritional or dietary supplements, phytomedicinals and organic and natural products. Compounds that are available as prescription medication in a foreign country but are not approved by the FDA for use in the United States will also be considered Alternative Medication for purposes of this discussion.
Medication products that are approved for use by the FDS but are being used for unlabeled indications will not be considered Alternative Medication, for the purposes of this discussion. Investigational medication that is not approved for routine use by the FDA but is being used as part of a research protocol will also not be considered within the scope of this discussion. It is the responsibility of care givers such as physicians and nurses to be aware of the medications that are being used to treat patient’s. Many hospitals have protocols in place that deal exclusively with alternative medication therapies, to ensure the efficacy that the medicines are safe, pure and of known composition. Alternative medications as defined previously have not undergone rigorous scientific evaluation to establish safety and efficacy, are not subject to the stringent manufacturing and quality standards imposed by the FDA, and are not reliably indentifiable to content. It is recognized that some Alternative Medication may have scientific evidence and, in some cases, years of tradition which support a real or perceived therapeutic value. As a general rule, those patients that are admitted to hospitals are usually allowed to keep their Alternative Medications with them. However, before they can use them the medications must go down to pharmacy where they are labeled and identified with the patient’s name and room number. Pharmacy will then send the medication to be placed in the medication drawer of the patient for the nurse to administer. Most often a physicians order is necessary before the patient is allowed to use their medication form home. Patients feel a sense of relief that they are allowed to use their Alternative Medication while in the hospital. If the hospital were in fact to procure such medication, then the patient would be charged a great deal of money, which their insurance probably would not pay. Times are changing to the effect that care givers must deal with the reality that there is a great number of people who don’t have medical coverage, are unemployed and have little to no money to pay for hospital stays. In some cases, Alternative Medication therapy is less expensive that generic or name brand drugs. While recognizing the fact that many people are considering Alternative Medication therapy, it is also up to the physician to have a thorough knowledge of such medications. These medications can be very potent, interfere with other medications by either causing a harmful effect of nullifying the effect of the prescribed medication. Thorough health assessments must include questions that ask the patient if they are taking such medications. Health professionals should learn as much as possible regarding uses and side effects of Alternative Medication therapies if they are to treat people.


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Patients Require Information Related to Their Medications

Written by kimmel52 on November 8, 2008 – 12:34 am

Patients Require Information Related to Their Medications
By Nancy L. Kimmel R.N. PhD CHMM
October 25, 2008

Patients are often prescribed medications for different diagnoses that they may have. Having multiple diagnoses and or aliments is not uncommon. However, in this day and age of specialization, patients are required to see a different doctor for each diagnosis. This is not only time consuming for the patient, it is also very expensive. Most specialists charge more than general practitioners. Each doctor will prescribe medication for the patient based on that one diagnosis. If there are three different doctors all prescribing medications for a particular ailment, then the patient is placed in a dangerous situation of having possible adverse side effects from interactions of medications. The main point is that all of the doctors must know what medications their patient is taking and be able to explain to the patient the side effects and interactions. They should also keep in contact with the other specialists in case one doctor notices a discrepancy in medication prescribed that could cause serious side effects. Multiple drug therapy should be beneficial to the patient not harmful. Take the drug Ultram Ò, this drug is a mild analgesic that is prescribed for muscle aches and pains. If this drug is taken in conjunction with certain psychotropic medications a possibly fatal physiological reaction can occur. Certain blood pressure medications such a beta-blockers act on the beta-receptors of the heart to prevent the angiotensin enzyme cascade, thereby preventing angiotensin I from complexing into angiotensin II. Once angiotensin II is formed, the release of a very strong hormone called Vasopressin enters into the blood stream causing a dangerous rise in blood pressure. These same beta-blockers can also act on the beta-receptors of the lungs as well, causing stimulation of the Para-sympathetic nervous system, (or competition with the sympathetic nervous system). which causes fluid to build up in the lungs. Normally this side effect is rare, however, if the patient has respiratory problems to begin with, then this side effect could be very detrimental. Patients with congestive heart failure, emphysema or chronic bronchitis should tell their doctors that they could be sensitive to beta-blockers. Beta-blockers or Beta-Adrenergic Blocking Agents block the nerve impulse transmission to the beta-receptor of the sympathetic division of the Autonomic nervous system. These receptors are found in greater numbers at the postjunctional terminals of the nerve fibers that control the heart muscle and reduce muscle tone. These drugs include atenolol, carteolol, metoprolol, nadolol, penbutolol, pindolol, propranolol, and timolol. These drugs block postsynaptic alpha 1 adrenergic receptors resulting in a dilation of arterioles and veins resulting in lowering the blood pressure. One would think that the doctor should know this, and it should not be the patient’s burden to have to inform the doctor. It seems however in today’s society that they patient must be very well educated regarding their own health, and doctors should pay close attention. The public is more educated now than ever, regarding medications side effects and its purposes. This may be due to the fact that more people of advanced ages are computer literate and are able to access the many health related sites. Patients are subjected to an information overload regarding their medications. It is up to doctors to help their patients not feel overwhelmed. They can do this by keeping the lines of communication open between specialists and knowing each medication that the patient is taking. The extra time and effort will prevent untoward side effects and possible fatal drug interactions. Patients are also encouraged to continue with their efforts in learning all that they can regarding the medications that they are taking and to ask their doctor any questions that they may have. New medications and strict medication regimes are the key to longevity. It is up to the doctor and patient to find the best combination to ensure a long, healthy and happy life.


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Reality Shock For Graduate Nurses

Written by kimmel52 on October 10, 2008 – 10:10 pm

By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.

So now you are close to graduating from nursing school or you have graduated recently. Whichever the case, you will be in for a reality shock when you begin your career as a Registered Nurse. What do we mean by the term, “reality shock”? Well, like the term says, it is the reality that shocks us. The question you may ask is, “so there is a difference in the reality of being a student or graduate nurse”? The answer is an emphatic, YES! First of all, as a student nurse you were given assignments that were not beyond the scope of your practice or ability. In addition to that, you were working under your instructor’s license and whether or not you were aware, they kept a very close watch on you. Therefore, there was a safety net that always hovered beneath you in case you were to fall.

This is not the case as you take on the title, Registered Nurse. There is no safety net. You are out there by yourself, free to make decisions and make mistakes. With those decisions and mistakes you are also, FULLY ACCOUNTABLE. Now imagine yourself with eight or more patients. You may be asking yourself, “What do you mean eight or MORE patients?” Most student nurses never have more than six or seven patients and that is only at the very end of the program. Even then, the student nurses can delegate tasks to assistive personnel thereby lessening their work load. However, there will be time that you will be on a floor, without any assistive personnel, with more than eight patients and no one to rely on except yourself. To compound this scenario, there may be patients that have very critical care pathways that you must follow, incoming calls from patient’s families, doctor’s, operating room staff, and other collaborative care departments requesting information. Now, let’s stop this scenario in its tracks. You probably feel the stress building by just reading the previous passage. If so, don’t worry, it is a perfectly normal reaction. So, relax, and know that there are ways to ease this inevitable right of passage. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to help ease and deal with reality shock.

1. First of all, it is important to understand that, “reality shock” does indeed exist and you will come face to face with it. Knowing what you will face is most of the battle. The task at hand then becomes, knowing what steps to take and resources to use, and how to use them.

2. Learn as much as you can during your in-service training program, which usually lasts up to eight weeks or more. This means familiarizing yourself with every inch of your floor. Know where everything is located, from safety pins to I.V. tubing. You may never know when you may need it, NOW, and the worst thing that can happen is that you spend precious time looking for something as small as a safety pin.

3. Know, who the assisted personnel are, and know them by name and face. Find out who will be the ones that you will be working with during your shift. What usually happens during in-service training is that graduate nurses train on the main shift, which is most frequently days, before transferring to the shift that they have been hired to work. Therefore it is very important to know who you will be working with during your shift. Try also to develop a working relationship with the assistive personnel. Remember, it is not a popularity game, you are not out to make best friends. Your goal is quality patient care, and the patient comes first. Let your intentions be known that your number one goal is to give the best patient care that you have respect for the care team assistive personnel and are a willing and helpful body to them as well. In doing this, you will have disabled the invisible wall that exists between nurses and assistive personnel. That wall is the one entitled, I am a NURSE and you are ONLY an aide. One thing that you must strive for is to use an even tone of voice, and fairness when delegating. You must also remember the rights of delegation, which are as follows, a. the right task, b. the right person, c. the right communication, (must be clear and concise), d. the right feedback, (the person who is delegated the task must comprehend what it is that is asked of them and let the nurse know that they comprehend). By doing this you are ensuring that patient care will not suffer do to a personality glitch, which could have been avoided.

4. Know, know and KNOW where the Policy and Procedure manual is located on the floor. Part of your hospital in-service will include the introduction of the Policy and Procedure Manual. This is the manual that you will have to refer to many times for protocol from everything from changing out a Foley Catheter to transporting a patient to another floor. The final analysis will be in any investigation, “did the nurse use and follow the Policy and Procedure Manual?” You want to always be sure that you follow the rules and protocols contained in your institutions manual. Therefore, you should know where it is located and be familiar with how to look up various procedures and policies, particularly

5. The policy regarding medication errors. Most everyone makes them and it is crucial that you know what paperwork is required to be filled out. It will come in handy. You cannot just, “wing it”, when making a decision, you have to follow protocol.

6. Use assertive communication when interacting with doctors’. Assertive communication indicates that you are aware of yourself and your limitations as well as your liability to the patients that you care for. Using this form of communication with over assertive medical personnel will help you function to your maximum capability and earn respect as an independent care professional. {For more information on the uses and strategies concerning assertive communication, please refer to the text entitled, Nursing Today, Transition and Trends, by JoAnn Zerwekh, Jo Carol Claborn, 5th edition, Co. 2006, Saunders, Philadelphia.}

7. Ask questions. You will have time during your in-service training to ask questions and get answers. It is your right to do so. Remember, not knowing is not an excuse, and you do not want to be in a situation where there will be no-one to ask. This is not to say that you will know everything, but a least you are giving yourself a head start and a good solid foundation by knowing what you can. So don’t be afraid to ask. Also, know who your resources are, for questions that you may have on the shift that you will be working.

8. Find a mentor with whom you can relate. Try to find someone not only on the shift during training, but also on the shift that you will be working. It is nice to find someone who has the experience and understanding as well as someone that you can get along. There might be a time that you will want to call them in the middle of the night and vent your concerns, or just to have them give you positive input in your performance. Mentors are essential to the growth of a new nurse.

9. Lastly, Know, Know and Know, what your State Nurse Practice Act states. This Act, is your guideline for most all that you do as a Registered Nurse. Know it well.

Hopefully these tips will help to ease the reality shock that you will face during your transition from student nurse to full time graduate nurse. Remember, you can’t do it all. You are a welcome asset to your employer, but first and foremost an embodiment of all that Florence Nightingale stood for. Best wishes on your journey.


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Nursing News

Written by kimmel52 on September 19, 2008 – 2:22 am

Congratulations to the following schools…….Keep up the good work.Tampa, FL (April 18, 2008) — Graduates of the USF College of Nursing achieved a 100-percent pass rate on the required exam to practice as a nurse. The college’s graduates have attained this benchmark several times, previously in Feb. 2007

IU Northwest nursing students post outstanding state board pass rates

Bachelors degree program ranks in top eight state-wide, while associates program places in top three


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Difficult Nursing Instructors

Written by kimmel52 on September 17, 2008 – 2:34 am

If nursing school isn’t hard enough, it becomes worse when a particular nursing instructor singles you out.   How do you handle it tactfully?  First of all don’t throw in the towel.  You have come too far.  There will always be those nursing instructors who get along great with some students but make you feel like the evil step child.   There is no concrete answer as to why this is, and it wouldn’t do you any good to try and psychoanalyze the situation.  However, you have paid good money for your education and deserve to be treated with the dignity and respect that you would give anyone else.  The best way to handle this situation is to go directly to the instructor and ask them politely why they are treating you in such a way.  If this is not an option then put everything in writing, documenting time, place, what was said and any witnesses.  Also make an appointment with the director of nursing.  It may well be that the director of nursing is unaware that the teacher is behaving unfairly.  By doing this you are demonstrating that you care deeply about your career and your learning experience.
Some student nurses feel singled out.   They may indeed be.  When this happens it is best to bring it to the attention of the dean of nursing.  Talking about the problem to peers is not always a good strategy.  Your peers are not always on your side, and many may not give you the best advice.  Remember, this is your life that your are dealing with, and it is not small matter.  Therefore you should not take anything lightly.  Be vigilent in your pursuit of a nursing degree and hang on for dear life.  


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Pass Your Nursing Boards

Written by kimmel52 on March 23, 2008 – 12:05 am

By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.

Preparing for the national boards begins as soon as a nursing student begins nursing school. Licensure as a Registered Nurse is granted upon a student passing the national boards or NCLEX. Passing scores are based on the amount of questions that the nurse gets correct in relation to the national average. Therefore there is no discrete passing grade. The fact that nursing students are started on licensure testing preparation so early into their curriculum is a testimony to those nursing schools with the highest and most numerous passing scores. Choosing a nursing school should be based on credentialing and the schools success rate of passing the national boards. Certain schools that are not accredited will be able to graduate nurses with an Associate Degree in Applied Science. However, graduates from these unaccredited schools will not be able to continue to their bachelors in nursing at an accredited university. The same is to be said of diploma nurses.

Passing the national boards is the final culmination of all of the work a student nurse has put into nursing school. The methods of teaching and the type of questions students have to answer throughout nursing school are structured to help them pass the boards. Board exam preparation classes are also mandatory toward the end of the nursing curriculum. These NCLEX preparation classes are offered for a period of four consecutive eight hour days. There is no extra charge to the students for this preparation. These classes are usually administrated a few days after graduation from the program. This intensive preparation is not only helpful to the students to successfully pass the boards, but boosts the schools standing and credentialing as well.

As to whether or not students should seek out extra tutoring for the national board exam is entirely up to the student, and depends on how much extra remediation they feel that they need to increase their comfort level. Many nursing students complain about the way that questions are worded in their nursing school exams. Instructors will always explain that the reasoning for this is to help the students develop the analytical thought process necessary to pass the boards. The most helpful study tools for nursing school exams as well as the national boards are the NCLEX study guides. As students use these guides continuously they develop the mind set to answer similar questions posed to them in class and on boards. There are numerous NCLEX guides on the market. It is up to the student to find the one that helps them the most. Using more than one guide can also help a student learn to critically think about questions. The student should consult with their nursing department and nursing instructors as to which of the guides out there will give them the best test preparation. Some teachers will offer students a private tutoring session for NCLEX review. The student would be encouraged to take advantage of any nursing instructor willing to help students out on their own time, even for a fee. These types of instructors care about their students and want them to be successful.

There are also computerized tests that nursing students must take in order to graduate. These tests are online and they are timed. The nursing student’s grade on these tests is not added in to their class grade. These tests are a separate entity altogether. The purpose of these tests is to measure the student’s competency in each of the fields of nursing curriculum and compare their scores with other nursing students from their school as well as with the rest of the nation. The student gets a print out of their results upon completion of each competency test. The school also gets the score and keeps a record of those students who did not pass as well as those who did. Those students that did not pass the exams are instructed to repeat the test again until they receive a passing score. The scores are listed by a number and if the student scores at a level that is termed, /”unsafe”, /then the student must retake the exam. Those students who do not take these online exams seriously are surprised that when it comes close to graduation they are prevented from graduating because they did not finish or repeat the tests with a passing score.

Nursing school is stressful right at the starting gate and keeps up the pace up until graduation. All of this constant bombardment with nursing tests and computerized competency tests are designed to assist the student pass the national boards.


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