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Excelsior College CpneCPNE failure is rediculously easy.

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I just finished failing my CPNE. I have been an LPN for 15 years. I currently work in an acute care hospital. I have been working slowly twards my RN for many years now. I graduated from LPN school with honors and never had an issue with clinical while in school. Just felt that was necessary background. On the first day of my exam from hell, was the 4 labs. I passed the first 2 labs but then failed the second two. On the first failed lab I was packing a sterile dressing, after the dressing is complete they take off the outer dressing and examine the gauze you packed your wound with. The wound on this fake arm was very irregularly shaped and because the packing overlapped the edge by about 1mm, I failed. Next lab was IV push, because there was an alcohol wipe over where the name would have been on the MAR when I stated I would verify the patient's name and date of birth, I failed this lab. The next day was 2 patient care situations (PCS) and repeating failed labs. The first PCS I performed everything perfectly until it came time to do the eval. My rationalle for chosing my care plan was worded wrong-FAIL. Second PCS CE got pulse of 105, I got 115, so did the dinamap twice. The CA said I should have been concerned that this pulse was higher than the patient's baseline of 112. Second try on the wound lab, this time my gauze packing wasn't close enough to the edges of the wound-FAIL and out. Wasted $1900 for the CPNE, traveling expenses, cost of new uniform tops, and sneakers. It was a stressful, awful experience. I feel cheated. They are just looking for anything to fail you so they can charge you for the cost of the exam all over again. I don't know if I want to give them any more of my money. I even told the CA it was the worst experience of my life. The thing that really surprised me is that the examiners were very nice, but once she involved the CA in any way there was no chance of even the smallest thing being up for discussion. I don't recommend it.

Responses

  • An
    anonymous130 Feb 13, 2015

    it's a scam and very subjective. it also has nothing to do with good nurse/not good nurse. it has all to do with politics. absolutely nothing to do with "real" nursing as in "skills." most i've seen fail have a lot under their belt and if you have half a brain, most likely you are the one they will fail. (not all but many)... if you haven't started yet--don't. go to your community college, you will be a much happier person and omit a lot of stress, bills and not end up taking a gamble with your future. I am sure it's the perfect solution for those who passed but again, this exam is not done fairly. many were slipped by when they failed and others were failed for nonsense. it's a conflict of interest to have the clinical by this staff. you should take your exam by a state examiner that has NO monetary or other interests. this is a series of secret games not exams. (it's their secret, they fail you, they get to still keep the big pay for your weekend and go home but you lost out on that money, travel, hotel and your weekend. why not pay these examiners by the hour so if they fail you and they go home, they go off the clock too? hmmmm. that's only ONE part of the game here. (scam) .

    0 Votes
  • Rn
    RNboy2010 Jan 06, 2015

    Sometimes it depends on where you test. When I was studying and practicing for my CPNE, I paid a lot of attention to what was other students and instructors were saying on the Excelsior Peer Network which I think is now called the Excelsior Community or something like that on their web site. Where you test has a lot to do with passing. If you failed, maybe you need to evaluate where you tested and test somewhere else, where the clinical examiners are more professional and fair. By the time it dawned on me what the CPNE was and how my whole three years I had spent on this program all was dependent on the CPNE, it was too late for me to do anything about it but prepare. For my first nursing exam, I used a publishing company to prepare. I did ok, but I didn't really learn much of anything. Then I started using Excelsior's books and resources only and there was a big difference. I did so much better on theory exams and learned a great deal. I think Excelsior has an excellent theory component when you learn from their books and resources. Setting up a MyEC student account on the excelsior website should be a must. You MUST also have a strong theory and critical thinking base to practice safely. Anyone can learn hands on skills. We teach family members hands on skills as nurses. You're going to need more than that no matter what school you go to. There are some nurses that graduated from traditional programs that have no critical thinking skills whatsoever and I have to wonder how they were ever able to sit for the NCLEX. I went to a traditional nursing school before Excelsior to get my LPN. Even at a traditional program, you should be opening them books and absorbing as much as you can make sure you have an understanding of rationales as opposed to just memorization. Yes, in some aspects, I think Excelsior is a great school as far as theory.

    My problem with Excelsior is the clinical component leaves lots to be desired. There should definitely be a 360 hour preceptor component after the CPNE. Give that student some hands on RN clinical teaching on Telemetry, Neuromedical, GI, Orthopedics, ICU step down. And as far as the CPNE, it needs to be more fair and the school should offer better teaching preparation for it. Its highly objective. If you are already in too deep and have completed all your nurse theory and gen ed courses and would loose too much money if you don't take your CPNE, do it. Just make sure you're careful of where you test. If you're not in too deep or just considering enrolling in Excelsior, then don't do it. Run the other way.

    Ok now here's the short version. Guess what it is...DO NOT GO TO EXCELSIOR COLLEGE!!!

    0 Votes
  • Rn
    RNboy2010 Jan 06, 2015

    DO NOT GO TO EXCELSIOR COLLEGE! Please do not go. I was able to pass my CPNE on the first try. But I will tell you this, If I had it to do over again, I would NOT go to Excelsior for my ASN. Do yourself a favor and go to a traditional BSN program. You will have more job opportunities and your degree will be more respected. Yes, that's right. Go to a tradition bachelor nursing degree program. And if this is not feasible than do a traditional school ASN program to get your RN and then go to a local RN to BSN program, NOT EXCELSIOR. Pretty soon the associate degree RN's are going to be phased out. Now I have to say, there are some Excelsior grads that run hoops around traditional ASN grads as we sometimes have a much more stringent clinical and stronger theory base. Not true for all Excelsior students. Good and bad nurses come from every school Excelsior and traditional nursing schools alike. I would had liked to have had more RN clinical learning experience as a student. I also don't like the fact that all this money can be invested in general ed and theory courses, travel expenses, CPNE expenses, just to loose it all in a day over something simple like not aspirating for blood before flushing an IV line. The CPNE grading is highly objective. When I was preparing for the CPNE, other students on the Excelsior Peer Network, which I think is now called the Excelsior community, told me about which testing centers were the best and which ones had hateful, unprofessional CEs and CAs. For this and many other reasons, I would not choose Excelsior again. I'm not saying I didn't get an excellent education, because I realize now that I did. But I don't like how many unsuspecting students and LPNs get cheated out of their ASN degree by some at Excelsior. Its just heartbreaking. I have experienced so much emotional & physical pain in the past that I think I'm just numb to some things so I was prepared for failure of the CPNE, but thank God that never came to be.

    0 Votes
  • Se
    SexyTower Sep 17, 2014
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    Excelsior College "CPNE" is difficult, but certainly not impossible. My advice is to review the study guide at 100% accuracy before attending the weekend session. Also, even if you have had many years of nursing experience as a LPN, etc, it doesn't matter. I tell students that you should, "Do it the Excelsior way", because it's "Their way or the highway". Previous health care experience doesn't matter. Several inaccuracies and you are on your way to failure. Good luck, everyone!

    0 Votes
  • An
    Anurse123 Sep 16, 2014
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    There is an Attorney who is representing Excelsior nursing students in a class action lawsuit. Google it. This is a serious deal people! Stay away from these crooks and if you've been affected by them already, find this attorney.

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    Love 1024 Aug 26, 2014

    Jesus Christ what kind of school is this.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    joe02841 Jan 10, 2014

    DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT ENROLL INTO EXCELSIOR COLLEGE! RUN AND HIDE FROM IT! THINK OF IT LIKE A BAD CASE OF GENITAL HERPES! WHEN YOU THINK EXCELSIOR COLLEGE THINK OF HERPES!
    In all seriousness though, this "learning institution" is the farthest thing from anything remotely resembling a learning institution. The CPNE is not about testing you on what you know, it is about finding a mistake no matter how small it is and failing you for the entire PCS because of it! It really is a scam, and if they wanted you to be successfull they should at the very least let you do a mock PCS from start to finish, then at the end of it tell you all of the mistakes you made throughout it so you will learn what not to do! This is just plain torture, it is absolute misery, and they keep getting away with calling themselves a Nursing school! Can anyone honestly sit there and say that if they had a choice to do it all over again they would do it through Excelsior? Even the people who passed the first time are telling you they would go conventional. Listen there is a better way to test people on being a Nurse, but Excelsior wont make money that way. If you are still not convinced this is a scam ask yourself this, why is Excelsior college so unwilling to change the way they grade their CPNE as pass/fail to point system? They will say because Critical Elements are the very least that should be done, but what they dont want to admit though is that performing the critical elements perfectly without face to face instruction on it is not what conventional nursing programs require you do to pass your clinical! In a conventional Nursing Program you are instructed on how to perform all critical elements, and then you are tested on performing it. A conventional Nursing school fosters an environment for learning! Excelsior college feels they have to foster the most stressfull environment, with no learning or instruction involved what so ever!

    2 Votes
  • Az
    azn Apr 28, 2013

    I only took and failed the CPNE once years ago and I think that is enough. All I paid is for nothing including traveling for conference and testing. The teacher for conference and examiners are mean and I don't believe they themselves can pass the CPNE.

    0 Votes
  • Fr
    frustrated kara Apr 11, 2013
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    I agree! I can't wait to be done with Excelsior! What a horrible experience!

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    rochitek Apr 11, 2013

    Hello im from down south and took my clinical portion down here as well. I did pass the first time around but I do agree with many. Excelsior college is WAY to picky. A big money cow!!! I saw a girl fail because the instructor said she didnt wash her hands for a minimum 20 sec, but she did. What it was is that the instructor were to busy talking and didnt pay attention. Then the instructor that i had on my second day when i had the patients, didnt even look or pay attention when I had administered insulin. Good for me but I saw may fail for stupid reasons and the worst part is some of these people were on their last try and failed. I felt so bad I even cried with them. Some of these people borrowed money for the clinical portion. Some of these people had families and tried to better themselves and excelsior failed them for really small things. Im glad Im done with excelsior and will never deal with them again. The instructors make you so nervous. The first day when i was in lab the instructor came real close to me while I was testing and kept pacing back and forth, I was totally nervous. If I had to do it again I would have gone traditional route.

    0 Votes
  • Ho
    Hope123 Jan 17, 2013

    Yes, Excelsior is A Well Organized Scam, its hard to believe bit its true, they hire teachers who would protect them and induce spirit of the students on line and do the dirty job with examiners hands to fail you at Cpne, and yes they know that they don't have Good program on line its only tests, which you would only pass on the third time, no matter what grade you get, and Absolutely no clinical' s, only the joke workshop which does not teach you anything, this Institution only things how to get more money by Failling Cpne test, I can tell you a lot but I don't think any thing changes, they have cor-opted so many people that still smile and getting reach on students expense.
    This FAKE Institution should be Closed as soon as possible, they put public health in danger by offering this program-Scam learning on line.

    1 Votes
  • Ma
    Maximus1999 Nov 12, 2012

    pfr172, you are clueless. The same damn thing happen to me! I did everything perfect, and just because I was verbalizing, they got pissy. I verbalized so they would not be confused as to what I was doing or thinking. They are a ripoff and better be glad I am not a psycho is all I can say!

    2 Votes
  • Se
    SexyTower Jul 07, 2012
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    Hope everyone is doing well. Good luck with goals of becoming a RN! :-)

    0 Votes
  • Pf
    pfr172 Nov 01, 2011

    JDB1, you are a ### and are the poster child for minorities who get a bad name. I am a Minority and passed the CPNE on my first try.

    -2 Votes
  • Jd
    JDB1 Oct 24, 2011

    I totally concur with most of the sentiments above, I was also failed twice in the CPNE. (both times in Lubbock Texas). The CE's are extremely dishonest and racist. They intentionally set out to fail minorities on technicalities and if they cant find one they create one. I have been an LVN for 14 years and I am a cardiology nurse who takes care of 7 patients for 12 hours. So needless to say that I am capable of taking care of one patient for 2 1/2 hours. During my first experience I was failed because of lab, like some of the others I was 1 inch away from where I was suppose to give my injection and I failed. So I said I would just go on and then retake the lab. My first PCS I passed, but my second PCS I was failed because I forgot tactile stimuli for an alert and oriented ambulatory patient. I could understand if he had been comatose or non responsive. So I then went back to the lab to repeat and once again I was told that I was an inch away from where I gave my injection. I decided to go back after 9 more months of studying, and I was very well prepared and had every critical element memorized. I ordered many practice materials etc. etc. spent lots of money. This second time, my first PCS was a male with a total knee replacement. I was assigned vital signs, fluid management, mususcloskeletal management, respiratory management with coughing, deep breathing, and incentive spirometer, and ambulate to the the door one time during PCS. I completed every critical element and did not miss one. Before this PCS the CE took my kardex and told me that the patient had IV fluid and that she had forgotten to write it on the kardex the night before. So she wrote it on the kardex and then told me that I was not responsible for the IV because she had forgotten to write it down the night before. So I wrote this on my PCS form. Well I was called in after I finished all of my critical elements and told that I had not completed my 20 IV check. I was then shown the Kardex by the CA and the IV fluid had been line through and intermittent IV was now written. Well anyone knows if a patient has IV fluid then intermittent IV would not be assigned. I brought this the the CA's attention, knowing that this had been changed. She knew that I had picked this up and said that it would not count because it was a misunderstanding, however it was a lie and an intentional plot to fail me. So the CE then told the CA that my manuel BP was incorrect. I had a blood pressure of 135/60 and she told me to take it again and I did, this time it was 130/60, I declared this one. The CE then took it with the automatic machine and it was 127/63 okay isn't 130/60 within the 5 rule, actually it is only 3 different. Well the CE told the CA that her blood pressure was 118. It shows that she was off, but I was failed. So I just said okay and headed to the second PCS, this one they did not even let me get to patient care. They told me that I left 1 small blank on my paper work, the truth is I think that they wanted me out because I had challenged them. I will tell anyone, please tell your friends not to go through this program, and if you have failed once I would not suggest going back, especially if you are a minority. Excelsior College knows that most of their clinical sites are racially bias; and that the CE's and CA's have the liberty of being dishonest and no one can prove their racist bias. If anyone finds an attorney who will take our cases with a class-action lawsuit please count me in. The stress is overwhelming and you will become physically sick. ITS NOT WORTH IT! Excelsior College is nothing more than a money-making scam; and the clinical examiners in these little racist towns/cities have been strategically placed to weed out minorities but not before they rape you finacially and victimize you emotionally. If you allow them, they will have you believing that you are incompotent in your medical pratice. excelsior college IS NOT FOR MINORITIES! its only for white supremist. They should be exposed and america needs to know that racism and white suprimacy has taken up residence in the infrastructure of excelsior college and their clinical sites.

    1 Votes
  • Dr
    Drjoyedwards Oct 16, 2011
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    i failde the cnpe the first time around also. I had a scholarship both times. I do not believe the college is out to get us. What i will say is it is not an easy test especially if you have knowledge in the health care field. That can easily be your downfall. Just do what the study guide says to a T and relax and you will pas. dont waste time complaining on how bad the clinicals are and how it is there fault. Its straightforward. I passed the second time with flying colors. The first time i failed on the med push lab... my dumb behind threw the syringe in the trash bin which they place right at my feet..smh. so the second time around i did that lab first. dont get caught u in the failure of others dont talk to others about the CE's and just have tunnel vision. the second time around I was focused and didnt speak to anyone until sunday morning when i passed.

    0 Votes
  • Me
    medicman Oct 16, 2011

    Hey, everyone...I'm A paramedic in NYC and enrolled with excelsior. I havent signed up for the CPNE yet, but most of my friends who are paramedics passed the CPNE first try with no problems or complaints, I did hear a rumor that the examiners are very upset and jealous to know that, we dont have as much didactic hours under our belts. I have heard of rare instances where some people do fail. However, I believe if you study and bypass the workshops there will be no problems. Besides, going to paramedic school was 10x harder than nursing. With Excelsior everything is done at your pace, embrace that fact. I had to learn 14 of a doctors education in a year...now that was tough. People, pace yourselves and when all else fails do what I will do when test day comes...Have a shot or two of brandy.

    -1 Votes
  • Us
    U.s Sailor Aug 15, 2011

    Wow!!! This is horrible. There are way too many sites out there, that "Highly suggest, LPNs/future students DO NOT go through the Excelsior program. 1 or 2comments of students who unfortunately failed is understandable however this is one, too many websites that I found that has brought my 4months of research on this schools nursing program to an end. Not only am I in the military, but I'm also a minority. Two strikes against me already(which are based from the comments above), before I even attempt to make it to this CPNE Weekend. I find out outrageous that nurses who have failed the CPNE having nursing experiences of 10-15 yrs and still failed. It's almost as if you have to pray your evaluator wakes up on the right side of the bed that day lol ...
    For all those who have already failed once, ill be praying you pass and move on with your careers.
    For those In the process of doing research on the program, like myself ... I pray your desperate situations (no time for traditional nursing school, in the military, old age looking for a quick career track) do not rely on Excelsior its not worth it. And I know I work damn hard for my money, not to throw it way because how someone feels like grading the day of the final decision on whether they pass u or not

    1 Votes
  • Ne
    Nel45788 Jul 30, 2011

    Just passed my CPNE on the first try July 15-17. Let me impart some knowledge that I feel has not been given enough on this forum. The entire CPNE is based on the Critical Elements. This goes for tbe Sim Labs and the PCS's. If you memorize all of the critical elements for each assessment, management, and lab, you will be 95% the way to passing. You still need to remember to identify and wash your hands constantly, but this should be an automatic action by now. Practice writing care plans and evaluations that look identical to the study guide. Finally, I did not attend any conferences, workshops, or telephone meetings while preparing for the CPNE. You do not need them. Good Luck to you all and if you have any questions concerning preperation for the CPNE, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Tv
    TVH RN Jul 27, 2011
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    Congrats to your wife, Elton, on passing the CPNE. To those that are thinking of going the EC route or are already enroyte, hang in there. I passed my CPNE in May, on my 2nd attempt. I was well prepared te first time, but like most, I w nervous and at the same time, went in thre with an attitude. I thought that since I'd been an LPN for 20+ yrs, my way was good enough. And... Yeah, it wasn't- i made stupid mistakes and failed. Once i lost the attitude and performed the exam as outlined in the study guide, I did fine and passed with very little anxiety on the 2nd try. Memorizing every hoop thy wanted me to jump thru by using mnemonics was crucial to my passing. It was hard and the xtra $2K sucked but I am glad I went the EC route. It made me a better nurse. I am more motivated and have better critical thinking skills than some nurses I know, and it is becuz of this program. That, and the NCLEX was easier for me than non-excelsior students, as I didn't have test anxiety like they did. I took all of my excelsior exams at the same site as the NCLEX. It was a breeze compared to preparing for the CPNE. Keep in mind that people also fail exams and courses with traditional nursing programs so the alternative is not always cheaper or easier. Good luck to all and keep your dream in clear sight.

    0 Votes
  • El
    Elton H Jul 26, 2011
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    I'm very happy for you that you passed. My wife just came back from Lubbock and on her 3rd attempt... passed it. She also has been an LPN for 25 years. She took the time to write E.C. in regards to the multitude of mistakes made by the examiners all to no avail. If you are thinking of appealing a grade or decision, be prepared for the brush off. This is all about the buck.
    Thousands of well qualified nurses will attest to this fact. Multiple JACO violations by instructors have no effect on this school. My wife completed her after course critique sent out by E.C. This too will be blown off. It boils down to this. If you are lucky enough to go to Lubbock, you have a chance as they are very nice (Human) people. Milwaukie, Columbus etc... just robots.
    BTW, the passing rate at Lubbock was 1 for 6. Go figure!

    1 Votes
  • Kc
    kc_rn Jul 26, 2011

    Unfortunately, I came upon this site on accident a few months ago when I first started my Excelsior College journey. I couldn't help but read all these horribly negative and discouraging posts. It was like a trainwreck! I made a mental note to return to this site when I finished the CPNE and give some hope to others who might stumble upon this.

    I took my first CPNE in New York last weekend and I passed everything with no repeats. There were five of us in the group. Four passed with no repeats and one student had to repeat only one PCS (he omitted a critical element during an assessment). We were all very prepared. I never took a workshop or a documentation or careplan course, and I never took an anti-anxiety medication. I read EC's Study Guide a couple times through, practiced my sim labs several times a week, and did mock PCSs with my family and friends. You have to prepare the EC way. It's an EC exam!! They are testing you on the most basic skills of an RN!! So basic, in fact, that I did nothing during my CPNE that I haven't done a million times in my 11 years as an LPN (except a simulated IV push). It is THEIR responsibility to make sure you can do these basic things to be an RN. It is YOUR responsibility to be prepared. It isn't two strikes and you're out. You are given a chance to re-do the things you fail. The CA and CEs were extremely friendly and fair. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's definitely do-able. No one is out to get you. If you failed, it's because YOU failed. It's easy to put the blame on Excelsior since there is no actual score assessed during this exam. You're probably lucky there isn't...

    0 Votes
  • El
    Elton H Feb 22, 2011
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    While I agree with most of your post, I do take issue with the race items. The research I have done on this suggests that no one is immune to their money grabbing BS. The bottom line here is that Excelsior is filling a niche' and in the process has absolutely NO oversight by anyone. Hence they can do whatever they wish.

    My wife has just applied for her 3rd exam. While I am inclined to jump up and say "I know what the results will be", I do hold out hope that she can get passed this. If not, we are screwed. Money, time in years, heartache, stress. and health. Please keep posted to this board as I am not done with Excelsior.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
    miss pissed Feb 22, 2011

    i agree no LPN should go to excelsior to become an RN.with the economy we are all easy targets. we are repeating clients for them at $2025 a pop.they take our money failed us for any insignificant issue raised during the exam. they are so bias in the delivery and grading of the exam. they ask us to sign papers we don't have time to read and they don't give us a copy of those papers .From what i observed as a repeating exam taker their motto is: if you are white, you are right; if you are brown, you can stick around;if you are black, stay back. As a black woman i should have stayed away from excelsior. Right now after all the time and money spent i feel cheated, traumatized and very dissatisfied with the whole unfair and intimidating experience. The flexibility offered by this program doesn't make up for the grief and frustration given by this exam.Furthermore, the restriction attached to their diploma by other schools and hiring hospitals is not a laughing matter.Many states won't hire a graduate from excelsior and many schools will not give us any credit for the classes we took through their program.To all of you out there, consider other options before enrolling in this program. Even a nursing advisor and a CA will not give me a straight answer about other schools accepting class credits from excelsior.

    0 Votes
  • El
    Elton H Jan 30, 2011
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    Sounds like a carbon copy of what my wife has gone thru TWICE now. An LPN for 28 years, awards on the wall etc etc and they fail her 10 minutes before the end of the testing on Sunday. This is BS. This is ALL about the buck. She appealed and they sent her a FORM LETTER. A freaking form letter telling her to take the course to prep for it. SHE took the course but they didn't even look. Stay away from Excelsior

    0 Votes
  • Kl
    kle Jan 30, 2011
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    I am sitting here in a hotel room on Sunday afternoon after not passing my first CPNE. I am sorry but there is nothing critical about being 7 numbers away from the CE on a diastolic blood pressure. There is nothing critical about documenting your patients description of pain as steady when your patient said her pain was steady. And I am wondering how critical it is to aspirate for blood on a saline lock when you are going to flush with NS before administering the med. I would never recommend this program to anyone. The stress level is unreal and unnecessary. I would like to pull any RN off the street and see them pass this the Excelsior way. This is not the way to do this. My CE said I did everything right with patient care but our diastolic numbers were off so guess what? Fail. I have 2 co-workers asking me about Excesior and because of this wekend I am going to go home and tell them don't do it. I am a Paramedic and a Surgical Tech. I know I am a valued employee at the hospital where I work. I have been told by my boss, co-workers and the DON that I will be an excellent nurse. They were all sure I would come up here and pass with flying colors. Well, none of us had any clue about the Excelsior way.

    KE

    0 Votes
  • El
    Elton H Jan 30, 2011
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    Go to a brick and morter school if possible.

    0 Votes
  • Jc
    jcole1970 Jan 30, 2011

    I was looking to sign on with RUE and start taking classes. But I don't know after reading all this stuff. Please help?

    0 Votes
  • Pf
    pfr172 Dec 13, 2010

    Another update to my previous post...I ran into a few students at the airport who just finished in Albany. One site was 5 for 5 passing rate and the other was 4 for 6 passing.

    0 Votes
  • Pf
    pfr172 Dec 12, 2010

    I have to agree with the previous person who called you people a bunch of whiners. I just passed the CPNE on my first try with no repeats! And guess what! There were 6 of us that tested and ALL six PASSED with NO repeats on labs or PCS's. We were all done early Sunday morning. The CPNE has CRITICAL elements that you have to complete in each lab station and PCS. They are called critical for a reason! I studied for maybe 3-4 weeks, 30 minutes a day and was sucessful. None of the 6 of us that tested went to a workshop or anything like that. I work with atleast 15 EC grads and all of them passed first try. You being a LPN for 20 years doesn't mean crap if you can't document LLQ tenderness on your report. Or if you forget to sign the MAR...those are mistakes in real life and in the CPNE. Quit trying to scare people about the CPNE. I read this crap before I tested and wished I didn't. For anyone about to take the CPNE, they wont fail you...you will fail yourself. Take a deep breath and you will be fine!

    1 Votes
  • Ri
    richie l Jun 19, 2019
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    @pfr172 I hope

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    Cali RN Dec 05, 2010
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    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    The Ca at Madison, WI (Forset) is not on your side so don't expect any support there. Most CES are great, but there are a few who are out to make you fail no matter how perfect you are. We should expect our students to meet Critical Elements, not to be perfect. People are not always failing due to Critical Elemets, but the crafty CE can make it look that way. Some people pass not because they are more prepared, but because they lucked out wth a fair CE. I know this first hand. I am an EC Alumni and have referred several to the program. I have talked in length about their experiences. Some were given hints, others sabotaged! The stress level is unreal and unnecessary. I am a Critical Care Nurse and a Clinical Nurse Educator, I will never refer another student there. If one of our public schools had such a poor graduation rate, there would be public outcry againt the teachers. It is sad to say, but is clear that this is all about money. That's not the message we should be sending our future nurses. Please go to a traditional program if you can. I am pursuing my findings to the fullest and I hope to make a change for the future CPNE students. Even though I'm an Alumni, I am ashamed. Shame on you EC! Please contact me if you would like to unite and make a change. The more facts I have to build my case, the better. [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chugger Nov 12, 2010

    I PASSED the CPNE in OHIO last July--I just want to say --it doesn't matter how long you have been a nurse or what your prior experience is--to pass this test --you need to learn to do it the excelsior way---you need to practice the aoc's until they are second nature--you need to follow a grid and chart everything on that grid-using your mneumonics as a guide. you need to go to the RIGHT workshop--this college is NOT a scam--I am living proof, but to pass--you do the exam their way---once you pass-do it anyway you want. I am 60 years old and if I can do it--so can you.

    0 Votes
  • El
    Elton H Nov 07, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Excelsior is nothing but a "money-grabing" white collar crime racket.
    My wife has been an LPN for 28 years. She is currently taking her 2nd CP&E in Mansfield Ohio.
    She passed her labs and then failed 2 patients. One was failed due to a blanket. she pulled a blanket off a patient, disposed of it properly, got a clean one but DID NOT sanitize her hands in between. FAIL
    This 100% pass/fail deal is total BS. Just a way for them to get more money.
    Does ANYONE know what can be done?
    email me at [email protected]

    Roy

    0 Votes
  • Sp
    spiderandluck Nov 05, 2010

    I failed my CPNE 2x for the past 4 months and am now scared to take the 3rd and last chance. Just like most of you, our patient care experience based on knowledge and practice for several years...for most of us, it has been our bread and butter. I have a credit of $4000 plus which I used for my CPNE exam fee and hotel accommodation not to mention cost of travel and other miscellaneous expenses.

    The CPNE is highly structured and of course competency based but the grading system sucks! Pass or Fail! Can the grading system be set on benchmarks of 90 and above? My first experience, I failed 2 adult patients... one, my nursing care plan was accepted, finished my nursing interventions without flaw, my documentations were complete except that one of my nursing diagnosis was not accepted! Second experience, same thing, finished all my nursing interventions only i failed for missing one documentation- LLQ tenderness. The overall suggestion was for me to attend a workshop. I do notbelieve in the workshop, for one, it is an additional expense. The examiners said, it's the same thing, I already spent money for the 2 exams! The workshop is not convincing for me, I had co-examinees who failed 2x or 3x and yet they have attended the workshop as suggested.They also suggested that I should call the adviser for technical issues. Some of them are not very polite, besides, some of them are the the same examiners we encountered. And just to spice up this comment, one of my patients was a Post op _Hernial Repair with an ileostomy. She has just finished evacuating her ileostomy bag. There was no hand soap in the bathroom. Part of the abdominal assessment was to listen to the bowel sounds of course, so we did using the stethoscope. When it was time for me to listen for the breath sounds, I suggested that we should clean the stethoscope coming from the "filthy" abdomen . The examiner said, it is OK, because we used it on the same patient. What do you think?

    I believe all of us who passed and failed all work hard to prepare for this stressful CPNE.WE have invested so mush money and time and effort for this exam. The last exam that we need to pass in order to graduate but I guess difficult to pass because of the grading system.Even those succesful first takers say it's a futile examination!

    I am now struggling and stressed thinking how to proceed with the 3rd chance. It's not that I am incompetent or dumb, it's the structure and the grading system! I would have listened to that RN who is a professor from a nursing school advising me not to go to Excelsior. I will not recommend Excelsior. If I am able to get my AS in nursing, I will find another school for my BSN.

    Spider luck

    0 Votes
  • Gr
    graduate10 Oct 26, 2010

    This last weekend I took my cpne in madison, wisconsin and failed. I knew what i was getting into ( that it had nothing to do with seeing if you were a competent nurse); however, I also knew it had to get done.

    I had bubbles on ivpush station with air, and I truly believe it was the vial i chose. For $2, 000 for the wkend they should be brand new vials! Just getting the air bubbles out of my syringes took 3/4 of my time! I literally ran out of time trying to get the stupid bubbles out. The CA said I MUST have put air into the vials, even though he said not to. I did not do that! That was my first lab, then I moved onto the iv drip and I had been practicing with these at home without any time issues, but I ran out of time...Failed again. (practice with slow drips like 38 drips/minute with iv tubing not in a trash can; but at table length in an emesis container) (iv gtts measured by a roller clamp...seriously - why do hospitals have all of these expensive iv pumps with drug libraries and safety dose modes) Also why time people, isn't it just more important they do it correct! It just makes people super anxious...

    I passed the wound station, but I think that was only due to the CE not being super picky. The wound situation is stupid as they do not even do these sterilly in real life (talk to an RN who is certified in wounds).

    The injection for me went fine, I bent the insulin needle, but had enough time to restart all over again.

    I felt the CEs were very nice, and I felt they wanted you to succeed at your labs. The CA was an impatient man, borderline rude the first night. He read this booklet to all of us soooo fast before the labs about the whole wkend it was ridiculous and you couldn't ask any questions. Excelsior should be providing this booklet to the student long before your arrival and have you sign and return it.

    I passed the first two pcs situations, the CE's seemed great, but my first one called the grouchy CA with questions to do with the care plan which was exactly from the book and he said my care plan was not individualized enough and weak. I did not personalize my priority careplan rationalization, I stated that maslows heirarchy of needs require a patient to have oxygenization to function at a basic physiological level. Also, since when do we even have to write careplans anymore. Get with technology...we fill them in as appropriate to the patient.

    After the first two patient scenarios with a pass/pass. It was time to retake my two labs. Of course they rudely! will not let you practice during your breaks...why is that going to hurt them? What they might have to reset it? ! I once again had loads of air bubbles that took too much time to get out...

    My CEs were very nice, especially the second one. The timing on these things are ridiculous. One student flunked her pcs, because her patient immediately wanted a bath, she never left the room, but didn't reidentify her before giving her meds so she flunked. Perhaps they should have just taken points from her, instead of flunking her.

    My advice for Excelsior is to get rid of the stupid useless labs, and then grade the pcs situations by a -point system. It should not be a all or nothing situation. Writing the careplans is even stupid, the hospital you are at will even have them preprinted on computer ect. NOONE hand writes these anymore.

    I have no alternative, but to repeat this as I have too much money invested. Since I already passed two labs and two pcs-why should excelsior make you redo everything? Perhaps, they should have a program that has a wkend that is 1/2 the cost and u only have to make up what you missed. I also think you should be able to do these idiotic labs as often as you need to until Sunday at 5pm.

    I would never recommend Excelsior due to the cpne wkend which is outdated and subjective in some ways. G-o the traditional route. If it is a curriculum without the cpne wkend-I love excelsior, because you can work at your own pace.

    I do want to say I have three friends who passed on their first try, one who passed on her second. They did have to take anxiety medicine!

    0 Votes
  • Mo
    Moabjeeper Oct 19, 2010

    I took the CPNE in 1994 and passed the 1st time, but I always tell people that the stress took 5 years off of my like. In the many years since getting my RN through Regents/Excelsior I have NEVER recommended this route to anyone thinking of going back to school. I started back to school this year for my BSN and have been enrolled in the University of Wyoming's online program and have been very impressed. I agree with most of your comments. Of the 6 people taking the test when I was, 3 were retaking it, and of the 3 of us to pass, I was the only one to pass it on my 1st try. I still think that it was a miracle.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    cancer19 Oct 17, 2010

    I was thinking of going through Excelsior, but after reading all these accounts that thought has been cancelled, No wonder there is a nursing shortage. LPN, s/LVN's are a resource that is not tapped into by most nursing educators and places of higher learning. They sure do not make it easy to go back to school to get your R.N. Instead of facilitating their return to school and their ambition to become an R.N., they put up roadblocks and obstacles instead. Sometimes I think that this is what they want so that they have less compitition. Also I have noticed in many traditional programs older students or students with experience already are not as welcomed as the 18 and 19 year olds straight out of high school. How many of them are picking nursing? they have so many other choices now.

    0 Votes
  • Rn
    RN Grad Aug 25, 2010

    Hi everybody, it is SexyTower. I took my CPNE for the second time around, and passed. I just want everyone to know that the CPNE is most definately difficult, but is doable. For those of you who failed the first time, or even the second time, please do not give up. Redo the CPNE, or go to a traditional RN school. Just remember this, the CPNE does not predict whether or not you will or will not be a good nurse. HANG IN THERE EVERYONE!

    0 Votes
  • Cu
    Current Student 2010 Jun 02, 2010

    I PASSED. This is an update to my comment that I posted before I took the CPNE. I did pass on my first attempt.

    However, I still stand by my earlier statements:

    1) May I suggest that Excelsior change this to a graded exam instead of two strikes and you are out. They could set the pass at 95% or something like that. As it is, too many good nurses fail. At a cost of $1, 900 plus travel, it is quite painful if you fail.

    2) My advice: “If you can go to a traditional nursing program instead of Excelsior, do so.” If not, the take the Excelsior route and practice for the CPNE before you go.

    I will say that the examiners at the CPNE where I took it were as fair as the structure of the exam would allow. They personally wanted you to pass, but if you did not meet the mark, they would fail you.

    I strongly disagree with the statements Tronso made about discrimination based on race or sex. I have talked with a number of men and people of color that have gone through the Excelsior program and I have never talked with one that said they experienced discrimination. I am a male and I did not detect any discrimination during the entire program.

    0 Votes
  • Fu
    FutureRN Apr 11, 2010

    Hi, this SexyTower. Thank you for everyone's support during this rough period. I recently just came home from a 5 1/2 hour drive from Janesville, WI (CPNE). During the drive home, I was emotionally and physically drained. After spending many months of intense preparations, I was not successful in WI. I thought to myself about giving up on this program, but I will not for several reasons: 1) I have spent way too much money, including time and effort on this program 2) The theory components (examines) will not transfer into any other institutions 3) I want to prove these CA's/CE's wrong, and pass the CPNE. Therefore, I can close this part of a chapter in my life. I do firmly believe that the CPNE, which consists of 2 1/2 days of clinicals does not prove whether your a good nurse or not, let alone competent. You are tested in a very intense environment, w/ only 2 1/2 hours to do a planning, implementation, and evaluation phase. In a "real" world situation that would not happen. You can be be a very smart nurse, but under these kind of situations (pressure), you can also "screw" up--which is what I think they are looking for, and fail you. Believe me, 2 1/2 hours to do your planning, implementation, and evaluation phase, plus documentation is not enough time. What happens if a patient is talkative, and likes to "chat" w/ you. You can't ignore them, or else it would be critqued as emotional jeopardy. Again, I believe that there are so many "egg shells" to walk on during a PCS. I failed my CPNE for these reasons. Day 1, I passed all simulation laboratories, except for the IV push, because I ran out of time. I could not for the life of my get the air bubble out of my medication syringe. By the time I was ready to push, I had ran out of time. Day 2, I failed my first PCS, because a piece of paper had fallen on the patients bed (for which I did not see), and my paper work was on the patients desk, w/o a "barrier" on the bottom of it. Therefore, I failed under aeseptic techniques. I was able to repeat my second IV push. I was very nervous from the beginning as in Day 1, because the simulation laboratories was in a room w/ very dim lighting. I wanted to say something, but I wasn't sure how they were going to take those comments, so I kept quiet. I failed the second IV push for having pushed a medication for 1 minute and 55 second, versus the 2 minutes I was suppose to push for. I am not trying to make up excuses for myself, but the lighting was extremely poor, and I felt I was not seeing the plunger properly, and seeing the clock to calculate the speed. To all of you that have failed the CPNE, I do sympathize w/ you, because they are extremely picky, and looking for microscopic things to fail you on. Please, please do not give up on your dreams of becoming an RN. If this is what you want to do, then you find a way to do it. Please do not let Excelsior College's CPNE deter you from it. Again, these sim labs, and PCS's does not prove your skills or anything else. Failing the CPNE is only a minor setback. I am going to reapply for the CPNE, because I want to prove to Excelsior College that I can finish their program, and especially to myself, because that is what matters. If we want to be RN's, then there is a way. Again, hang in there everyone, and best of luck. -SexyTower

    1 Votes

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