PGCC Letter to Our Leadership
The effects of the CoVid-19 pandemic has forced us all to adapt in less than ideal circumstances. Everyone in the program has made many adjustments to our personal lives to meet the expectations of the nursing program. The senior class of 2020 has unique obstacles as we struggle to keep up with the same expectations in different and more challenging circumstances. A number of us have endured changes to our households, with our family members transitioning along with us to the virtual platform. The transition necessitates us to put on more hats than ever before, as our children and siblings require guidance as the school systems adjust. As students ourselves facing the same obstacles, we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. In addition, a number of us are employed at health care facilities. Despite the physical and emotional demands of working in the front lines, we still have a willingness to endure and learn.
Our group is the first senior class to deal with the nursing program’s new system implemented to perform during this pandemic from the beginning of the semester. We have made adjustments to our lives for the past two semesters. Unlike any other group, our class is still expected to balance the workload and still meet the expectations of the nursing program. Despite the challenges we face, we have still chosen to continue with the program. Additionally, we have accommodated to last minute program and class changes knowing that leadership is working hard to give us a full experience. Despite our efforts, we feel that the nursing program, as a whole, does not show consideration of our needs as students and individuals though it may be verbally expressed. We are given copious resources but not enough guidance on how to use them to perform well on exams given. This has only been exacerbated by the hybrid learning format. We find it unfair that despite the trends in exam performance for particular classes, the fault never lies with the instructions but with the way we self study and understand the material. In addition, the material covered in class and given as resources seem to not adequately prepare us for our ATI exams. Ultimately, the overwhelming amount of material and lack of direction on how to properly utilize these tools to our benefit has resulted in the poor performance on the exams. We recognize that the instructors have invested a lot of time and energy into this program but the rapid change to a virtual format has left a lot of students struggling.
As it stands, many of us are in danger of not meeting the requirements despite the efforts we have made. As a class, we ask the leadership of the nursing program to consider the needs of the students more than the pass rate of the program. The same flexibility we have given to the program, we ask for the same in return. We ask that the leadership consider the following propositions:
- We ask that you allot us the full points for our ATI Proctored Exams. We will still take the exam and complete the remediation in order to receive the full credit at the same time improving on material designated by ATI. Receiving the full 4% would help many of us reach the 80% benchmark.
- We ask that you consider being more flexible with the grading standard. Other associate and bachelor’s programs require a lower grade to pass the program with high NCLEX pass rates. For instance, Anne Arundel Community College has a NCLEX pass rate of 91.3% and the College of Southern Maryland has a pass rate of 89.1% (Maryland Board of Nursing, n.d.). Both associate nursing programs require a 75% final grade to pass their program (College of Southern Maryland, 2020; Anne Arundel Community College, 2017). While we understand the 80% benchmark has been established for a reason, we also understand that reaching a 80% is not necessarily a determinant on how well we do on the NCLEX. We ask that you consider these extenuating circumstances we are in during these unprecedented times and consider rounding the grades.
- We also suggest we ask the program to become more transparent and accountable in class and out of class. While the open forums are an opportunity for students to voice their opinions, we feel that only certain points are taken into consideration.
We thank you all for your time and consideration and ask that you consider our concerns and suggestions.
The Class of 2020.
Anne Arundel Community College (2017). Recommended course sequence - Registered nursing. https://catalog.aacc.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=28&poid=10492&returnto=10078.
College of Southern Maryland (2020). Nursing, AS. https://catalog.csmd.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=26&poid=4360.
Maryland Board of Nursing (n.d.). NCLEX-RN 1st time candidate performance for Maryland schools: FY 2020: July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020. https://mbon.maryland.gov/ Documents/nclex-rn-stats-fy2020.pdf.