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My experience at Los Angeles Pierce College’s Nursing Program - Important!

My experience at Los Angeles Pierce College’s Nursing Program - Important!

Los Angeles Pierce College has a 2-year ADN nursing program located in the valley of Southern California that's got one of the highest NCLEX pass rates at around 100% year after year. But what they do not tell you is how ridiculously low their graduation rate is. At first glance, an amateur person hoping to begin a career in nursing might think that a super high NCLEX pass rate is a good thing. One should understand though that any school can have a very high NCLEX pass rate if they make sure that only the top 25-35% of students make it to graduation.
You admit a group of 35 very smart and determined students and you compare them to one another with the goal of "weeding out" the bottom half no matter how smart, how capable the whole is. You turn your program into a Hunger Games battle arena where it doesn't matter how low the exam average is, but how you compare to the rest of the class. You make the program so incredibly difficult that only the most cut-throat few students make it through and the NCLEX exam is far easier by comparison. After speaking to the cohorts above me, I had learned that only 13 students out of an original class size of 33 made it to graduation last Fall, 2023. They also have no problem failing students in the 4th semester. These are stats that should concern anyone thinking about applying to LAPC for Nursing. (Moorpark college is just as bad).

There are plenty of other better ADN programs in So Cal such as LAVC, LASW, SMC, or COTC. A private college if you can afford it. Any of these colleges will have much better, higher graduation rates than LA Pierce & Moorpark. Pay attention to the NCLEX pass rates, make sure they are reasonable and ALWAYS check ratemyprofessor reviews of who you are entrusting to give you a solid nursing education. I had witnessed many students from my cohort being forced out of the program who I strongly believe should not have been. I had found myself using knowledge from my prior medical background to help answer the ridiculous exam questions that have little to do with the class material & lectures. The students I saw failing the program tend to have older Prerequisites or little former hospital work experience. It is very difficult to compete against Licensed Vocational Nurses, surgical Techs, and Paramedics who have a lot more extensive medical knowledge coming into the program than you do.

Their Nursing Fundamentals course is a disaster and is deliberately used as the "boot out course" to reduce the class size for 2nd semester. Exam averages are always very low for Nursing 400 and questions are deliberately worded terribly to knock students' grades down. The Final exam middle score was 69% for us when 76% is a minimal passing score. The upper quartile on Canvas shows 74.8% meaning at least 3/4s of my cohort failed the Final. They do not round up your grade if its slightly below 76% overall and they do not curve the Final. I overheard them say theres only 20 or so clinical spots open for students coming into 2nd semester, they intentionally reduce the size of the cohort to accommodate it. They enroll many more students into the program than there are seats in 2nd Semester in order to have a greater contest and pool to weed from. Although their Fundamentals instructor is incredibly rude and incompetent, I believe it is intentional as she is just following the orders of her superiors to boot out a certain fixed number of students to accommodate the lack of clinical sites in the next semester. Expect to lose anywhere from 33 to 50% of your cohort after 1st semester alone. The professor is also unfair with the homework grading and seems to have a gender bias towards women. Me and the other women in my cohort would notice we always got points marked down for HWs with no explanation while a few male students would always receive full credit every time. It may just be a coincidence, but we always hear the professor saying how "more men need to be in the nursing profession" and she comes from a culture with patriarchal values. She's been a professor there for decades. I cannot recommend this program to anyone and I wish I had gone to nursing school elsewhere.

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Christine’s Answer

In the Diploma program I was in you had to maintain an 80% grade. and all tests had to be 80% or higher or you were out. I saw a lot of students get booted out. The one that bothered me the most was an Indian student was booted out as she smelled. The teacher that did it, was teaching the ethics class. The woman was a good student, and lived her lifestyle that she grew up in. She did not shower every day. So what, it was so unfair. The teacher also made me pull my hair back at all times so I could not hide behind it. I cam in with a BS in animal science. They made me retake AP 1 and 2 as what I took was for animals. Guess what it was the same thing I had already done. I got an A+ in AP1 and in AP 2 I took it over the summer in 6 weeks, A+. Being a farmer with the BS helped me a lot. There was another program that was tougher at a community college. I hope you find a college you like.
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Maureen’s Answer

Natalie, I want you to breathe!
I understand you really needed to vent. I can guarantee that no nursing program has a 100% NCLEX pass rate; if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

My initial advice is...find another school you will be happy with. ADN programs provide an Associates Degree; 4 year college programs provide a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Having worked as a faculty member at the college of nursing at Rush University, I can tell you nursing school is tough. Most schools expect students to obtain As and Bs. Many students expect nursing school to be easy...nursing programs are far from it.

Instead of blaming the nursing program and its faculty, perhaps you should look within yourself. What are you doing to achieve an ADN? People and faculty in general are who they are. The mature student would find a method to get through the rough courses and faculty and move on to the next course and level.

I wish you luck in your endeavors Natalie. Dive into your program with thirst and vigor. I hope you find what you are looking for.
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Martin’s Answer

I can completely empathize with what you're experiencing. My journey into nursing began in one of the only three master's bridge programs in the U.S. My acceptance was due to a prior master's degree, which demonstrated my ability to handle the workload, so there was no need for me to take the GRE's initially. However, I soon discovered that this program was incredibly rigorous. The grading scale was much stricter than any other program, meaning what would be an A elsewhere was only a B- or C here. Everyone had to maintain a B average, and it was a tough battle for all of us.

As we wrapped up the first semester, several students were asked to leave due to underperformance in previous semesters, and about a third of our class was compelled to switch to part-time. I took my GRE's, and while my scores weren't high enough for initial acceptance, I was maintaining the required B average, so they couldn't dismiss me. Many of us fought hard to stay in the program, even as it felt like they were trying to push us out.

One particular instructor insisted that he never curved grades. But he also never really taught anything. His first test resulted in a class average in the 50's, with even the top students only scoring in the high 80s. Recognizing this unfair pattern, a group of us challenged the administration about the situation. The instructor was forced to curve the grades, which allowed me to scrape by with a C in his course. At first, we were celebrated for instigating this change, but then he retaliated by making the course even more difficult. This led to the class blaming us, turning us into the villains.

The bottom line is, most of us had a tough time, and it often felt like some instructors were going out of their way to see us fail or be held back. I'm not the type to sit back and do nothing, and in this instance, my persistence paid off. I'm not sure what weaknesses your school has, but rest assured, they exist. You might need to identify these vulnerabilities to protect yourself, or consider transferring to a different program.
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