Excelsior CollegeCPNE clinical testing

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My son who has been an LVN for the past 22 years applied to the excelsior CPNE program 2 years ago. He first tested for his CPNE clinical at the Mansfield, Ohio location in January 2011. He failed his third and last hour of the examination because his final assessment of his assigned residentwho had a diagnosis of COPD had been on O2 at 6L vis nasal cannula. During the time he was writing his final, dated and timed care plan, and was minutes from passing this gruling test of emotions and nearing the finish line, he was told by the "Masters Degreed Examiner" that he failed the clinincal portion of his test. Asking why, he was told that the respiratory therapist had returned to the room and change the patients O2 level to 5 liters. I find this process to be totally unfair to the testing students, Masters degreed does not make a clincial nurse!!! I found her response to be horriably unfair to not only my son but the other 5 students who failed that dreadful weekend. Oh yes he was handed an application to reapply for another go round with another additional fee of 2500.00 plus travel costs.
Sorry to say, he took them up on their offer, and another check was sent for $2500.00 plus expenses, but this time the "Mastered Degreed Examiner" failed him the second day with his last remaining task of the weekend, the IV flush infusion. During the task all was going well, he drew up the medication the right way, identified the resident, explained the procedure the patient, flushed the line appropriately, and started to infuse the medication. During the infusion, the "Mastered Degreed Examiner" stated to John that "the pressure he was exerting onto the plunger of the syringe was being held back by his thrumb to prevent him from infusing the medication too quickly.
I am a BSN Nurse who has worked Neuro Intensive care for many years, and even with all my experience, I am unable to calulate a student which I heve provided oversight too during their clinicals, whether they are infusing the medication at a specific pressure. Is/she clarivoient and the best thing about this is she wasn't even wearing a watch to determine the length of the infusion.
Besides the unfair failures of these young people I found Excelsior a CASH COW for those who want to better themselves and the program is set for failure and embarresment. You should be ashamed of yourselves..I just want to know when I and my colleges retire from the nursing profession, are your so called "Mastered Degreed Examiners" going to take our place cleaning bedpans and vomitus, and doing the grunt work, or are they going to continue to failure the potential nursing leaders of the upcoming generations.
After reading all of the comments on this web site I can understand all of the frustrations these people feel. Have you ever consoled a 42 year old man (my son) to say you did your best and your ot a bad nurse.
He has one more opportunity to try to pass the CPNE I have advised him not to retest. Your program is a SCAM and other persons should beware of your superficial employees who work weekends to support their income by slashing hopes and dreams of others.

Responses

  • Rn
    RN2010 Jun 15, 2015
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    In response to what you said RNBoy2010, the CPNE is highly subjective, not objective.

    0 Votes
  • Rn
    RNboy2010 Jan 06, 2015

    Also, keep in mind that a lot of hospitals are no longer hiring or even giving clinical access to associate degree nurses from any school. If you are an LPN, please just go to a local BSN program or a local ASN program and then transfer to an RN to BSN program when you get your RN license. Excelsior should only be for nurses that are already RNs going for their BSN and it should be 100% online or have a more fair clinical testing and also provide clinical instruction. Another thing I have a problem with concerning all associate degree programs is the future. It would probably be better to close all the associate nursing programs then to train nurses that will have fewer chances for employment in the next few years. Its crazy whats happening. I don't agree with the mistreatment that's coming down upon the associate degree nurses. I think its just another form of discrimination. I think other nurses are more detrimental to nurses than anyone else.

    0 Votes
  • Rn
    RNboy2010 Jan 06, 2015

    PLEASE DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH EXCELSIOR COLLEGE. Do yourself a favor and go to a traditional school for your ASN, then transfer to a local RN to BSN program. Your degrees will be more respected. You won't have an unfair clinical testing. You will actually get clinical INSTRUCTION and experience. There are too many issues with Excelsior. All that time, preparation and money spent going through the nursing theory and prereques could all be for not, based on a highly objective clinical performance exam at the end. I passed the CPNE on the first time and graduated from Excelsior. But I definitely would not do it again. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS INSTITUTION to even my worst enemy. Please don't do it.

    1 Votes
  • Km
    kmp6807 Dec 20, 2013

    I recently failed the CPNE in Riverdale, GA at Southern Regional Medical Center. Im sorry for those of you that think that people are failing because they were not prepared. I was prepared and still was failed over things that had nothing to do with clinical judgment or logic. Excelsior knows that you have a lot of money invested into this program, and they know that they can get more money out of you by failing students so they have to re-take the exam. You cannot transfer any credits. I don't disagree with the fact that you have to be prepared to pass a nursing schools exam, that is what it is when you go to a certain school. What I do disagree with is the manner in which the exam is graded. I performed flawless care to my patient and both of my failures were on technicalities that, Yes, were caused by the facility and/or examiners. ( Such as a brand new computer system that none of the examiners had training on, and no hard charts available for gathering information ). I did appeal, and my appeal was overturned and they ACTUALLY LIED about my exit conference. It was completely ridiculous, and the appeals commitee clearly never had any intentions of looking at my personal experience with the CPNE. I stated facts directly out of the study guide, and then proved that it was not upheld or administered in the manner in which the study guide stated it would be, and yet my appeal was still denied. Hard core proof and they still denied me. I wasnt asking for them to pass me, simply to allow me to re-test without having to pay again due to their failures to administer the test as it should have been. If I knew a way to fight this, I promise you that I would. Looks like Excelsior will continue to be allowed to run its operations the way it is, robbing students blind and stuffing their pockets.

    1 Votes
  • Kl
    KLWS Dec 02, 2013
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    Degrading efforts because of personal shortcomings? It's always deflected fault, isn't it? I, too, graduated from Excelsior College. They design workshops for this reason...You may think it's done the right way, but as with all nursing programs, it's their way or the highway. The grass is not greener but by all means, go mow it!
    The MSN program is engaging and I feel immersed in the key elements of nursing.
    Instead of creating another problem, create resolution. There will always be trials in life but you decide if it defines your character!
    Endangerment occurs, when ill prepared students have self entitlement issues. Life is about choices. To forfend responsibility for your subpar performance is trumpery.

    -1 Votes
  • Ca
    Carolyn Haar Apr 16, 2013

    Thank you to those of you that posted a positive comment. I am very close to finishing with the Excelsior program and will be taking the CPNE test within the next 6 months. I am planning on attending a workshop, . Several nurses I work with have gone to the workshops and say that it is well worth the time and money. I have been very satisfied with the program, it has worked well with my lifestyle. I did go to college and found that did not work for me. Please keep the positive comments coming.

    -1 Votes
  • No
    nolt Apr 03, 2013

    Excelsior is a wonderful school and they should be commended on their knowledge and expertise. I took my ADN and my BSN through Excelsior College and I would highly recommend them to other future health care providers. Yes, the CPNE is tough...but so is nursing. If you can't manage an on-line school, then you need to go to a traditional school of nursing where they will hold your hand. If you cannot pass Excelsior College, it is nobody's fault but your own. You have to work to pass, and be self-controlled and goal-oriented. You have to WANT it. Lastly, you must be mature enough to set up your own study schedule and keep your goal in focus. The Excelsior instructors are always there for you, you just need to ask. I work as a charge nurse in an ER, med/surg, OB/GYN, OR and Infection Control. I am very satisfied with my Excelsior degree and feel I learned more from Excelsior than any traditional school I have attended and would gladly take any one them on in a knowledge bowl competition. Don't look for ways to blame the school...blame yourself. The school does not try to fail anyone...they stick to the rules. Online school is tough, nobody said it was going to be easy.

    -1 Votes
  • Hi
    HighlyDisagree Mar 03, 2013

    Sorry I meant to say he failed because HE was not properly trained.

    0 Votes
  • Hi
    HighlyDisagree Mar 03, 2013

    Your son failed because we was not properly trained. The cpne handbook has all the info needed to successfully complete this exam. Please dont discredit this school because you are angry that your son did not pass. These students enrolled in the program ALL have clinical background as you do need to show proof before enrollment. This program builds on previous clinical training and is completed by adults who mostly work full-time in the healthcare field. And no I don't work for the school. I am a proud graduate who has has an excellent experience post graduation. Graduated in 1998 and spent most of my years in the ER, becoming the Clinical Nurse Director of Emergency Services in 2009 with my "little" online associates, bachelors and masters degrees all from excelsior! Please encourage you son to take a workshop and try this exam again. And please stop bad mouthing a very good school because you are angry.

    -1 Votes
  • Su
    Survival Jan 26, 2013
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    I totally agree, the examiners, at the Cpne would discriminate, humiliate you, then throw you out as an garbage, and laugh in your face and if its not enough they will give you advice to complain to NY, that what I have experience in Atlanta, Southern Regional Hospital. You can't imagine the horror I went through, how Ca constantly yelled at me, looked at me as I would be her enemy, that hate rate in her eyes I can't forget, I just don't understand why?... Need less to say what happened latter, ...I just know God is my witness, and Florence Nightingale can't find a peace knowing that, She gave Her life for Nursing Education, and look what it became.
    Excelsior you should be a shamed, specially director of nursing Mary Lee Polard, who proudly would write you a letter of your failure, and tries to prove to everyone that you did not study enough, you did not know the critical elements, you just lazy, and we are perfectionist we want this test our 100% way, but you have no way, you don't have Clinical' s to go through and learn right way, the problem is that you are corrupted for so long, I guess money talks, but I do believe that one day this Rn program on line should be changed or closed.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    DawnAnnette Jun 23, 2012

    I will keep everyone updated as we move forward. I want my money back and I don't want RNs out in the field that don't have clinical experience. All traditional nursing schools require a certain number of clinical hours to graduate. I don't understand how some states are allowing people to obtain their RN without documented clinical hours. When I first signed up for Excelsior I thought it was a program just for working LPNs and EMTs and that eventually we would have to show documentation of our clinical hours through our employers. I took the workshop and met people that were not working LPNs or EMTs. Present at the workshop were a CNA, LPN who took ten years off from nursing to pursue other interests, the medical assistant who held up a med cup and asked me what it was and what the markings were ( he passed CPNE...OMG) and a former animal trainer that had failed out of real nursing school due to not passing the math test with 100% accuracy. That's the other thing...why isn't there the math test that must be passed with 100% accuracy as there is at all other nursing schools. As you read in my previous post, the CAs and CEs aren't even competent in basic math. There was a person present in the room during the whole IV drip situation and is willing to testify.
    I failed the IV push the first time because although I loosened the syringe it got stuck causing it to jerk forward too fast and I had to stop a few seconds before administering the rest of the med. You're not allowed to stop at all...no big deal...I had a second try. I had passed all my other labs and two PCS by my second try at IV push. I wasn't sure but I may have contaminated the tip of my first flush, so just to be safe, I decided to throw it out and draw up a new one. At my facility, it is a strict policy to only dispose of sharps in sharps containers due to cost and being "green". I automatically put in the regular trash and instantly realized my mistake and was going to remove it after I completed the other elements and put it in sharps as excelsior wants it. The CE stopped me immediately. I argued that there is nothing in the study guide that states we are not allowed to remove a non-contamidated barrel from the garbage. The CA stated that we don't remove things from the garbage...the CE had already taken it out of the garbage and placed it on the table so obviously they do remove things from the garbage. The CA told me to appeal. I did appeal on the grounds of not being allowed to correct my mistake and that there is nothing stating that I couldn't have removed it from the garbage to put in sharps. I received a generic letter from the dean of nursing stating that I failed CPNE and so forth. She did not address the issue of my appeal so now it's on to court and I am going to make a big deal about it. In my former career, I was an editor and reporter in NYC and I still have many friends and contacts in the business. Nurses do, at times, have to remove items from the garbage especially if working with children, the elderly, the developmental disabled, and the mentally handicapped.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    DawnAnnette Jun 23, 2012

    completely agree and I am looking into a lawsuit at this time. I don't even know where to begin. I failed at Albany for dumb reasons nothing that reflects nursing skills or knowledge. I graduated with the second highest grade from LPN school. After failing CPNE, I decided not to give Excelsior another penny. The thing about the CPNE is that it is ridiculously easy for an intelligent seasoned LPN, but so easy to fail because they judge on minor things that aren't related to nursing knowledge or skills. You basically just have to take CPNE workshop and study study guide and do exactly what they tell you to do. There was a man that passed CPNE that was an army medic twenty years prior and admitted to us that he hadn't had any clinical experience since. There was another young man that worked in an family MD's office as a medical assistant. He answered phones, filed and took vitals...he passed CPNE. I can't believe that some states are allowing these people to become nurses with no clinical experience. California is the only state that sees Excelsior nursing for what it is. Anyway, my first lab was the IV drip. I completed everything and the CE told me she had to get the CA. The CE told CA that I did everything right but my drip calculation was wrong. It just so happens that I have BS degree and had studied math for a while so I was 100% positive that my drip rate was correct. I showed my calculations to CA and she said it appeared correct but they had a different answer. I continued to defend my answer. Finally after about 5 minutes, they realized they were looking at the answer to the wrong question and I passed that lab. I wrote a letter to the dean informing her of what occurred, because I'm sure people have failed CPNE because the CE & CA said drip was wrong. I think a class action lawsuit would be just because there are A LOT of stories out there of shady actions on the part of the CEs and CAs. My friend had a CE that was on her cell phone most of the time during the PCS and looked at her VS and told her that there was no need for her to do a second set! She passed. If I had a CE that did that for me, I would have passed as well. My friend is willing to testify. I have more stories too. Everyone should start talking with lawyers and we should stay in touch. I an also going to protest accreditation of Excelsior nursing because not everyone passing this program has proper clinical experience and it endangers peoples lives.

    0 Votes
  • Rn
    RNFL Jun 21, 2012

    I too am a Excelsior College nursing graduate. I question layersrn account of the CPNE. Unless the program has changed, students are allowed to fail one adult and one pedi patient; however, one must repeat the adult and pedi patient on the same weekend of the CPNE. I failed on my second adult and first pedi patient and on my last day of the
    CPNE I retook both the adult and pedi and passed. Yes it is a tough program as with any nursing program; however it is a good program. As for your comments layersrn about master prepared nurses is both unprofessional and tacky. I was a CNA, LPN for many years, got my RN through Excelsior, then my BSN and MSN. Now I am working on my DNP. For you to state that nurses with MSN's are just out to fail your son is just ludacris. At 42 years of age, your son needs to grow up and stop having his mother caudal him. Excelsior College offers workshops and online support to help pass the CPNE. I find it amusing that one always blames others for their failures. Maybe both you and your son should look in the mirror and you will see why you have such distaste for others with advanced degrees in nursing and your son is a failure!

    0 Votes
  • Ho
    Hostility Jan 26, 2012

    They are pretty bad. I do believe people have stopped signing up.

    0 Votes
  • Rn
    rn2011 Jan 11, 2012

    Leah, I also know how emotional and mentally draining the CPNE can be. I would not have passed on my first attempt had I not taken the workshop first...yes I know this is extra time and money but they walk you through everything. They simplify it, which is especially important for those of us that over analyze everything. I was in tears at many points and there were times when I felt like giving up but I did everything I could to refocus. I urge you to give your son the encouragement that he has the ability to do it. The workshop is not cheap and neither is the CPNE, I flew halfway across the country to attend both on two separate occasions, but if it means attaining the goal then it has to be done. I wish your son the best of luck. He will do great I am sure if he retakes it.

    0 Votes
  • Rn
    RN2010 Nov 28, 2011
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    Leah, I'm a grad of the Excelsior College ADN program. I know the emotions and gut wrenching heart ache of the CPNE. I also know that the exam has to be graded according to the critical elements. The rate of infusion is the critical element being tested, not pressure. Determining the pressure is not a critical element for IV push. Your son could appeal to the school's appeal department based on this information. They may reverse their decision and allow him to retake his second CPNE without penalty because the criteria for failing him is not based on the critical elements. I feel so bad for him. I'm almost in tears remembering my CPNE and my nursing career in general over the past 14 years. It has been very painful. I wanted a career in nursing and I got one, but at a great price. The mistreatment in general, the lack of respect and gratitude, tramendous unbelievable responsiblility, physical and emotional strain are only some of the terrors of nursing. I hate what healthcare has become. But at the end of the day, we as nurses, LPNs and RNs, make a positive difference. We are the backbone of healthcare. I too was an LPN for almost 10 years before becoming an RN, and before that I was a nurses aide for almost five. As far as Excelsior, if I knew what I know now before I enrolled in Excelsior, I would had ran the other way - "far far away from Excelsior. No, I would not do Excelsior again. Even though my Clinical Associate and Clinical Examiners were great and I passed the CPNE on the first try, there are some students that do get mistreated and graded unfairly. In a way, the whole set up is in opposition to the students and unfair. You have little to no formal hands on RN clinical training by the school and then you're clinically tested on so many unfair scales. Once I got my RN, none of the hospitals would hire me. Either they felt my clinical experience was lacking as an Excelsior grad or they just weren't hiring any ADNs period. But eventually I landed a hospital job on a noncritical care unit. And that was only because I had 1 year of hospital experience in med/surg as an LPN temp employee. So my Excelsior ADN degree didn't hold that much weight anyway. I would go to a traditional BSN program or even a traditional ADN RN program. You were right to advise your son against paying for another CPNE. Your son will get a better and more fair educational experience from a traditional RN program with much more clinical teaching, not unfair clinical testing. I hope that one day the vicious cycle of Excelsior College ADN program will be done away with. I am truly sorry. Whatever your son does now, he is going to be a great RN and all the stronger for it.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    Kelley RN Mar 14, 2011

    Leah, I also tested for my CPNE at Mansfield and by the grace of God passed! I know the emotional rollercoaster that your son is on. I'd be happy to help him prepare for this stressful weekend. Did he appeal to Excelsior? I'd give it a try. Also, did he go to a workshop? I went to a wonderful one and we never had to rate/decide the pressure for the IV infusion...only do a calculation as to how fast to infuse and we always used a watch. I hope he succeeds the next time!! you can reach me at [email protected] Kelley

    0 Votes

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