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Excelsior College / Scam

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Excelsior College
Students spend thousands of dollars trying to obtain an RN degree thru Excelsior College. There are yrly student fees, test fees, books costs, flash cards, dvds, skills bag, workshops, clinicals, airfares, hotels, car rentals... None of it cheap. All of it way, way, way more than a traditional nursing school. CA won't let Excelsior grads even test for their license. GA/NC also have serious issues with Excelsior. Employers are denying positions to Excelsior grads. People, DO NOT, EVER, EVER give your hard earned money & prescious time to these heartless thieves.


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D  27th of Apr, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree -2 Votes
I disagree. Excelsior is a very good school and requires a lot of work in studying. I graduated with my degrees (ASN, BSN, MSN) and have been employed in those states you point out. My belief is this: you FAILED to put forth your best effort and couldn't handle the rigors of being self discipline.

Anyway, all the best to you because there are thousand practicing nurses. Unfortunately you want the easy way out and you'll do that with your substandard nursing care too.
D  7th of May, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
I disagree with the original post. I graduated from Excelsior's ADN program in 1991 and am currently pursuing my BSN there now, getting close to completing it. It has been a great experience for me, I have never had difficulty getting a job. I had worked as an LPN for 5 years and did do a lot of my ADN clinical at a local CC before entering Excelsior so I have had plenty of clinical experience. Be sure and check your facts about which states accept Excelsior grads. There may be requirements such as a set number of hours working as an LPN or certain numbers of hours of experience required etc. but as far as I know that has not been a problem in many states. I do believe Georgia BON does not accept Excelsior grads at this time and there are certain restrictions in California (if I remember correctly you have to have enrolled by a certain date and would be considered on a case by case basis etc.) but double check me. I do not know about the other states mentioned as I said it has not been an issue for me. A lot of those issues would not pertain to someone like me because I passed state boards as an ADN grad so long ago and am not currently trying to take any boards as a new grad. Because I want to travel I did ask a travel co. if they have had any issues with Excelsior grads being allowed to work in certain states and was told no at the time. Excelsior is a tough program but in my opinion well worth it. I have learned a great deal there and think there are many of us who have had very positive experiences.
D  6th of Jul, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree -2 Votes
I also disagree with the original post. I graduated from Excelsior last yr with my ADN and am now enrolled for my BSN. Yes there are the fees that you mentioned, but the majority of those fees are present at every college you would attend. Everything but the airfare, rental car and hotel would be fees at every college. I took the CPNE and chose to save money by driving to my CPNE friday, got a cheap hotel, and stayed fri night and sat night, then drove home. There are cheaper ways to do things. I did not fly, did not rent a car, got a cheap hotel, AND only stayed 2 nights. I love Excelsior and their self-learning, BUT this is not a format for everyone. You MUST be a self-learner AND self-motivated or you will never make it, that is simply a fact.
N  13th of Aug, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree -2 Votes
Well, when you fail you are so upset...Never could it be your falt...well it truly is..if you take advantage of all the resources that Excelsior offers you, you can learn all the things needed to pass the CPNE, I went to Georgia and flunked...I am returning in November, not all of us are close enough to drive, so flying is a must. No one ever said this was easy. When I first got over the shock of the most frighting weekend I ever encountered, I looked into going to the local college and getting this done once and for all. I quickly returned to the Study Guide and the computer resources for the CPNE when I started thinking how far I already have come. If I realised all entailed in this course, I would not have done it, but now I am here at the end of the road..and WILL pass the 2nd go around. It is no joke, it is serious.
Grieve your loss for a while then get back at it...you now see what it is like, learn what you did not know and go for it again..you have come too far to quit now. To be honest I know everyone say's they want you to pass...I personally felt like the CE's were hoping to ditch as many as possible as quickly as possible so they were not still there Sunday afternoon, and the waiting time inbetween PCS's wasted a lot of time. There were 8 in my group 2 passed. It is wicked, but I am going back. Best of Luck to all who have the nerve to go back. Please pray for me...I am going back the weekend of November 13th.
D  13th of Sep, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
See if you feel the same way after your next attempt.
D  29th of Jan, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
There were 6 in my group and 5 passed. The CA and CE's wanted us to pass, and they were all great.
D  31st of Jan, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
It depends on the examiners. My experience was ridiculous. The examiners were arrogant and biased. I was not provided adequate lighting and there was an air bubble that was not visible in MY test room but when the examiner left into a lit room she said that the bubble exceeded the champagne bubble criteria. I explained the lighting was not sufficient. Her comment was: "Not so sure that it would have made a difference in your case". Hmmmm...really? I have legal counsel and want some data on failures. If you want to share experiences with me please contact me at:

occamsrazor@cox.net. Put CPNE failure in the subject line.

I am in the begining phases of my quest after failing only once. I will not give EC another dime due to my experience at the CPNE. And for those of you that have passed congratualtions. If the program was so great then why was there 3 repeats in my group? So, for those of you that have passed consider yourself fortunate. DO NOT CONTACT ME IF YOU HAVE PASSED as I am not interested. I am only gathering data on failures at this point. And to whoever made the comment about not winning a suit clearly you have no idea of the US legal system in which I have been a part of for 30 years.
N  5th of Feb, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree -2 Votes
Your lawsuit is a waste of time, sea-lawyer. The program is accredited and regularly reviewed by the NLN as a proper assessment of nursing skill. The courts won't even hear your case.

Why were there 3 repeats in your group. Because 3 people weren't prepared and didn't know the critical elements.

I suggest you put aside your bitterness, own your mistake (you had to have made at least two), and try again with proper preparation. If you don't agree with your bubble failure, you should use the appeal process.
N  5th of Feb, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
And I don't consider myself "fortunate." I consider myself "prepared."
N  10th of Feb, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
In case you don't understand, this is a complaint forum not a praise Excelsior site. For those of you who passed CONGRATULATIONS and move on. But the least you can do for the rest that did not pass is let them air their frustration without rubbing in that they were unprepared. I took the exam and passed on the second try, but I was just as prepared on the first try and still I did not pass. Sometimes it just comes down to sheer luck and everything coming together since there are so many variables and so many things that can go wrong during this AWFUL exam.
N  26th of Mar, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree +3 Votes
There is nothing...I repeat NOTHING fair about the CPNE...when one person can fail after administering their 5th medication...and another student was never assigned 1 med throughout their entire weekend.
Or a student failed after taking care of a severely ill autistic child, and another student was never assigned a child at all. Fair???? How is that fair.
N  26th of Mar, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
The instructors went to traditional schools, and send their children to traditional nursing programs. This was a mistake for me, although I am done. I took the CPNE 3 times, and now have my RN, but I do not and will never recommend Excelsior. After failing the 2nd CPNE I went to a traditional college offering LPN to RN transition, they would NOT accept any of the Excelsior courses, so I would have had to start all over and pay all over. I went and took the CPNE for a third time! there are no guarantees. I passed.
The College network, Distance Learning never tell you when you sign up, that they are not giving you the diploma...Excelsior is...and Excelsior cannot understand why you would take courses at one college and expectExcelsior to give you the diploma . I cannot blame them.
N  31st of Mar, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
If you are prepared for the CPNE you will pass! I have hospital clinical experience and studied my ### off, i was prepared and passed with flying colours. No, it's not always fair, I had the youngest pt., he was septic and only 3 weeks old, it can be done...
N  13th of May, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Don't listen to Equuaz and the rest who lavish praise on Excelsior and blame anyone who failed. I believe they are plants from Excelsior. I mean, what are people who claim to like Excelsior doing on a COMPLAINT site, and WHY are some of them ANGRY and fighting with people who are complaining? They were NOT there for our clinical experiences.

I have had no problem at all running into people, in person and online, who were victims of this greedy joke of a college.
N  13th of Jun, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
The ONLY folks that would come on a complaint line and lavish praise on the school is the school. Why would anyone else waste their time? Please, give me a break. If California discredited it and won't allow their graduates, don't try to tell me that it is fair, or that you studied your butt off or any of the other stupid answers you have to a scam. Take it for what it is, a scam and get on with it. I am speaking for someone who didn't take a look at the complaints before starting and after failing twice and wondering why, I came online and looked up all the responses around. Believe me, they should have looked first. This place is like so many of the others in the world that would rather take your money and screw you out of your dreams than to provide a good service. If the real goal was to graduate nurses, they wouldn't be acting like the inquisition. I can tell you from years of experience, the same people who are flunking these people out have made so many mistakes, they wouldn't pass it. So look at the complaints for the truth, if someone is telling you it doesn't stink outside of an outhouse, they are probably selling air freshener.
D  14th of Jun, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
First of all - I am not with Excelsior. I am a Registered Respiratory Therapist and am thinking about getting my RN license to eventually go on to CRNA school. I came on this site to check out Excelsior and also checked them out on the Better Business Bureau website. I personally know other Respiratory Therapists who have gone thru the ADN and BSN program with Excelsior while working at a hospital as an RT and they all passed every exam including the CPNE on the first try. They have said wonderful things about Excelsior.

I do have to say this though. All of the people I personally know that have gone through Excelsior are located in Texas. I am currently in Georgia because my husband is in the military. I have called the Georgia Nursing Board about Excelsior. They DO accept Excelsior graduates but they do require an additional 700 hours of clinical experience (either previous thru work or before taking the NCLEX). Alabama also accepts Excelsior graduates, but they have to hold another RN state license before they can be licensed in Alabama. There are no requirements in South Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, or New York. So every state does different on their requirements for obtaining an RN license from them. But it's the same with EVERY medical license because I currently hold 6 state licenses for Respiratory Care.

Also, I have checked with the Veteran's Affairs office about paying for my education with the GI Bill - since my husband is in the Army - and they DO pay for education at Excelsior. The government would not pay for an educational institution if it wasn't approved or if it was a scam.

I'm not saying that people are not prepared. I am not here to bash other people. I honestly wanted to see what people were saying about Excelsior before I applied and enrolled in the program. I have heard that it is a really hard program and that you do have to be a self learner and very disciplined to get through the program. But after reading these complaints, I had to post the information I have found out and know personally through friends that have completed the program.
N  27th of Jul, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
well i just finished my appointment with the college network rep. and everthing sounded great! but i began to think if something sounds to good to be true than it probally is. i was confused why i would sign up with them and then go on to excelsior? just sounded wierd then they said they dont do federal financial aid.. wierd again. so i kindly thanked the man and said i would be in touch. i have done some research online and found lots of complaints. needless to say i am no longer considering them in my quest to become and RN. i thank each and everyone of you for your comments. you have saved me from what seems to be a horrible mistake.
D  28th of Jul, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I am currently in the ADN program at Excelsior and I have had no problems at all. They do not accept federal financial aid for the ADNprogram because it is an exam based (study on your own) program. They DO, however, accept federal financial aid for all of their other programs including the BSN program. Also, they accept all other forms of financial aid for the ADN program because I am using the GI Bill to fund my education with Excelsior. There is nothing weird about their program or their school. I didn't go thru the College Network tho. I went straight thru Excelsior and they have very helpful counselors that always answer my emails and phone calls. I would recommend Excelsior to anyone!
D  2nd of Sep, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Excelsior is not a scam at all. You have to be a very dedicated person to finish the program. It is not easy at all. It is cheaper than most programs I am sure. I have no problem working as an RN. My training was sufficient. I was a paramedic with just time in school and no field time when I started the Excelsior program. The minimal clinical experience given in most nursing schools makes Excelsior a good option for someone who is motivated. I flunked the CPNE the first time and yes, it does suck. Yes, luck does have a part in it. Yes, it could be retooled to make it fairer. However, the way it is now, you will not pass the program if you are not ready to be a nurse. You will not pass this program if you are not competant to practice as a GN. That is a fact. Those who diss the program either dropped out of the program or flunked it. I studied for 1.5 years for my CPNE. That is more time than most nurses do in clinicals at school. Don't do Excelsior unless you are sure you know what you are in for.
D  11th of Oct, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Excelsior is not for everyone. If you aren't self disciplined then you probably won't graduate. But the school is great for motivated students and they get right to the point. One of the best experiences I had (BS 2004) after hating school going to the huge Ohio State. If you think the school is a scam, know that I attended a top Ivy League business school after Excelsior. I think Penn has a better reputation than a disgruntled poster who wasn't motivated.

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